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  • 1.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. University of Otago, New Zealand.
    Legitimizing Transformational Change: Shadowing Regional Sport Consultants In The Grassroots Implementation Of Strategy 20252019In: Book of Abstracts for the 27th European Sport Management Conference / [ed] Tim Breitbarth, Guillaume Bodet, Álvaro Fernández Luna, Pablo Burillo Naranjo, Gerardo Bielons, 2019, p. 187-188Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim of the research

    In 2017, the Swedish Sports Confederation set in motion a profound transformation of Swedish voluntary sport by adopting a new strategic plan: Strategy 2025 (RF, 2017). The purpose of the project this abstract reports on is to create knowledge on the workings and intended and unintended consequences of the ‘internal sport policy advocacy’ performed to usher sport clubs in the direction set out in this strategy: the delivery of more fun, healthy and developing activities. This implied a study of the system-internal legitimizing accounts and strategies used to gain acceptance for the strategy and the change associated with it. In order to capture these accounts and strategies, we focused on the system-wide consultancy structures that many systems have in place to support club development – regionally based sport consultants whose task is to be the interface between clubs’ needs and wishes and top-down policies. The project’s empirical base is data on such consultants’ club-directed legitimizing claims and strategies connected to the internal legitimation of the implementation of Strategy 2025.

    Theoretical background and literature review

    Nonprofit public policy advocacy is normally understood in terms of civil society organizations’ attempts to influence public policy on behalf of a collective interest (Jenkins, 2006). Initial analyses in a project undertaken by the second author (Stenling & Sam, 2019) clearly show how such external advocacy conducted by Regional Sport Federations (RSFs), has created a gap between the claims and promises made in external advocacy and sport clubs’ recognition of the value of the strategy. Importantly, the data also shows that it is the ascribed task of RSF sport consultants to conduct what we here term internal advocacy, i.e., to close this gap by legitimizing Strategy 2025 in the eyes of clubs. To theoretically base our project, we use Creed et al.’s (2002) conceptualization of advocacy as the production of legitimization accounts.

    Research design, methodology and data analysis

    Analyzing the construction and use of both legitimizing claims and strategies, requires data that reveal both cultural content and ‘legitimation in action’ (Barley, 2017, p. 354). Since our focus is on how a specific function conduct internal sport policy advocacy, we employed a method that allowed us to focus on the work of individuals that fulfil this function: shadowing (Czarniawska, 2007). Shadowing essentially involves following an individual during her/his daily (work) life, and it is therefore a way of studying the situated work of people who move often and from place to place. Since shadowing generates large amounts data, we chose to shadow few individuals but at many points in time. Employing these points of departure, we selected eleven shadowees from two regional sports federations (the regional extension of the Swedish Sports Confederation, divided by geographical location into 19 regions, responsible for providing administrative support to and representing all sports within a specific region). The actual shadowing was performed when consultants met with sport clubs (n=11) to discuss the implementation of Strategy 2025. The actual shadowing implied sitting in on these meetings and asking follow-up questions afterwards. Transcribed recordings (approximately 27 hours) and field notes were analysed using a mixture of predetermined and emergent codes, all the while using the constant contrasting/comparing tactic (e.g., Charmaz, 2014). The material was thereafter subjected to theoretical coding wherein we sought to establish relationships between codes.

    Results/findings and discussion

    As per abstract submission deadline, data are being analysed to be presented at the time of the conference. However, initial analyses indicate that much of the sport consultants’ work is devoted to make sport clubs understand the strategic importance of the new strategy vis-à-vis external stakeholders and the surrounding society. In doing so, consultants employ system-internal legitimizing accounts and strategies emphasizing how the external resources directed towards sport are dependent on sport clubs acting and appearing legitimate.

    Conclusions, contribution and implications

    At the conference, these results will be discussed in relation to ongoing modernization trends well documented in the contemporary sport policy literature. We envision possible contributions to consist of the unintended consequences of the consultants’ efforts to legitimize Strategy 2025 and, more specifically, of club- and policy-related consequences of consultants’ interpretations of the ‘gap’ between the strategy and clubs’ needs and wishes, and their efforts to close this gap.

