AffiliationFaculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing
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AbstractThis thesis explores inequality in sport with a particular focus on sports’ National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and other sports organisations. The thesis adopts a critical realist lens to embrace the multi-factorial nature of inequality influenced by Shaw’s (2007) challenge that sports researchers should adopt a broader perspective that will allow for an acknowledgement of multiple categories and different axes, such as gender or ethnicity, and appreciate their interrelationships. The thesis uses a mixed method approach to examine the impact of a significant policy initiative in relation to equality for sports organisations. It then uses a more in-depth case study for an intensive examination of the pervasive (and often covert) influence of organisational culture on equality in a sport NGB. Study One focuses on The Equality Standard for Sport that was devised in 2004 by the four UK Sports Councils and embraces the multiple nature of inequality. This Study provides a comparative analysis to the previous review of the Standard and takes the form of a survey questionnaire completed by 42 senior members of staff at Governing bodies to examine what difference it is making in terms of equality, diversity and inclusion within these sports organizations. Results indicate that despite some proactive work by some organisations, the Standards’ outcome and audit-based methodology is ill equipped to challenge and critique the organisational cultures that are so influential in exclusionary practices. Study Two and Three utilise an action research approach within a case study of a large NGB and seek to further investigate the influence of institutional culture on the organisation’s efforts to become more inclusive and representative of the communities they serve. Using a multi-method research approach, Study Two included an online survey questionnaire, participant observation, eight semistructured interviews, archival and documental analysis, and a focus group. Study Two identified five key themes linked to the exclusionary organisational culture of NGB as follows: Theme One: Denial of the need to widen diversity Theme Two - Closed shop and marginalisation of underrepresented groups Theme Three: Workload and lack of time for volunteers and the associated issues for women Theme Four: Need to work more collaboratively Theme Five: Lack of awareness of NGB work and particularly or girls’ football Study Three includes the recommendations that were made to the National Council of the NGB designed to challenge the themes that emerged in Study Two. This evidence in Study Three emerged from research methods that included participant observation, eight semi-structured interviews and further archival and documental analysis. Study Three included the details and rationale for these recommendations and the resistant response from the NGB provided further evidence of the strength of organisational culture in preventing organisations from becoming more diverse and inclusive.
CitationDwight, A. (2021) A case study review of equality in sport organisations. Wolverhampton: University of Wolverhampton. http://hdl.handle.net/2436/625044
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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