The role of accountability in the professionalization of Canadian Amateur Sport Organizations at multi-levels of the Amateur Sport System: Implications for Sport Management

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University of Guelph

The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the role of accountability in the professionalization of amateur sport organizations by mobilizing institutional logics across multi-levels of the amateur sport system subject to both top-down and bottom-up accountability pressures. This study viewed how a formal mechanism of accountability, the Sport Funding Accountability Framework, at the national sport organizational level, influences the adoption of similar ‘business-like’ practices at lower levels of the institutional system. Using an institutional logics perspective, this study informs the understanding of the role of accountability as a carrier of institutional logics. It contributes to the willingness and capabilities of sport organizations to respond to environmental situational conditions or disruptions of accountability by enabling or constraining the selective enactment of a professional logic to occur advancing our understanding of the emergence of field-level logics. The progression of professionalization is multi-faceted in nature and scope, this study informs the managerial implications of formal and informal accountability mechanisms influencing the delivery of sport as a public good in Canada. It highlights the interdependencies that may exist within and between the levels of an institutional system that can lead to practice variations and legitimization of approaches taken by field-level actors that lead to the stability, emergence or decline in sport institutions. Sport is viewed as an agent of change and this study is important as it provides insights into the social, political, and cultural impacts that sport has on society in Canada.

Accountability, Professionalization, Amateur Sport, Institutional Logics