  • 2.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    (Re)conceptualizing institutional change in sport management contexts: the unintended consequences of sport organizations’ everyday organizational life2019In: European Sport Management Quarterly, ISSN 1618-4742, E-ISSN 1746-031X, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 265-285Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research question: The purpose of this paper is to construct empirically grounded concepts that can aid the explanation of processes of institutional change. This effort is guided by the observation that neither ‘structure-centred' nor ‘actor-centred' explanations of institutional change are equipped to provide a satisfactory explanation of one of organizational institutionalism’s basic assumptions: that organizations are products of and produce their institutional contexts. Therefore, the focus is directed at practitioners' everyday struggle to accomplish their work, and institutional change is conceptualized as an unintended consequence of such mundane ‘muddling through'.

    Research methods: The text is based on video recordings of board meetings in two sport clubs over one year. Data collection resulted in approximately 33 h of observation data from 17 board meetings.

    Results and findings: Analysis shows how sport club boards' interpretive processes of meaning making are instances of unintentional coproduction that plant seeds for institutional change. The creation of such seeds is the result of processes of problem–solution approximation and the use of proximal institutional raw material. This shows how sport organizations are crucial actors in the creation, modification, and transformation of the institutional arrangements prescribing appropriate organizational behaviour and enforcing patterns of interest and privilege. This analysis contributes knowledge on how sport organizations unintentionally coproduce increasing government reliance on sport organizations, professionalization, and commercialization.

    Implications: Such knowledge can make sport organizations and policy-makers aware of how unintentional coproduction might lead to the momentum of processes adverse to their needs and wishes.

  • 3.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport managers’ everyday work demands: A practice-based approach to sport management education2019In: Book of Abstracts of the 2019 EASS Conference, Bø, Norway., 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the aim of contributing to the discussion about competence requirements for sport managers and the curricula content needed to meet them, this paper presents the results of a study on sport managers’ everyday work demands. Departing from the fact that curriculum design so far has leaned on professionals’ views on industry needs and appropriate curricula, hiring managers’ perceptions of preferred qualifications, educators’ ratings of the importance of various competencies, student evaluations of components in existing programmes, and sought after competencies in job advertisements, we argue for a need to more closely investigate what it is that sport managers do and to make use of such knowledge in the construction of curricula. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to analyse club sport managers’ everyday activities in order to identify the knowledge, skills and abilities required to manage them. In capturing the everyday sport management practice, we video recorded two sport clubs’ board meetings over the course of one year. Board meetings were chosen since they produce an output constituting input for staff responsible for executing decisions, thereby making it possible to observe the construction of the tasks, responsibilities and activities of the sport manager. Findings show how a broad range of tasks require an even broader range of knowledge, skills and abilities to perform them. Mapping them against prevailing guidelines, recommendations and accreditations show how some required competencies are not addressed in existing curricular models, pointing to a need of a more practice-based approach to sport management curriculum.

  • 4.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport policy in Sweden2016In: International Journal of Sport Policy, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 515-531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Contemporary sport policy in Sweden is the result of a century-long relationship between national and local governments and voluntary, non-profit and membership-based club sport which has resulted in extensive financial support to organised sport. The relationship is defined by an 'implicit contract' in which the government decides on the extent and the purpose of the funding, and the recipient, the Swedish Sports Confederation, determines the details of the distribution and administration. These funds are distributed to 20,164 sport clubs and their 3,147,000 members in exchange for the realisation of social policies on public health and the fostering of democratic citizens. While an important cornerstone of the relationship has been the autonomy and self-determination of the recipient of the funds in their capacities as civil society organisations, recent decades have witnessed an increase in demands on performance outputs. These demands have explicated a wider social responsibility for organised sport and entailed a system for follow-up and control of the results of the government support via key performance indicators. In these ways, the corporatist agreement and consensus traditionally characterising the public–civil society interaction has been accompanied by governing mechanisms associated with neo-liberal ideologies which in turn are putting the sustainability of the implicit contract to the test.

