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Towards Understanding Change-Supportive Organizational Behaviors in China: An Investigation of the 2015 Chinese National Football Reform

Peng, Qi and Skinner, James and Houlihan, Barrie and Kihl, Lisa and Zheng, Jinming (2021) Towards Understanding Change-Supportive Organizational Behaviors in China: An Investigation of the 2015 Chinese National Football Reform. Journal of Global Sport Management. ISSN 2470-4067

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Abstract

This paper investigates the influences of change recipients’ supportive behaviors toward the national reform in the Chinese football sector. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews (n=29), which were conducted with change recipients from national and local football associations and commercial football clubs. Drawing on an integrated conceptual framework, the findings suggest that the change-supportive behaviors demonstrated by the change recipients were influenced and incentivised by managerial factors (i.e., management competency, communication channels, participation in decision-making, leaders’ commitment to change, and principal support); and contextual factors (i.e., an amenable football environment and the perceived political pressure to change). Three manifestations of change-supportive behaviors were identified: a) showing understanding of the change but pessimistic about the outcome; b) supporting the change and being willing to take risks; and c) supporting the change and actively seeking alternative solutions.

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