Using a dual-sited organizational ethnography to examine change within and between community sport organizations

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An increasingly diverse range of theories have been used to examine organizational change in sport. The methodological techniques used have revealed much, but are increasingly routine. Here, a novel use of organizational ethnography is used to examine change, both within and between two partners within an inter-organizational partnership. A longitudinal, dual-sited, organizational ethnography was performed between 2008 and 2012. This internal perspective gathered data on the structures, practices and relationships impacted by a common external stimulus (national sport initiative). One organization's values moderated their responses to the implantation of quality control systems and their attitudes to program expansion. This resistance created tensions between the partners, resulting in the deterioration of organizational relationships. This paper provides both a case of organizational change in sport management, while demonstrating some opportunities and challenges for using this dual approach. Both theoretical and methodological implications for practice are discussed and further research opportunities presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-196
Number of pages15
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2018


  • Organizational ethnography
  • organizational change
  • inter-organizational partnership
  • community sport
  • qualitative methodology

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