  • 5.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Skille, Eivind Å.
    Strittmatter, Anna-Maria
    The introduction of gender quotas in sport governing bodies and the conceptualizations of 'adequate' representation2019In: Book of Abstracts 2019 International Sociology of Sport Conference, 2019, p. 18-18Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is twofold. First, we aim to construct knowledge on the conceptualizations of democratic representation that underpin selection processes to sport organization boards. Second, we seek to examine responses to policy tools used to achieve 'adequate' representation in sport governance (e.g., gender quotas) that these conceptualizations of representation may give rise to in order to be able to discuss some of the uninteded consequences that may follow on the use of policy tools in this area. The analysis draws on data from interviews with representatives of 62 (out of 72) Swedish National Sport Organizations' nomination committees and focuses on the relationship between views of representation and stances towards an impeding introduction of a mandatory 40/60 board gender quota in all governing bodies in Swedish voluntary sport. The analysis elucidates, first, that conceptualizations among the interviewees may be categorized as either 'standing for' or 'acting for' views of representation (Fenichel Pitkin, 1972). Second, responsiveness to the introduction of a gender quota is shown to be related to these views of representation, with the dominating acting for view of representation being linked to a sceptic stance towards a quota. These findings suggest that employing policy tools such as gender quotas runs the risk of giving rise to two uninteded consequences: 1) creating overrepresentation of a gender in a board not matching the gender distribution in the membership-cadre (something that may be viewed as undemocratic); and 2) overshadowing other, equally important, representation categories (e.g., age or geographic origin). 

  • 6.
    Fahlén, Josef
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Vestin, Ludvig
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Money talks: a qualitative analysis of the organizational change connected with the corporation formation of a voluntary sport club2008In: Sport und Gesellschaft – Sport and Society, ISSN 1610-3181, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 153-177Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Karp, Staffan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Barnidrotten reproducerar sociala skillnader2011In: Svensk Idrottsforskning: Organ för Centrum för Idrottsforskning, ISSN 1103-4629, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 14-18Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Lindberg, Ola
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Rantatalo, Oscar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Police bodies and police minds: professional learning through bodily practices of sport participation2017In: Studies in Continuing Education, ISSN 0158-037X, E-ISSN 1470-126X, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 371-387Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the literature concerned with bodily perspectives on professional learning by reporting on a study of Swedish police officers’ sport participation as a form of occupational learning. The study seeks to answer how ideals of work practice and sport participation intersect, how professional learning is channelled through sport participation, and how such bodily practices might have excluding effects on professional participation. Using a practice theory framework, the Schatzkian concept of teleoaffective structure guides the analysis. Sixteen interviews were conducted with police officers who practice police sports. The analysis targeted symbolic manifestations of teleoaffectivity, and the findings indicate five overlapping ideals between sport and police practice. In addition, one police specific ideal was constructed. Based on these findings, we discuss how professionals learn by participation in practices not directly related to the work in question, and how such learning includes and excludes from participation.

  • 9.
    Rantatalo, Oscar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindberg, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Police bodies and police minds: Occupational socialization through sport2016In: Book of Abstracts, 2016, p. 80-80Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on a study of Swedish police officers’ sport participation as a form of occupational socialisation. Previously, questions of how sport functions as socialisation for work practice has been largely overlooked in the literature. The police are an interesting case, as policing is permeated by ideas of bodily prowess. The study seeks to answer how ideals of work practice are enacted through sport participation and how such socialisation has excluding effects. Using a practice theory framework, the concept of teleoaffective structure guides the analysis. Twelve interviews were conducted with police officers who have experience in police sports and policing. The analysis targeted symbolic manifestations of teleoaffectivity, and the findings indicate five overlapping ideals between sport and police practice. In addition, one police specific ideal was constructed. Based on these findings, we discuss how participation in sport practices subtly shape occupational norms.  

  • 10.
    Skille, Eivind
    et al.
    Faculty of Health and Sports, Hedmark University College, Norway.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Inside-out and outside-in: applying the concept of conventions in the analysis of policy implementation through sport clubs2018In: International Review for the Sociology of Sport, ISSN 1012-6902, E-ISSN 1461-7218, Vol. 53, no 7, p. 837-853Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to enrich theoretically the analysis of processes of policy implementation through sport clubs. Subsequent to reviewing previous theoretical contributions on this topic, we make the case that available conceptualizations are marked by an inside-out perspective and that they conceptually and empirically stop short at the end implementer, i.e. the sport club. Consequently, analyses of policy implementation through sport clubs have not taken into account the fact that sport clubs are distinctly local phenomena. As such, past, current and potential future participants, volunteers and local inter-organizational relationships are found in a sport club's local community. Because of this, there is a need for a concept that provides analytical coverage of an outside-in perspective, i.e. a concept that takes into account outside actors' conceptions of the implementing sport club and the impact their views have on the implementation process. In relation to this need, we propose the application of the concept 'convention'. In addition to describing the concept, we exemplify the methodological and analytical implications of its use in sport policy implementation analysis.

