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Behind the scenes of sport for development : perspectives of executives of a multinational sport organization Waldman, Devra


Currently, international cricket organizations have mandates to increase cricket participation globally by 1.5 million people. To do this, these organizations are sponsoring cricket-focused international development programs across the globe. This study was inspired by concerns from scholars such as Darnell (2012) about potentially negative outcomes of ‘sport for development and peace’ (SDP) work for targeted populations – and a recognition that little is known about how decisions are made by executives of international sport federations to pursue SDP initiatives. This study explores the international development work of the globally-prominent International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and is guided by the following research questions: 1) How have decisions been made by high-level executives of global cricket organizations about engaging in development- related work and how are these decisions explained?; 2) How do key decision-makers understand the notion of development and what are their perceptions of development-related issues?; 3) How are development-related goals portrayed to stakeholders and how do these goals align with broader organizational goals?; and 4) What are the benefits of and problems with cricket-related development work as revealed through discussions with key decision-makers? This study is informed by literature on developmentalism, SDP, cricket and globalization, and urban (re)development. Theoretically, postcolonialism is featured because this perspective is concerned with the politics, cultures, and economies of societies living with legacies of colonialism; ongoing impacts of neoliberal forms of development in these societies and; the lived experiences of individuals in contexts where postcolonial forces are especially intense (McEwan, 2009). Nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with executives in ICC and MCC. The results illustrate that: (a) a select group of executives in ICC and MCC make decisions hierarchically, and that decisions reflect organizational mandates; (b), decision- makers tend to be dismissive of critiques of SDP, with notable exceptions; and (c) development-related programs are portrayed differently to different audiences. This study concluded with commentary on the importance of interviewing a range of individuals working in SDP, the sometimes contradictory ways that cricket continues to be implicated in postcolonial relationships, and roles of reflexive decision-makers working in organizations governed by neoliberal policies.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada