Justice, culture and football referee communication

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Recent football studies (Simmons, 2007; Mellick, Fleming, Bull, & Laugharne, 2005) support received wisdom in the football community that referee communication skills play an important part in player reactions to decisions. However little is known about the relative influence of different referee communication styles and practices on players, or differences between cultures. Referees rely on variable curricula to inform the development of effective communication strategies (Mellick et al, 2005).This working paper presents the conceptual framework for an international study of player reactions to different referee communication displays. It examines received football wisdom and research relating to referee communication, and findings from studies of the ways people perceive fairness.It is valuable in all areas of society to understand what influences perception of fairness. Studies have shown that when people perceive fairness in decisions they tend to behave more prosocially and cooperatively (van den Bos et al., 2005). Importantly, perceptions of fairness are not just based on the decision, fairness is separately influenced by the decision process and the way people are treated by the decision maker (Lind, 2001). Leung (2005) argues that perceptions of fairness have positive effects across cultures, but that the factors influencing perceptions of fairness differ across cultures. He cites a number of studies showing that styles of interpersonal treatment and decision processes influence perceptions of fairness differently across cultures (Leung (2005). Based on Leung (2005), Hall and Reed-Hall (1990) and Hofstede (1980) this study predicts that national culture will influence footballer responses to referee communication displays.The paper concludes with discussion of the quasi-experimental vignette method used to examine the effect that referee anger, explanation and age have on player perceptions of fairness in three countries characterised by distinctcultures ' Australia, Malaysia and Spain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationiCome 2008
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Roles and Challenges
EditorsAbu Hassan Bakar, Rosli Mohammed
Place of PublicationKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
PublisherUniveriti Utara
Number of pages63
ISBN (Electronic)9789834206130
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventInternational Conference on Communication and Media (i-Come) - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 14 Jun 200816 Jun 2008


ConferenceInternational Conference on Communication and Media (i-Come)


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