The roles and responsibilities of a change agent in sport event development projects
AbstractThere is increasing evidence that NGOs and Government agencies are turning to sport events as a tool for reconciliation and inter-community development (Burnett, 2006; Gasser & Levinsen, 2004; Stidder & Haasner, 2007; Sugden, 2006), yet the different roles and responsibilities of the organising `change agent within development projects have not received much empirical investigation. To address this gap, this paper analyses the different roles and responsibilities of an international sport event change agent in the ethnically divided Sri Lanka. Following an interpretivist mode of inquiry, findings of this research are derived from the analysis of 2 focus groups and 35 in-depth interviews with Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and international event stakeholders. Findings suggest that the change agent holds nine key roles and responsibilities in the inter-community development process. These are being an agent for community participation; a trust builder; a networker; a leader; a socially responsible advocate; a resource developer; a proactive innovator; a financial supporter; and a strategic planner for the long-term sustainability of projects. This research suggests that it is important to fulfil these roles to secure active community participation, to achieve positive sociocultural event impacts and outcomes, and to provide a strategic framework for sustainable inter-community development.
Sport Management Review, 2010, 13 (2), pp. 118 - 128