Institute of Sports Science


New Insights on Trust within Sport NGB Boards

Marcel Fahrner and Spencer Harris (University of Colorado) publish results of a study examining the association of trust and structural features within sport NGB boards.

Trust is a critical element within the organisational and management literature. However, within the sport governance literature there is a notable absence of work focusing on trust.

Using data of 242 board members of 65 NGBs from Germany, Marcel Fahrner and Spencer Harris (University of Colorado) examine the association between trust indicators, individual board membership characteristics, and the boards’ structural features.

The study’s findings illustrate that trust is a multifaceted phenomenon, affected by various (beneficial and detrimental) variables in the specific context of NGB boards. In this respect, board size, board members’ skill differentiation and temporal stability of boards appear to be particularly relevant. Furthermore, the study shows that NGBs need to reflect and strengthen their structures and processes with regard to their inherent potential to promote or hinder trust.

The research paper was recently accepted for publication in the European Sport Management Quarterly.

Fahrner, M. & Harris, S. Trust within sport NGB boards: Association with board structure and board member characteristics. European Sport Management Quarterly. DOI 10.1080/16184742.2020.1757735