No plan B: the achilles heel of high performance sport management
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AbstractResearch question: The severity and immediacy of funding cuts to UK National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), driven by the ‘No Compromise’ policy framework for Olympic funding, triggers a cyclical need for turnaround management. Adept strategies during times of considerable challenge is stark, yet literature investigating turnaround management within NGBs remains limited. Consequently, this paper examines two questions: how do NGBs respond to UK Sport funding cuts and how are their responses enabled or restricted by their organisational context? Research methods: A case study methodology was used to develop in-depth insights into how three NGBs responded over a 12-month period of turnaround management. This was informed by 21 semistructured interviews with chief executives/presidents, performance managers/head coaches and elite athletes. The actions of the NGBs were analysed through a thematic analysis that made use of Boyne’s [2004. A ‘3Rs’ strategy for public service turnaround: Retrenchment, repositioning and reorganization. Public Money & Management, 24 (2), 97–103] 3 Rs of turnaround strategy. Results and findings: The results highlight that NGBs’ turnaround strategies were constrained by extreme funding dependency and a prohibitive institutional environment that led to states of flux and a focus on short-term operational survival. As a result, the measures taken undermined future success. Implications: An embedded feature of the ‘No Compromise’ framework is severe funding cuts. This should be a significant theme in NGB strategy development. The evidence of this study is that NGBs do not prepare, nor react strategically, when faced with the prospect (or fact of) severe cuts. Consequently, the cases of turnaround management in this study signal the urgent need for further research into the impact of the ‘No Compromise’ framework on the management of NGBs.
CitationBostock, J. et al (2017) 'No plan B: the achilles heel of high performance sport management', European Sport Management Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2017.1364553
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
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