Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 8th Feb 2023, 12:30:13am WET

Session Overview
PSG. 23-4: Administration, Diversity and Equal Treatment
Thursday, 08/Sept/2022:
2:00pm - 4:00pm

Session Chair: Prof. Anna SIMONATI, University of Trento
Session Chair: Prof. Esther HAPPACHER, University of Innsbruck
Location: TEJO

TEJO Room ISCSP - Rua Almerindo Lessa, Pólo Universitário da Ajuda, 1300-663 Lisboa


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Disrupting gender inequality in sport leadership positions: exploration through institutional lens


Tampere University, Finland

Regardless of many improvements in the status of women in sport (e.g., media visibility of women athletes, prerequisites for women athletes and women’s sport [Lehtonen et al., 2021, p. 84]) women leaders remain underrepresented in sport. Research has shown that there are inequal structures and cultures in the institution of Finnish sport that restrain women and femininities in sport leadership while privileging men and the dominant masculinity (Mikkonen et al., 2021). Thus, the aim of this research is to increase understanding on women’s inclusion in Finnish sport leadership. The main research question is who are the actors and with what kind of strategy that can disrupt and change the institutionalized, gendered cultures and structures in sport leadership. The study contributes to the literature by adopting a rarely used perspective of institutional entrepreneurship/institutional work into the literature of sport, leadership positions and gender. This may provide us new understandings about underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in sport.

The theoretical framework builds on the institutional theory, and especially on the concepts of institutional entrepreneurship and institutional work. In addition, acknowledging power and power relations in sport organizations (see e.g., Cunningham, 2019, pp.141–142) and their connectedness with institutional change (Sotarauta & Mustikkamäki, 2014), the concept of power is included in the framework. Institutions can be defined as “socially constructed rule systems, norms, and/or institutionalized practices and belief systems that produce routine-like behaviour” (Sotarauta & Mustikkamäki, 2014, p. 343; Pacheco et al, 2010, p. 980). They seek for permanence and stability and are resistant to change. Institutional entrepreneurs can be organizations, individuals or groups of organizations or individuals who initiate and implement changes in existing organizations or create new ones by utilizing their resources (power, knowledge/information). They either intentionally or unintentionally disrupt the previous institutional environments and create new unwritten rules, norms and practices by challenging the existing rules and practices, and to institutionalize new, alternative rules and practices (Sotarauta & Mustikkamäki 2014; Battilana et al., 2009). Institutional work refers to “the broad category of purposive action aimed at creating, maintaining, and disrupting institutions” (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006, p. 216). Compared to institutional entrepreneurship, institutional work acknowledges that actions of different actors go beyond institutional entrepreneurs. Meaning that establishment of new institutions requires institutional work form a broad array of different actors, including institutional entrepreneurs (with the resources and skills) and those who aim to support and/or facilitate the entrepreneurs (Lawrence & Suddaby, 2006). Lastly, power can be defined as “the capacity of some persons to produce intended and foreseen effects on others” (Wrong, 1997, p.2 in Sotarauta & Mustikkamäki, 2015). In institutional context it must be acknowledged that also belief systems gain power as groups of individuals start to accept them and start to take them as granted (Sotarauta & Mustikkamäki, 2014). In addition, power is one of the resources institutional entrepreneurs utilize to create change. However, previous studies have found power and power relations to impact women and women leaders in sport organizations as it is unevenly distributed between the men and women (see e.g., Burton and Leberman 2017; Mikkonen et al., 2021).

The main data consists of 22 qualitative interviews with women leaders working in different public and third sector sport organizations. The women held both employed and voluntary leadership positions. The interview data is analysed with Atlas.ti software and reflective thematic analysis utilizing abductive approach (Braun et al., 2016).

The study extends our current understanding about how to disrupt the status quo and leverage gender equality within leadership positions in sport by defining the essential actors and their strategy. Furthermore, the study advances the current theoretical understanding by incorporating the concept of power and power relations more closely with the literature on institutional work in the context of gender equality within leadership positions in sport.


Braun, V., V. Clarke, and P. Weate. 2016. “Using thematic analysis in sport and exercise research.” In Routledge handbook of qualitative research methods in sport and exercise edited by B. Smith and A. Sparkes, 191–205. London: Routledge.

