Gender, Leadership, and Governance in English National Governing Bodies of Sport: Formal Structures, Rules, and Processes

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • 2 University of Chichester
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Within this article, the authors explore the extent to which the administrative and governance hierarchies, rules, and processes of two English national governing bodies (NGBs) reproduce or resist gender segregation and male dominance within their leadership and governance. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of practice, the authors expand upon current literature to better understand the workings of gender power relations at the structural level of organizational practice. Semistructured interviews with male and female leaders were supplemented by an analysis of formal documents. The authors found that gender power relations privileging men were simultaneously conserved and resisted within the two NGBs. While resistance to male-dominated leadership and governance was evident, transformational organizational change was lacking. This highlighted the limitations of strategies being primarily driven through top-down, policy-based approaches. The authors end the article by emphasizing the importance of a combined approach at the structural, cultural, and individual levels to enable sustainable and transformational organizational change.

Piggott is with the Department of Sociology and Political Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Matthews is with the Institute of Sport, University of Chichester, Chichester, United Kingdom.

Piggott (lucypiggott11@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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