The value of human resources in non-public sports providers: the importance of volunteers in non-profit sports clubs versus professionals in for-profit fitness and health clubs.

S.B. Vos, D. Breesch, S. Késenne, W. Lagae, J. Van Hoecke, B. Vanreusel, J. Scheerder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a growing debate on the professionalisation of non-profit
sports clubs (e.g., more paid staff) and the remuneration of sports volunteers.
These voluntary sports organisations are, together with for-profit fitness and
health clubs, the main types of sports providers at the grassroots level in
Flanders (Belgium). They both are non-public organisations, active in the same
market, but differ regarding to their objectives and their human resources (i.e.,
volunteers versus paid staff). Hence, the purpose of this paper is to analyse and
compare the hypothetical HR-cost of volunteer work in non-profit sports clubs,
based on a market price of equivalency model, with the actual HR-cost of
for-profit sports providers. The results show that fitness and health clubs are
found to be more efficient, in terms of the unit human resources cost. However,
non-profit sports clubs have a distinctive economic structure and own
rationality. Hence, it seems not appropriate to transfer the economic efficiency
approach of for-profits blindly to non-profit sports clubs as the added value of
volunteer work to individuals, organisations and the society as a whole (c.f.,
positive externalities) are neglected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-25
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Management and Marketing
Volume11
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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