The literature suggests that the professionalization of sport has resulted in erosion of the decision-making power of volunteer administrators. However, little research has examined the extent to which volunteer and paid administrators may differ in their perceptions of influence in decision making. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of influence in organizational decisions and to determine if they were related to decision areas at the board level in Canadian National Sporting Organizations. Results indicated that influence in decision making was not perceived as reciprocal; some areas of decision making were perceived to be the domain of either the professionals or volunteers; and professionals wanted the relationship to be more equal. Implications include the consequences for volunteers as the more dependent partner in the relationship, the potential for improved organizational decision making, and the recognition that the policy development/implementation split between volunteers and professionals may be too simplistic.
Christopher J. Auld is with the School of Leisure Studies at Griffith University, QLD 4111 Australia. Geoffrey Godbey is with the School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Recreation Management at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.