Host community salience loss across major sport event planning

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Duignan, Michael
Carlini, Joan
Parent, Milena
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Research question: Major sports events promises are often unrealised, despite locals facing protracted periods of socio-economic disruption. This is a pervasive and empirically verified trend, but little work theorises how and why host community interests become deprioritised. We look at one prominent host community stakeholder group, small businesses, and use a stakeholder salience lens and power-legitimacy-urgency attributes to discern how actual and perceived salience shifted between bidding and live staging, whilst juxtaposing promised outcomes versus realised outcomes. Research methods: 38 interviews with businesses dis/affected by 2018 Commonwealth Games planning alongside documentary analysis. Results and findings: (1) significant differences between actual and perceived salience, with perceived salience seemingly playing a more instrumental role when explaining stakeholder actions and outcomes; (2) perceived salience appeared lower than actual salience. Therefore, businesses felt a) they had little power to leverage opportunities, b) delegitimised with interests’ counter to the event’s objectives, c) unlistened-to with no claim urgency and limited access to support to have interests addressed. Implications: Although initially positioned as a definitive stakeholder, come Games-time, businesses possessed no attributes, questioning whether they were a stakeholder at all. This is a key contribution, alongside demonstrating how salience shifts over time, and distinctions between actual and perceived salience. Researchers can apply this theoretical lens to study stakeholder deprioritisation in the maelstrom of event planning, including businesses, residents, to vulnerable social groups.

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European Sport Management Quarterly
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This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in European Sport Management Quarterly. Michael Duignan, Joan Carlini & Milena Parent (2023) Host community salience loss across major sport event planning, European Sport Management Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2023.2237063. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Sports science and exercise
Commercial services
Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Social Sciences
Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism
Social Sciences - Other Topics
Stakeholder theory
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Duignan, M; Carlini, J; Parent, M, Host community salience loss across major sport event planning, European Sport Management Quarterly, 2023