Information Technologies and the Management of Mega-Events: the Case of the UEFA European Football Championship – an Institutional Approach
Keywords:E-ticketing, online broadcasting, IT adoption, Institutional theory, Institutional Work, Mega-events, Sports, Soccer / Football
AbstractThis study adopts an institutional approach to analyze the introduction of new information technologies (IT) in the management of mega-events. More specifically, it focuses on the last three UEFA European Football Championship (2000, 2004, 2008), a period during which the nature of technologies used has changed dramatically. A qualitative approach is adopted and the two main technologies identified (e-ticketing and online broadcasting of results) are compared to each other and over time. We suggest that actors purposefully adopted these technologies in order to influence the institution to which they belong (the UEFA). Actors perform institutional work with the objective to create, maintain or disrupt this institution. Our results unveil several strategies enacted to use IT in order to adopt new practices. The adoption of e-ticketing, inspired by established practices in other tournaments, was supported by technical work that aimed at defining this new way of doing things and at educating users. The online broadcasting of results is based on technical and cultural work: actors also made an effort of theorization and education; it was also an opportunity for reinforcing the mission and the central values of the UEFA. Overall, this study is, to our knowledge, a first effort in the literature to understand the role of IT in the management of mega-events, and it provides a new angle to the study of IT actors as change agents, that of an institutional actor.
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