Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Hums, Mary A.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hancock, Meg

Committee Member

Hambrick, Marion

Committee Member

Shuck, Brad


Sports--Developing countries--Sociological aspects; Sports--Economic aspects--Developing countries; Sports--Political aspects--Developing countries


Recent Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) scholarship has noted the need for exploring organizational aspects in order to advance SDP theory and practice. One particular unexplored aspect of SDP is organizational capacity. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore elements of organizational capacity in SDP organizations operating programming in urban settings outside the top three metropolitan areas (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago) of the United States. The researcher conducted semistructured interviews with Executive Directors of 17 nonprofit organizations. This qualitative inquiry was guided by Hall et al.’s (2003) three-dimensional framework on organizational capacity. Those three dimensions are: human resources capacity, financial resources capacity, and structural capacity. Findings from this study further our understanding of nonprofit capacity since there is a consensus among scholars that elements within each capacity dimension are context specific. Several elements emerged with each capacity dimension; (a) human resources capacity (board involvement, board recruitment, board retention, paid staff, finding roles, shared values and engagement, staff recruitment, staff retention, staff training, volunteer dependence, volunteer recruitment); (b) financial capacity (financial management, fundraising, financial campaigns, grant funding, special events, other revenue sources, expenses); and (c) structural capacity (partnership management, mutually beneficial relationships, memorandums of understanding, , partnership formation, organizational flexibility, internal structures, organizational culture, access to facilities, internal systems and procedures, strategic planning, plan implementation, and evaluation). Findings also indicated perceived connections between the capacity dimensions. Overall, this study contributes to Svensson and Hambrick’s (in press) call for an empirical and theoretical discussion on the nature of capacity in SDP. Findings in this study extend our understanding of organizational capacity among nonprofit sport organizations and highlight the lived experiences of SDP leaders within existing complex environments. The aim of this research was not only to identify elements of capacity within SDP, but also to explore how SDP organizations are trying to address existing capacity challenges. This study’s findings provide a foundation for future research on the nature of organizational capacity in SDP. Developing a better understanding of capacity in SDP is imperative for designing more effective capacity-building initiatives that help increase the ability of these organizations to fulfill their respective missions.