Creating and leveraging knowledge to promote sport participation: the role of public governing bodies of sport

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Girginov, Vassil
Toohey, Kristine
Willem, Annick
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2015
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Abstract

Research question: There is a paucity of knowledge about how national public sport agencies create and leverage information and knowledge to increase participation in sport. This paper addresses ‘what is the role of public governing bodies (PSO) in creating new models for understanding participation in sport? how do they mediate knowledge on sport participation, and what knowledge generation strategies have been used by these organizations?'

Research methods: Using a combination of three theoretical frameworks of knowledge creation and leveraging and a multiple case study approach, the knowledge creation and leveraging strategies of the national public sport agencies in Australia (The Australian Sports Commission), Belgium (Flanders-Bloso) and England (Sport England) were studied. A data coding and thematic analysis protocol was developed to ensure consistency between the cases.

Results and findings: Findings indicate a trend in the three countries whereby implicit and embodied knowledge of the sport practitioner is supplemented by explicit and disembodied knowledge of large scale research. The three organizations have used extensively expanding knowledge generation strategies, which rely mainly on combining and externalizing knowledge. The research and knowledge strategies of the three public sport organizations have resulted in the creation of three distinct sport participation models which could be termed as ‘consumption’ (Australia), ‘education’ (Belgium) and ‘delivery’ (England)- oriented.

Implications: These knowledge creation models have significant policy and practical implications for the management of sport participation in that they promote certain ideologies and organizational behaviors at the expense of others.

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European Sport Management Quarterly
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15
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5
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Sport and Leisure Management
Commercial Services
Knowledge creation and leveraging
Sport participation
Evidence-based policy
Public governing bodies of sport
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