The influence of an interorganisational network associated with a large-scale sport event on sport development legacies : a case study of the Sydney 2009 world masters games

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This thesis investigates how the inter-organisational network (ION) of a large-scale sport event influences sport development legacies from a large-scale sport event. This thesis responds to a lack of research regarding how the relationships and interactions among stakeholders participating in an ION influence event leverage activities and the securing of sport development legacies. A qualitative case study of the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games (SWMG) was conducted. The criterion for an organisation to be included in the research sample was that they had to be a key stakeholder that participated in the delivery of the SWMG. Stakeholders included the event bid committee, the event organising committee, the event governing body, the state sport agency and the government department that oversees sport in New South Wales, the state event agency and the contracted sport organisations delivering the multiple sport program. In total, thirty-two organisations were involved in the case study. The research design for the case study involved document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and event observation. Based on Benson’s (1975) ION Theory, the premise underlying this thesis was that an effective ION of sport development stakeholders could work towards a common goal and secure sport development legacies. As such, the case study seeks to understand interactions among organisational stakeholders participating in the SWMG ION, identify factors influencing coordination and cooperation in the ION, and determine how sport development legacies are conceptualised and operationalised in the ION. The findings show that there was limited coordination and cooperation among stakeholders towards securing sport development legacies. Three themes were identified in the SWMG case study that explains why this occurred. The first theme, ‘ION Development and Structure’ reveals that the SWMG ION was developed and structured with commitments to tourism and economic objectives, not to securing legacies for masters sport. The second theme, ‘Context of Sport Development’ demonstrates that government priorities and existing approaches to masters sport inhibit sport development legacy objectives. The third theme, ‘Legacy ‘Consensus’ highlights there is no shared conceptualisation of sport development legacies due to a lack of agreement regarding how to secure legacies and who should be responsible for doing so. This thesis finds that sport development legacies from large-scale sport events will not be secured automatically. The sport development context, characterised by government dependencies and reliance on volunteers, is fundamentally different to the economically driven and entrepreneurial context of tourism, and hence requires a strategic approach to secure legacies. For sport development legacies to be secured, strategies need to be implemented to encourage sport development stakeholders to work collaboratively and cooperatively. These strategies include: 1) Develop and structure an ION to be conducive to securing sport development legacies; 2) Engage with the context of sport development; and 3) Collectively conceptualise sport development legacies. Based on these key findings, this thesis concludes with a proposed Model to Leverage an Event for Sport Development Legacies and suggestions for future research.
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