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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2014

Chris Mackintosh, Graham Cookson and Gerald Griggs

The purpose of this paper is to establish the impact and effectiveness of the national PING! project implemented by a national governing body of sport (NGB) and key public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the impact and effectiveness of the national PING! project implemented by a national governing body of sport (NGB) and key public sector partners in England. It establishes lessons learnt and areas to improve future programme development in this area of public sports management. In addition it is also evidencing a new approach to engaging with physical activity and sports development in local communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study is based on a user survey with 375 respondents and two qualitative ethnographic case studies in two of the eight cities that were involved in the programme. These case studies encompassed 30 individual or group interviews, informal observations and site visits across the two cities.

Findings

The research project has identified some of the key factors that lie behind the positive outcomes of the scheme, including a strong sense of participant community, diverse participant profiles, a hidden workplace impact and building an entry point for non-engaged sports participants to sport and physical activity. In addition, lessons have been learnt in terms of future programme management, design and development in this field of informal and recreational sports project. These include strengthening opportunities for sustainable continued participation, sharing information with other NGBs that are beginning to work in this style of delivery and building alternative pathways to the traditional club as an outlet' for novice participants.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based in England and is limited to a one year research project. The qualitative case studies were also only conducted in two of the main partner cities.

Originality/value

Very few empirical studies have examined this growing trend towards informal table tennis programmes and facilities. Likewise the paper also offers a novel evaluation approach for NGBs to gain richer more insightful depth of research lessons. It is also part of the growing literature that is questioning the foundations of “traditional sports development” practice and its associated sphere of public sector activity.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2014

Elesa Zehndorfer and Chris Mackintosh

This paper analyses the radical reorganisation of English school sport by the coalition government, a move that led to the emergence of a significant discourse of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses the radical reorganisation of English school sport by the coalition government, a move that led to the emergence of a significant discourse of dissatisfaction amongst school sport advocacy coalition groups.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilises Sabatier’s (Sabatier & Jenkins-Smith, 1999) Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to identify how the coalition government’s decision to abolish the successful Physical Education School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) programme has specifically weakened the power of formerly influential advocacy coalitions within the school sport arena. Weber’s (1947) conceptualisation of charisma, in particular, the concept of charismatic rhetoric, is used to explain how these historically extensive policy changes were communicated by the coalition government, and particularly, by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State.

Findings

Locating the government’s rhetoric within the charismatic literature allowed the exploration of how a disempowerment of advocacy coalition groups and centralisation of power towards the state might have been partly achieved via the use of charismatic rhetoric (Weber, 1947).

Originality/value

Javidan and Waldman (2003) identified a lack of rigorous empirical study of the role of charismatic leadership and its consequences in public sector leadership, a critique that has been addressed by this paper.

Details

European Public Leadership in Crisis?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-901-0

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2014

Laura Hills and Alison Maitland

The purpose of this paper is to explore key determinants of knowledge utilization in a community sport initiative, with particular attention to key facets of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore key determinants of knowledge utilization in a community sport initiative, with particular attention to key facets of social-organizational approaches including: organizational context including perceived user needs, characteristics of the researcher-user relationship, and adaption of dissemination materials.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study applies established theoretical and conceptual understandings of knowledge utilization to a research evaluation of a national initiative to increase young women's participation in sport.

Findings

This case study illustrates that academics engaging in evaluation work with sports organizations are well-placed to develop relationships with organizations that will be conducive to the use of research. Qualities that facilitate the use of research include an organizational context that is positively disposed towards using research. This can entail developing a researcher-practitioner relationship that involves shared learning and appreciating each other's aims, values and priorities.

Research limitations/implications

The research initiates a discussion on the knowledge utilization in community sport evaluation; however, it is limited to a particular case which may not be representative of the spectrum of sports development initiatives.

Practical implications

This case study highlights some useful features of how researchers and practitioners can work together effectively and use research to improve delivery.

Originality/value

This case study contributes to new understandings of the immediate as well as long-term value of research in the evaluation of community sports initiatives.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2014

Andrew Adams and Kevin Harris

The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the power dynamics and vested interest groups that shape the lack of evidence discourse, which is critical of the way…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the power dynamics and vested interest groups that shape the lack of evidence discourse, which is critical of the way evidence is produced within and for the sport for development (SFD) field. This examination recognises that an understanding of the dominant neoliberal context within which SFD is located is critical.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a Foucauldian conceptual framework, power, knowledge and discourse relating to political actors in SFD – funders, policy makers, academics and sport development practitioners (SDPs) – are assessed. This paper addresses two key questions: How is the lack of evidence discourse constructed, and what is its impact? And whose interests are served in the interpretation, generation and reporting of evidence?

Findings

This paper concludes that although in a Foucauldian sense power surrounding evidence is everywhere, the neo liberal context, which situates SFD, favours the privileging of evidence discourses associated with and derived from funding organisations, political and academic interest groups to the detriment of evidence discourses associated with SDPs. Clearly then there is a major tension concerning knowledge transfer, power and process, and the way that evidence can be used to inform practice.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to highlight the power dynamics influencing the way evidence is produced within SFD and that much is needed to move the field forward in a more united approach for what counts as evidence for all political actors.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2014

Neil King

The purpose of this paper is to examine the actual and potential utility of social return on investment (SROI) analysis as an instrument to strengthen the financial and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the actual and potential utility of social return on investment (SROI) analysis as an instrument to strengthen the financial and social “case” for local authority sport and recreation services (SRS) in the context of recent research by the Association of Public Service Excellence.

