Ontario high school sport : an investigation of organizational design and its context
Sarson, Lindsay A.
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In 2002, The Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) identified that in providing extracurricular sport programs schools are faced with the 'new realities' of the education system. Although research has been conducted exploring the pressures impacting the provision of extracurricular school sport (Donnelly, Mcloy, Petherick, & Safai, 2000), few studies within the field have focused on understanding extracurricular school sport from an organizational level. The focus of this study was to examine the organizational design (structure, systems, and values) of the extracurricular sport department within three Ontario high schools, as well as to understand the context within which the departments exist. A qualitative multiple case study design was adopted and three public high schools were selected from one district school board in Ontario to represent the cases under investigation. Interviews, observations and documents were used to analyze the extracurricular sport department design of each case and to better understand the context within which the departments exist. As the result of the analysis of the structure, systems and values of each case, two designs emerged- Design KT1 and Design KT2. Differences in the characteristics of design archetype KT1 and KT2 centered on the design dimension of values, and therefore this study identified that contrasting organizational values reflect differences in design types. The characteristics of the Kitchen Table archetype were found to be transferable to the sub-sector of extracurricular school sport, and therefore this research provides a springboard for further research in organizational design within the education sector of extracurricular high school sport. Interconnections were found between the data associated with the external and internal contexts within which the extracurricular sport departments exist. The analysis of the internal context indicated the important role played by organizational members in shaping the context within which the departments exist. The analysis of the external context highlighted the institutional pressures that were present within the education environment. Both political and cultural expectations related to the role of extracurricular sport within schools were visible and were subsequently used by the high schools to create legitimacy and prestige, and to access resources.