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Managing Personnel in Major Sport Event Organizations: What Strategies are Required?

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In Australia, the state of Victoria has been successful in securing many major sport events. Examples of such events annually conducted in Victoria are the Australian Open Tennis Championships, the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, The Melbourne Cup, and the Australian Football League Grand Final. Apart from these annual events, Victoria has also been successful in conducting the Bledisloe (rugby) Cup, the 2002 World Yachting Championship, the 2002 World Master Games, and the 2005 Deaflympics. Victoria was also successful in its bids to host the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Swimming Championship. These events have also attracted large audiences, which in part are the result of the efficient management of the organizations that coordinate these events. However, this begs the question: What underpinned the operation of such organizations, and were tailored or sport-specific practices incorporated for managing personnel? The purpose of this article is to explore the management processes of two major sport events, and examine the extent to which tailored or sport-specific management practices for personnel were incorporated by each of the major sport event managers. Semistructured interviews were conducted with managers from two event organizations—the Australian Tennis Open and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation—and supporting documentation was gathered to verify issues raised in the interviews. The findings revealed two distinctive types of practices. First, a number of systematic and tailored practices were used to manage personnel in each of these major sport event organizations. On the other hand, there were instances where guidance was lacking, and personnel were left to interpret detailed induction manuals with little supervision. As a result, many inconsistent practices were performed and personnel often felt alienated from the management team. On the basis of these results, it is recommended that more detailed documentation and guidance be utilized to manage the variety of personnel during the life cycle of major sport events.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2006

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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