  • 11.
    Skille, Eivind Å.
    et al.
    Norway inland university of applied sciences; Norway.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Strittmatter, Anna-Maria
    Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway.
    Government policy for indigenous (Sámi) sport – A chain of legitimating acts?2019In: Book of Abstracts for the World Congress of Sociology of Sport 2019, 2019, p. 19-19Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When Norwegian state policy repeatedly abandons the organization of indigenous (Sámi) sport (SVL-N) in order to honour the implicit contract with the organization of conventional (Norwegian sport, NIF), six elements of legitimating acts are in play: legitimacy-seeking organisation, subject, sources, strategy, bases and scenario. These elements intersect within each phase of the policy process: agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation and evaluation. As visible when focusing on the legitimacy-seeking organization and subject, the goal for sport clubs is, to legitimate themselves, and providing support to sport is a core task of local authorities. So when municipalities and local NIF federated sport clubs legitimate each other, Sámi sport organizations are excluded from the legitimating chain. Focusing on a national example, youth sport is both a subject, and it is a strategy used by NIF to legitimate implementation of other policies such as supporting and arranging mega events. When substantial strategies are coupled with symbolic strategies, the risk for so-called ceremonial conformity decoupling is immanent. In conclusion, consequences—often unintended—resulting from legitimating acts in one phase have legitimacy-related implications for other phases of the policy process. That said, being included in the chain is the core issue to receive economic support for sport. Consequently, a newcomer such as the SVL-N struggles to set itself on the agenda of sport policy because acts in other phases consciously legitimate the NIF structure and its member organizations.

  • 12. Skille, Eivind Åsrum
    et al.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Talent policies2017In: The Routledge handbook of talent identification and development in sport / [ed] Joseph Baker, Stephen Cobley, Jörg Schorer, Nick Wattie, Oxon: Routledge, 2017, p. 455-465Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Cherrypicking is recommended: review of The New Sport Management Reader, John Nauright & Steven Pope (red)2011In: idrottsforum.org, ISSN 1652–7224, Vol. March 9, p. 1-4Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Den kulturella vändningen: recension av Vassil Girginov (red.), Sport Management Cultures, Oxon: Routledge2012In: idrottsforum.org, ISSN 1652–7224, Vol. 7 mars, p. 1-3Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    En bok med många kvaliteteter som ändå skulle vinna på en teoretisk modernisering: recension av Hallgeir Gammelsæters Poeng, penger og politikk: Et institusjonelt perspektiv på idrettsledelse, Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk2017In: Idrottsforum.org/Nordic sport science forum, ISSN 1652-7224, idrottsforum.org, ISSN 1652–7224, Vol. Published: September 14,Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Exploring “The rules of the game” – the government – sport interaction in the local sport policy process: a research proposal2015In: ISSA 2015 World Congress - Book of Abstracts, 2015, p. 72-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The past decades have witnessed an increased interest in organized sport by many governments. The purpose of the research proposed in this abstract is to examine the ramifications of this development in the local sport policy process, using Sweden as an example. Our focus is on the interaction between organized sport and local authorities (LAs), particularly organized sport’s possibility and capability to influence the sport policy process in an era characterized by an increased politicization of sport and changing modes of governance. Building on institutional theory (Lowndes, 2010) and its concern with ‘the rules of the game’, i.e., the formal and informal procedures which structure behavior and the norms, values, and power relations that are embodied in and legitimize these procedures, we want to explore the following research questions: What are ‘the rules of the game’ of the sport–government interaction in the local sport policy process? What policy priorities and policy instruments are the outcome of this process? Empirically, we intend to make use of the fact that one of the main tasks of the 21 District Sports Federations–the regional extensions of Swedish organized sports’ umbrella organization the Swedish Sports Confederation–is to advocate for organized sport in relation to public policymakers. Arguably, being the allocator of 70 percent of the annual public support to sport, LAs are the most important target for such advocacy work. Reversely, being the main public resource provider to organized sports, LAs can be assumed to have an incitement to determine aims and monitor outcomes while simultaneously maintaining good relations with an organization that represents a large part of its voters.

