Due to the increasing competition non-profit sport organizations face from other sport providers (both for-profit and non-profit), they are encouraged to better satisfy their members’ expectations. New initiativesor innovations may need to be adopted by these organizations to attract and retain members. Despite the importance of innovation in this increasing competitive context, no cross-sectional study has been achieved which would allow an understanding of internal stakeholders’ perception in innovative sport organizations. Although, attitude and perceptions towards newness and change might influence innovation adoption. This exploratory research analyzes the concept of innovation within sport federations. The activities and services implemented by these non-profit sport organizations and the perception of key internal stakeholders are investigated. Further, this research focuses on innovation champions in sport federations. The purpose of this paper is to identify the relationships between internal stakeholders’ attitude towards newness, their perceptions of innovation and change, the service innovations implemented by sport federations and potential innovation champion(s). An online survey was sent to the 144 sport federations recognized by the Flemish or French speaking Communities in Belgium in order to assess their attitude towards the development of new services, perception of change and of innovation. Moreover, the average number of innovations (sport and non-sport) was measured and the stakeholders who frequently support the implementation of new initiatives were profiled. In total, 101 sport federations participated to the survey (response rate : 70%). On average, sport federations in Belgium have an attitude favouring newness which supports the adoption of innovations. The majority of service innovations adopted by sport federations was not directly sport related. An explanation might be that they have greater freedom in the development of secondary services (i.e., not related to their core activities) which would provide added value to membership fee. Staff members of innovative sport federations perceive that their federation innovates and changes. This paper supports the idea that innovation leads to organizational change which is perceived by internal stakeholders. The sport or technical employees of sport federations are highlighted as they seem to favor innovation. These individuals might support an organizational climate favouring the development of new services and hence might be considered as innovation champions in sport federations. The results of this paper have managerial implications and suggest further research on the management of innovation in non-profit (sport) organizations.
|Journal||Revue Interdisciplinaire sur le Management et l’Humanisme|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|