Approaches and methods used for measuring organizational performance in national sport governing bodies from 1986 to 2014. A systematized review

Michael Barth, Eike Emrich, Frank Daumann


In a changing environment, new challenges and demands facing management in sports associations and sports politics are emerging, including the question of how to measure/assess the organizational performance (OP) in national sport governing bodies (NSGB). The characterization of NSGB shows that they are not to be understood as rational systems, but rather as natural and open ones. An examination of existing approaches for measuring OP in private non-profit organizations, which have the central characteristics of NSGB, reveals several problems/deviations, with regard to how organizations are (and should be) understood and analyzed. Based on a systematic review, the paper presents the theoretical approaches and the methods used for measuring OP in NSGB. 20 studies could be identified, and in the vast majority of them, a multi-dimensional approach is applied. The strategic constituencies approach is the one most often used, but interestingly, further analysis shows that most assessments are carried out only by internal stakeholders. The identification of the fact that, in most cases, (internal) individuals assess the variables at organizational/macro level, underlines the need to pay more attention to potential measurement bias. Giving greater consideration to the micro level is not only required in the attempt to detect potential bias, but also due to the necessity of considering agents’ discretionary decision, thereby enabling NSGB to be considered as open and natural systems. Therefore, approaches that can consider both levels (e.g., multi-level modelling) seem to be promising, not only in providing more reliable results, but also in enhancing our understanding of OP, and thus also how to manage it. A further important development is the consideration of the (public) value that organizations contribute to society within the concept of OP.


Organizational performance, organizational effectiveness, national sport governing bodies, systematic review

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