Image on the internet: inter-organisational isomorphism in image management by professional soccer clubs
by Kai Lamertz, Michael Carney, Francois Bastien
International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing (IJSMM), Vol. 3, No. 3, 2008

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.

Online publication date: Mon, 18-Feb-2008

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