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Women and Leadership Development in Australian Sport Organizations

Marissa Banu-Lawrence, Stephen Frawley, and Larena Hoeber

There has been growing interest in gender diversity and the leadership development of women in recent years within the broader field of management studies. Understanding leadership development processes is important for the sport industry, in which organizations are becoming increasingly professional and commercially focused. Despite the increased attention on gender diversity and leadership development within the sport industry to date, the scope and application of organizational gender and leadership development theory within an Australian sport context has been limited. As such, the purpose of this study was to explore the leadership development practices adopted by key stakeholders of the Australian sports industry, with the intention to uncover how they impact the role of women in different organizations. Specifically, the research investigated the practices of three organizations that have a major stake in Australian professional sport.

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“No Idea is a Bad Idea”: Exploring the Nature of Design Thinking Alignment in an Australian Sport Organization

Greg Joachim, Nico Schulenkorf, Katie Schlenker, Stephen Frawley, and Adam Cohen

As research into sport innovation management continues to evolve, the innovation efforts of both for- and non-profit sport organizations are increasingly revealed to be focused on best serving the sport user. Design thinking—a human-centered approach to innovation—may hold promise for sport organizations attempting to identify and deliver on the unmet needs of their users. As such, we undertook a qualitative exploration of the innovation practices of a commercial sport organization, attempting to balance hybrid for- and non-profit service goals. Alignment with design thinking themes was discovered in the organization’s practice, as were performative components of design thinking practice. Our findings suggest that design thinking is suitable—and indeed desirable—for adoption into sport management practice, particularly as a means of enhancing innovation efforts, designing holistic sport experiences, and/or overcoming competing institutional demands.