Burton, L. J., and S. Leberman. 2017. “An evaluation of current scholarship in sport leadership: Multilevel perspective.” In Women in Sport Leadership: Research and Practice for Change, edited by L. J. Burton & S. Leberman, 16-32. London: Routledge.

Cunningham G. B. 2019. Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Organisations: A Multilevel Perspective. 4thed. New York: Routledge.

Lehtonen, K., Oja, S., & Hakamäki, M. (2022). Liikunnan ja urheilun tasa-arvo Suomessa 2021.

Lawrence, T. B., & Suddaby, R. (2006). 1.6 institutions and institutional work. The Sage handbook of organization studies, 215-254.

Mikkonen, M., Stenvall, J., & Lehtonen, K. (2021). The Paradox of Gender Diversity, Organizational Outcomes, and Recruitment in the Boards of National Governing Bodies of Sport. Administrative Sciences, 11(4), 141.

Sotarauta, M., & Mustikkamäki, N. (2015). Institutional entrepreneurship, power, and knowledge in innovation systems: institutionalization of regenerative medicine in Tampere, Finland. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 33(2), 342-357.

Sport as a Driver to create Social and Public Value in Community: How sport policy and related activities impact on diversity and inclusion

Hiroko Kudo1, Fumitake Sakaori1, Ikuko Fujita2

1Chuo University, Japan; 2Sanyo Gakuen University, Japan

The paper investigates the social and public role of sport policy and related activities on diversity and inclusion through a country case study of UK.

Sport can be used to build up social capital within neighbourhoods and help to engage socially disadvantaged and excluded groups such as disabled, poor, ethnic or other isolated individuals. It can also be regarded as a useful catalyst for social change in linking all social policy fields including education, health, volunteering, libraries, heritage and the arts/tourism together. In this way, sports provision can perhaps be considered as the key service area for bringing about transformation in local neighbourhoods by impacting on other social policies, individuals and wider society.

Sport can play an important and pivotal role in advancing the social and economic well- being of both citizens and their local economies, and public services. It has the capacity to impact on all key areas of government social policies, either by direct provision of facilities, but more importantly by acting as a catalyst /conduit, facilitator or enabler, and linkage into all other social policy areas. It provides a basis for developing a more holistic relationship between improving local, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, economic and social development and tourism. More importantly, however, the capacity and strong linkages and networks into communities containing socially and economically disadvantaged and dis-empowered groups is of enormous significance in supporting and underpinning other social programmes. Through a partnership approach, sporting activities can be used to create flourishing communities. By enabling and facilitating the work of mainstream service deliverers, and helping to bend mainstream resources, money spent on improved sports services can be used more effectively on preventative activities rather than devoting huge sums of monies to the effects of poor lifestyle. The main crux of the argument is that in creating ‘social and public value’ for a range of different stakeholder groups, sport can help local and central governments to achieve other policy imperatives and community and social outcomes such as health (physical and mental) & well-being; it can reduce crime, drug and alcohol abuse, or anti-social behaviour.

The time that individuals participate in sporting activities is socially determined and opportunities for engagement are conditioned by the roles that individuals play in society, and their position in the life cycle. These are shaped by many factors including employment status; age; gender; physical ability; ethnicity; cost of engagement; location; education; and other social circumstances. Unlike other service areas, sport has never been a statutory service, consequentially as budgets become constrained local authorities as the main providers of sporting activities, have faced continuous threats to either reduce or contract out provision, or introduce revised pricing structures. These strategies can produce short-term impacts, but the long-term losers are the very disadvantaged and dis-empowered communities most in need of valuable sporting facilities.

Equal Treatment: Law Relating to Right To Be Forgotten (RTBF); An Examination of Some Judicial Decisions With Special Reference to The European Union and India

Jyoti RATTAN1, Vijay RATTAN2

1Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, India; 2Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, India

In the modern era of speedier Information and Communication Technology, the power of Social Media as an information dissemination tool and influencer is felt in the hands of each and every individual both inside as well as outside the organization. Earlier, organizations and the administration did not have easy and free access to positive or negative information about an employee or a would-be employee, but nowadays with the advent of all-pervasive Social Media, hardly any aspect can remain hidden about any individual, whether one likes it or not. This is where a new problem has arisen quite often to the detriment of an employee or a would-be employee of an organization. Many a time, information that has become infructuous, irrelevant, or not supposed to impact the future of an individual anymore, still keeps doing the rounds of Social Media creating a false narrative about the individual leading to unjustified harm to the individual within or outside an organization. In such situations, one may find oneself helpless. The speed and unlimited reach of Social Media have further stoked the fire of this new malady, with the potential to cause harm to anybody, where of late, the law had to intervene and come to the rescue of the affected party in the name of justice.

