The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of subunit interests, power arrangements, and organizational capacity in a program of radical transformation of a group of Canadian National Sport Organizations (NSOs). Using realtime data collected over a 12-year period, six case studies were constructed to provide insight into the role that these internal dynamics had on the propensity of organizations to change. Results showed that NSOs that completed the transformation possessed leadership with the technical and behavioral capacity for change, had an organizational structure in which volunteers were willing to share power with professional staff, and engaged in an all-encompassing transformation process that embraced the entire organization. By contrast, those NSOs that failed to complete the change lacked effective transformational leadership, had a structure in which power was retained centrally by volunteer board members, and were characterized by ongoing struggles among subunits to protect their own interests.
John Amis, Trevor Slack and C.R. Hinings
Lisa M. Kikulis, Trevor Slack and C.R. Hinings
The period between 1984 and 1988 was one of considerable change in the Canadian sport system. National sport organizations (NSOs) were subject to institutional pressures from the government agency Sport Canada to dispense with their traditional operating procedures and move to a more professional bureaucratic organizational design. Researchers who have studied this time period have suggested that NSOs were passive receptors of these government pressures and that they acquiesced to the changes promoted by Sport Canada. This paper challenges this idea and suggests that the role of human agents and the choices they made in response to the pressures emanating from the state agency are important aspects of the change dynamic. Using data from a study of 36 NSOs, this paper shows that NSOs demonstrated resistance in the form of pacifying activities and ceremonial conformity.