The Stakeholder Dilemma in Sport Governance: Toward the Notion of “Stakeowner”

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Unitec Institute of Technology
  • 2 Deakin University
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This study is positioned within the nonprofit sport context and builds on an emerging body of work in sport governance to investigate how nonprofit sport organizations can develop their governing capability. A rich data set derived from a 2-year action research study in an Australian state sport organization revealed a lack of stakeholder engagement underpinned by confusion about stakeholder-governing responsibility as the central issues in developing governance capability. The lessons drawn from the Squash Vic experience integrated with sport governance literature and stakeholder theory show the need to embed the notion of stakeholder salience or primacy to explain and clarify the dilemma of multiple stakeholders and the lack of stakeholder engagement in the governing process. We introduce Fassin’s (2012) notion of “stakeowner” and associated ideas of reciprocity and responsibility as a helpful characterization of the legal members in the stakeholdergovernance relationship.

Lesley Ferkins is with the Department of Sport, Unitec Institute of Technology, West Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. David Shilbury is with the Department of Management & Marketing, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Address author correspondence to Lesley Ferkins at lferkins@unitec.ac.nz.

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