Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Health and Sport Sciences
Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Greenwell, T. Christopher
Greenwell, T. Christopher
A comparative study; organizational culture; high school athletic department; South Korea; USA
In South Korea, many high school athletics practitioners are interested in adapting US high school athletics policies to South Korean high school athletics. However, due to the cultural differences in the overall systems and environments of high school athletics in each country, directly applying US high school athletic policies does not always fit in South Korea. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the perceptions of principals and athletic directors of the organizational cultures of a high school athletic department in South Korea and in the USA. Also, this study examined the effect of the organizational culture of each country’s high school athletic department on its members’ lives and thought. Utilizing a qualitative comparative case study research perspective, the study incorporated Organizational Culture and Stakeholder theories as the theoretical lenses. This study was able to identify all three levels of organizational culture – artifacts, espoused beliefs and values, and underlying assumptions (Schein, 2010) – of each country’s selected high school athletic department through the analyses of official websites and documents and in-depth interviews with the principals and athletic directors. One main finding from the study was the differences in espoused beliefs and values between the schools. The South Korean high school athletic director and principal who participated in the study discussed the following espoused beliefs/values of their athletic department: (a) student-athletes’ athletic performance, and (b) balancing athletics and academics. On the other hand, the US high school athletic director and principal emphasized student-athletes competing at the college level with a scholarship. Both schools were concerned about student-athletes’ athletic performance and achievement since those directly affected their future college or professional careers. A second finding dealt with underlying assumptions. The South Korean administrators identified the underlying assumption of the importance of following the rules implemented by the provincial Office of Education. On the other hand, the underlying assumption at the US high school was making their student-athletes better people. This study provided valuable insights for South Korean high school athletics practitioners who are interested in adapting policies of US high school athletics. Most importantly, South Korean high school athletics practitioners will need to understand the cultural differences in the overall systems and environments between high school athletics in the US and South Korea before adapting the policies of US high school athletics. Athletic departments in each country exhibit their own unique factors at all three levels of organizational culture (i.e., artifacts, espoused values, and underlying assumption).
Lee, Youngjik, "A comparative study of the organizational culture of a South Korean and US high school athletic department." (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3694.