Title: Avoiding separation: sport partner perspectives on a long-term inter-organisational relationship

Authors: Ted Alexander, Lucie Thibault, Wendy Frisby

Addresses: School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, 210 War Memorial Gymnasium, 6081 University Boulevard, Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada. ' Department of Sport Management, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines, ON, L2S 3A1, Canada. ' Faculty of Arts, University of British Columbia, 1896 East Mall, Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z1, Canada

Abstract: Researchers have identified the stages of inter-organisational relationships (IOR) (i.e., formation, management, and evaluation), however, few have examined how these stages are enacted over time from the partners| perspectives. We conducted a case study of a dyadic IOR between a non-profit provincial sport organisation (Tennis PSO) and a public sector sport and recreation department over three years. Our analysis revealed that partner motives for forming the alliance differed as one partner focused on determinants of necessity, efficiency, and reciprocity, while the other partner sought increased legitimacy (Oliver, 1990). Both partners were satisfied with the management approach because expertise and resources were shared, clear lines of responsibility and communication were established, and power struggles were avoided. Achieving a mutually desired outcome early helped sustained the IOR, even though only marginal increases in tennis participation occurred. Links between the stages of IOR and the implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords: inter-organisational relationships; IORs evaluation; public sector; non-profit sector; IORs formation; IORs management; sports partnerships; tennis; provincial sport organisations; sport and recreation department.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2008.017192

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2008 Vol.3 No.3, pp.263 - 280

Published online: 18 Feb 2008 *

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