Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Doherty, Alison J.


This dissertation explores the management of local sport for development (SFD) in Canada. It uncovers the organizational capacity for local SFD, the processes involved in building capacity to achieve social change through sport, and the perceptions and experiences of National Sport Organization (NSO) leaders regarding SFD. Study 1 explores and uncovers the organizational capacity for local SFD, following Hall et al.’s (2003) framework for non-profit organizational capacity. Using semi-structured interviews, 17 local SFD organizations were asked to describe specific organizational aspects that enabled them to achieve their goals. They identified: familiarity with development issues; grant funding; facilities; and social capital, among others. Study 2 utilized an action research methodology to enable researchers and participants to work collaboratively to achieve goals identified as meaningful by participants. The goals were to build human resources capacity, financial capacity, and relationship and network capacity, at two local SFD organizations. The findings are presented as three unique stories of capacity building. Study 3 explores the perspectives and experiences of Canadian National Sport Organization (NSO) leaders regarding SFD in Canada. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a key person(s) from 13 NSOs (n=14), who were asked: to define SFD; to describe how their NSO addresses SFD; and whether SFD represents a conflicting or divergent demand. Together, these studies offer an analysis of local SFD in Canada from the perspectives of grassroots implementers and national leaders in Canadian sport. Findings contribute to managing SFD literature, and may also benefit local SFD practitioners interested in developing their organizations through capacity building.