Board composition in federated structures: a case study of the Gaelic Athletic Association

Ian O'Boyle, David Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the issue of board composition within non- profit sport organizations operating in a federated governance structure. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is used as a case study to illustrate the challenges and complexities of comprising a board that has the requisite skill set to carry out its function in a rapidly changing operating environment. Interviews (n = 10) supported by document analysis were conducted with senior ranking officials within the Association in order to analyse the integral factors related to board composition within the GAA. Findings show that the Association heavily relies on the delegate system of board composition, potentially limiting its ability to appoint a board that has a commercially orientated focus reflecting the professionalization and commercialization of the contemporary sport industry. Practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed along with suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Leisure Journal
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished online - 3 Feb 2016


  • Governance
  • Sport Management
  • GAA
  • Board skill set
  • Ireland


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