Examining Fairness Perceptions of Financial Resource Allocations in U.S. Olympic Sport

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 University of Arkansas
  • | 2 Kent State University
  • | 3 Troy University
  • | 4 University of Louisville
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The purpose of this study was to measure U.S. National Governing Body (NGB) administrators’ perceptions of fairness of financial resource allocation within the U.S. Olympic Movement. This study extends previous research on distributive justice in the sport industry by examining a new setting and controlling for the potential moderating effect of procedural justice. Presidents and executive directors responded to a survey containing three resource allocation scenarios. Study participants most often identified need to be competitively successful as the most fair distribution principle, but believed equity based on medals won was the most likely to be used. Results also indicated significant differences in the perceived fairness of distribution principles based on the budget size of the NGB, the membership size of the NGB, and the NGB’s success in the Olympic Games. These results have implications for the evolving priorities of NGBs, how these priorities are being addressed, and possible reactions to resource distribution decisions.

Dittmore is with the Dept. of Health Science, Kinesiology, Recreation, and Dance, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. Mahony is with the College of Education, Kent State University, Kent, OH. Andrew is with the College of Health and Human Services, Troy University, Troy, AL. Hums is with the Dept. of Health and Sports Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

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