Practical Experiences that Signal the Employability of Graduates from Undergraduate Sport Management Programs During Job Recruitment and Selection

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Grant, Mary T (2022) Practical Experiences that Signal the Employability of Graduates from Undergraduate Sport Management Programs During Job Recruitment and Selection. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


A high expectation exists from managers in the sport management (SM) industry sector for graduates from undergraduate (UG) SM programs to have extensive practical experience and employability. It is unclear however, from the literature reviewed, of the contribution practical experience plays to graduate employability. Also unclear is how SM employers recognise employable graduates. The purpose of this Australian-based research was to determine how practical experience can align the learning, development, and subsequent capacity of graduates from UG SM programs, to transparently signal their employability during job recruitment and selection. This purpose was refined into three research questions with specific foci. The first research question focused on differentiating and defining SM job classifications to identify broad SM role functions. Associated with these role functions are the skills, attributes, and corresponding knowledge that UGs should develop while undertaking practical experiences in an UG SM program. The focus of the second research question was to examine how learning and development gained from practical experience can transparently be converted into employability signals and observed by prospective SM employers during job recruitment and selection. The third research question focused on providing recommendations to managers from the SM industry sector and coordinators of UG SM programs to assist both sectors prepare UGs to be employable graduates. A mixed methods approach was adopted in three stages. In Stage One a job advertisement audit was conducted of 200 graduate-entry SM positions that stipulated a tertiary qualification and practical experience as prerequisites. The data were analysed through text coding and using descriptive statistics. In Stage Two, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 sport managers identified from the job audit. The interview transcripts were coded and thematically analysed. Stage Three involved the conduct of an online employability survey which incorporated eight Employability Dimensions (Rosenberg et al., 2012) with corresponding items, garnering responses from 165 sport managers. However, following data cleansing, 92 responses were analysed using non-parametric statistics.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3504 Commercial services
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3505 Human resources and industrial relations
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3903 Education systems
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords sport management, graduates, higher education, Australia, employment, employability, graduate-entry jobs, recruitment, selection, job classifications, graduate employability, practical experience, career development
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