The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and extent of interorganizational linkages between the partners involved in Canada's sport delivery system. Given the changes in the economic context of the 1990s and the ensuing fiscal restraints exercised by both government and the private sector, amateur sport organizations are in a period of high uncertainty. In order to deal with this uncertainty, links between organizations like governments, nonprofit sport organizations, and private sector organizations need to be established, fostered, and maintained. Organizations need to collaborate with each other in order to fulfill their objectives. Linkages between organizations will assist in the sharing of resources and in the coordination of work-related activities. In the paper, a number of examples of existing links between governments, nonprofit organizations, and private organizations are presented. Based on resource dependency theory, strategies such as contracts, joint ventures, and co-optation for establishing new interorganizational linkages are discussed. As well, related issues such as power struggles, loss of autonomy, asymmetrical relationships, and conflicting loyalties are addressed and discussed. Questions for future research also are proposed.
Lucie Thibault is with the School of Human Kinetics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1. Jean Harvey is with the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON KIN 6N5.