Title: Image on the internet: inter-organisational isomorphism in image management by professional soccer clubs

Authors: Kai Lamertz, Michael Carney, Francois Bastien

Addresses: John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, 1455 Blvd. De Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1M8, Canada. ' John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, 1455 Blvd. De Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1M8, Canada. ' HEC Montreal, 3000, chemin de la Cote-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 2A7, Canada

Abstract: A Professional Sport Organizations (PSO) faces the unique challenge of balancing the commercial interests of a business operation with the expressive identification by its fans and stakeholders. As these organisations move onto the global stage, the internet constitutes a powerful medium for managing this challenge because it allows for the simultaneous projection of different organisational images to different audiences. In this paper, we develop a theory of image communication by PSOs using neo-institutional theory and show that inter-organisational homogeneity dominates the way in which English soccer clubs use their websites to communicate about their images to industry, fans, and community stakeholders. Our results suggest that PSOs underutilise the potential for image differentiation offered by the internet.

Keywords: organisational image; institutional theory; professional soccer clubs; cultural industries; internet; corporate communications; image management; professional football; image communication; England; club websites; image differentiation; Premier League; League Championship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2008.017191

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2008 Vol.3 No.3, pp.242 - 262

Available online: 18 Feb 2008 *

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