Sport organizations have been noted as pivotal to the success or failure of athletes, and sport environments can impact the well-being and development of athletes. In this study, the authors explored stakeholders’ perceptions of how high-performance sport organizations support athlete development. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 stakeholders from the United Kingdom’s high-performance sport system and transcripts were analyzed using a semantic thematic analysis. Participants emphasized the importance of performance lifestyle advisors, sport psychologists, and financial assistance for promoting athlete development. Several stakeholders observed that despite the extensive support available to athletes, many do not engage with available support, and the prevalence of a performance narrative has led to an environment that discourages holistic development. It follows that sport organizations could develop alternative strategies for promoting athletes’ access to and engagement with available supports, while funding agencies might broaden existing funding criteria to include well-being or athlete development targets.
Zoë A. Poucher, Katherine A. Tamminen, and Christopher R.D. Wagstaff
Gareth J. Jones, Christine E. Wegner, Kyle S. Bunds, Michael B. Edwards, and Jason N. Bocarro
To promote community development, sport-for-development (SFD) organizations strive to build local leadership that fosters long-term sustainability. Although shared leadership (SL) structures are particularly effective in these settings, there has been limited attention to SL within the SFD context, especially from a multilevel perspective. While previous studies of leadership in sport have primarily focused on the individual traits of leaders, multilevel analysis is required to understand how environmental characteristics relate to leadership development. This qualitative case study analyzes the development and deployment of SL in an American SFD organization. Interviews, observations, and document analysis are used to generate data, and theoretical thematic analysis is used to identify key themes related to the environmental characteristics of SL. Results highlight how environmental characteristics are related to SL, as well as group and task characteristics. The discussion integrates these findings with SL theory to discuss implications for the management of SFD projects in this context, and recommends integrated forms of leadership that combine shared and servant leadership approaches.
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.