Developing the Ethical Infrastructure for Sport: The Case of Australia

Publikationen: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung




Over the past 40 years Australia has worked to both establish and maintain a safe, fair and inclusive sporting nation that is closely linked to Australia’s national identity. Nonetheless, breaches of sport ethics and integrity are becoming a growing area of concern. Issues of doping, match-fixing, corruption, and member protection gain all too frequent media attention. In response the Australian federal government, in consultation with sport stakeholders, has gradually introduced forms of legislation aimed at both establishing a federally supported sport industry and mitigating risks from unethical behaviours. Our study poses two research questions. First, how did the institutional infrastructure that supports Australian sporting institutions evolve between 1984 and 2020? And secondly, what conditions led to the emergence of an ‘ethical’ institutional infrastructure, to combat rising integrity risks?

Theoretically, this study draws on the emergent institutional infrastructure literature. Greenwood et al. (2017) define institutional infrastructure as “the set of institutions that prevail in a field… redirecting attention to understandings of field dynamics as beyond logics and meaning” (p. 174). Institutional infrastructure enables a deeper investigation of field conditions to examine the formation and change of institutional fields (Zietsma et al., 2017).

This study adopted a processual analysis (i.e., Langley, 1999) of Hansard transcripts and associated secondary documentation from the Australian parliament between 1984 and 2020 Data included over 230,000 words of parliamentary transcripts, seven core pieces of sport related legislation, and supporting material - including but not limited to: the Australian Sports Commission Act, 1985; the Australian Institute of Sport Act, 1986; the Australia Sports Commission Act 1989; the Australian Sports Drug Agency Act, 1990, the Australian Sport Anti-doping Authority Act, 2006; the National Sport Tribunal Act, 2019; and, the Sport Integrity Australia Act, 2020. Collectively, these seven pieces of legislation constitute the institutional infrastructure of Australian sport. In addition, they specifically legislate powers for government funded organisations (i.e., statutory authorities such as the Australian Sports Commission and Sport Integrity Australia) to enforce ethical norms and values on individuals and organisations involved in sport within Australia (i.e., the basis of an ethical infrastructure).

At the time of writing, the research team is currently analysing data. Utilising Zietsma et al.’s (2017) framework of institutional fields, preliminary findings indicate that prior to the 1970’s the Australian public cared about sport but its management was dispersed amongst a range of social actors (i.e., an interstitial issue field). Increased government involvement shifted the fields conditions to both professionalise and become a definable industrial sector (i.e., types of exchange fields). Doping scandals and later issues of match fixing and child protection forced the field to change again. Initially with the introduction of anti-doping agencies and then later the aggregation of anti-match-fixing, anti-corruption and child protection functions in to the institutional infrastructure of sport in Australia. This study contributes to our understanding of how elements of institutional infrastructure emerge, change and adapt to changing social conditions over time.
TitelBook of Abstracts 28th SMAANZ Conference
Redakteure/-innenEmma Sherry
Herausgeber (Verlag)SMAANZ
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022
Veranstaltung28th SMAANZ Conference - Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australien
Dauer: 30.11.202202.12.2022
Konferenznummer: 28

ID: 6736050


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