Case Studies on the Changing Roles, Skills and Competencies of School Sport Managers
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The quality of the school sport experience is critical if the educational objectives of school sport are to be achieved. This study has identified that there are many variables that affect the outcomes of the school sport experience. None considered more important and integral than that of the person(s) who ‘shapes and steers’ the school sport experience; the School Sport Manager. This case study examined the roles, skills and competencies of School Sport Managers (SSMs) and how the employment of these traits is influenced by the recognition and vocational preparation of SSMs. The research participants consisted of one female and three males, all of whom are located in Gold Coast secondary schools. Both government and non government schools were selected as the research settings. The qualitative research tools employed are participant observation, document analysis, autoethnography, and interviews. The interviews were the main research tool for data collection. A process of pattern matching was used as a basis for data analysis. The literature review was used to support or refute the research findings, and a model of Institutional Theory was applied to legitimise the research findings as a tool for proposed organisational change. The research findings indicate that the SSMs employ similar management skills and competencies in performing their roles. Similarly, the research findings when compared to literature research findings indicate that the SSMs’ roles, skills and competencies are similar to that of the sport manager employed by sporting organisation. In the performance of skills and competencies by the SSM there are a number of issues that influence the effectiveness of the SSMs to fulfill their roles. These include time availability to meet the requirements of the SSM position, professional and financial recognition for the SSM, academic preparation for the SSM position, and support that is provided for the SSM. From the findings of the research the major recommendations are: • The schools’ employing authorities review the current school sport experience in terms of proposed educational objectives and effectiveness of the management process of the school sport experience. The latter recommendation needing to be addressed in light of the issues facing current SSMs. The major issues are insufficient time to effectively fulfill the requirements of the SSM position, recognition of the SSM position as a classified school management position and in doing so justifying the need to provide financial remuneration. • Education training institutions review the current academic preparation of potential SSMs and sports teachers • SSMs be identified as a special interest group within current professional associations of sport management or as a collective group form an independent professional association that becomes a ‘voice’ and resource for the promotion and management of school sport. These recommendations are grounded in institutionalised theory which encapitulates the need for deinstitutionalisation of current school sport management practices and values, i.e., the training, employment, recognition and remuneration of SSMs and the reinstitutionalisation of new ones to meet the requirements of SSMs in fulfilling the needs of a quality school sport experience.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
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School sport managers