Recreation Program Management in U.S. Academic Institutions: Applications for Taiwan Institutions

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Dorothy Ettling


Annette E. Craven


Patricia P. Lonchar


Richard Henderson


In this study, selected recreation programs in the United States were investigated and suggestions formulated for successful management of related programs in Taiwan. The study specifically addressed the issues of organizational leadership and management practices employed in U.S. recreation programs and how these issues apply to recreation programs in Taiwan universities. A review of the literature revealed successes and challenges faced by recreation management programs at U.S. universities. This review provided the foundation for a questionnaire that was sent to six program directors in five universities in the Southwestern United States. The open-ended and closed-ended questions in the questionnaire asked program directors to define the scope of their programs, the role the programs played in the university, and the leadership and management practices that they used. Two themes that emerged from the literature review and the questionnaire results were the need for flexibility and the need for student involvement in the management of recreation programs, thus highlighting the importance of a participatory management style of leadership. The results of this study were used to examine how similar programs at institutions of higher learning in Taiwan might benefit from this information as their own programs mature. In addition to the challenges faced by U.S. programs, including lack of funding, Taiwanese programs face the challenges of lack o f trained professionals, accreditation of such professionals, lack of space, and the projected increase in competition from foreign schools that can open as a result of Taiwan’s entrance into the World Trade Organization.

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