Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management

One of the major factors militating against sports development in Nigeria today is the lack of effective management. Concerned and patriotic Nigerians are proffering many solutions daily to bail us out of the quagmire. One of such solutions is this text entitled “Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management.” It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, a lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; a researcher and educational consultant.

The author and the university invited me to review the book when presented in Nigeria on December 4, 2008. According to Awoyinfa, it is a truism all over the world that sport is now a reference issue that can no longer be ignored in various sectors of the economy and spheres of life. The author adds that this text thus takes a critical look at topical issues in sports administration and management, dwelling on theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organization, planning, motivation, etc.

The text contains 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened “the concept of sports management.” Here, Awoyinfa says management is a concept that implies different things to different people at different times, thus leading to its multiplicity of definitions. He explains that management has been variously described as an art, a science, a person or people, a discipline, and a process.

This author expatiates that as an art, sports management is all about carrying out sports organizational functions and tasks through people, while as a science, sports management is about establishing sports philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes, and practices. According to him, sports management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission, objectives, targets, functions, and tasks.

Awoyinfa says that sports management may refer to the head alone or all the senior staff, committee, etc… In contrast, as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. The author illuminates that sports management as a process is about a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights management functions in sports administration as planning, organizing, staffing, directing/leading, controlling, coordination, budgeting, and evaluation. On whom a sports manager is, this author educates that a sports manager is anyone at any level of sport organization that directs other people’s efforts towards achieving organizational goals sport-wise.

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Chapter two is based on the subject matter of evolution and trends of sports management thought. Here, Awoyinfa discloses that the development of thoughts on sports management dates back to when people first attempted to accomplish goals by working together in a group. In his words, “There was serious thinking and theorizing about managing many years before the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thought. Major efforts to develop theories and principles of sports management began from the early twentieth (20th) century with Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol. The industrial revolution of the nineteenth (19th) century probably provided the climate for this very serious theorizing.”

Awoyinfa adds that since the turn of the 20th century, writers on sports management and business theory have been propounding different theories about managing work and personnel more efficiently and effectively. This author educates that the three main schools of management thought are: classical, human-behavioral, and integrative. Awoyinfa also highlights early sports management theorists, principles and characteristics of scientific management, appraisal of the scientific management theory, etc., in this chapter.

Chapter three is thematically labeled “principles of sports management.” In this chapter, the educational consultant explains that sports principles are the basic laws on which sports management is built. He adds that management principles must therefore be based on general terms applicable within sport organizations of varying sizes and character. “Modern sports managers and administrators are expected to be able to identify and use appropriate principles that are relevant to particular situations. This is because no single principle can suit all administrative situations,” submits Awoyinfa.

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