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Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management
One of the major factors militating against the development of sports in Nigeria today is the lack of effective management. Many solutions are being offered by concerned and patriotic Nigerians every day to save us from the quagmire. One such solution is this text entitled “Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management”. It was written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; educational researcher and consultant. I was the person invited by the author and the university to review the book when it was presented to the public on December 4, 2008 in Nigeria.
According to Awoyinfa, it is a truth across the world that sports is now a matter of reference that can no longer be ignored in different sectors of the economy and areas of life. The author adds that this text therefore looks critically at contemporary issues in sports administration and management, considering the theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organisation, planning, motivation, etc.
The text consists of 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened “sports management concept”. Here, Awoyinfa says that management is a concept that implies different things to different people at different times, leading to its multiplicity of definitions. He explains that management has been variously described as an art, a science, a person or people, a discipline and a process.
This author explains that sports management, as an art, is about the achievement of the organizational functions and tasks of sport through people; while as a science, sports management is concerned with establishing the philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices of sports. As an organisation, according to him, sports management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and an organization based on mission, objectives, targets, functions and tasks.
Awoyinfa says as a person or a group of people, sports management can refer to the principal only or to all senior staff, committee, etc.; while as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and subjects. The author draws attention to the fact that sport management as a process involves a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights management functions in sports administration as planning, organizing, staffing, directing/leading, managing, coordinating, budgeting and evaluating. On who is a sports manager, this author teaches that a sports manager is anyone at any level of a sports organization who directs
other people’s efforts towards achieving organizational sporting goals.
Chapter two is based on the topic of evolution and trends in sports management thinking. Here, Awoyinfa reveals that the development of thoughts on sports management dates back to the days when people first sought to achieve goals by working together in a group. In his words, “There was serious thinking and theorizing about management many years before the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thinking. Major efforts to develop theories and principles of sports management began from scratch . twentieth (20th) century with the work of Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol. It was probably the industrial revolution of the nineteenth (19th) century that provided the climate for this very serious theorizing.”
Awoyinfa adds that since the turn of the 20th century, writers on sports management and business theory have been offering different theories about how to manage work and personnel more efficiently and effectively. This author teaches that the three main schools of managerial thought are: the classic; the human-behavioural; and the integrative. Awoyinfa also draws attention to early sports management theorists; principles and characteristics of scientific management; evaluation of the scientific management theory, etc., in this chapter.
Chapter three is thematically labeled “principles of sports management”. In this chapter, the educational consultant explains that the principles of sport are the basic laws on which the practice of sport management is built. He added that management principles must therefore be based on general terms in order for them to be relevant within sporting organizations of different sizes and character. “Modern sports managers and administrators are expected to be able to identify and use appropriate principles that apply to specific situations. This is because the same principle cannot be suitable for all administrative situations,” said Awoyinfa.
He says that the fundamental principles of sport are those that apply to all sporting organizations and as a result of their general acceptability, they are sometimes referred to as the “general principles of sports management”. This author emphasizes that some of these principles are: responsibility; delegation of authority and communication. In terms of the humanitarian principles of sports management, Awoyinfa identifies these as democracy, justice, human relations, sympathy, empathy, consideration and humility.
In chapter four which is based on the concept of behavioral and motivational theories in sports organisation, the author says that human beings are unique creatures as they behave differently under different conditions and are generally difficult to predict . Awoyinfa emphasizes that since human beings are the most important element in the organization of sports, sports managers need to have some understanding of why people behave in one way or another, so that they (sports managers) can influence on people to perform exactly the way sporting organizations find it desirable. .
One powerful tool this author suggests can be used to drive athletes’ performance is motivation. In his words, “Motivation is something that is needed in sports organizations to make employees perform.
However, it has been an important and complex topic for sports managers.” Awoyinfa further discusses the development of motivational concepts in sports organization; the application of motivation theories to sports management; behavior modification methods, etc., in this chapter.
In chapters five to ten, the author sheds his analytical light on topics such as management techniques in sports organisation; the concept of sports organization; installation design in sports organisation; the concept of planning in sports administration; making sports organizations more effective in Nigeria and staffing in sports organizations.
Chapter 11 is based on communication strategies in sports organisation. According to Awoyinfa here, communication is an essential factor in any organizational effectiveness because organizations cannot function effectively when communication skills are lacking among members. “Since communication is the lifeblood of an organization, its absence can cripple organizations,” says this author.
In chapters 12 to 16, Awoyinfa X-rays concepts such as organizational changes and development in sports administration; leadership in sports administration and management; administer and manage football as a coach; teaching human kinetics and health education in schools and colleges; and the organization and administration of schools at various levels of education.
In terms of presentation, this text scores a pass mark. For example, the language is understandable and the ideas are well expressed. The simplicity of the language is to be expected, given the dual professional background of the author as a lecturer and minister. To ensure easy study of the text on the part of readers, Awoyinfa highlights the objectives of each chapter at the beginning and ends with review/revision questions.
Moreover, he creatively embroiders the text with graphics (pages 50, 97, 317, 330, 338, 395, etc.) to enhance readers’ understanding through visual communication. Awoyinfa includes references at the end of each chapter to fulfill an academic obligation to disclose a source and offer readers opportunities to read more. The inclusion of many references also confirms the depth of his research. His use of visual contrast for the phrase “Modern Trends” in the title is definitely creative.
If there are chapters that really qualify this text as a compendium of modern solutions to the administrative and management problems plaguing our sports development in Nigeria, they are chapters four, eight, 11 and 13. This because they discuss motivation, planning, communication and leadership respectively.
Meanwhile, the most thematic episode of all is episode four. The fact that it is taken consciously or unconsciously as the greatest chapter finds practical expression in the deeper communication and coherence between its text on the one hand and the allegorical images of the outer front cover or metaphorical images such as a goal post, cyclists racing, and a lawn tennis player on the other hand ready to act with his bat, sprinters competing and footballers fighting for possession of the ball, on the other hand. These are images used for illustration in motivational discourse.
However, some errors are noted in this text. The errors are “Recognition” (p. iii), instead of “Recognition”; not paragraphing the natural first few paragraphs of “Foreword”; “Lost” (pages 396 and 404), instead of “Lost”, etc. These errors need to be corrected in the next edition.
On an analytical final note, this text is a compendium of irresistible sports management tips. It is a must read for all stakeholders in the sports sector, especially managers and administrators. It is simply fascinating.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of http://www.gokeilesanmi.com and Management Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, Communication Specialist (Business), Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
For business discussion, reach him on +234(0)8055068773; +234(0)8056030424
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