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Assets and obstacles: an analysis of OUA hockey from the coaches’ perspective

Chris R. Chard (Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
Craig Hyatt (Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
William M. Foster (Department of Business, University of Alberta, Camrose, Canada)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 12 July 2013



The passion of Canadians for ice hockey is well documented; however, university teams in Canada are routinely ignored by consumers and the media. The authors’ goal was to better understand the context in which Ontario university hockey struggles and to address the theoretical question of how best to examine and evaluate the problems of sport‐specific organizations. Using the Value Dynamics Framework (VDF), the purpose of this paper was to examine whether or not this framework fits well with the realities facing not‐for‐profit OUA hockey teams, and if not, to create a framework specific to these teams.


Semi‐structured in‐depth interviews were conducted with 15 of the 19 (77 percent) OUA hockey coaches during the 2010/2011 hockey season. The interview guide was drawn from the VDF elements and enabled the researchers to understand not‐for‐profit organizational assets, including physical, financial, employee/supplier, customer, and organizational.


This paper offers empirical insights about the assets and obstacles facing the OUA hockey league and its teams. For example, players, coaches, affiliation with universities, and the hockey product are noted assets. Obstacles for strategic growth include arenas, suppliers, media attention, financial sustainability, parity with other leagues in Canada, and leadership. The VDF proved a useful foil to suggest that something is needed that more accurately represents sport management‐specific situations.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study is that it lacks generalizability. Although motivated to better understand not‐for‐profit sport in general, the authors’ model is specific to OUA men's hockey teams. However, their OUA hockey team‐specific revised VDF does provide insights into the assets available to coaches, and also acknowledges the corresponding challenges or obstacles surrounding the asset classes in the context of OUA hockey.

Practical implications

This paper provides an approach towards making a more generalizable not‐for‐profit sport model that could help explain the success (or lack of success) of such organizations.


This study addresses a need to develop a framework to examine and evaluate not‐for‐profit sport‐specific organizations, such as the teams in the OUA.



Chard, C.R., Hyatt, C. and Foster, W.M. (2013), "Assets and obstacles: an analysis of OUA hockey from the coaches’ perspective", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 246-259.



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