Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Doherty, Alison J.


National sport organizations (NSOs) address gender equity in their respective sports via programs designed for women. This study examined the organizational capacity of three NSOs to implement gender equity initiatives through programs that target increasing the engagement of women in sport as athletes, certified coaches, and officials. Hall et al.’s (2003) multidimensional framework of human resources, finances, relationships/network, infrastructure/process, and planning/development capacity was used. External factors that impact the capacity dimensions were also considered. Semi-structured telephone interviews (n = 15) were conducted with board members and staff of the NSOs. The findings highlight the key capacity strengths and challenges in each dimension, and the connection between the dimensions. Human resources and relationship/network were identified as critical capacity dimensions, and the political climate and the lack of avenues to procure additional funding were common external influences on NSO capacity. The findings contribute to understanding critical aspects of organizational capacity that are essential to address gender equity in NSOs, with implications for building capacity to implement gender equity initiatives, and future development of policy that considers capacity for gender equity.