Title: Doomed to fail? A study of how junior managers at a major sport event cope with leadership issues

Authors: Annika Bodemar; Anna-Maria Strittmatter; Josef Fahlén

Addresses: Department of Sport and Social Science, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, PB 4014 Ullevål Stadion, 0806 Oslo, Norway ' Department of Sport and Social Science, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, PB 4014 Ullevål Stadion, 0806 Oslo, Norway ' Department of Sport and Social Science, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, PB 4014 Ullevål Stadion, 0806 Oslo, Norway; Department of Education, Umea University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: The organising committee at the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships in Oslo experienced major problems such as uncertainty among the junior managers and general chaos. Despite this, in external communications, the event was declared to be a success. This article draws on the works of Parent and Seguin (2007) and Parent et al. (2009) to examine the key leadership and organisational factors that contributed to these problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the junior managers coped with uncertainty and solved problems. This study is based on semi-structured interviews, documents, and participant observations. The findings show that a variety of mechanisms caused uncertainty, including some factors that predicted the event's failure. Although the existing literature is focused on explaining events' success or lack thereof via leadership, this case provides an opportunity to understand how an event can succeed despite the presence of factors that typically lead to failure.

Keywords: event management; networking; group work; autonomy; loyalty; sport management; junior managers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2020.10032923

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2020 Vol.20 No.3/4, pp.271 - 288

Accepted: 04 Jan 2020
Published online: 30 Oct 2020 *

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