The theoretical rationale underpinning this study was that decision making structures are tightly coupled to the core values of organizations and thus have a high impact on organizational design change. Taking a fine-grained approach to the analysis of decision making, the purpose of this study was to determine whether amateur sport organizations have shifted away from the dominant paradigm of volunteer-led decision making in favor of professional staff authority and autonomy over strategic decisions. Data from a population of 36 Canadian national sport organizations were used to show that changes in decision making have occurred. However, the shift in control from volunteers to professionals has not been established. In addition, change in decision making varied according to the direction of change, the decision making dimension, and the decision topic.
Lisa M. Kikulis is with the College of Physical Education, Univ. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N 0W0. Trevor Slack is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Studies, and Bob Hinings is with the Dept. of Organizational Analysis, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H9.