Exploring governance design options for new and emerging sports : the case of stand up paddling in New Zealand

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Meiklejohn, Trevor
Ferkins, Dr Lesley
O'Boyle, I.
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
stand up paddling
sport governance
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Meiklejohn, T., Ferkins, L., & O'Boyle, I. (2016, November). Exploring governance design options for new and emerging sports: The case of Stand Up Paddling in New Zealand. Paper presented at Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology.
Sport governance “is the responsibility for the functioning and direction of the organisation and is a necessary and institutionalised component of all sports codes from club level to national bodies, government agencies, sport service organisations and professional teams around the world” (Ferkins & Shilbury, 2010, p. 235). In considering wider not for profit, commercial and public contexts, Rhodes (1996) and Rosenau (1995) take a broader view suggesting that governance is the process by which an organisation, network of organisations or a society steers itself, allocates resources and exercises control and co-ordination. Research and theoretical attention to this topic is still limited and has not yet moved to fully grasp the complexities of governance within the sport context (Hoye & Doherty, 2011, Shilbury, Ferkins & Smythe, 2013). Such complexities are due to the multi-layered federated network of not for profit clubs, regional sport organisations (RSOs), national sports organisations (NSOs) and international governing bodies (IGBs) that are common to most traditional sports (Ferkins & Shilbury, 2010; Hoye & Cuskelly, 2007; Dickson, Arnold & Chalip, 2005; Soares, Correia & Rosado, 2010; Taylor & O’Sullivan, 2009). As such, a majority of research has focussed on governance at an organisational level avoiding the wider governance system and the multifaceted governance structures that many organisations (and groups of organisations) have evolved toward (Hoye & Doherty, 2011; Cornforth, 2011). To further add to the recognised complexities inherent in sport governance, the sport landscape is undergoing substantial change. Government agencies for sport are cognisant of this with Sport New Zealand in its ‘Future of Sport in New Zealand’ document (2015) highlighting trends such as a growth in the offering of sport from both not for profit and for profit sectors, the individualisation of the sporting experience and a move away from traditional sporting communities offered by clubs. This suggests that despite the complicated federated systems of traditional sports, new and emerging sports with alternative structures, cultures and new entrants (participants and providers) may further complicate the sport governance landscape. Consistent with this, Kellet and Russell (2009) highlight the sport of skateboarding where entrepreneurs have taken advantage of an open system without the institutionalised boundaries present in traditional sports to gain easy entry for profit maximisation. They observed that this field is fragmented, lacking in formal structures and contains overlapping roles of suppliers, participants and program developers, quite different to traditional sporting structures. They contend there is a dearth of understanding as to how new and emerging sports are structured and governed, and that this lack of knowledge compared to mainstream sports (which is still limited) seems remiss given the growth of these sports. This proposed research is the next frontier of knowledge development in sport governance. Specifically, it aims to explore governance options for new and emerging sports. To do this, a systemic governance approach that encapsulates the mosaic of current and potential stakeholders will be employed (Kellet & Russell, 2009; Soares et al., 2010). This conceptual presentation will examine the need for such a study within sport governance and also pose a context where such a study could take place, that of stand up paddling, reported as the fastest growing water sport in the world. In doing so it intends to build on the limited body of knowledge in sport governance in general, systemic sport governance, and the governance of new and emerging sports.
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