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 and David Shilbury
Ian O’Boyle, David Shilbury and Lesley Ferkins
With an increase in public attention being placed on the issue of leadership in sport, and in particular the sport governance setting, this article argues that there is a need to establish, as an initial step, a working model for leadership in the nonprofit sport governance setting. Leadership
Mathew Dowling, Becca Leopkey and Lee Smith
examining sport governance issues. This interest has emerged, in part, not only from broader societal concerns surrounding governance (e.g., Enron scandal and the global economic crisis) but also from recent high-profile failures specifically within the context of sport (e.g., Fédération Internationale de
Johanna Adriaanse and Toni Schofield
A common intervention to address women’s underrepresentation in governance has been the introduction of gender quotas. This study examined the impact of gender quotas on gender equality in governance among boards of National Sport Organizations (NSOs) in Australia. Central to the study was the theoretical concept of a gender regime. Part of a larger study, the research design comprised a comparative case study of five NSOs with data collected mainly through semistructured interviews with directors and CEOs. The findings suggest that a quota of a minimum of three women was a first condition to advance gender equality in governance. It needed to operate, however, in conjunction with other gender dynamics to move toward equal participation by men and women in board decision making. These included women in influential board positions, solidaristic emotional relations between men and women directors, and directors’ adoption of gender equality as an organizational value.
Lisa A. Kihl and Vicki Schull
Globally, sport governance systems have experienced a democratic shift in terms of expanding the forms and mechanisms of athlete representation across international, national, and local sports’ governing bodies (e.g., Geeraert, Alm, & Groll, 2013 ; Jackson & Richie, 2007 ; Thibault, Kihl
Nick Takos, Duncan Murray and Ian O’Boyle
; Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015 ). Although we can draw on the previous corporate governance research to understand sport governance, the unique nature of sport warrants its own investigation and the establishment of frameworks or theories ( Yeh & Taylor, 2008 ). Sport governance research has grown in the past
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.
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.
Andrea N. Eagleman, Adam Karg and Ryan M. Rodenberg
This case explores the complex multi-layered governance structure in the international Olympic sport of gymnastics, describing in detail the governance structures and operations of each layer – the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), which is the international federation for gymnastics, and the national governing bodies (NGB) of gymnastics in the United States and Australia, USA Gymnastics and Gymnastics Australia. While both NGBs highlighted in this case are deemed to be successful on an international level, the case reveals many subtle differences between the two, which can be discussed in both governance and organizational behavior contexts. Finally, the timely issue of age fraud in gymnastics and the response from each level of governance are presented and provide an opportunity for further in-depth discussion.