Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Business

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Sue Colyer

Abstract

This study explored the effects of organisational culture on the planning processes of three state sport associations in Western Australia. Using the competing values framework of organisational culture and Chapman' s planning model, this study aimed to explore three research questions: (i) What are the demographic and organisational cultural profiles of the selected sport organisations? In particular, do professionals and volunteers share similar or different perceptions of the organisational cultures?; (ii) Wh~t are the development planning processes for each sport association? How does each association perceive the development planning processes?, and; (iii) How does organisational culture influence planning processes? To find answers to these research questions, this study used two kinds of data: a survey for quantitative analysis, and interviews with CEO/President and board members of each association for qualitative analysis. For all the associations, group culture was strongly emphasised. This may be a tradition in sport, especially as Australian sport has a strong reliance on volunteers, and is a quality that distinguishes sport organisations from other types of organisations. The slightly lower emphasis on rational and developmental culture may be indicative of the newer trends of professionalism in sport and the tension between especially group culture and rational culture as professional officers (paid staff) take over managing sport from the volunteers. All these sport associations exhibited low to very low emphasis on hierarchical culture, suggesting that these attributes are less evident and less valued, and perhaps the organisational structures are less hierarchical, although organisational charts for the associations were not investigated. In comparison, the interviewees recognised group, development and hierarchical cultures to be emphasised but not rational culture. This may indicate that the two facts were combined: first, organisations have moved from hierarchical to a more horizontal structure, and second, the interviewees, in general, had been with respective associations for a significantly longer duration than the average workers. It was found that the workers in the three associations had similar perceptions in regard to their planning processes. Regression analysis found that group cultural value was significantly related to the association's planning process. Hierarchical culture was also found to be related to some aspects of the planning process, such as the association's recognition of the importance of planning. It was also found that some demographic profiles of respondents affected the perception of planning processes. For example, a female worker was more likely to perceive that her association's planning processes were better developed. A worker with longer experience in the current occupation was more likely to perceive his/her association's planning processes as less developed. The status of the worker, whether she/he was a volunteer or paid employee, also seemed important in recognising the importance of planning. The findings from this study presented important suggestions and recommendations for sport organisations and national and state governments, as well as relevant academic disciplines, regarding the relationship between organisational culture and planning processes.

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