  • 17.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Following the principle of fit?2014In: Idrottsforum.org/Nordic sport science forum, ISSN 1652-7224, Vol. 19 september, p. 1-3Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Management porn: recension av Rörelser i rörelse: En bok om föreningars, förbunds och organisationers utveckling, Andreas Hagström et al2011In: idrottsforum.org, ISSN 1652–7224, p. 1-3Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Organizational (non)change in Swedish community sport organizations: the example of Drive-in sport2013In: The World Congress of Sociology of Sport: Book of Abstracts, Vancouver, 2013, p. 34-35Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to understandchange in community sport organizations (CSOs) byexamining the introduction and organizing ofspontaneous sport activities labeled drive‐in sportin 6 Swedish CSOs. Drive‐in sport activities differfrom the regular activities of Swedish CSOs in thatthey are meant to be: targeted at non‐affiliatedyouths, free of charge, led by paid staff, and focuson the intrinsic value of sport. Drawing on thetheoretical concepts of translation andorganizational identity, data from 10 interviewswere analyzed to answer: 1. How and why was theISSA 2013 World Congress – Book of Abstracts34idea of drive‐in sport interpreted and acted upon inrelation to existing CSO activities? 2. What was theoutcome, in terms of organizational change, of theCSOs’ encounter with drive‐in sport? The findingsshow that drive‐in sport was approached throughthe present self‐identification of the CSOs, meaningit was translated into something that is in line withor beneficial for existing core activities. Therefore,while drive‐in sport at first glance may seem tohave changed the CSOs, a closer examinationreveals a reproduction of their organizationalidentities. The findings are discussed in relation tothe (mis)alignment of the drive‐in sport idea withthe CSOs’ institutional context, as well as the futurepotential of the drive‐in sport idea to lead toorganizational change. Based on the findings of thestudy, policy‐makers as well as leaders of CSOs areadvised to align new ideas on organizing witheither existing CSO activities or ongoing changes inthe CSO’s institutional context.

  • 20.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport Policy Advocacy as Interest Representation: Serving whose interests?2019In: Sports and the Enviornment - Policies, Values and Sustainability, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Conducting advocacy is an increasingly important task for sport federations (e.g., National Sport Federations & Regional Sport Federations) (Stenling & Sam, 2019). Understood as attempts to influence political decisions and public policy on behalf of a collective interest, advocacy raises questions around the meaning and sport-internal democratic implications of interest representation carried out by organisations that claim to speak for their federated members (e.g., clubs). The aim of this study is to explore these questions in the context of advocacy carried out by Swedish Regional Sport Federations (RSFs). The analysis builds on data from interviews with 53 elected and staff representatives of Swedish Regional Sport Federations (n=46) and the Swedish Sports Confederation (n=7). Drawing on conceptualisations of representation (e.g., Pitkin, 1967) and meta-organizations (e.g., Ahrne & Brunsson, 2008), we suggest that faced with the impossibility of representing the wide range of demands (e.g., for new facilities) that are expressed by clubs in their region (up to 4000 clubs), the RSFs formulate a view of representation which implies that what clubs want is not necessarily in their best interest, and vice versa. To determine which interests should be prioritized, advocates increasinly rely on centrally formulated policy documents. This, in turn, has implications for the significance of how these documents are produced and decided on (e.g., by elected representatives or management).

  • 21.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport programme implementation as translation and organizational identity construction: the implementation of Drive-in sport in Swedish sports as an illustration2014In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 55-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article outlines a theoretical framework to be used in the analysis of sport programme implementation. The need for such a framework resides in the increase in government interest in sport during the last decades, expressed in various top-down programmes positioning voluntary sports clubs as intended implementers, and in recent calls for a theoretical grounding of implementation analysis. The framework consists of two main parts. One is the translation perspective, proposed as an approach to understand sport programmes as open to (re)construction. The other is the organizational identity concept, proposed as a tool to understand how and why implementing organizations interpret and act upon, i.e., translate sport programmes. It is argued that the use of the framework, in tandem with the proposed methodological approach ‘follow the actor’, will provide new insights into the sport programme implementation analysis. An analysis of a national initiative on organized spontaneous sports, part of the Swedish government's programme ‘The Lift for Sport’, is used to illustrate the proposed framework.

