Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Doctor of Philosophy




Misener, Laura


This study explored the governance of event legacy and/or leveraging. More broadly, this project examined the specific organizational forms that are responsible for delivering event legacy and/or leveraging strategies. This was done using a combination of organizational theories and theories of public policy to understand the unique environment surrounding event legacies. Three distinct phases were utilized in this study. I used a research synthesis to investigate what previous scholars have found regarding event legacy delivery. Next, comparative cases from the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and the 2015 Toronto Pan Am/Parapan American Games were used to examine what mechanisms previous host cities have used. Finally, theories of organizational learning were utilized to understand the organizational learning that occurs between Games and hosts, and how knowledge transfer is integral in the governance process. Findings indicate that localized organizational forms, distinct from the organizing committee were able to successfully leverage event outcomes. The collaborative nature of these organizational forms provided opportunities for organizations to increase their leveraging capacity. A conceptual framework is provided as a starting point for organizers looking to leverage specific outcomes from an event, as well as for scholars examining event legacy and/or leveraging strategies.

Summary for Lay Audience

This study explored how outcomes from events are strategically generated and organized. Specifically, this project examined how the lasting impacts (or legacies) of sport mega-events such as the Olympics, are planned, organized, and governed. I provided a thorough overview of previous research and findings using a systematic review. Using the cases of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and the 2015 Toronto Pan Am/Parapan American Games, I compared their unique legacy strategies. Finally, I investigated how the organizers of these events learn how to implement these strategies, and how crucial the transfer of knowledge is within sport mega-events. Findings indicated that groups separate from the organizing committee were able to lever impacts as they did not have to focus on hosting the event itself. As well, groups that collaborated together lessened the negative effects of low capital, expertise, and/or knowledge. I developed a conceptual framework for future hosts looking to gain specific outcomes from an event.

canada.pdf (224 kB)
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