Utilizing test events to ensure high reliability in organizations responsible for planning and implementing major sport arrangements: a case study of the Nordic World Ski Championship 2011
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The main goal for this master thesis was to write a research article contributing to the literature on sport event management, regarding the planning and preparation for major sport events. This piece of work is divided into two different, but relating sections. Part I presents the research article. Supplementary theory and methodology constitute part II. The objective was to gain better understanding on how project organizations planning for major sport events worked in the implementation phase, and to assess the value of test events. The research question in the article is as follows: How were the test-events used as a part of the effort to develop a reliable project organization? According to existing literature concerning project management and high reliable organizations (e.g Weick & Sutcliffe, 2007; Söderlund, Vaagaasar & Andersen, 2008; Andersen & Hanstad, 2011), building capacity in the planning and implementation phase are vital precursors to managing challenges and potential risks during the event. Nevertheless, I have not been able to identify any studies of how test events may be exploited to develop a more reliable project organization preparing a major sport event. This is a qualitative case study. The case was the Nordic World Ski Championship 2011 and the organization SKI-VM 2011 AS (VM2011). Six leaders, from the executive group and responsible for key functions in VM2011, were interviewed. The focus was experiences from the test events, the organizational development, and what processes were crucial in the implementation phase. In addition, documents were used to draw a preliminary perception of VM2011, and to support and complement the variety of issues discussed by the interviewees. Findings show that project organizations preparing for major sport events cannot mitigate potential risks, but can enhance its capacity and competence to make quick decisions and do the right action in demanding situations. Test events have proven to open the possibility to fine-tune an organization, if the organization prioritizes reflection on recent actions and conceptualizing further actions. In addition, the establishment of close relationships and mutual trust internally, and with external partners at an early stage in the project process, was a crucial success criterion. Part two consist of supplementary theory and methodology.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2011