Towards a research agenda in collaborative sport governance

Towards a research agenda in collaborative sport governance

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SMR-367; No. of Pages 13 Sport Management Review xxx (2016) xxx–xxx

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Sport Management Review journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/smr

Review

Towards a research agenda in collaborative sport governance David Shilbury

a,

*, Ian O’Boyle b, Lesley Ferkins c

a

Sport Management Program in the Deakin Business School at Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Melbourne 3125, Australia School of Management at the University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095, Australia c School of Sport and Recreation, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand b

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history: Received 26 May 2015 Received in revised form 11 April 2016 Accepted 11 April 2016 Available online xxx

Collaborative governance has its origins in public administration and relates to crosssector collaboration between parties who, by working together, may achieve common goals and more optimum outcomes than by working in isolation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the utility of collaborative governance as a relevant theoretical underpinning upon which to base future sport governance research focussed on the federal model of governance. To do this, we draw on an integrative framework of collaborative governance from the public administration literature to identify relevant research questions instructive for new research directions in sport governance. We offer evidence indicating that the federal model of sport governance is the type of network well-suited to the adoption of a collaborative governance regime but conclude there are barriers and challenges that could inhibit its implementation. The outcome of our work is a research agenda to guide research and theory development that may enhance our understanding of collaborative governance in sport,[1_TD$IF] and of the barriers to its adoption and how they may be overcome. ß 2016 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Sport governance Collaborative governance Federal model National sport organisations

1. Introduction Cross-sector collaboration is increasingly used by government and businesses to tackle large complex tasks not normally able to be fulfilled by one entity alone (Vangen, Hayes, & Cornforth, 2015). Global problems such as terrorism, health pandemics such as an Ebola outbreak, or more localised issues in transport infrastructure, education and health, often require collaboration across sectors to achieve optimum outcomes. Increasingly, government on its own cannot deliver desired outcomes in response to large societal issues. Cross-sector collaboration is also evident in the sport industry, with the staging of the Olympic Games as an obvious example of the need for government-to-government collaboration, and with international and domestic sport organisations and businesses generally, in order to deliver one of the world’s biggest events (Hautbois, Parent, & Se´guin, 2012; Parent, MacDonald, & Goulet, 2014). Cross-sector collaboration is defined by Bryson, Crosby, and Stone (2006) as ‘‘the linking or sharing of information, resources, activities, and capabilities by organisations in two or more sectors to achieve jointly an outcome that could not be achieved by organisations in one sector separately’’ (p. 44). In the Olympic Games example, sport organisations do not have the capacity to deliver an event of this magnitude, hence the need to link, share and build capacity by working with government to obtain infrastructure and resources not otherwise available. Inevitably, these forms of cross-sector

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 392446164. E-mail address: [email protected] (D. Shilbury). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2016.04.004 1441-3523/ß 2016 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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collaborations, in which continuity can be expected to endure for a sustained period of time, shape governance mechanisms used to facilitate the achievement of common goals established for the project or task. Agreement is required on project objectives, and who is responsible for the general oversight, performance and strategic direction of the team charged with delivering outcomes. The formalisation of such cross-sector measures ultimately leads to the establishment of more formal governance arrangements. Referred to as collaborative governance, a number of scholars have begun to investigate the nature of this form of governance. Ansell and Gash (2008), for example, define collaborative governance as a ‘‘governing arrangement where one or more public agencies directly engage non-state stakeholders in a collective decision-making process that is formal, consensus-oriented, and deliberative and that aims to make or implement public policy or manage public programmes or assets’’ (p. 544). Collaborative governance has its origins in public administration as government increasingly grapples with the need to deliver a wide array of public services to communities (Ansell & Gash, 2008; Emerson, Nabatchi, & Balogh, 2012; Thomson & Perry, 2006). Rosenbloom and Gong (2013) argued that this form of governance is appealing for government because work may be performed more effectively, with a more market-driven approach, greater diversity of networks developed both between governments and outside governments, and the potential political benefits of smaller government and a wider distribution of contracts throughout regions. What is not so clear is how collaborative governance works in a practical sense, and how it works in organisational arrangements not necessarily driven by a government imperative to build partnerships to deliver wider social outcomes. National sport organisations (NSOs) in Australia, and other countries grounded in a federal form of governance, face special challenges in adopting a whole-of-sport governance approach. Each member organisation in a federal model for all intents and purposes is primarily focused on the performance of its organisation within its geographical boundaries, with arguably a secondary focus on the development of whole-of-sport initiatives from a national perspective. Alm (2013), in an industry based report, discussed the emergent networked form of governance that now is synonymous with international sport and its associated federations. Likewise, Dickson, Arnold, and Chalip (2005) explore inter-organisational relationships concerning franchises in a professional sport league. Although Freeburn’s (2010) work examined the suitability of the good governance principles previously outlined by the Australian Sport Commission (ASC), very few studies have been directed at how NSOs might overcome the shortcomings specifically related to the federal model. Collaborative governance, like most forms of governance, is intrinsically linked to the behaviours and actions of those charged to govern (Ansell & Gash, 2008). Although a significant array of work within the sport governance domain has explored issues such as the role of the board (O’Boyle & Bradbury, 2013; Shilbury, 2001; Yeh & Taylor, 2008); volunteer motivations for serving on boards (Cuskelly & Boag, 2001); board performance and composition (Hoye & Doherty, 2011; Taylor & O’Sullivan, 2009); shared leadership (Hoye, 2004, 2006); and board strategic capability (Ferkins & Shilbury, 2010; Ferkins, Shilbury, & McDonald, 2009), less work has focussed on the characteristics of the federal model itself and its impact on effective sport governance practice. Some studies, however, have highlighted how a federal structure combined with the leisure characteristics of sport, and the leisure motivations of those charged with governing sport organisations, lead to behaviours that impede or inhibit a culture of good governance (Ferkins & Shilbury, 2010; Ferkins et al., 2009; O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016; Shilbury, Ferkins, & Smythe, 2013; Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015). Given the challenges of a federal model within many national sport systems, and the promising deployment of collaborative governance in the sphere of public administration, we posit that collaborative governance is a relevant theoretical underpinning upon which to base future sport governance research in the federal model context. Hence, we employ the integrative framework of collaborative governance developed by Emerson et al. (2012) to identify, investigate and posit research questions relevant to the governance of NSOs working in a federal model. The collaborative governance regime (CGR) proposed by Emerson et al. (2012) was based on an extensive review and synthesis of the literature (notably Ansell & Gash, 2008; Huxham, 2003; Huxham, Vangen, Huxham, & Eden, 2000; Huxham & Vangen, 2005) leading to the framework shown in Fig. 1 later in this paper. In using this framework, we are mindful that the emerging body of work on collaborative governance within the public sector is not yet sufficiently mature to have undergone extensive empirical critique (Oh & Bush, 2016). Part of our purpose in applying it to the federal model context in sport is to assist in evaluating its utility and to contribute to this ongoing conversation. Emerson et al. noted that their ‘‘definition of collaborative governance is broader than what is commonly seen in the literature’’ (p. 2), largely a result of having drawn from a much wider range of fields (e.g., environmental management, conflict resolution, as well as public administration). Significantly, the authors assert that the CGR may be relevant to scholars and practitioners working in settings beyond the sphere of public administration. Sport governance and public administration governance undoubtedly face different contexts, challenges, and pressures (Vangen et al., 2015) and therefore we do not argue that findings and models from one can be directly applicable to the other. However, given the growth of the collaborative governance literature in public administration we use this work merely as a foundation upon which to argue for future investigative efforts of the collaborative governance phenomena in the sporting context. The purpose of this paper is to explore the utility of collaborative governance as a relevant theoretical underpinning upon which to base future sport governance research focussed on the federal model of governance. The outcome of this exploration is a set of research questions specific to the sport context based on the CGR presented in Emerson et al.’s framework. This evolves as a three-fold process. First, we present our argument as to why collaborative governance is relevant to the NSO setting. Second, we show how the integrative framework can help identify and organise a research agenda in relation to sport governance. In this, essentially, we argue that for NSOs, there is an inherent need for the sharing of

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Fig. 1. Integrative framework for collaborative governance. Source: Emerson et al. (2012, p. 6). By permission Oxford University Press.

information, resources, activities and capabilities between a NSO and its member associations (MAs) in the same way government agencies have developed collaborative arrangements, as described in the public administration literature. We describe a collaborative network as a culture of successful governance via cooperation and ongoing collaboration between entities comprising these systems. Third, we explore relevant theoretical relationships for sport governance. Cunningham (2013) argued that theory is a bedrock upon which good research rests. In order to develop sound questions, it is important that these questions are based on sound theory. This also helps researchers to craft their methods, analyse their data, interpret their results, and draw conclusions. Likewise, Doherty (2013) suggested theory should be the foundation of both research and practice as it can guide questioning and aid explanation, prediction, and control. In this paper, we demonstrate potential theoretical interactions between a number of elements that emerged from a synthesis of the questions and propositions laid out in this paper, namely, how [2_TD$IF]‘‘Power and Structure[3_TD$IF]’’ within a federal model impacts [2_TD$IF]‘‘People: Leadership and Motivation[3_TD$IF]’’ and, in turn, the [2_TD$IF]‘‘Decision-[4_TD$IF]Making’’ that takes place within these networks.

2. National sport organisations and collaborative governance Emerson et al. (2012) asserted that ‘‘our definition does not limit collaborative governance to only formal, state-initiated arrangements, and to engagement between government and nongovernmental stakeholders’’ (p. 3). Taking this expansive view, the authors define collaborative governance as: . . . the process and structures of public policy decision-making and management that engage people constructively across the boundaries of public agencies, levels of government, and/or the public, private and civic spheres in order to carry out a public purpose that could not otherwise be accomplished. (p. 3) It is the contention of this paper, that the delivery of sport, for the benefit of the community is consistent with the aim of carrying out a public purpose involving a number of interrelated non-profit sport organisations supported by government policy and funding. In countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, sport is typically not owned by any one individual or company. Although there are examples of privately-owned professional sport clubs, a sport code is usually governed and managed by a network of non-profit national and state/provincial sport organisations which has come to be known as the federal model. In Australia for instance, the federal model is a direct reflection of the political system in place within the country. These national and state sport organisations are governed by interested volunteers in a

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specific sport. Many of these organisations could not offer the services that they do without significant volunteer input and substantial government funding to support programmes to enhance participation across all sectors of the community, and to nurture and develop elite athletes to compete on the world stage (Cuskelly & Boag, 2001; Cuskelly, Hoye, & Auld, 2006; Inglis, 1994). The voluntary nature of governance positions (i.e., board composition) within sporting networks creates an additional interesting variable to explore in terms of its impact on a CGR, and arguably transcends the complexities commonly associated with the mere structural components of a CGR. At its most basic level, in Australia, the governance of a sport code normally involves an NSO, six state sport organisations and two territory sport organisations, which then filters down further to include regional associations and, finally, a multitude of community-based clubs. Responsibility for the governance of a sport code resides principally with the national, state and territory sport organisations, all of which are typically created as separate legal entities and, collectively, through their respective constitutions, recognise a common national governing body for the sport. The frustrations associated with governing in this federal form of governance have increasingly been recognised as a significant barrier to good governance (Dickson et al., 2005; Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015; Shilbury et al., 2013). This structural impediment that impacts behaviours, combined with the varying motivations of the volunteers elected to the boards of these associations, further enhance frustrations (Cuskelly et al., 2006). The extent to which this issue has become problematic is obvious in the ASC’s release of its Mandatory Sports Governance Principles (ASC, 2013) in response to governance tensions and the inability of national and state sport organisations in the one code to establish a common strategic direction for their sport. In the ASC document it is stated that: The time is now here to raise the bar, recognising that organisations that are managing public investment and member interests must have structures in place that reflect a greater level of professionalism . . . Good governance is a necessary condition for success. (p. 1) It is clear from this statement that the federal government views its support of sport organisations as a form of public investment and, therefore, expects an efficient and optimal use of these funds. It is also clear that the government sees the need to mandate action in relation to governance. Ultimately, those elected (or appointed) to govern sport organisations are responsible for organisational outcomes. Furthermore, Principle 1.2 in the ASC’s mandatory principles specifically articulates the concerns embodied within the federal model: ‘‘Where sports have [a] federated structure, all parts of the federation must demonstrate they are working in cohesion and adhere to a strategic direction set by the national entity to maximise the interests of the sport’’ (p. 2). In addition, Principle 3.3 states that: ‘‘NSOs need to adopt rolling three-year strategic plans with clear and measurable targets, including a detailed operational budget for the next financial year’’ (p. 5). In effect, this means a single three-year plan endorsed by all MAs at state/territory level, in contrast to a situation where each state/territory has their own independent strategic plan, which may or may not reflect the strategic directions espoused by the national body. Therein lies the greatest challenge; how to harness the intellectual capital, energy and focus of each individual association into one cohesive direction for a sport. Other than disestablishing each MA and re-creating one single unitary organisation governing a sport, or using financial incentives or penalties to dictate direction for those few sports that can, collaborative governance may provide the answer through which to achieve the mandated principles, as Bowls Australia has done with its MAs commencing in 2012/13 (Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015). As Shilbury and Ferkins described, Bowls Australia, in collaboration with its MAs, was able to produce a strategic plan for bowls in Australia crafted and endorsed by its MAs. The underlying principle was that the vision, mission, values and six strategic priority areas would be common to all MA plans, with flexibility to add strategic priority areas and actions that might reflect specific state needs. Theoretically, collaborative governance appears to be a good fit when shaping governance practices of NSOs. Limited research, however, has been undertaken investigating collaborative governance in this setting. As argued above, there is a clear need for governance mechanisms that facilitate greater cohesiveness across a sport, and in ways in which each MA feels as if it has actively contributed to the strategic direction, and subsequently engages a state/territory association to comply with the agreed strategic direction. How this might occur in a practical sense requires further work, as does the deeper examination of the theoretical issues associated with collaborative governance and how a theoretical lens might identify and shape a future research agenda in this area. With this goal in mind, this paper moves to the next section where the Emerson et al. (2012) integrative framework is used to organise and review collaborative governance as it might apply to sport organisations. 3. Collaborative governance regime Fig. 1 illustrates Emerson et al.’s (2012) integrative framework, which, as the authors note, was framed by looking: . . . across various research lenses to see how they might inform collaborative governance, that is, to see how different research streams could illuminate the drivers, engagement processes, motivational attributes, and joint capacities that enable shared decision-making, management, implementation, and other activities across organizations, jurisdictions and sectors. (pp. 4–5) Collaborative governance has emerged as a response to the failures of downstream implementation and to the high cost and politicisation of regulation. It has developed as an alternative to the often adversarial approach of interest groups, and to the

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accountability failures of managerialism (Ansell & Gash, 2008). One might argue that trends towards collaboration also arise from the growth of knowledge and institutional capacity. As knowledge becomes increasingly specialised and distributed and as institutional infrastructures become more complex and interdependent, the demand for collaboration increases. Emerson et al.’s (2012) paper is an important addition to the collaborative governance literature as the variation in the scope and scale of perspectives on collaborative governance both in research and practice, was arguably acting as an inhibitor for the ability of researchers to further develop and test theory. The framework addresses some of the conceptual limitations associated with the study of collaborative governance. It synthesises and extends a suite of conceptual frameworks, research findings, and practice-based knowledge into an integrative framework for researching, practicing, and evaluating collaborative governance. Moreover, and crucially for the purposes of the current paper and as noted previously, the framework draws on and applies knowledge and concepts from a wide range of fields to collaborative governance. This creates opportunity to explore how collaborative governance could be applied in the federal model of sport governance context, based on the Emerson et al. (2012) framework. Fig. 1 shows three nested dimensions including the outermost box representing the system context, or the broad environmental influences normally inclusive of legal, socio-economic and political factors. These broad environmental influences, according to Emerson et al. (2012), generate both opportunities and constraints determining the conditions for collaborative governance in the first place. In Fig. 1, the drivers influence all aspects of the integrative model and (although not specifically depicted, but described later) include leadership, consequential incentives, interdependence, and uncertainty. In broad terms, these drivers describe the direction-setting function in the model. Emerson et al. used the term ‘regime’ to ‘‘encompass the particular mode of, or system for, public decision-making in which cross-boundary collaboration represents the prevailing pattern of behaviour and activity’’ (p. 60). In Fig. 1, the CGR is shown by the middle box, and within it, the collaboration dynamics and actions represent the regime and its effectiveness. The dynamics associated with collaborative governance consist of three interrelated components: ‘‘principled engagement, shared motivation and capacity for joint action’’ (Emerson et al., 2012, p. 6). These three components combine to produce the collaborative actions, impacts and adaptations of the regime. Finally, in any system, the combined forces at play in Fig. 1 have the potential to impact internal systems, and the broader system context in which the regime exists. Fig. 1 was formulated by Emerson et al. to establish a set of propositions for use in theory building. No specific context was applied to their framework, but, the potential application to various sectors, they argued, is wide-ranging. This present paper will now move to use the integrative framework shown in Fig. 1 to analyse the system context, CGR, and collaboration dynamics associated with the governance of NSOs in the Australian context. In so doing, a more detailed overview of Fig. 1 will emerge with specific relevance to the federal model of sport governance, as will a series of research directions and propositions designed to shape future research and theory building in relation to collaborative governance and NSOs governing in a federal model. 3.1. General system context In their model of collaborative governance, Ansell and Gash (2008) argued that three influences dictate an organisation’s readiness for collaborative governance. These conditions include power-resource knowledge asymmetries, incentives for constraints on participation, and a prehistory of cooperation or conflict. Emerson et al. (2012) argued that their general system context is more broadly applied than just identifying a state of readiness for collaborative governance. The authors stated that ‘‘this external system context creates opportunities and constraints and influences the general parameters within which a CGR unfolds’’ (p. 8). In other words, there is a greater recognition that there is a two-way interaction between a CGR and its general environment. A range of issues may be acting as barriers to the implementation of a CGR such as the resources available to a network (Ostrom, 1990); policy and legal frameworks (Bingham & O’Leary, 2008); political power and control (Ansell & Gash, 2008); the degree of connectedness across networks (Selin & Chavez, 1995); and a developed culture that has been unwilling to accept change (Sabatier et al., 2005). Shilbury and Ferkins (2015) reported in relation to Bowls Australia, how the combined forces of a federal model of governance, and volunteer knowledge of governance and motivations, created high levels of distrust between Bowls Australia and MAs. This helped to explain a prehistory of conflict, and ongoing jockeying for power and resources by the larger MAs, in particular. In this example, the researchers reported many strategic and governance-related issues prompting the need for a more collaborative approach. The issues explored within the Shilbury and Ferkins (2015) paper, in reality, were also fuelled by the ongoing professionalisation and commercialisation of sport in Australia. As more money has become available to NSOs, both from government, sponsorship and other commercial opportunities, a more accountable, more transparent, and greater need for good governance has become essential? It is evident that, in this transition from an amateur, volunteer-driven sector to one increasingly reliant on paid staff and professionalised governance and management practice, tensions exist across NSO-MA networks (Cuskelly et al., 2006; Shilbury et al., 2013). Like any organisation, the general system context influences the dynamics and strategic direction. General system context influence is equally evident in shaping the potential for collaborative governance through normal economic cycles, elections and change of government and government legislation. Although it is recognised by Emerson et al. (2012) that current conditions influence and shape competition or cooperation among member organisations, stakeholders and relevant agencies, they also argued that it is the essential drivers of organisational leadership, consequential incentives, interdependence, and uncertainty that ultimately shape collaborative governance.

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3.2. Drivers Leadership is the first of the essential drivers proposed by Emerson et al. (2012). Although recognising that leadership can occur outside of assigned positions (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009), the official leaders of any CGR, first and foremost, need to possess a commitment to solving problems through collaborative engagement. Ability by assigned leaders to demonstrate impartiality in negotiations, and not be seen as an advocate for any particular facet of the regime, is also considered essential (Bryson et al., 2006; Selin & Chavez, 1995). The implementation of a CGR may ultimately be a costly endeavour, therefore, assigned leaders also need to direct resources (e.g., people, time, money etc.) towards such a process to provide it with the best chance of success. Ansell and Gash (2008) argued the need for facilitative leadership within such a regime. The empirical work of Shilbury and Ferkins (2015) highlights the need for the emergence of facilitative leadership within sport governance to enable the adoption of a CGR. The second driver is consequential incentives which refers to ‘‘either internal (problems, resource needs, interests, or opportunities) or external (situational or institutional crises, threats, or opportunities) drivers for collaborative action’’ (Emerson et al., 2012, p. 9). As Selin and Chavez (1995) argue, the presence of such incentives, either positive or negative, serves to stimulate the sense of need for collaborative governance. The introduction of the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governing Principles provides one example of consequential incentives to engage in a CGR, as, if Principles 1.2 and 3.3 described above are not being followed, the ASC may restrict the level of funding supplied to a given sporting network. Aside from this example, little is known about what possible incentives exist to stimulate such action in NSO-MA networks and, in particular, motivate MAs to enact a CGR. Critical to this knowledge, is an understanding of the motivations that drive volunteer board member involvement, CEO motivation for collaboration, and the differences between the two cohorts (Cuskelly & Boag, 2001; Inglis, 1994). Incentives that might stimulate a greater whole-of-sport CGR include a significant reduction in government funding available to the sport as noted above, a significant downturn in elite performance at key international competitions such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and world championships, or a threat to facility availability and a general decline in participation numbers. The negative incentives, in the form of a crisis, are easier to identify, but in what form would positive incentives emerge? The third driver is interdependence, or ‘‘when individuals and organisations are unable to accomplish something on their own . . .’’ (Emerson et al., 2012, p. 9). This may be the purest example of a consequential incentive, transcending all other reasoning for collaborative action (Thomson & Perry, 2006). It is also an inherently interesting driver in the sporting context, as it could be hypothesised that in the high-participation sports in Australia, the larger MAs in the network could accomplish both participation outcomes and produce elite athletes with minimal support from the NSO, therefore reducing their dependence on an NSO. The nature of some sporting codes in Australia sees large imbalances in popularity across various states, with the majority of participants (and therefore revenue, power, resources, etc.) occasionally residing in two or three states alone. Regardless of this situation, as each MA in the federal model is a separate legal entity in its own right, it is capable of achieving participation and high performance outcomes to a greater or lesser extent as an individual organisation. Smaller MAs, however, are more dependent on common programming and resources. How the balance between larger and smaller MAs impacts the need for collaborative governance is also worth further investigation. The final driver is uncertainty. Uncertainty that cannot be resolved internally is more likely to create the need to search for partners to reduce, diffuse, and share the risk (Emerson et al., 2012; Koppenjan & Klijn, 2004). Sport by its very nature induces a strong array of social issues, many of which are reflective of deep societal issues. Anti-doping, gambling, matchfixing and corruption are a few examples of how a NSO-MA network might seek to collaborate to fight a specific problem. On the surface, however, it is not immediately apparent how this type of uncertainty would lead to a greater need for collaborative governance between NSOs and MAs. It is possible in a sport besieged by doping issues (as was weightlifting in the 1990s) that this could act as a catalyst for a concerted national approach to eradicate drug use from a sport. Given sport’s deep connection with societal issues, it is unknown how this form of uncertainty influences the need for a CGR, and common policies aimed at responding to important social issues and regulatory frameworks associated with anti-doping, match fixing and corruption, gender equity and gay and lesbian rights. Emerson et al. (2012) proposed that one or more of these four drivers are necessary for a CGR to form. However, the extent to which leadership, consequential incentives, interdependence, and uncertainty either facilitate or impede the implementation of a CGR in a sporting network is, as of yet, unknown. There is a need for a deeper exploration of the key factors that may influence the success or failure of a sport based CGR. Relevant questions to emerge from this section include: In a NSO-MA network, who is responsible for initiating support for a CGR? What rationale could be used to persuade NSOs and MAs to participate in a collaborative network? What barriers exist to prevent a collaborative network from evolving? What is the difference between a collaborative/cooperative operating environment and collaborative governance? What incentives exist to stimulate such action? What motivations drive volunteer board members and CEOs to consider collaboration and what are the differences between the two cohorts?  How does the balance between larger and smaller MAs (revenue, power, resources) impact the need for collaborative governance?  Does uncertainty lead to a greater need for collaboration? If so, what types of uncertainty?      

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3.3. Collaboration dynamics As Emerson et al. noted, ‘‘the integrative framework introduces the term CGR, to denote a system in which crossboundary collaboration represents the predominant mode for the conduct, decision-making, and activity’’ (p. 10). As indicated above, the four drivers shape structure and behaviour of a CGR, and in this case, the structure is naturally established through the network of the NSO and MAs. Direction, however, is less obvious. If, as was the case with Bowls Australia (Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015), a CGR was established with clear direction, how would the collaboration dynamics and actions of a NSO-MA network operate? The collaborative process is often conveyed as a sequential progression that provides a scaffolding effect, over time, from defining the problem to setting a direction and implementation (Daniels & Walker, 2001; Selin & Chavez, 1995). As a contrast to this scaffolding effect, the Emerson et al. (2012) integrated framework views the process as cyclical which is reflected in the work of Thomson and Perry (2006) and Ansell and Gash (2008). This section will examine three interacting components of the collaboration dynamics and their associated elements: principled engagement (discovery; definition; deliberation; determination); shared motivation (mutual trust; mutual understanding; internal legitimacy; shared commitment); and capacity for joint action (procedural/institutional arrangements; leadership; knowledge; resources). Fig. 1 illustrates the interactive nature of these component parts as three small cogs, and as each turns, it connects and interacts with the other two component parts. Principled engagement. Emerson et al. (2012) identified four processes that occur over time in achieving principled engagement. They include ‘‘discovery, definition, deliberation, and determination’’ (p. 11). These processes can also be thought of as similar to the four stages of group formation—forming, storming, norming and performing—in that they reflect social processes with new group formation, or in the case of existing networks and groups, the need to revisit or re-connect with vision, mission and values. A process of re-discovery rather than pure discovery may be required in the NSO-MA context, as it is a facet of organisational life that is ongoing as a consequence of volunteer director turnover, and the variance in governance skills and knowledge accompanying volunteer directors (Cuskelly & Boag, 2001; Hoye & Doherty, 2011; Inglis, 1994). Consequently, in a NSO-MA network, the definition process is critical, and requires constant review of, and reinforcement of vision, mission and values as belonging to the entire sport, not just an NSO, or one or more of the MAs. Embedded in this definition phase is the need to be clear on the role and purpose of the NSO and MAs, including the expectations and tasks of each entity. Typically, these types of discussions could also be classified as deliberative, which is based on consensus decision-making, and the ability of participants to reach an outcome for the common good of the sport. Unlike most decision-making in NSOMA networks, it is not simply an aggregation of common interests (Roberts, 2004), as has been the case in the federal model when combined with a delegate form of decision-making. Achieving substantive outcomes from deliberative debate leads logically to determinations, which is the key characteristic of deliberative, candid and open discussion (Emerson, Orr, Keyes, & McKnight, 2009). The outcomes that are produced from a collaborative process are likely to be more easily adopted, fairer, more robust and effective (Innes & Booher, 1999; Susskind & Cruikshank, 1987). Outcomes might include agreement of vision, mission and organisational values, or key aspects of a shared strategic plan and strategic priority areas and actions (Ferkins et al., 2009; Ferkins & Shilbury, 2010; Shilbury & Ferkins, 2011). Outcomes could also include the establishment of work groups or policies in important social areas such as anti-doping, match-fixing and corruption. At their most diverse, principled engagement processes capture the need to build trust and rapport between people from a range of organisations contributing to a network (Lulofs & Cahn, 2000). In an NSO, however, although volunteer directors come to a sport from a diverse range of backgrounds and all levels of the community, there is generally homogeneity of purpose or understanding of the common goal to govern and manage a sport (Shilbury, 2001). On the surface, at least, principled engagement should be an easier task in a NSO-MA network than in larger, more complex and newer forms of collaborative structures. The evidence presented earlier in this paper in relation to the tensions between NSOs and MAs leading to the need for mandatory governance principles, suggests that despite this homogeneity of purpose, principled engagement is somewhat elusive. Trust, or low levels thereof, appears to act as a significant inhibitor to the adoption of a CGR. Principled engagement can help to repair or build trust between various actors in a sporting network (Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015). One of the inherent challenges for NSOs in Australia is the geographically disparate nature of its constituent members, and the inability to easily facilitate face-to-face dialogue. This barrier has largely been removed with enhanced technology and the ability to connect through a range of technologies designed to facilitate meetings via the Internet. However, the extent to which NSOs and MAs make use of technology to ensure ongoing principled engagement is largely unknown. Research questions with regard to principled engagement include:      

To what extent do NSOs and MAs have a common whole-of-sport vision, mission and values statement? How do NSOs and MAs use vision, mission and values as part of the (re)discovery and definition phase? How frequently are vision, mission, and values revisited? What types of decision-making processes are used, or could be used? To what extent is use made of consensus decision-making vs aggregated self-interest? To what extent do NSOs and MAs make use of technology to ensure principled engagement is ongoing?

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Shared motivation. Emerson et al. (2012) identified four elements of shared motivation, ‘‘mutual trust, understanding, internal legitimacy, and commitment’’ (p. 13), with the four elements similar to the Ansell and Gash (2008) model of collaborative governance. Although initiated by principled engagement, shared motivation should reinforce and accelerate principled engagement, and is the second of the collaboration dynamics. Trust is perceived as essential and, in the formation of a new collaborative entity, is developed through principled engagement and reinforced through shared motivations (Huxham & Vangen, 2005; Leach & Sabatier, 2005). In many ways, creating trust may be easier in a new network than in an established network, such as in the NSO-MA relationship, because there may be a need to overcome previous high levels of distrust which can significantly impede progress on the development of a CGR. In this instance, years of conflict in a federal model grounded in delegate or representative decision-making, can take significant time and effort to overcome through the processes and dynamics explicated in Fig. 1. Developing a mutual understanding is the second element of shared motivation and is an outcome of developing trust within a network (Daniels & Walker, 2001; Emerson et al., 2012). Mutual understanding in this context is not necessarily a shared understanding (Ansell & Gash, 2008) but one in which consensus decision-making applies where, although people may not agree with a certain direction, they can, and do understand others’ positions and interests and the logic for certain actions. In a NSO-MA network, developing mutual understanding is difficult where isolated action by each MA has been the norm. It is easy to see the impact this has had on trust (Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015). Mutual understanding is also a precursor to what Emerson et al. describe as the third element of shared motivation—legitimacy. Trustworthiness and credibility, developed through principled engagement and mutual understanding, are essential to validating the integrity and interests of those involved for the greater good of the sport. Ultimately, this legitimacy and validation of motivation lead to a sense of shared commitment, the fourth element of shared motivation. Committing to a shared path by all boards, directors and staff throughout a sport should be the outcome of repeated quality interactions through principled engagement and its interaction with shared motivation. Use of a process such as strategic planning to develop a shared direction by all MAs, as described by Ferkins et al. (2009) and Ferkins and Shilbury (2010), is one way through which the dynamics of principled engagement and shared motivations position a NSO-MA network for the capacity for joint action. The questions pertaining to shared motivation include:     

What barriers impede establishing mutual trust in an existing NSO-MA network? How does the separate legal status of each MA influence mutual understanding? How do the geographically disparate locations of MAs influence mutual understanding? How is commitment to collaborative governance demonstrated? Is there evidence of shared commitment to collaborative governance through a whole-of-sport strategic planning process?

Capacity for joint action. Capacity for joint action is the final collaboration dynamic. Institutions create incentives which shape behaviour (Dickson et al., 2005). Previous sport governance literature and indeed industry reports have documented this issue from both an economic and legal perspective (Alm, 2013; Freeburn, 2010; Szymanski & Ross, 2007). Although the capacity for joint action is automatically derived from NSO and MA constitutions by recognising each other and defining a common purpose, it does not automatically equate to enhancing the capacity of both the NSO and MAs to achieve a common purpose. The rationale behind a genuine CGR is to synergistically generate new capacity for joint action that did not previously exist in a model where MAs largely worked in isolation of an NSO. Capacity building and sharing of resources, skills and knowledge is therefore critical to enhance capacity for joint action. Four elements are identified by Emerson et al. (2012) as necessary for joint action. They include: procedural and institutional arrangements, leadership, knowledge, and resources. Procedural and institutional arrangements have perhaps been the most controversial of the four elements. How a sport governs and manages itself has been the subject of considerable scrutiny in recent years. The efficacy of a delegate, or representative, form of governance in a federal model has consistently been challenged, and is slowly disappearing as the predominant form of institutional arrangements. Under this system, at the NSO level, delegates from state/regional affiliates have assumed board positions with responsibility for promoting the interests of their ‘home’ states (Hoye & Cuskelly, 2003, 2007; Kikulis, 2000; Shilbury, 2001; Taylor & O’Sullivan, 2009). A CGR, by definition, is more concerned with the progression of whole-of-sport ideology, therefore, other board structures at the NSO level may be better suited for its implementation. The delegate system as a form of governance has tended to reinforce self-interest at an individual and organisational level at the expense of the greater good of the sport. The tensions embedded in this form of governance were captured by Shilbury et al. (2013) in their examination of the lived experiences of Malcolm Speed, a 30-year veteran of the sport industry who had worked in two high-profile sports at community, state, national and international levels. The tensions were described through the labels of volunteer and cultural encounters, structural encounters, and adversarial encounters. In summary, this work and others (e.g., Hoye & Cuskelly, 2007; Papadimitriou, 1999; Taylor & O’Sullivan, 2009) have shown that in this form of institutional arrangement, there was little room for genuine collaboration, highlighting again the importance of principled engagement and shared motivation as a precursor to the capacity for joint action. Leadership is the second element of capacity for joint action. The importance of leadership in facilitating a CGR in the public administration literature is widely accepted (Bingham & O’Leary, 2008; Carlson, 2007). In a sporting context, it is arguably critical in the conversion of a NSO-MA network from a delegate system of self-interested parties to a governing collaboration of independently-elected directors who seek to enjoin the combined knowledge, skills, resources and goodwill of each entity for the greater good of the sport.

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The leadership required can be external to the NSO-MA network (as noted earlier), or internal to a sport. In many instances, an external leader, facilitator, or regulator is required to expose sport organisations to the possible options to govern collaboratively as opposed to the entrenched patterns of adversarial behaviours evident across many NSO-MA networks (Shilbury et al., 2013). A central finding of the study of collaborative governance in Bowls Australia by Shilbury and Ferkins (2015) also shows leadership, and collective board strategic leadership in particular, as a critical outcome. Although the initial reason for trialling collaborative governance in Bowls Australia was the result of externally-facilitated leadership, its ongoing use was reliant on the ability of the Bowls Australia Board to demonstrate collective leadership to maintain a collaborative approach. This necessitated a significant shift from a hierarchical pattern of thinking in relation to governance, and, by definition, leadership. In this example, there was little knowledge of collaborative governance and its capacity to shape joint action. Knowledge is therefore the currency of collaboration and is the third element in the capacity for joint action—not just the knowledge of governance styles, but the ability to recognise what knowledge could and should be shared across the network of sport organisations, and knowledge that needs to be co-created (Agranoff, 2007). There is little point, for example, in eight MAs undertaking market research to better understand their participants. One whole-of-sport study would meet the needs of all MAs and the NSO in a given sport. Member databases are an area traditionally protected by MAs, where, in reality, the aggregation of these databases could realise enormous advantages for a sport in terms of capitalising on marketing and sponsorship opportunities, and enhancing engagement across the sport. Protection of member databases has also been about resources, the final element in capacity for joint action. Member affiliation fees are a frequently used means through which to generate resources to grow and develop a sport. In this instance, each level lower in the system pays an affiliation fee per member to the higher association. In other words, MAs pay an affiliation fee per member to the NSO. Despite the entrenched and isolated views that have traditionally characterised MA behaviour in the Australian context, many NSOs and MAs are moving to develop shared resources. Thomson and Perry (2006) suggested that one of the major benefits of a CGR is the ability to share and leverage such scarce resources in a network. In a non-profit sporting network, funding is often seen as the most valuable (and sometimes scarce) resource, however, there is arguably also significant potential to share other needed resources. For example, as a more legalised and regulated environment now defines the sporting industry in general, insurance issues become an increasing concern for NSO-MA networks. A single insurance policy providing cover for an entire network could create financial benefits for organisations, based on economies of scale, and may also act as an initial collaborative action to increase momentum and interaction in the network. Increasingly, national information technology platforms or marketing plans are being introduced across all MAs, and, as is the case with Cricket Australia, one network of sport development policies, procedures and personnel has been implemented throughout Australia. These examples illustrate movement towards collaborative actions, but they are not necessarily evidence of a move to a CGR. This movement may be an outcome of the three collaboration dynamics interactively working towards collaborative action. Collaborative governance, however, is more than action, as it seeks to establish ongoing mechanisms that formalise its implementation across the span of governance-related processes and procedures (Thomas & Koontz, 2011). The goal of collaborative governance is to seek enhanced outcomes for a sport, not necessarily achievable through the individual efforts of each MA. Therefore, the processes and procedures for collaborative governance by an NSO should be determined in collaboration with MAs. Ultimately, as Emerson et al. (2012) acknowledged, collaborative ‘‘actions are more likely to be achieved if a shared theory of action is identified explicitly among the collaboration partners. . .’’ (p. 18). The issues discussed above raise the following questions:  To what extent do boards understand the difference between hierarchical and network forms of leadership?  Can a CGR exist in a governing structure predicated on delegate representation and decision-making?  What is the capacity and readiness for shared knowledge, shared leadership, and shared resourcing? 3.4. Impacts and adaptations As Emerson et al. (2012) noted, the impacts attributed to collaborative governance are not well documented and conceptualised in the extant literature. Collaborative actions may take place as described above regarding branding, insurance, or sport policy, but how these actions can be specifically attributed to a CGR remains unclear. In public administration both Innes and Booher (1999) and Lubell, Leach, and Sabatier (2009) referred to different levels of outcomes from collaborative initiatives, but there is inconsistency in the literature when exploring how a CGR is specifically responsible for such outcomes. This situation therefore creates a difficult task in relation to measuring the success/impact of a CGR in general. Shilbury and Ferkins’ (2015) study showed that a CGR may lead to increased outcomes for a federal sporting network; however, it remains unclear how to measure a CGR’s impact versus the traditional more isolated context within which organisations have operated in this federal model. An important factor in assessing a CGR is arguably the ‘results on the ground’ or impacts that can be easily attributed to the change in governance arrangements. Increased engagement and consultation in the strategic planning process as described by Shilbury and Ferkins (2015) could be deemed to be an impact of Bowls Australia’s receptiveness to collaborative governance. Aside from this, current research in sport governance has not examined the impacts of a CGR which may ultimately range from short to longer term impacts, with the former clearly being more readily assessable. It is important to

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note that impacts from a CGR may also be negative. For instance, increased face-to-face dialogue between individuals who have a prehistory of conflict may reinforce their preconceptions and damage any collaborative actions that were already unfolding in the network (Ansell & Gash, 2008; Emerson et al., 2012). Also unknown currently in the sport governance domain is what types of adaptations may be required in a sporting network to facilitate a CGR. Ultimately, these adaptations will be based on the extent and readiness of the drivers of a CGR (noted previously) and, as the process unfolds, it is likely that a dynamic and fluid environment would best facilitate such a change in governance arrangements. Given the almost parochial environment that has defined the federal model and its constituents in the past, it could be argued that a large alteration in the culture of a network would be required to facilitate such a dynamic environment where trust, mutual understanding, and shared motivation become paramount. Emerson et al. (2012) posit that if adaptations are not made to the CGR when required ‘‘the low costs of exiting the regime will lead to low participation or departure’’ (p. 19). Given the autonomy of organisations in a federal sporting network, adaptive behaviours may be challenging unless of course the drivers and collaboration dynamics in the systems context are already suitably embedded in the network. 4. A research agenda for theory development A significant number of issues and elements relating to an integrative framework of collaborative governance have been discussed above. The Emerson et al. (2012) framework is useful for identifying theoretical relationships that require investigation in the federal sport model context. Hence, we have identified a number of variables and hypothesised relationships. Stimulating new theoretical reasoning in the field of sport governance is important as the narrow use of theory has often been a criticism of previous governance studies (Cornforth, 2003; Pye & Pettigrew, 2005; Shilbury et al., 2013). Furthermore, the research agenda outlined may lead to theory building in sport governance that not only describes what is taking place in the federal model but may also help to explain phenomena. Traditionally, sport governance research has borrowed theoretical frameworks from other more developed fields of enquiry (Shilbury et al., 2013). However, as the discipline becomes more established, an increase in the building of theory that is specifically focussed on the sport governance domain is a necessary evolution. In Fig. 2, we group together a number of related questions into three distinct themes. These questions, in effect, provide direction for future sport governance research in relation to collaborative governance. As we interacted with these three themes and associated questions more deeply, it became evident there was perhaps a more powerful overarching set of interrelationships between the themes. This is captured in Fig. 2 with Theme 1, [2_TD$IF]‘‘Power and Structure[3_TD$IF]’’ theorised as potentially influencing the type, style and nature of the dynamics captured in Theme 2, [2_TD$IF]‘‘People: Leadership and Motivation[3_TD$IF]’’, which in turn may shape the type and nature of Theme 3, [2_TD$IF]‘‘Decision-Making[3_TD$IF]’’ in a NSO-MA network. The arrows in Fig. 2 illustrate these theorised relationships and the direction of these relationships. In other words, the federal structure by its very nature may shape governance behaviours and power relations in terms of delegate representation at national and state levels, and self-interest through the need for directors to represent the interests of the entity to which they have been elected, rather than for the greater good of the sport through the NSO. Moreover, volunteer director motivations and leadership skill and knowledge may also influence decision-making, which in the context of this paper, could enhance or detract from enacting collaborative governance. Although, it is suggested that there may be a more powerful overarching theory worthy of further investigation, it is the associated questions in each theme that provide direction for future research endeavours. The specific themes and associated questions are further considered below. Power and Structure is the first of the three themes. The structure of the federal model often results in a culture of relative isolation where an NSO and MAs can operate independently with little collaboration in relation to the achievement of strategic imperatives or operational outcomes. However, it is also likely that ad hoc collaboration will take place in various federal sporting networks in relation to event hosting, specific initiatives, or other projects. The frequency of this type of collaboration will undoubtedly vary between different networks. What is currently unknown is how a more formal CGR differs from this type of ad hoc collaboration. Achieving mutual understanding in a federal network presents a major challenge as the separate legal status of each MA, combined with the power imbalance between larger and smaller MAs, may have a significant impact on the likelihood of a CGR unfolding. Combining these issues with the geographically disparate locations of MAs in Australia, for example, and the parochial environment that is often a criticism of federal networks suggests that the adoption of a CGR, essentially, comes down to the energy (or inertia) of the people occupying governance positions in these networks. Given this point, the second theme to emerge is People: Leadership and Motivation. In order to overcome the challenges and potential barriers to adopting a CGR, effective leadership and motivation appear to be important catalysts to facilitate this change. Leading a change process towards a CGR may be initiated by an MA or an external agent but, in all likelihood, it would be the CEO and board of the NSO that would be in the best position to lead this process. Articulating the incentives and motivating MAs to adopt a CGR may take deft skill, perhaps requiring mutual adjustment and certainly effective negotiation and communication skills. Within the sport governance domain, the motivations of volunteer board members and CEOs to consider adopting such a regime, and how these motivations may differ between the two cohorts is unknown.

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Fig. 2. Research themes and agenda for collaborative sport governance.

Ansell and Gash (2008) suggested that a move to a CGR may evolve as a result of a crisis or a level of uncertainty facing a network. Sporting networks may face various forms of uncertainty from changes in government policy and regulation, to decreases in funding, amongst other issues. However, whether or not this type of uncertainty may lead to a CGR and what role effective leadership has in this context is still largely unknown. There is a lack of understanding around the barriers that impede establishing mutual trust in these networks; how commitment to the collaborative process can be demonstrated; or the capacity and readiness for shared knowledge and leadership within the networks. If it is the board within an NSO which ultimately leads the implementation of a CGR, it can be assumed that a facilitative and democratic style of leadership would provide the network with the best opportunity to undertake collaborative governance (Ansell & Gash, 2012; O’Boyle & Shilbury, 2016). Given that adversarial encounters often occur between an NSO and MAs in a federal network, which may require other forms of leadership (Shilbury et al., 2013), uncovering the extent to which boards within an NSO-MA network understand the difference between hierarchical and network forms of leadership would be beneficial. The two themes of Power and Structure, and People: Leadership and Motivation, may ultimately impact Decision-Making within a federal network, which is the third and final theme to emerge. Given the likelihood of low levels of trust between various entities within a federal network and that decision-making can take place in relative isolation, a path of collaborative governance, arguably, has little chance of being implemented successfully if all parties are not involved in the decisionmaking processes relating to matters that ultimately impact the network as a whole. Therefore, understanding what types of decision-making processes are used, or could be used, to facilitate a CGR is deemed important. Finally, although NSOs and MAs ultimately have similar objectives in relation to participation and high performance results, it is unknown to what extent these entities have common whole-of-sport vision, mission, and value statements, or how often they are revisited to reinforce the synergies that could exist across a federal network. The geographically disparate locations of MAs make this process more difficult. However, with advances in technology, collaborative decision-making processes through principled engagement (as outlined previously) can be more readily undertaken now more than ever before. 5. Conclusions and implications for future research The depth and breadth of the research agenda pertaining to the theoretical relationships creates opportunities for additional empirical work in the collaborative sport governance domain. Various elements of the research agenda could be

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explored in this manner and the theoretical interactions, and associated questions could act as a guiding mechanism to increase our understanding of what is currently known in this area. Individual embedded case studies (Yin, 2013), where multiple organisations of the same network are used as the case site, or indeed comparative case studies involving multiple networks, would be particularly useful when applying elements of the research agenda for empirical study. Some of the questions laid out are potentially broad enough that they could be addressed singularly. However, the more likely approach would be to group together a number of these related questions to inform a larger research agenda that would advance the field of sport governance and increase our ability to develop and refine the proposed theoretical interactions occurring, as outlined in Fig. 2. Regardless of the area being explored, we suggest that the guiding questions for the overall framework always revert to the following: How the impact attributable to collaborative governance can be determined and assessed, and how the return-on-investment (time and people) to NSOs and MAs in those federal networks which are successful in implementing such a regime can be determined? In this paper, we do not assign weight or priority to any specific element of the research agenda. As noted above, there may be prerequisites such as one of the drivers being present before a regime can unfold, but, aside from this, further exploration is needed to understand which relationships and elements in the framework are crucial to implementing collaborative governance, and in what contexts. Although there has been no weight assigned to any elements of the framework, previous work in the collaborative governance domain (both sport and non-sport) has shown that leadership is a crucial factor in initiating and sustaining a CGR (Ansell & Gash, 2008; Shilbury & Ferkins, 2015). Therefore, studies that afford attention to the driver of leadership in the current framework would be of particular value in the sport governance domain. Given that we were unable to fully explore this theme in the current paper, further conceptual work specifically focussing on leadership in collaborative sport governance may be required before hypotheses are tested through empirical studies. Leadership appears to be particularly important when exploring issues in a federal sport governance network, as a culture of autonomy and self-interest is strongly embedded in these systems. In order for an NSO-MA network to accept and adopt a CGR, a fairly large cultural shift would have to unfold. Ultimately, this would have to be driven by capable leadership which could forge a path through the multiplicity of complex issues described in the research agenda and towards a CGR. We contend that the notion of a CGR would provide significant benefits to federally-based sporting networks, and could address a number of the deficiencies that have become synonymous with these systems. In the public administration literature, collaborative governance has evolved into a new paradigm where it is now seen as the forward-thinking way of doing business in that domain. The non-profit sporting industry has traditionally been behind the curve when adopting processes and systems that are being practised in more professionalised and commercialised environments. 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Please cite this article in press as: Shilbury, D., et al., Towards a research agenda in collaborative sport governance. Sport Management Review (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2016.04.004