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  • 1.
    Sam, Mike
    et al.
    School of Phsycal Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences .
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    Sport policy advocacy: Best of times and the age of foolishness2018Ingår i: ISSA 2018 Book of Abstracts, 2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The maturation of sport as an area of policy is characterised by the sector's increasing advocacy efforts and political engagement. This paper explores the turbulence generated by sport associations' efforts to co-create, legitimate and 'case build' outward to political authorisers. A number of theoretical lenses are appropriate to unpack this turbulence, with each illuminating particular conditions and consequneces. Drawing from empirical research in Sweden (together with perspectives emphasising ideas, interests and institutions), we auger 3 consequences. First, a focus on ideas draws attention to the narratives advanced by sport associations and the consequences of propagating an expanding range of promises. Not only can these narratives contribute to overcommitment, it is also unknown which once will gain traction and when, rendering the need to continue this 'shotgun approach' to advocacy. Second, pluralist (interest group) perspectives point to the important of gaining access on the public agenda, where influence is understood to be dependent on resources. It thus follows that organisations should seek to redirect efforts towards these activities, by creating specialist communication/'spin doctor' positions. Third, a focus on institutions (i.e., rules, organisational arrangements) directs attention to potential governance implications as a result of continued advocacy. Insofar as it is linked with demonstrating results, advocacy may become institutionalised practice among partner organisations 'down the chain'. Ultimately while advocacy is laudable for its democratic potential, it is also costly, raising the prospect of fewer doing the work, and more people marketing, legitimising and selling sport. 

  • 2.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Sam, Michael
    Professionalization and its consequences: how active advocacy may undermine democracy2019Ingår i: European Sport Management Quarterly, ISSN 1618-4742, E-ISSN 1746-031XArtikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Research question: The paper aims to build knowledge on the trade-offs and unintended consequences of professionalization in the context of sport policy advocacy. Two questions are addressed: (1) What institutional roles make up the sport policy 'advocacy team' and what trade-offs are inherent in the formation of this team? (2) How do the unintended consequences of this trade-off precipitate a cross-level diffusion of professionalization? 

    Research methods: Data from interviews with 46 staff and elected representatives of 19 Swedish Regional Sport Federations form the empirical base. 

    Results and findings: The formation of the advocacy team points to an efficiency/democracy trade-off. An uninteded consequence of this is a cross-level difussion of professionalization that undermines the general standing of elected boards. 

    Implications: Management should consider the trade-offs inherent in professionalization reforms, because in some cases they may contain the seed of their own reconstruction and reflect ill-considered management practice. 

  • 3.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Sam, Mike
    University of Otago.
    From 'passive custodian' to 'active advocate': tracing the emergence and sport-internal transformative effects of sport policy advocacy2019Ingår i: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 11, nr 3, s. 447-463Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Organised sport has become a legitimate interest group, with potential influence in wider policy-making circles. Building on a distinction between because-of motives and in-order-to motives, the purpose of this study is to analyse why sport organisations conduct advocacy while offering an assessment of the sport-internal transformative effects of advocacy activities. The analysis is based on interviews with 46 elected and staff representatives of Swedish Regional Sport Federations, and it shows (1) that a perceived de-institutionalization of organised sport’s monopolistic position in Sweden underpins the imperative to conduct advocacy, and (2) that the overarching goal-oriented purpose of advocacy is to further sport organisations’ role as advocates in future policy processes. This indicates that sport organisations are transitioning from a ‘passive custodian’ to an ‘active advocate’ role in relation to the government. We propose that this latter role may include a professionalisation of advocacy activities, and that advocacy, therefore, may accentuate internal tensions related to the trade-off between efficiency and democracy, create a need for sport-internal advocacy, and undermine future advocacy claims and/or access to policy processes.

  • 4.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen.
    Sam, Mike
    School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences .
    From reaction to proaction: Tracing the emergence of sport policy advocacy in a neoliberalized policy context2018Ingår i: ISSA 2018 Book of Abstracts, 2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent literature suggests that sport agencies have to persistently build legitimacy and support for their cause with government. Arguably, organised sport has become a legitimate interest group, with potential influence in wider policy making circles. The purpose of this presentation is to empirically assess and explain advocacy activities in this context, while offering an assessment of the potential implications arising from these practices. The analysis is based on 50 interviews with elected (n=14) and staff (n=38) representatives of Swedish Regional Sport Federations and the Swedish Sprots Confederation. Data shows that there is indeed a purposeful increase in the volume of advocacy activities conducted by the organizations under study. Paralleling changes in the conduct of non-profit sector organisations, rerpesentatives of sport point to a number of contextual changes that together denote a deinstitutionalization of organized sport's monopolistic position in Sweden. The purpose of advocacy is thus to respond to these changes and thereby regain and secure sport's legitimacy with public policy makers, officials and more generally in the public's awareness. While respondents view advocacy in a positive light, we suggest these acitivies are inherently transformative, generating a number of unintended consequences for voluntary sport organizations, including the voluntary consignment of autonomy vis-a-vis the government, the need for sport-internal legitimacy building, shifts in the relative authority of paid staff and elected officials, a general re-allocation of resources from 'doing sport' to 'talking about doing sport', and the suppression of grass-roots voices disguised by the ascribed necessity of co-ordinating advocacy agendas.

  • 5.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Pedagogiska institutionen. Centre for Sort Policy and Politics, University of Otago, New Zealand.
    Sam, Mike
    Centre for Sort Policy and Politics, University of Otago, New Zealand.
    `Modernization’ and the emergence of public policy advocacy: the construction of legitimate advocate roles2018Ingår i: Book of abstracts: Sport, Discriminations and Inclusion: Challenges to Face, Bordeaux: EASS , 2018, s. 104-104Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Because public policy advocacy involves participation in and impact on public policy process, it is often considered as inherently good not only for a society's democracy but also for the advocating organization. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine this supposition by analyzing how changes in volume and shape of advocacy conducted by voluntary sport organizations relate to broader issues of ‘modernization' of voluntary sport. The paper thus seeks to unveil how a seemingly positive development might have unintended and potentially adverse consequences for organizations that gain legitimacy from their standing as a voluntary, democratically governed organization. The paper builds theoretically on the concept of ‘institutionally legitimized roles' and empirically on 50 interviews with representatives of Swedish voluntary sport. This research seeks to determine which officials (e.g., paid or volunteer) adopt the role of ‘appropriate' representatives in advocacy endeavours, why and under what conditions. It also aims to investigate whether the strategic composition of the ‘advocacy team' is reflective (or a driver) of changes in institutionalized roles and the ‘modernization' of voluntary sport. The initial analysis shows the construction of four legitimate advocacy roles: Revolving door-, Elite-, Street-level-, and Proxy-advocates. There is moreover a clear emphasis on paid professionals and organization-external spokespersons – not elected officials – as legitimate representatives in advocacy. The internal ranking of advocacy roles in terms of their relative importance thus shows how changes in volume and form of advocacy interrelates with processes of ‘modernization'.

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