Development of Managerial Skills and Sports Management in Future Sports specialists

Abstract

The internationalisation of sport at all levels, professional mobility in continuous increase and the creation of a single labour market (the European one) require the formation of managerial skills and sports management, which will provide a reference for the specialists in the field, allowing them to become more performing and efficient. The sport needs well-motivated managers and administrators who exert their authority in the spirit and the respect of new requirements, taking into account the extension of free time and the importance that citizens and the State give to a healthier way of life. Analysing the training programmes of specialists in the field of physical culture and identifying the introduction of the study discipline specific to sports management will contribute to the specialist training, improving the distribution of financial resources in sport and not least leading to a more efficient use of the human resource. Thus, during the training of physical education and sport teachers, these ones should also acquire the sports management techniques. However, current investments of public funds supporting the sport for all must be maintained, if they cannot be further developed, despite the economic recession. This idea finds its justification in the social values and benefits created by sports practices. In this context, it must be proven and argued the value of sports activities reflecting the community goals and objectives that the sport intends to serve.

Keywords: Skillsmanagementsports managementcontinuous training programme

Introduction

Actuality of the research. According to a classical definition, “to manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control” (Fayol, 1916, cited by Swansburg, 1996, p. 1). Such a definition is always limited by its general nature, since it is not telling us what exactly the managers should know or do to fulfill their described functions. In recent years, it has been more stressed the analysis of what managers do in practice (Mintzberg, 1973; Simon, 1980).

This approach led to new directions also in the physical culture and sport domain, where there have been attempts to identify the specific areas of knowledge and the necessary skills for managerial positions in this system. Another opinion regarding the managerial activities belongs to Simon (1980), who thinks that to be a good manager means to analyse frequently the group performance, to listen each opinion about the situation and how to improve the things, to propose and gain commitment for a solution, in accordance with the aims of the system. This outlook underlines aspects related to the managerial leader group position.

Problem Statement

Managers have authority and decisional responsibility in using the main resources of the organization (human and material ones, time and money); they also have responsibilities such as planning, organizing, coordinating, training and controlling. In order to implement all these responsibilities, from the president of a sport organization to the head of a department, three categories of abilities are needed: conceptual, human and professional ones.

Research Questions

We have conducted a research that analyses the importance of managerial and inventory skills (in physical education and sport). After the development of commercial activities, the sports management and administration have become a real designation in the international environment. Sports management creates an interesting category from all points of view. Active sports firstly need managers and big sport clubs or non-profit organizations that offer sport equipment. Secondly, the sport needs inventory specialists, and thirdly, the management and administration of sport facilities needs to be ensured.

Purpose of the Study

To prove and argue the value of sports activities reflecting the community goals and objectives that the sport intends to serve.

Research Methods

To conduct the research, we used the following scientific methods:

  • Observation method - that allowed us to identify the categories of managers working in the organizations whose goal is to provide sport services, as well as their essential qualities;

  • Communication method - that occurred through a dialogue between the researcher and the interviewed people (managers of different levels within various sport entities);

  • Questionnaire method - that consisted in designing and applying a survey based on a written questionnaire. It included a list of questions regarding the studied problem, which were arranged in a certain order, the goal being to receive information about the same problem from a larger number of people working in this field.

Findings

The sample of questioned people (managers of sports organizations at different hierarchic levels from Chisinau, Calarasi and Cahul) included 23 superior managers, 27 middle managers and 43 managers of private sports clubs. The age structure of the categories of respondents shows a majority of older managers – about 65% (aged over 50 years), only 35% being around 40 years of age (Figure 01 ).

Figure 1: The age structure of the categories of respondents
The age structure of the categories of respondents
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After analysing the collected data on the categories of respondents, we identified the need for the specialists in physical culture and sport to acquire some managerial and sports management skills (Figure 02 ). Thus, the managers responded positively in a percentage over 50%, while negative responses had a percentage of 23%.

Management is the process where the planning and policy responsibility are assumed within an organization of human resources, events or installations, toward the goal achievement. Training in the management domain is the process where the potential specialists are conveyed the knowledge that will allow them to become more performing and efficient (Conseil de l’Europe, 1987).

Figure 2: The graphical reflection of responses regarding the necessity of managerial skills
The graphical reflection of responses regarding the necessity of managerial skills
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Nowadays, in Europe, the structures of management building and sports management vary from one country to another and even inside a country, both in terms of quantity and quality. The sports management training is generally segmented and has not reached everywhere the same stage of development and implementation. Asking the categories of respondents what content of a training programme would be efficient, from their point of view, and what could provide them the acquirement of managerial and sports management skills, we have succeeded to summarise this content by exemplifying some study subjects, which are shown in Table 01 .

