This paper examines the means available to management to establish order within organizations. Three variables, bureaucracy, industrial democracy, and corporate culture, are examined in relation to Australia's largest professional sporting organization, the Australian Football League. The paper traces how the organization of sport in Australia emanated from a pure form of democracy that in the early 1980s impeded the Australian Football League's progress toward a professional competition. Establishing order within the league is complicated by the trichotomy formed between the league, the clubs, and the players.
Understanding competition is central to the task of strategy formulation and implementation and it is the link between competition and strategy that was explored in the 2011 Dr. Earle F. Zeigler Lecture. It was argued that strategy, given its centrality to organizational phenomena, and strategy research in particular, provides rich and diverse competitive contexts with the potential to reveal some of the unique properties of sport management. To ascertain the prevalence of sport-related strategy research, three sport management journals were subject to content analysis to identify published manuscripts related to strategy. Before presenting the results, the Lecture considered competition on and off the field, the origins of competitive behavior in sport management and a brief review of the major research themes in the generic strategic management literature. Results revealed that 20 (2.5%) of the 805 manuscripts published in the three journals were strategy focused. Research themes and contexts were presented as well as a bibliometric analysis of the reference lists of the 20 identified strategy manuscripts. This analysis highlighted the journals that are influencing published sport management strategy-related research. It was concluded that strategy research specific to sport management has been sparse to date, yet the role of strategy formulation is central to the role of management and should also be central to sport management scholarship.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of seven sport management and marketing journals on sport-related research published in 20 top tier generic management and marketing journals. Ten top tier management and 10 top tier marketing journals were inventoried to ascertain the number of sport-related management and marketing manuscripts published in those journals from 1987 to 2007. Twenty-five sport management and 51 sport marketing-related manuscripts were identified in the generic journals. From these manuscripts, twelve citations to the seven sport journals were identified in the management publications and 98 citations to the seven sport journals were found in the marketing publications. Sport Marketing Quarterly (62) was the most cited sport management and marketing journal followed by the Journal of Sport Management (28). Results also identify citation frequency by year, first citations and time taken for the seven sport journals to record first citations, author citation frequency and field of author affiliation and its impact on citation patterns. Implications for sport journal focus and editorial policies are discussed as well as the impact of citations in the generic marketing journals compared with the generic management journals.
David Shilbury and Lesley Ferkins
This paper presents the outcomes of an 18-month developmental action research study to enhance the governance capability of a national sport organization. Bowls Australia, the national governing body for lawn bowls in Australia, includes nine independent state and territory member-associations. An intervention was designed and implemented with the Bowls Australia Board. The purpose of the intervention was to enact collaborative governance to overcome a perceived cultural malaise in the governance of the sport. This study is one of the first to examine collaborative governance in a federal sport structure. Results demonstrate the utility of collaborative governance to overcome adversarial national, member-state relations for the purpose of establishing a common and unifying vision for bowls, while also enhancing governance capability. This study identified the importance of collective board leadership in governance decision-making throughout the sport. It also highlights future research directions in relation to collective board leadership in federal governance structures.
Paul Turner and David Shilbury
Environmental factors such as emerging technology, globalization, economic reform and social change are creating a background in which sporting organizations must seek to quickly adapt to manage their ongoing activities and operations. Focusing on emerging technology in the area of sport broadcasting, this research examined six preconditions for interorganizational relationship (IOR) formation from the perspective of professional football clubs in Australia. Based upon theories derived from the IOR literature, these six preconditions for IOR formation were considered to determine if emerging broadcasting technologies impact on IOR formation between Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) clubs and broadcasters. Semistructured in-depth interviews with senior managers of 11 AFL, and 10 NRL clubs were undertaken and data analyzed, coded and emergent themes identified. Results indicate that professional club managers display most of these attributes that precipitate the preconditions for IOR formation, but although these preconditions exist, there is little willingness by the clubs to formulate IORs with sport broadcasters.
Lesley Ferkins and David Shilbury
To learn more about the governance of sport organizations, this study explored what meaning board members of national sport organizations (NSOs) attach to the concept of “strategic capability”. In so doing, the inquiry also identified factors considered to constrain or enable board strategic function. This paper draws on a body of knowledge developed over 38 years on board strategic function, primarily from the commercial setting but also from the emerging body of work in the nonprofit and sport governance setting. Located within the interpretive research paradigm this study engaged a range of different qualitative methods including cognitive mapping and visual imagery. Working across two NSOs in New Zealand, four elements were generated that served as reference points in mapping out the meaning of a strategically able board. These were categorized as the need to have capable people, a frame of reference, facilitative board processes, and facilitative regional relationships.
Lesley Ferkins and David Shilbury
This study is positioned within the nonprofit sport context and builds on an emerging body of work in sport governance to investigate how nonprofit sport organizations can develop their governing capability. A rich data set derived from a 2-year action research study in an Australian state sport organization revealed a lack of stakeholder engagement underpinned by confusion about stakeholder-governing responsibility as the central issues in developing governance capability. The lessons drawn from the Squash Vic experience integrated with sport governance literature and stakeholder theory show the need to embed the notion of stakeholder salience or primacy to explain and clarify the dilemma of multiple stakeholders and the lack of stakeholder engagement in the governing process. We introduce Fassin’s (2012) notion of “stakeowner” and associated ideas of reciprocity and responsibility as a helpful characterization of the legal members in the stakeholdergovernance relationship.
Ian O’Boyle and David Shilbury
This study explores how trust is manifested and impacts on the levels of collaboration that take place in sport governance networks. A case study approach was used as the guiding method to examine the contributing factors that facilitate or inhibit trusting relationships between boards within sporting networks. Three sports from Australia were employed as the population for the study and 36 in-depth interviews were conducted with participants from national and state organizations operating within those networks, two federated and one partially unified. Interviews were analyzed using an interpretive process, and a thematic structure relating to the issues and impact of trust and distrust within the three networks was developed. Extant levels of trust, transparency, the capacity to build trust, and leadership emerged as the key themes in the study. The degree to which each of these dimensions was embedded in the cultures and processes of each network varied significantly. Leadership specifically, as a key finding, was shown to be an important factor in fostering collaborative relations at the governance level of these systems. A number of implications for sport governance practice and possible extensions for sport governance research based on these findings conclude the article.
Ian O’Boyle, David Shilbury and Lesley Ferkins
The aim of this study is to explore leadership within nonprofit sport governance. As an outcome, the authors present a preliminary working model of leadership in nonprofit sport governance based on existing literature and our new empirical evidence. Leadership in nonprofit sport governance has received limited attention to date in scholarly discourse. The authors adopt a case study approach involving three organizations and 16 participant interviews from board members and Chief Executive Officers within the golf network in Australia to uncover key leadership issues in this domain. Interviews were analyzed using an interpretive process, and a thematic structure relating to leadership in the nonprofit sport governance context was developed. Leadership ambiguity, distribution of leadership, leadership skills and development, and leadership and volunteerism emerged as the key themes in the research. These themes, combined with existing literature, are integrated into a preliminary working model of leadership in nonprofit sport governance that helps to shape the issues and challenges embedded within this emerging area of inquiry. The authors offer a number of suggestions for future research to refine, test, critique, and elaborate on our proposed working model.