governance in sport organizations

Governance seems to be receiving a growing attention in recent period, ranging from corporate to non-profit organizations.[1] Generally speaking it address questions of bodies (board or commissions) within particular organization focusing on leadership, roles, structure, motivation and outcomes. Synergy of paid and voluntary based management has been broadly investigated by various researches, focusing on balance of power within an organization.[2]


Permeation of external influences and sport governance factors is the key for effective governance.[3] The role of bodies is to maintain activities based on overall organization strategy. In addition to that, Carver noted that board should focus on strategic level.[4] For the non-profit organizations members (stakeholder) representation and stewardship are the key elements in order to meet the needs of the governing within the organization. The key elements examined through the literature review relies on performance, supervision, policy and operations.[5] Having in mind that every organization needs to be legally regulated and represent legal entity, it still means that it must be represented by responsible representative (s). The role of responsible representatives is to bear in mind wide range of factors that could impacted the organization.[6] Supervision of the responsible body within an organization relies on credibility, compliance and accountability.[7] Harmonization of all activities and responsibilities need to be based on a solid legal grounds. As corroborative argument, researchers found a point of attachment among governance models, organizational effectiveness and strategic expectations.[8] Bearing in mind the main mission, responsible authority (board, commission) needs to establish using strategically approach, plan of activities recognizing goals, ways to implement goals, responsible representative (s).[9] Although the financial aspect is not defining, responsible authority have an obligation to protect and to heritage main mission of an organization.[10] In this respect, there has been studies concerning transformation of an organization (from voluntary based to more professional) and possible impact on the board members and overall governance, where is noted that role of responsible representative was more accountable with more competence in decision-making process.[11] Along with that, it seems to Hoye that as simple composition (structure) of board as better performance will be.[12]

[1] More on the topic from: Francis, I. (1997). Future direction: The power of the competitive board. South Melbourne, Victoria: Pitman.

Schmidt, S., & Brauer, M. (2006). Strategic governance: How to assess board effectiveness in guiding strategy execution. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 14(1), 13-22.

[2] Auld, C. J. & Godbey, G. (1998). Influence in Canadian national sport organizations: Perceptions of professionals and volunteers. Journal of Sport Management, 12(1), 20-38.

[3] Ferkins, L. (2007). Sport Governance: Developing Capability in National Sport Organisations. Published thesis as Part of a Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University.

[4] Carver, J. (2002). On Board Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

[5] More on the topic: Ferkins, L., Shilbury, D., & McDonald, G. (2005). The role of the board in building strategic capability: Towards an integrated model of sport governance research. Sport Management Review, 8, 195-225.

[6] Van der Walt, N., Ingley, C., Shergill G., & Townsend, A. (2006). Board configuration: Are diverse boards better boards? Corporate Governance, 6(2), 129-147.

[7] Garratt, B. (1996). The fish rots from the head. London: Harper Collins.

[8] Hoye, R., & Inglis, S. (2004). Governance of nonprofit leisure organizations. Society and Leisure, 26(2), 369-387.

[9] Carver, J. (1997). Boards that make a difference: A new design for leadership in non-profit and public organizations (2nd ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

[10] Inglis, S. (1997). Roles of the board in amateur sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 11, 160-176.

[11] Shilbury, D. (2001). Examining board member roles, functions and influence: A study of Victorian sporting organisations. International Journal of Sport Management, 2, 253-281.

[12] Hoye, R. (2002). Board performance of Australian voluntary sport organisations. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.

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