Lisa Kihl, PhD


Associate Professor, Sport Management

Areas of Interest

Sport management ethics & policy; athlete representation, corporate social responsibility, democracy and sport; leadership and sport

Graduate education faculty

Associated Faculty - Sport Business Institute

School of Kinesiology

219 CookeH
1900 University Ave S E
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Tel: 612-624-3150

Curriculum Vitae


  • 2004 Ph.D., University of British Columbia, (Canada), Educational Studies
  • 1992 M.S. Eastern Washington University, Physical Education-College Instruction
  • 1989 B.S. Lewis-Clark State College, Physical Education

Research interests

  • Sport management ethics - corruption & civic engagement in sport
  • Sport policy - deliberative democracy and athlete representation
  • Intercollegiate athletic administration
  • Evaluation and professional sports' teams social responsibility programs

My research interest in sport management ethics and policy has been strongly informed through my experiences as an athlete, coach, and athletic conference commissioner. My research interests focus on the central tenets of ethics, policy, and sport administration. First, I am interested in corruption and sport organizations. In particular, I am interested in how organizational stakeholders who were not involved in malfeasant activities are impacted during the post-corruption years where through our research we have developed a theoretical framework that analyzes the impact of sport corruption on various organizational stakeholders. Second, through the lens of deliberative democratic theory, I have been examining how more sport organizational stakeholders can be involved in the policy process and how they hold administrators accountable for their decision making. In relation, I have begun to explore the notion of the citizen-athlete. Specifically, I am curious about how athletes perceive their role in society and how they can develop and use their agency to address social problems.

Current research projects

  • A comparative case study of the Canadian Sport Policy process (Thibault, Kikulis, Kihl, Babiak, Frisby, Vail, & Hoeber)
  • Civic engagement and sport: Developing the notion of the citizen-athlete (Kihl)
  • Civic engagement activities of athletes and non-athletes (Kihl, Hoffman, Bell, Browning, & (Weiss)
  • Elite athletes’ role in the governance and decision-making process of International Sport Federations (Thibault, Kihl & Babiak)

Graduate Students

Doctoral advisees:
Charles Campisi- Globalization and Major League Baseball academies
Matt Soroka- Sport and youth civic engagement
Jon Steadland- Athletic governance and public trust
Vicki Schull- Gender social processes and leadership

Master's advisees:
Ching-Jen Chang - Cause-related marketing and professional sports teams
Anderson Diercks - Leadership and women in intercollegiate athletics
Nicole Gilmore - Psychological commitment and intercollegiate sports fans
Jonanthan Schaefer - Organizational effectiveness and youth soccer associations

Selected Publications

  1. Schull, V., Shaw, S., & Kihl, L. A. (2012). If a woman came in ... She would have been eaten up alive: Analyzing gendered political processes in the search for an athletic director. Gender & Society, first published on November 19, 2012 as doi:10.1177/0891243212466289

  2. Kihl, L. A., & Soroka, M. (in press). The legitimacy of a federal commission as a deliberative democratic process: The case of the Secretary’s commission on opportunity in athletics Administration & Society.

  3. Kihl, L. A., & Schull, V. (2011). Challenges and leadership strategies during an organizational merger. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 4, 326-353.

  4. Thibault, L., Kihl, L. A., & Babiak, K. (2010). Democratization and governance in international Sport: Athlete participation in organizational policy. International Journal of Sport Policy, 3(2), 275-302.

  5. Kihl, L. A., Leberman, S., & Schull, V. (2010). Stakeholder constructions of leadership in intercollegiate athletics.European Sport Management Quarterly. 10(2), 241-275.

  6. Kihl, L. A. (2009). Pacific Ten compliance officers’ morality and moral reasoning. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics. 2,111-149.

  7. Kihl, L. A., & Richardson, T. (In press). “Fixing the mess”: A grounded theory of a men’s basketball coaching staff’s suffering as a result of academic corruption. Journal of Sport Management, 23, 278-304.

  8. Kihl, L. A., Richardson, T. & Campisi, C. (2008). Toward a grounded theory of student-athlete suffering and dealing with academic corruption. Journal of Sport Management.22(3). 273-302

  9. Kihl, L. A. Kikulis, L. M. & Thibault, L. (2007). A deliberative democratic approach to  becoming athlete-centered: The dynamics of administrative and communicative power. European Sport Management Quarterly. 1(1), 1-30.

  10. Kihl, L. A. (2007). Moral codes, moral tensions, and hiding behind the rules: A snap shot of athletic administrators’ practical morality. Sport Management Review, 10(3), 279-305.

  11. Kihl, L. A. (2006). What’s morality got to do with it: An examination of compliance officers’ approaches to rule interpretations. Journal of College & Character Special Issue- Sport Ethics.7(3), 1-8.


  1. Kihl, L. A., & Thibault, L. (September, 2012). Athletes, athletes’ commissions, and the governance of internationals sport organizations. Paper presented at the European Association of Sport Management, Aalborg, Denmark.

  2. Kihl, L. A. (2011). Developing athletes’ civic agency: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the Play the Game—Bringing change to the heart of sport. Cologne, Germany

  3. Hoffman, J., Kihl, L. A., Bell, L., Browning, A. (2011). Civic engagement activities of college athletes and non-athletes. Paper presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, London, Ontario

  4. Hoeber, L., Frisby, Wendy, Jordan, J., Kihl, L. A., & Mills, C. (June 2011). Conducting sport management research with marginalized and difficult to reach populations: Lessons learned. Symposium presentation at the North American Society for Sport Management, London, Ontario.

  5. Thibault, L., Kihl, L. A., & Babiak, K. (September, 2010). Athlete involvement in the governance of international sport. Paper presented at the European Association of Sport Management, Prague, Czech Republic.

  6. Kihl, L. A., & Babiak, K. (May, 2010). Evaluating a professional baseball team’s corporate social responsibility initiative. Paper presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, Tampa, FL.

  7. Babiak, K., & Kihl, L. A. (May, 2009). Stakeholder management and corporate social responsibility in professional sport. Paper presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, Columbia, SC.

  8. Kihl, L. A. (May 2009). Call for athletes to do public work. In Bruening et al. (Eds), Civic engagement: Educating citizens through sport management. Symposium presentation at the North American Society for Sport Management, Columbia, SC.

  9. Grants

    Kihl, L. A. (Principal Investigator). Civic engagement activities of college athletes and non-athletes. Office for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN ($2,500, 2010)

  10. Kikulis, L. M. (Principal Investigator), Thibault, L. (Co-investigator), Frisby, W. (Co-investigator), Kihl., L. A. (Collaborator), Vail, S., Babiak, K. & Hoeber, L. A Comparative case study of collaborative approaches to sport participation policy implementation. Canadian Government Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Montreal, QC, Canada. ($75,667, 2008-2011)

  11. Kihl, L. A. (Principal Investigator). Minnesota Twins rookie league and reviving baseball in inner cities (RBI) program: Evaluating the effectiveness of gaining inner city participation in baseball and softball. The Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis, MN ($30,000, 2008-2010)

  12. Kihl. L. A. (Principal Investigator). Play the Game 2007—Creating coalitions for good governance in sport conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. University of Minnesota Office of International Programs, International Travel Grant. Minneapolis, MN. ($1,000, 2007)

  13. Kihl, L.A. (Principal Investigator). Dealing with corruption: An investigation of the University of Minnesota Men’s basketball program. College of Education—Summer Research Support for faculty. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. ($5,000, 2006)

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Last modified on 7/25/2013