More specifically, sometimes while indulging in the instant publishing of information, social media may violate the right to privacy of a person. In such a situation the moot question is whether the affected person can claim the right to privacy or the Right To Be Forgotten (RTBF), especially where information published is related to some incident and the affected person wants to forget it and ask the Social Media to remove that information to avoid becoming an unwilling victim of some unfounded bias due to incomplete information circulating beyond his control on the Social Media and be subjected to unwarranted and unequal treatment within or outside the organization much to his discomfort leading to unjustified harm. For instance, the personal information of A is uploaded by B on Social Media (say Google, Instagram, Twitter etc.) which is related to any incident which A wants to forget or any personal information of A relating to a case, where he was convicted and subsequently acquitted in the appeal and wants to live peacefully in the society, is linked by the search engine without scrutiny. Here the moot question is whether A has the Right To Be Forgotten and can he request the Social Media to erase that personal information as he is trying to forget that incident and wants to live peacefully.

Co-creation of value through succesful diversity management among unusul partners in atypical situation

Agnes JENEI, Réka MATHÉ, Maliga REDDY, Strinivasan PILLAY

National University of Public Service, Hungary

The presentation aims to share the findings of a research currently under progress on the atypical activity of the Hungarian regional public administration, in which the co-creation of value seems to be realized due to the successful diversity management at the micro level among unusual partners in extreme situations.

The objective of the research was to analyze the charitable activities of the territorial administration in the refugee crisis following the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Hungarian government officials were mobilized for 24-hours service for month at five aid points in five small municipalities near to the Ukrainian border and in a big sport center in Budapest, dedicated to host and help refugees.

For public officials, working outside the office in 24 hours service for unpredictable periods of time, delivering help using creative techniques to solve unexpected problems in partnership with NGOs, municipalities, and other stake-holders, is completely atypical, comparing the situation with the regular work, consisting of carrying out administrative procedures regulated by strict norms, following strict schedule. Leaving behind the rigid hierarchical system and the top-down communication, being forced to have symmetric relationship with the partners, maintain horizontal communication with the stake-holders seemed to be an adventure.

Research method: more than 100 semi-structured interviews have been carried out with public officials, including leaders of the county government offices, serving at the five aids points, mayors of the municipalities, and leaders of the NGOs working with them. The interviews have been transcribed (and checked) using an AI-powered transcription application, available in Hungarian, to speed up the process. Qualitative data analysis has been conducted using content analysis software (Maxquda).

Preliminary results. Based on the interviews, at the very beginning of the mission, the most urgent question was to understand, what was required to help. How to identify the tasks, and how to find the shortest way to fulfill them, how to successfully manage the necessary operations and processes, together with the stakeholders. According to the interviews, dealing with stakeholders characterized by cognitive diversity seemed to be the most challenging burden for the leaders (in addition to the stress due to the continuous arrivals of traumatized refugees and children, with peaks of 600-700 persons / day / aid point).

Preliminary findings highlight the process in which leaders in the field gradually obtained new, liberatory levels of cooperation, increasing the quality of decisions, and the creativity of the solutions, together with their partners. The preliminary results of the research seem to confirm the findings of previous studies on multicultural and/or inclusive organizations. According to them, diverse organizations have a much higher potential for creative solutions, organizational innovation, resilience, and ability to adapt to unexpected situations than homogeneous organizations. Research shows that the best decisions are made by heterogeneous groups: they shed more light on a given situation, formulate more alternatives and reduce cognitive biases in the decision-making process. The presence of different perspectives increases creativity, problem-solving capacity, and innovation potential of the organization. Diversity is a competitive advantage for companies, and it is for the public sector and public administration, as well.

The presentation will reveal the lessons learnt by the public officials and analyze their experiments in micro-managing the cooperation with particularly different stake-holders.

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