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Perceptions of key stakeholders regarding national federation sport policy: The case of the French Rugby Union

Viollet, B and Minikin, B and Scelles, Nicolas and Ferrand, A (2017) Perceptions of key stakeholders regarding national federation sport policy: The case of the French Rugby Union. Managing Sport and Leisure, 21 (5). pp. 319-337. ISSN 2375-0472

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Abstract

© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article proposes a framework that explains how a national association sport policy is operationally formalized in relation with the various perceptions of its internal stakeholders. This is an important issue, as a lack of engagement from these stakeholders may result in a limited impact of such a sport policy. Considering the latter as a management tool, a case study of the French Rugby Union (FFR) was built using archival material and interviews. We demonstrated that a national sport federation policy, when viewed as a management tool, is the consequence of a conceptual framework, consisting of a formal substrate, a managerial philosophy and a simplified representation of the actors’ role [Hatchuel, A., and Weil, B. (1992). L’expert et le système [The expert and the system]. Paris: Economica]. As part of an intervention-research within the FFR, 45 semi-structured interviews were conducted with both national and regional actors with various statutes. The analysis of these interviews shows both agreement and contradictions, categorized through the conceptual framework used to explain that a “one size fits all” approach should enable a degree of regional freedom for sport governing bodies that include organizational membership.

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