How Should National Governing Bodies of Sport Be Governed in the UK? An Exploratory Study of Board Structure

TAYLOR, Marc and O'SULLIVAN, Noel (2009). How Should National Governing Bodies of Sport Be Governed in the UK? An Exploratory Study of Board Structure. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 17 (6), 681-693.

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Manuscript Type: Empirical Research Question/Issue: This study explores the most appropriate board structure for national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport in the UK. Sports are a very important aspect of UK society, involving a significant number of participants and spectators, occupying a key role in furthering the nation's health, and, at the elite level, a source of considerable national pride. From a governance perspective, NGBs of sport are non‐profit organizations, managing both professional and amateur sports, and administering the allocation of considerable amounts of funds, especially public funds. The study was motivated by a renewed interest, not least from government, in ensuring NGBs had an appropriate structure to ensure optimal decision‐making for their stakeholders. Research Findings/Insights: We interviewed 22 senior administrators involved in sports in the UK. Our interviews sought to ascertain their views on the appropriateness of applying a number of key board reforms, currently seen as good practice, to NGBs of sport. The overall consensus is as follows: (1) NGBs should reform the composition of their boards to better reflect business demands; (2) board size should be in the range of five to 12 members; (3) NGBs should have different individuals occupying the positions of CEO and chairman; and (4) boards of NGBs should possess more non‐executive directors. Theoretical/Academic Implications: This research adds to our understanding of governance in non‐profit organizations generally and NGBs of sport in particular. Ascertaining the views of key administrators and advisors in sport provides a novel contribution to the governance in sport literature. Our findings allow us to develop a number of propositions capable of being examined further in subsequent research. Practitioner/Policy Implications: The results of this study feed into an important on‐going debate regarding the appropriate governance structure of sport NGBs in the UK. A key finding is that boards in NGBs should move away from being only representative, but should also include members with specific business expertise as well as a greater element of non‐executive monitoring.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services; 18 Law and Legal Studies
Identification Number:
Page Range: 681-693
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 16:08
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 00:02

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