In order to anticipate changes and challenges in their environments, sport organizations must formulate strategies. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for the study of strategy formulation in nonprofit sport organizations. Based predominantly on MacMillan's (1983) work on the nonprofit sector, and using Canadian national sport organizations as an illustration, this study identified several strategic imperatives to uncover the types of strategies that could be undertaken by nonprofit sport organizations. The imperatives were grouped into two dimensions; program attractiveness and competitive position. Under program attractiveness, the following imperatives were considered: “fundability,” size of client base, volunteer appeal, and support group appeal. The dimension of competitive position included the imperatives of equipment costs and affiliation fees. The two dimensions were juxtaposed on a matrix to produce four strategic types: enhancers, innovators, refiners, and explorers. The characteristics of these types and their implications for nonprofit sport organizations are discussed.
Lucie Thibault is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, 125 University Private, Ottawa, ON, Canada KIN 6N5. Trevor Slack is with the Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies, University of Alberta. Bob Hinings is with the Department of Organizational Analysis, University of Alberta.