  • 22.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    That´s not our project!: organizing spontaneous sports in, through and decoupled from the voluntary sports movement2011In: People in motion - bridging the local and global: The 8th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference / [ed] Tor Söderström, Josef Fahlén and Kim Wickman, Umeå: Department of Education, Umeå University , 2011, p. 135-135Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The drive for change: putting the means and ends of sport at stake in the organizing of Swedish voluntary sport2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to create knowledge on processes of change in the contemporary organizing of Swedish voluntary sport and the systems of meaning at work in these processes. The thesis proceeds from the assumption that the contemporary public sport policy climate is characterized by a pressure on organized sport to change in order for sport to better serve as an implementer of non-sport goals. In attempting to capture the possible ramifications of this pressure on the organizing of voluntary sport, the thesis work relies on the argument that processes of change are best captured in instances where new and established ideas are confronted with one another. Following this argument and drawing upon the concept of theorization, the first research question treated in the thesis concerns how legitimacy is established for a new practice (reported in Article 1). The second research question addressed is how, why, and with what consequences new ideas on organizing are implemented in sport organizations (reported in Article 2 & 3). In relation to this question, the concepts of translation and organizational identity are mobilized in the analysis. Empirically, these two questions are addressed using data from 29 interviews covering the emergence and organizing of organized spontaneous sport, so-called Drive in sport, in four Swedish municipalities. The analysis relating to these two questions shows that the same systems of meaning invoked to legitimize and specify Drive-in sport as a practice that has the potential to remedy problems being faced by both the Swedish society and the Swedish sports movement, also made Drive-in sport an unlikely developmental direction for the majority of implementing sport clubs. This process is understood with reference to a mismatch between the organizational identity of the clubs and the cultural material of the idea of Drive-in sport. This insight is brought into the formulation of the third research question treated in the thesis, which is concerned with sport clubs’ readiness, willingness, and ability to respond to policy changes (reported in Article 4). Building on data from short, qualitative interviews with representatives from 218 randomly selected sport clubs, 10 organizational identity categories are constructed. Between these categories, there is a variety of clubs’ core purposes, practices, and logics of action. The implications of this heterogeneity, in terms of sport clubs’ role as policy implementers, are discussed with reference to what clubs in each category might "imagine doing." The analysis provided in the thesis as a whole suggests that at stake in processes of change in the contemporary organizing of Swedish voluntary sport, is the very definition and meaning of sport.

  • 24.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The emergence of a new logic?: The theorizing of a new practice in the highly institutionalized context of Swedish voluntary sport2014In: Sport Management Review, ISSN 1441-3523, E-ISSN 1839-2083, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 507-519Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to contribute to the understanding of the emergence and change in institutional logics by analyzing the theorization (e.g., Greenwood, Suddaby, & Hinings, 2002) of a new and distinctly "different" practice in Swedish voluntary sport: drive-in sport. The article builds on data from 29 interviews with key actors involved in the organizing of drive-in sport in four municipalities. The findings show that two problems were constructed to legitimize drive-in sport: norm-breaking behavior displayed by youth during weekend nights, and organized sport's failure to live up to a sport-for-all ideal. The findings also show that it is perceived that in order for drive-in sport to be the solution to both these problems, the activities need to be arranged in a particular way. The findings are discussed in relation to recent developments in Swedish organized sport as an institutional context. Additionally, the discussion puts forth the value of the theorization concept in terms of furthering our understanding of the social-constructionist interpretive processes that underpin the broader processes of change documented in previous sport-related studies of change in institutional logics.

  • 25.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The introduction of drive-in sport in community sport organizations as an example of organizational non-change2013In: Journal of Sport Management, ISSN 0888-4773, E-ISSN 1543-270X, Vol. 27, no 6, p. 497-509Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to understand change in community sport organizations (CSOs) by examining the introduction of spontaneous sport activities labeled drive-in sport in six Swedish CSOs. Drawing on the theoretical concepts of translation and organizational identity, data from 10 interviews were analyzed to answer how, why, and with what consequences, in terms of organizational change, the focal CSOs interpreted and acted upon the idea of drive-in sport. The findings show that while drive-in sport initially may seem to have changed the CSOs, a closer examination reveals a reproduction of their organizational identities. The findings are discussed in relation to the alignment of the drive-in sport idea with the CSOs’ core purpose and practices and with wider processes of change in the CSOs’ institutional context.

