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World Anti-Doping Agency: a meta-organizational perspective

Emilie Malcourant (Center for Research in Entrepreneurial Change and Innovative Strategies, Louvain School of Management, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Alain Vas (Center for Research in Entrepreneurial Change and Innovative Strategies, Louvain School of Management, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Thierry Zintz (Chaire Olympique Henri de Baillet Latour & Jacques Rogge, en Management des Organisations Sportives, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium AND Center for Research in Entrepreneurial Change and Innovative Strategies, Louvain School of Management, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 9 November 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) through the theoretical framework of meta-organizations that focusses on organizations that are themselves made up of organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are drawn from a unique case study based on interviews with WADA experts and documentary analysis.

Findings

The authors analyzed WADA through the organizational and strategic dimensions of meta-organizations, which are themselves each defined by two criteria: the mission and scope of the organization vs the hierarchical stratification and decision-making process. The findings suggest that the WADA can be examined through the lens of meta-organizational theory. The criterion of consensus in the decision-making process has already been put forward by scholars, but it needs to be nuanced in the study since it is not the only process used by WADA in its decision-making.

Research limitations/implications

The paper enhances the understanding of a specific international sports organization at the heart of current major sports issues and enriches the literature on meta-organizational theory, which is a relatively recent development. A next step is a longitudinal study, focussing on the decision-making process and the evolution of a meta-organization over time.

Originality/value

While the meta-organization has been considered recently in the management literature, this paper seeks to advance the discussion by linking it to the international sports field to gain more insight into its complexity.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the participants of the EGOS conference in Montréal 2013, the Euram Conference in Valencia 2014 and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback. The authors also want to thank Mathieu Winand and Harald Dolles for their advice and suggestions.

Citation

Malcourant, E., Vas, A. and Zintz, T. (2015), "World Anti-Doping Agency: a meta-organizational perspective", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 5 No. 5, pp. 451-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBM-03-2015-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited