Creating collective cultural constructs: The case of the Silver Ferns

Lana McCarthy, Andrew Martin, Geoff Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a paucity of research on female sport, and high performance sport specifically. This qualitative case study is informed by Schein’s three level theoretical model, which integrates artefacts as visible constructs of a culture, underlying values and beliefs, and deeper core assumptions. It examines New Zealand’s ‘Silver Ferns’ national netball team, and the ways in which a collective culture has been created and evolved, through analysis of relevant published material and semi structured interviews with past captains and coaches over a 60-year period, 1960–2019. These narratives provide a rich description, which enhances their credibility and transferability. The findings indicate that symbols such as the black dress with the silver fern are linked to pride in selection and sustaining the Silver Ferns legacy. Consistent values are adherence to a strong work ethic and good behaviour on and off the court linked to a collective acceptance of cultural and personal identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages20
JournalSporting Traditions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2020


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