New Nonprofit Management? A study that investigates the corporatization within nonprofit sports associations

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Today the nonprofit sports associations in Sweden need to deal with new conditions andsocial changes occurring in society, many of which idealize business-like structures andstrategies. This thesis surveys and analyzes the organization of six chosen nonprofit sportsassociations within soccer, gymnastics and athletics. The purpose is to see which, how and to what extent tools and strategies from the corporate world are being incorporated into theirstructure and operation and also discuss if and why there are differences between the levels ofcorporatization. This study is based on an interpretive framework and therefore conductedusing a qualitative method with interviews. A theoretically based interview guide was compiled and through this, interviews were held with the Head of Board of each association.The results show that the characteristics of corporatization observed in this study can be found in various ways and to different extents in the six cases. All of the business-like characteristics are incorporated/existing in at least two different associations, withdecentralization and management by objectives/financial control systems being the most common. They also show that the soccer associations have a greater level of incorporation of these features compared to the gymnastics and athletics associations. To explain why there are differences in level of incorporation of the studied characteristics we used the theory oftranslation, the theory of reception and New Institutional theory as a base. The conclusiondrawn by using these theories was that the context, identity as well as the level ofconsideration to the social environment are important factors for if and how corporate features are contextualized and received in nonprofit sports associations in Sweden. This thesis can be used as an extension to previous study regarding the corporatization within the nonprofit sphere.

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