Organizational Governance in Sport



my name is dr. Jeff Walters I'm a senior lecturer in management and head of the management department the research my abet colleague dr. Richard take on I have been involved in over the past eight years has concentrated on organizational governance and this is specifically within the nonprofit sporting context this focus has been led by the challenges and developments within the sport sector what we've seen is how boards of sport organizations have been under the spotlight for a number of years many of these organizations have faced significant media and government scrutiny following allegations of doping bullying of abuse and mismanagement with the fundamental role of the board to oversee and govern the organization to ensure that the organisation is accountable to key stakeholders and to set the culture of the organisation it's understandable why there's been so much focus on the ways in which boards lead organizations and it's understandable why there are many questions asked about their role one of the key research challenges when seeking to better understand board governance is actually getting insight into what's happening what is it the boards do how does the wider institutional context affect the work of boards how the people within the board relate to each other how do they work with each other how a decisions made and how are these decisions influencing the direction of the organisation essentially we see board governance as a key organizational process and our research is sought to better understand these processes however getting access to boards is not easy and it underpins why much of the existing literature in this field relies on quantitative approaches for example through surveys of board directors this does not necessarily lend itself to providing insight into what is actually happening within the boardroom it doesn't open up the black box of the boardroom we've been very fortunate to have been able to spend time inside the boardroom observing meetings interviewing directors reading through board material this allowed us to gain a better understanding of board processes our research has looked up various aspects of the board including how macro-level processes of modernization in a non-profit sports sector from the 1990s onwards have shaped how board members perceive and enact their roles what we found is that many board members now emphasize their financial and strategic roles while de-emphasizing their traditional representative boundary spanning roles raising important questions about accountability we've also examined this issue of accountability in more detail we've shown how board members across the nonprofit sports sector compelled to enact upward accountability to funders but struggle to balance this with downward account accountability to members they typically construct other forms of accountability in board discussions for example accountability to their community and to their mission but they tend not to embed these in ongoing board practices related to this with it we've examined the wider process of codification in the nonprofit sport sector the emergence and institutionalization of codes of governance and the way that this has influenced governance practices our research has supported the development of the voluntary code of good governance published by the Sport and Recreation Alliance we've also been involved in co-authoring sector-wide reports for example in 2018 we wrote the state of sports governance report that we worked on in partnership with more stevens we've also run seminars and workshops of influence policy and raise the level of public debate through our in-depth case study research of all of a nonprofit governing body of sport we've also contributed directly to improving organizational practice

Maurice Vega

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