Institutional entrepreneurship of women’s professional volleyball leagues, the United States and Czech Republic

  • Author / Creator
    Docekalova, Iva
  • Women’s volleyball gained major popularity in the United States in the 1980s under the umbrella of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (NCAA, 2010). In the last few decades several women’s professional volleyball leagues emerged in the United States. Unfortunately, every single women’s professional league ceased activity within five years of its creation. Incidentally, the struggle concerning the development of a women’s professional league has been absent in the Czech Republic (Stibitz, 1958). This dissertation answered two questions: Why did women’s professional volleyball leagues fail in the United States? Why did the women’s professional volleyball league not fail in the Czech Republic? To explore professional women’s volleyball league(s) in the United States and Czech Republic, I drew on the theory of institutional entrepreneurship, which refers to the formation of values and patterns of behaviors that not only strive to support an organization’s identity, but also strive to become socially accepted (Zimmerman & Zeitz, 2002). The U.S. cases followed Yin’s (1994) multiple-case study design and the Czech study was guided by Yin’s (1994) single-case study design. The collected data included archival data, books, newspaper and magazine articles. In addition, interviews were conducted with ten subjects. Successful institutional entrepreneurs are able to frame, gather resources, and collaborate, as the literature on institutional entrepreneurship suggests. My findings showed that the institutional entrepreneurs of the U.S. leagues failed to create a clear frame, gather useful resources, and collaborate with others. Additionally, the failed leagues experienced environmental misfit and wanted to become professional in a short period of time, which contributed to the failure of the leagues. On the other hand, the Czech league was able to create a clear mission, obtain resources and have clubs that developed a working relationship with the federation. The league functioned as an amateur league that was supported by the federation and Czech state for many years. The managers of a new professional volleyball league in the United States should consider connecting the league with USA Volleyball, creating teams in the areas where strong clubs are located, and have clear objectives that are consistent with the product.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Washington, Marvin (Alberta School of Business)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Greenwood, Royston (Alberta School of Business)
    • Mason, Daniel (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Baudin, Pierre (Physical Education and Recreation)
    • Amis, John (Management)