Embedding sustainable strategies for competitive advantage in the UAE sports sector
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AbstractSports industry is receiving an imperious call to reduce their negative influences associated with their events, operations and facilities on the natural environment. Hence, it has developed numerous initiatives to address pertinent issues, bearing in mind two significant initiatives; reducing their ecological footprint and using the power and popularity of sport as a means to promote and raise environmental awareness and to inspire positive social change amongst fans and spectators. Despite the growing popularity given to sports industry lags behind other forms of facilities with reference to sustainability strategies. Therefore, this study aims to investigate how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sports sector is embedding sustainability for competitive advantage. A mixed methodology of research was adopted to collect and analyse data. Descriptive analysis was used to analyse quantitative data obtained from 124 completed online survey questionnaires. The results were further augmented by qualitative results derived from semi-structured interviews with 30 professionals from 20 sports organisations. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘sports sector’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’. The study concluded that the UAE sports sector is still in the developing stage. The implementation of initiatives related to sustainability is relatively low in the UAE sports sector organisations. Therefore, there is a need to reshape the UAE sports sector organisations existing sustainability strategy in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage. To improve the UAE sports sectors sustainability performance, decision makers have to recognise and understand the concept of sustainability. The lack of leadership skills for successful deployment of sustainability initiatives is one of the most important challenges for the UAE sports organisation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver a bespoke leadership training programs to address, improve and measure the effectiveness of leadership skills for driving change towards sustainability. A sustainable assessment framework was developed and evaluated. This study has made significant contributions to knowledge since there is no previous research explored on embedding sustainability strategies in the context of UAE sports sector. Findings of this research are limited to the UAE sports sector context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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