Title: Strategic responses and disclosures in a sporting drugs scandal: the case of the Essendon Football Club

Authors: Abdel K. Halabi; Brendan O'Connell

Addresses: Federation Business School, Federation University Australia, Northways Road, Churchill, Victoria 3842, Australia ' School of Accounting, Information Systems and Supply Chain, RMIT University, G.P.O. Box 2476, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia

Abstract: This case utilises Oliver's (1991) framework of strategic responses to institutional processes to provide insights into the actions of an Australian football club faced with a prominent drugs scandal. It analyses public disclosures and statements by senior executives and coaching staff of the club across the period 2012 to 2016 in the face of heavy media attention, as well as narrations and content through its annual reports. A defiance response strategy is identified and characterised using Oliver's framework. This case study presents lessons on how organisations may deal with these types of scandals, and how actors may alter their strategies to have their best interests served in a public sports scandal.

Keywords: institutional processes; crisis; sports doping; sports scandal; strategic responses; Australian football.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2021.118825

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2021 Vol.21 No.3/4, pp.265 - 293

Accepted: 11 Apr 2021
Published online: 29 Oct 2021 *

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