The importance of prior knowledge: the Australian Olympic Committee and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games

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Journal Article
Sport in Society, 2009, 12 (7), pp. 947 - 966
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This study investigates how the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) was involved in the formation of the Sports Commission (SSC) within the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) and as a critical contributor to the staging of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Using a figurational sociological framework, the intended and unintended consequences of the AOC's strategic and operational involvement are explored. The case shows how important early negotiations were in the case of the Sydney Olympics, when the host governments and Olympic Organizing Committees, in the period immediately following the winning of a bid, were inexperienced in Olympic negotiations and distracted by the euphoria of securing the Games. This left the more knowledgeable Olympic organization, the AOC, well placed to leverage its prior experience and extensive Olympic figurations, in order to gain a strategic advantage over the other Australian Olympic stakeholders. The research makes a contribution to Olympic studies, specifically in relation to the role of the host National Olympic Committee (NOC) in the organizing of an Olympic Games. Furthermore, the research findings have management implications for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and future host NOCs, particularly in relation to the structuring of Olympic Organizing Committee governance arrangements
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