Design/methodology/approach

The research for APSE, undertaken by the author, consisted of a survey and a series of interviews over 18 months with policy officers within leisure services across local authorities in England. Data on “making the case” for SRS is extracted from this research.

Findings

It is argued that SROI has utility where it can demonstrate the contribution of sport, physical activity and recreation to health policy, adult social care, education, youth crime reduction, place shaping agendas and community engagement, for example. However, findings of the APSE research imply that although SROI offers use value in making a case for retaining services, this method of assessment may not be widely employed for a number of political and practical reasons.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to a sample of 55 local authorities in England from which generalisations are made.

Practical implications

In the context of the introduction of the Social Value Act in 2013, SROI offers use value in making a case for retaining or adapting discretionary services within emerging models of strategic commissioning. Implementation will however be challenging for SRS.

Originality/value

It is argued that without an evidence base, it is unlikely that a case can be made for retaining discretionary services that benefit local communities.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2014

Spencer Harris and Barrie Houlihan

The paper aims to utilise Adam and Kriesi's network approach to policy analysis to examine the range of exogenous factors that affect interactions in the community sport…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to utilise Adam and Kriesi's network approach to policy analysis to examine the range of exogenous factors that affect interactions in the community sport policy process from a local authority perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based upon two case studies. Each case study involved semi-structured interviews with three local authority middle/senior managers, three senior County Sport Partnership (CSP) representatives, and eight regional/county national governing bodies of sport (NGB) representatives.

Findings

While the two cases exhibit distinctive socio-economic and structural profiles they provide valuable evidence regarding the operation of the network of partners involved in community sport and also illustrate the utility of Adam and Kriesi's analytical framework. In relation to Adam and Kriesi's power/interaction model both cases illustrate the fragmentation of power at the community level although interaction in one case exhibits a pattern best characterised as “competition” whereas interaction in the other is more closely associated with “horizontal cooperation”.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights the need for improved theorisation of partnership arrangements in community sport, in particular: examining the relationship between issues such as resources, organisational capacity, and traditional involvement in sport development and attitudes toward the community sport policy process; linked to this, mapping the causal relationships in partnerships, i.e. what factors lead to what actions or behaviours; and investigating the utility of various strategies in developing a more cohesive and effective sub-regional policy system.

Originality/value

Local authority perspectives of community sport policy is an under-researched topic. It is timely to study these perspectives due to the refreshed community sport policy for 2013-2017, the traditional status of local government as the major funder of community sport, and the public sector budget reductions and reported implications for non-statutory services, such as community sport

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2014

Abstract

Details

European Public Leadership in Crisis?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-901-0

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Chris Batt

Collecting Institutions in the Network Society is a multidisciplinary PhD study examining present practices and policies of collecting institutions (museums, galleries…

Abstract

Purpose

Collecting Institutions in the Network Society is a multidisciplinary PhD study examining present practices and policies of collecting institutions (museums, galleries, libraries and archives) in their use and development of digital technologies, within the context of wider socio-technical change. It investigates whether existing service paradigms are best suited to future digital delivery of services in the emergent network society.

Design/methodology/approach

It uses an interpretive methodological approach creating a body of phenomenological evidence enabling comparison between the organisational context, internal practices, histories and policies of collecting institutions, and the wider socio-technical impact of the internet. Literature reviews provide evidence from the “outer world” of internet developments and impact to establish four generic drivers of internet change. For the “inner world” of collecting institutions, organisational context and research and development on innovation are examined to analyse various perspectives on common approaches to service policy and practice. Additionally, textual analysis of institutional mission statements and policy documents is used to establish the degree of common purpose across collecting institutions and the preparedness of practitioners and policymakers to deal with rapid socio-technical change.

Findings

The evidence is synthesised to define an institutional paradigm describing the present operational processes and practices of collecting institutions. This is compared with the four generic drivers to define opportunities and challenges that collecting institutions face in exploiting the internet. This synthesis demonstrates that the siloised and fragmented nature of the institutional paradigm creates significant barriers to effective exploitation. Evidence from the textual analysis is used to develop a shared mission statement for all collecting institutions as the foundation of a strategic digital future.

Originality/value

The study proposes a radically new service paradigm (the digital knowledge ecology) enabling collecting institutions to achieve maximum user value in their delivery of digital services, and concludes with proposals for actions to build a collective strategy.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 118 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Robert Burrell and Chris Mac Arthur

The nature of the courses offered by Southampton Institute and the consequential variety of in‐house databases available meant that power and sophistication in information…

Abstract

The nature of the courses offered by Southampton Institute and the consequential variety of in‐house databases available meant that power and sophistication in information retrieval was a priority in the selection of an automated library management system. The solution was the purchase and installation of the Danish Supermax system which combines library housekeeping with powerful information retrieval: the background to the choice is described and the facilities offered outlined. The Institute is the first UK user of Supermax; there are, however, many installations throughout Europe.

Details

VINE, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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