Organisational Culture in Sport

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Sport as we all know plays a fundamental and important role in society and in the economy and is part of the reason we choose to work in this industry. However, the face of sport is changing. Many sports bodies now operate in often complex, increasingly commercialised and often high-profile environments. As such, they are realising the need to adopt modern governance structures and practices in order to meet new challenges, take new opportunities and lead their organisations into the future but are they ready or fit to do so?

The price of inadequate attention to governance has been seen repeatedly in high profile stories, both within the UK and globally. The effects of corruption, cheating, failures of a duty of care, bullying, discrimination, financial mismanagement and criminal acts have been stark both for the organisations as a whole, the people within them as well as the billions of sports fans around the world who consume sport.

The issue of governance should now be at the top of the agenda for all sports organisations as they seek to ensure that they implement robust policies and procedures alongside the promotion of a healthy culture. Good governance is required to make sports organisations fit for the present and the future.

Good governance is not easy though and while steps to improve governance processes are to be welcomed there is a growing recognition that the efficacy of rules and processes depends in larger part on the integrity of those subject to them. Their usefulness is negated if there is a mindset of bypassing them. Across all sectors there is an awareness that behaviour is determined to a significant degree by the culture of the entity concerned.

The potential fallout from making poor choices – reputational, ethical, financial and legal as well as the experiences of those who work with and for the organisation makes the establishment of a strong and positive culture an essential component of the governance framework.

ICSA: The Governance Institute, have recently published a report ‘Organisational culture in sport’ which looks to assess and improve attitudes and behaviour in sport looking closely at all the key elements that need to be taken into account including a culture check list and guidance on how to embed a positive organisational culture. For those in leadership positions, Identifying and changing organisational culture will be challenging, but holds considerable valuable, contributing to long-term sustainability and, indeed, present success.

Download your full report here, only available to GlobalSportsJobs and ICSA members.


Learn more about governance in sport and discover specialised professional training that the ICSA provides by clicking below. 

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