Table 1 -
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Also, we can assert that in the initial training programme for specialists in sports management and inventory, the following theoretical and practical knowledge is required: administration, marketing, finance, law and legislation in sport, management, ethics, technologies and informational systems, public relations, communication, promotion, client services, motivation, leadership etc.

To be successful in their job, sport managers must know sports and human movements, such as the specific inventory techniques (Conseil de l’Europe, 1987). Consequently, initial training should be approached in an interdisciplinary perspective.

Moreover, society and economy are evolving quickly; the sport is also in a process of continuous change, both in terms of attitudes and organization. Thus, the sport and the field of entertainment activities represent an industry in full development (Conseil de l’Europe, 1987). However, if it is connected with the public field or the voluntary one, the sport needs good management to raise that level from the private field; it also needs management to be friendlier with those who compete for its development. This fact was remarked by the categories of respondents through their positive responses to the question: “Do you consider that, for good sports management, it is necessary to promote a constructive attitude oriented to the team spirit for all factors involved in management?” (89% of them responded positively and 11%, negatively) (Figure 03 ).

Figure 3: The graphical reflection of the responses regarding the promotion of a constructive attitude oriented to the team spirit for good sports management
The graphical reflection of the responses regarding the promotion of a constructive attitude oriented to the team spirit for good sports management
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At all levels, the sport needs well-motivated managers and administrators who exert their authority in the spirit and the respect of new requirements, taking into account the extension of free time and also the importance that citizens and the State give to a healthier way of life. Thus, the connection between sport, expansion, recreation and free time becomes more important in the new development conditions and reform of our country. This phenomenon will affect more and more the sport organizations, activities, installations and clubs. Increasingly, the offers will be more organized on the commercial basis and, at the same time, the development of private area. The sport club members and casual users will show a higher level of quality services, which will ask a professional approach from specialities. The achievement of managerial skills and financial management of future specialists through continuous training programmes will make them understand that the sport is looking for money and the granted public funds for highlighting the domain are not enough, so they will have to act consciously and professionally for an effective development of sport in our country. Taking into consideration these opinions (Simon, 1980) about the managerial activities as a whole, we can mention that there are four essential elements the managers and sport inventories should do. These are:

  • Managerial background and sport administration (what the manager must know about the organization, its function and the procedures used; the competences linked to problem solutions; the assumption of responsibilities regarding the planning and settlement of resources within sport entities);

  • Social or other types of skills which are necessary in practice;

  • Managerial attitudes (to cope with stress and be in charge of clients);

  • Managerial style (the expectation of people regarding the way in which the manager leads).

The different managerial methods used in the sport development and administration can be classified into three categories:

  • Managerial education and sports administration (training courses developed in universities or public faculties, for example sport builder, study certificate in sports management and administration, as well as different types of professional examinations);

  • Managerial training (internal and external courses outside the working place, which are focused on acquiring knowledge and useful habits for that working place; experimental study through course exercises);

  • Study through experience or “to learn by work”; experience on the working place, ordinarily under the guidance of a superior or colleagues; exchange of experience.

All the four elements can be found in different programmes of managerial development and sports administration, no matter whether for groups or individual preparation. The most used methods based on experience are: guided/direct experience, delegation, projects, rotation of activities.

Figure 4: The elements of managerial development programme (according to Simmons and Brennan, 1981, adapted by us)
The elements of managerial development programme (according to Simmons and Brennan, 1981, adapted by us)
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Conclusion

After performing the research, we can conclude the following:

  • Authorities and sports organizations that grant human resources pay more attention to the sports knowledge than the knowledge and abilities of sports management, financial and sports administration;

  • So, the private bodies, as well as the public ones, dedicate a limited time and less money to sports management and administration;

  • There is a lack of global vision and clear definitions of the training in sports management and administration and the way in which these things are supported by research;

  • There is a lack of continuous training programmes in sports management and administration in our country;

  • There is no a governed profile of the manager/treasurer in the sports area which needs knowledge about sports management/administration.

  • The application regarding the training of sports managers and treasurers can be satisfied by attending superior studies accredited at the level of higher institutions from our country (SUPES), as well as through the organization of improvement internships in this domain.

References

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About this article

Publication Date

18 December 2019

eBook ISBN

978-1-80296-035-8

Publisher

Future Academy

Volume

36

Print ISBN (optional)

-

Edition Number

1st Edition

Pages

1-484

Subjects

Sports, sport science, physical education, health psychology

Cite this article as:

Manolachi*, V. (2019). Development of Managerial Skills and Sports Management in Future Sports specialists. In V. Grigore, M. Stanescu, & M. Paunescu (Eds.), Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy - ICPESK 2017, vol 36. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 383-388). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.03.51