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Identity crisis: A theoretical analysis of ‘team identification’ research.

Lock, D. and Heere, B., 2017. Identity crisis: A theoretical analysis of ‘team identification’ research. European Sport Management Quarterly, 17 (4), 413-435.

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Lock & Heere (in press) Identity crisis A theoretical analysis of team identification research.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2017.1306872


Research question: Existing team identification research uses various definitions, conceptualisations, and theoretical frameworks. In this paper, we provide a theoretical analysis of previous research using the two dominant theoretical approaches: identity theory and the social identity approach. Our primary purpose is to provide a theoretical framework for the on-going study of ‘team’ identification in sport management research. Findings: Scholars have used identity theory (role) and the social identity approach (group) in their quest to understand team identification, however, limited attention has been paid to the differences between the two frameworks. We focus on two aspects of role and group identification that epitomize divergence in terms of analytical focus and explanations for behavior: the basis for identification and salience. Implications. The manuscript concludes with three recommendations for future research. First, with the aim of making future research more specific, we recommend the use of fan (spectator) identification in studies using identity theory and team identification (organisation / brand) in studies exploring the influence of group identity. Second, we outline definitions for role (fan) and group (team) identification in sport research. Finally, we reflect on the measurement of team identification.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Team identification; Fan identification; Identity theory; Social identity approach; Consumer behaviour.
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:27556
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:01 Mar 2017 16:51
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:03


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