Lisa A Kihl, PhD

Associate Professor, Sport Management
Contact Information


219 CookeH
1900 University Ave S E
Minneapolis, 55455

Research interests

Sport management ethics, governance, & policy:

  • Corruption in sport
  • Athlete respresentation and sport governance
  • Leadership and gender in sport
  • Evaluation of corporate social responsibility initiatives

My research interest in the intersection of sport management ethics, governance and policy has been strongly informed by my experiences as an athlete, coach, and athletic conference commissioner. My research interests focus on the central tenets of ethics, policy, and sport governance. First, I am interested in corruption and sport organizations. In particular, I am interested in corruption's impact on individuals, organizations and their stakeholders.  Through our research, we have developed a theoretical framework that analyzes the impact of sport corruption on various organizational stakeholders and on organizational outcomes. 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
  • Sport corruption and systematic analysis of the causes of corruption (Kihl & Heffernan)
  • Sport Corruption and the impact on stakeholder trust (Roberts & Kihl)
  • Understanding Athlete representation in sport governance (KIhl, Schull, & Heffernan)
Graduate Students

Doctoral advisees:

Charles Campisi- Globalization and Major League Baseball academies
Vicki Schull- Female College Athletes’ Perceptions of Leadership in the Context of Intercollegiate Athletics: A Gendered Perspective

Guemchan Hwang-Strategic corporate social responsibility and online donation in intercollegiate athletics

Jon Steadland- Higher Education Governing Boards and Stakeholder Governance of Intercollegiate Athletics


Caroline Heffernan-Gender allyship and social change
Christopher Nettleton -Interorganizational relations and sport media

Robert Day-organizational culture and ethics

Master's advisees:

Ching-Jen Chang - Cause-related marketing and professional sports teams
Nicole Gilmore - Psychological commitment and intercollegiate sports fans
Jonanthan Schaefer - Organizational effectiveness and youth soccer associations

Xi Chen- Conflict Management: A Case Study of Two Chinese Sports Organizations


  • 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

Selected Publications
  1. Hoffman, J. L., Bell, L., Kihl, L. A., & Browning, A. (in press). Civic engagement activities of college athletes and non-athletes. Submitted to Journal of College & Character.

  2. Kihl, L. A., Tainsky, S., Babiak, K., & Bang, J.  (2014). Evaluation of a cross-sector community initiative partnership: Delivering a local sport program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 44, 36-47.

  3. Kihl, L. A., Babiak, K.., & Tainsky, S. (2014). Evaluating the implementation of a professional sport team’s corporate community involvement initiative. Journal of Sport Management, 28, 324 – 337.

  4. Schull, V., Shaw, S., & Kihl, L. A. (2013). 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, 27(1), 56-81.

  5. Kihl, L. A., Shaw, S., & Schull, V. (2013). Fear, anxiety, and loss of control: Analyzing an athletic department merger as a gendered political process. Journal of Sport Management, 27, 146-157.

  6. Kihl, L. A., & Soroka, M. (2013). The legitimacy of a federal commission as a deliberative democratic process: The case of the Secretary’s commission on opportunity in athletics. Administration & Society, 45, 38-71.

Selected Presentations
  1. Hwang, G., & Kihl, L. A. (2014). The influence of CSR in college sports on local fans’ patronage intentions. Paper to be presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, Pittsburg, PA.

  2. Ciomaga, B., Thibault, L., & Kihl, L. A. (2014). Athlete involvement in the governance of National Sport Federations. Paper to be presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, Pittsburg, PA.

  3. Kihl, L, Fink, J., & Ndiaye, M. (May-June, 2013). A model of corruption in intercollegiate athletics: The impact of NCAA violations on organizational success. Paper presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, Austin, TX.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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)

  11. 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)

  12. 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)