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The adoption of good governance by national sporting associations: a Malaysian perspective

The latest Research Paper has been published by the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre. The paper, authored by MSc Sport Management student and Birkbeck Sport Business Society member Ahmad Arif Astaman, focuses on the extent to which good governance principles are understood and adopted by national sport associations in Malaysia. While the origins and contemporary developments of corporate and public governance are influenced heavily by ‘Anglo-American’ thinking, the atypical nature of sporting organisations in national contexts suggests that a uniform experience of governance adoption is quite unlikely. The study draws on interview data and documentary analysis to show that there is a basic understanding of good governance within national sport associations in Malaysia that is to some extent underpinned by the unique role of government in the development and delivery of modern sport in Malaysia. The study also found that unlike the West, this historical intertwining between sport and government has allowed Malaysian national sport organisations to be gradually exposed and persuaded on the ideals of good governance, without having gone through a ‘modernisation’ and ‘professionalisation’ phase.

A framework that explores the relationship between the aggregated dimensions of the grounded data was also developed, and explains the adoption of good governance by national sporting organisations as phases of evolution in the Malaysian context. This paper establishes an alternate perspective on how good governance can be adopted in the administration of national sport, that is significantly different than the paths identified in the West, and may help spur similar research elsewhere, particularly in settings with a demonstrable history of government intervention in sport.

Copies of the research paper can be downloaded here.

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