The gatekeepers of sport governance–nomination committees’ shaping potential in national sport organizations’ board composition processes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEuropean Sport Management Quarterly. 2021, 1-19. 10.1080/16184742.2021.1897640
RESEARCH QUESTION The purpose of this paper is to construct knowledge on the working processes of nomination committees (NCs) in sport and analyze their potential to shape board composition. The significance of such an effort lies in its potential to shed light on the processes preceding the structures and practices created for the wielding of power in sport organizations. RESEARCH METHODS This paper reports findings based on telephone interviews with NCs of 64 Swedish national sport organizations. RESULTS AND FINDINGS The analyses show how NC processes may be distinguished into six components: election of the NC at the general assembly (GA), monitoring of the incumbent board, preparation for nominee identification, assembly of a list of potential nominees, evaluation of potential nominees, and submission of proposed nominees to the GA. Within and across these components, the analyses reveal three aspects particularly powerful in their potential to shape board composition: degree of formalization, network reliance, and transparency. IMPLICATIONS These findings have implications for research and practice. Regarding the former, the study provides a baseline description that can be used in future explorations of the NC process and its determinants and effects in varying contexts. As for the latter, the findings suggest that sport organizations carry an untapped potential in considering NCs’ shaping potential, regardless of whether an ‘adequate’ board is one that is equipped to improve organizational efficiency or one that safeguards representation and democracy.