  • 26.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Få idrottsföreningar vill vara politiska verktyg2017In: Svensk Idrottsforskning: Organ för Centrum för Idrottsforskning, ISSN 1103-4629Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 27.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    För vilka föreningar är jämlikhet viktigt?2019In: Idrotten och (o)jämlikheten: i medlemmarnas eller samhällets intresse? / [ed] Christine Dartsch, Johan R. Norberg & Johan Pihlblad, Stockholm: Centrum för idrottsforskning , 2019, p. 151-165Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lika men ändå olika? Tänkbara konsekvenser av idrottsföreningars självbilder för dess roll som utförare av politiska initiativ.2016In: Idrottsforskaren, no 2, p. 28-41Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 29.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Same same, but different? Exploring the organizational identities of Swedish voluntary sports: possible implications of sports clubs’ self-identification for their role as implementers of policy objectives2016In: International Review for the Sociology of Sport, ISSN 1012-6902, E-ISSN 1461-7218, Vol. 51, no 7, p. 867-883Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to contribute to the ongoing discussion of sports clubs’ propensity to act as policy implementers. Theoretically, we conceptualize this propensity as contingent on an alignment between a sports club’s organizational identity and the cultural material, that is, ends and means of a given policy. Building on data from short, qualitative interviews with representatives of 218 randomly selected sports clubs, we construct 10 organizational identity categories. Between these categories, there is a variety of clubs’ core purposes, practices and logics of action. The implications of this heterogeneity, in terms of sports clubs’ propensity to act as policy implementers, is discussed with reference to what clubs in each category might ‘imagine doing’. Also discussed are three avenues by which institutional conditions might affect the formation and change of sports clubs’ organizational identity, in turn having implications for their role as implementers.

  • 30.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sport governance as meaning-making: Concealment, handling and negotiation in Swedish sport club board rooms2016In: ISSA 2016 Book of Abstracts, 2016, p. 8-9Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This abstract reports on a study in which data are to be collected during 2016. The results will be presented during the 2016 ISSA conference. The background of this project is the increasingly complex and demanding institutional environment of sport clubs. Key features of this environment are ongoing processes of instrumentalization, professionalization and commercialization, and changes to sport participation patterns. At the core of the project is an analysis of the execution of sport club governance within this contemporary institutional environment. With an empirical focus on sport club board meetings, the primary decision making arena of sport clubs, the purpose of the project is to create knowledge on how boards construct and negotiate meaning as they conceal, frame, handle, and resolve the potential tensions between issues raised by the membership of the club and issues emanating from the club’s institutional

    environment. The project is theoretically based in an institutional outlook on framing (Goffman, 1974) and data will be produced through video-recorded observations of the meetings of sport clubs. The project has the potential to theoretically and methodologically enrich the research field concerned with voluntary sport governance, a field that is primarily positioned within a business administration paradigm. In addition, with its design, the project will avail for a contribution to research concerned with public- and private sector-generated issues’ impact on sport clubs. As such, the project will provide knowledge of the ramifications of sport clubs’ external relations on their autonomy, orientation, and function.

  • 31.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The Order of Logics in Swedish Sport: Feeding the hungry beast of result orientation and commercialization2009In: European Journal for Sport and Society, ISSN 1613-8171, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 29-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to analyse the dominant logics (Bettis & Pralahad, 1995) that set the stage for the Swedish sports movement. The study was made within the conceptual framework of institutional theory (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983) and the concept of design archetypes (Greenwood & Hinings, 1988). Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with six respondents representing six Swedish voluntary sports clubs. The results reveal a design archetype emerging from the Swedish sports movement that is influenced by three dominant logics; the sport-for-all logic, the result-oriented logic and the commercialization/ professionalization logic. It is proposed that there is an order in these logics where the sport-for-all logic, promoted by the sports movement itself, is overshadowed by forces orig-inating from the open market and the inherent performance focus of competitive sports, i.e. the commercialization/professionalization logic and the result-oriented logic. Furthermore, it is argued that this order of logics originates from the implementation of attitudes and values in organizational structures that reflect the result-oriented and commercialization/profession-alization logics.

