Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Recreation and Sport Management

Major Professor

Jeffrey Graham

Committee Members

Steven Waller, JIm Bemiller


This study applied Robert Quinn’s Competing Values Framework, one of the leading cultural assessment tools, to successful NCAA swimming and diving teams to identify cultural trends among some of the NCAA’s highest performing teams. Through this framework, teams were assessed to determine if cultural differences arose between the three NCAA divisions, if perennially successful teams differed culturally from those who were not, and if any one cultural element correlated with NCAA Championship placement. Notably, there were significant differences between Division I and III programs, where Division I programs reported higher “collaboration” scores, while Division III reported higher “control” scores. Additionally, programs that averaged a Top 15 NCAA finish over a 5-year span placed significantly more emphasis on competition results than those that did not. Finally, an emphasis on competition correlated with a performance boost in Division I, while higher collaboration correlated with a performance decrease in Division III.

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