Configuring the Field of Play.pdf

Configuring the Field of Play.pdf - Journal of Management...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Configuring the Field of Play: How Hosting the Olympic Games Impacts Civic Community Mary Ann Glynn Boston College, Carroll School of Management abstract I theorize and empirically illustrate how the mega-event of the Olympic Games configures relational and symbolic systems within the host city. I focus on a field at the level of the local geographic community and explore how city character and traditions enable both persistence and change in institutional elements even when potentially disruptive events occur. I present two exploratory studies. The first shows how the event of the Olympics is rooted in the local field of the host city but varies by communities; the second explores the dynamics of configuring the field of one Olympic city: Atlanta, host of the 1996 Olympic Games. INTRODUCTION Over the last quarter-century, a number of cities have pursued a strategy of hosting mega-events (Burbank et al., 2001) to boost their reputations or economies. The mega- event of choice has been the Olympic Games, one of ‘the most visible rituals dramatizing the world polity’ (Boli and Thomas, 1997, p. 183). Urban interest in the Olympics was ignited by the unexpected success of the Los Angeles games in 1984: ‘For city leaders looking to refurbish their city’s image and get the attention of business around the world, hosting the Olympics now appeared to offer a perfect way to do both with little cost to local taxpayers’ (Burbank et al., 2001, p. 5). Subsequent cities hosting the games gener- ally realized largely positive returns (e.g. Andranovich et al., 2001; Miyazaki and Morgan, 2001). The event of hosting the Olympics offers a potent site for examining field-configuring dynamics (Meyer et al., 2005, p. 467) at the level of the local geographic community, a needed perspective in organizational theorizing (Marquis et al., 2007). Fields produce both stability and change by moving constituent institutional elements ‘from place to place and time to time with the help of carriers’ (Scott, 2003, p. 879). I focus on two of these carriers (Scott, 2003) – symbolic systems and relational systems – and show how they are key motors of field configuration (and reconfiguration) for Olympic cities. Address for reprints : Mary Ann Glynn, Boston College, Carroll School of Management, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA ([email protected]). © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2008. Published by Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA. Journal of Management Studies 45:6 September 2008 0022-2380
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Relational systems are networks that connect individual and institutional actors within a field; for the Olympics, these include athletes, city mayors, corporate sponsors, governments, fans, and Olympic committees at the city, national and international levels. Symbolic systems codify core meanings in logos, phrases, images or other rep- resentations, such as the Olympic flame, the five rings, or the mantra ‘Celtius, Altius, Fortius’ (faster, higher, stronger). Olympism supplies an ideology for the event, with norms and beliefs (e.g. human striving and excellence), action templates (e.g. sporting
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern