An Olympic-sized challenge : effect of organizational pathology on maintaining and repairing organizational legitimacy in sports governing bodies / Stephanos Anastasiadis, Laura J. Spence

Anastasiadis, Stephanos | Spence, Laura J.

Private organizations increasingly wield public authority, with substantial impact on the lives of individual persons. Such authority is often paired with enhanced public scrutiny and decreased trust in the relevant organization, leading to a loss of legitimacy. This paper uses sports governing bodies to contribute to the literature on governance by developing theory on the interaction between organizational legitimacy and pathological internal structures. It takes a nuanced view of legitimacy and extends a model of organizational pathology. While primarily conceptual, the paper uses the well‐documented cases of the International Olympic Committee and, to a lesser extent, FIFA to illustrate how organizational pathology can not only undermine an organization's legitimacy, but can also interfere with its ability to perceive a path to legitimacy repair, even when it recognizes the necessity of doing so. The paper concludes with recommendations for practice and suggestions for future research looking beyond sports governing bodies.

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