“Technology can always crash; pen and paper will always work.” : The Internet of Things in the Swedish Hockey League
Abstract: Background: Internet of Things is one of the most important areas of future technology and countless of industries are directing attention towards it. IoT has now started to appear in the sport industry. One sport that has not been investigated to the same extent within the terms of IoT is ice hockey. Problem Statement: Numerous teams in ice hockey have not yet realized the impact IoT may have on their team performance. With an absence in research on the use of IoT in the Swedish ice hockey industry, there is a knowledge gap on how Swedish ice hockey teams can grasp this opportunity and the main factors that affect their adoption. Research Purpose: IoT creates an opportunity for Swedish ice hockey teams to achieve a competitive advantage and thus a chance to gain new grounds in managing their teams. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate to what extent teams in the Swedish Hockey League are using IoT devices and explore the factors affecting the adoption process. Research Questions: To what extent are IoT devices used by teams in the Swedish Hockey League to increase teams’ performance? What main factors affect the adoption of IoT devices into teams in the Swedish Hockey League? Method: With an inductive approach, this qualitative research explores the IoT phenomenon in the context of ice hockey in SHL. With semi-structured interviews, this research gather data from the perspectives of seven SHL teams on IoT. By using a conventional content analysis, the data collected is categorized and divided into themes. Results: The use of IoT devices in SHL is low. The interest to adopt IoT devices is shared amongst many interview participants. When conducting the conventional content analysis on the data gathered from the interviews, certain themes became evident. The findings could be traced down to either their attitude, their competence within the field or their resources. Conclusion: The Internet of Things is changing the way professional sport teams are managed, coached, and led. The benefits that could be harvested from adopting IoT devices are undeniable, but there are several factors that facilitate a successful adoption. The culture and atmosphere in the organization, the skills and know-how, and the financial situation are all important parts of a successful adoption.
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