  • 32.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
    Strittmatter, Ann-Maria
    Skille, Eivind
    Hierarchies of criteria in NSO board-nomination processes: insights from nomination committees' work2019In: European Sport Management Quarterly, ISSN 1618-4742, E-ISSN 1746-031XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research question: The purpose of this paper is to create knowledge on board-selection processes and their outcomes in terms of board composition. We address two research questions: (1) What evaluative criteria are at play in board-selection processes; and (2) what hierarchies of criteria are formed when evaluative criteria are ranked? The significance of the study lies in contemporary considerations of good governance, in sport members’ (un)equal access to positions of power, and in how issues of representation relate to the legitimacy of sport governance systems and to broader societal patterns of representation, influence, and democracy.

    Research methods: Nomination committees are increasingly used worldwide to further good governance in sport organizations. Our analysis builds on interviews with representatives of 61 out of 71 Swedish national sport organizations’ nomination committees.

    Results and Findings: Our study shows that trade-offs are made not between gender and merit, as previously suggested, but between and among a wide variety of representation criteria and a wide variety of efficiency criteria. We show how tensions between criteria result in trade-offs that imply a ranking of criteria into seven types of hierarchies, only one of which prioritizes a representation-based board composition.

    Implications: Because rankings of multiple evaluative criteria impact any single criterion of interest (e.g. gender), future studies should take into account the range of evaluative criteria at play. For sport management and policy practitioners alike, we provide a tool to understand and address (in)adequate representation but also an imperative to consider the meaning of adequate representation.

  • 33.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Karp, Staffan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Svenska Innebandyförbundet och Idrottslyftet: En utvärdering av Knatteligans första år2008Report (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. 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 democracy2019In: European Sport Management Quarterly, ISSN 1618-4742, E-ISSN 1746-031XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    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. 

  • 35.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. 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 advocacy2019In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 447-463Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 36.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Sam, Mike
    School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
    Tensions and contradictions in sport's quest for legitimacy as a political actor: the politics of Swedish public sport policy hearings2017In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 691-705Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to and analyse strategic representations and legitimacy production in sport policy advocacy processes. Considering it as a case of public consultation in part made possible by contemporary governing systems, the empirical base of the study is the public hearings with representatives of six parliamentary parties that were arranged by the Swedish Sports Confederation (SSC) prior to the 2014 election to the Swedish parliament. Using verbatim transcripts of these hearings as data and the notion of policy advocacy as institutionally situated production of legitimising accounts, two research questions are addressed: (1) What legitimising accounts are produced and deployed by the SSC during the hearings? (2) To what wider systems of meaning are those legitimising accounts connected and how? The analysis shows three sets of legitimising accounts and how both long-standing and contemporary ideas of the sport–government relationship in Sweden were used as cultural resources in these framing processes. Two aspects of policy advocacy processes arising from the study are discussed. First, the possible reasons for and consequences of the contradictory nature of legitimising accounts advanced, and second the transformations of the institutional conditions of sport that are implied by the emergence of phenomena, such as the hearings under analysis.

  • 37.
    Strittmatter, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Centre for Sport Policy and Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
    Fahlén, Josef
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
    Skille, Eivind
    Faculty of Public Health, Norway Inland University of Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway.
    Sport policy analysis revisited: the sport policy process as an interlinked chain of legitimating acts2018In: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, ISSN 1940-6940, E-ISSN 1940-6959, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 621-635Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By providing an analytical framework that draws on a conceptualisation of legitimacy in organisation studies, this paper demonstrates that the sport policy process can be understood as an interlinked chain of legitimating acts. Based on recent suggestions in organisation theory literature on how to approach legitimacy and legitimation, we applied the framework on a small sample of published sport policy studies to demonstrate its utility. By applying the framework, six interweaved and interweaving elements of the legitimating act within sport policy processes were identified: legitimacy-seeking organisation, subject, source(s), strategy, bases and scenario. The analysis shows that each of the six elements works by intersecting within each phase of the policy process. The main conclusion is that consequences – often unintended – resulting from legitimating acts in one phase have legitimacy-related implications for the other phases of the policy process. As pressing as pinpointing the use of all elements of the framework is, it is equally important to distinguish each of the elements in order to fulfil the analytical potential of the proposed framework. Since sport policy processes in practice rely primarily on organisations and organisational action, future sport policy research would benefit from this type of framework connecting organisations and organising to policy processes.

  • 38.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Karp, Staffan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Olofsson, Eva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stenling, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Have smaller sports the same chance as larger sports2009In: 6th EASS Conference, Rome 2009, Italy: Sport, Bodies, Identities, Rome: European Association for Sociolgy of Sport , 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
1 - 38 of 38
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