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Title: Strategy and strategising : an examination of sports clubs' privatisation strategy in Saudi Arabia
Author: Alhakami, Fawaz
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 2739
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2014
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For over a decade, the Saudi government has been actively promoting a privatisation strategy for Saudi sport clubs as part of ongoing wider policies aimed at stimulating the national economy through the privatisation of various economic sectors. Other ‘declared’ underlying objectives of the privatisation plan include reducing direct government spending, diversifying sources of income and increasing efficiency through greater involvement of the private sector. However, despite multi-millions of investments and years of political rhetoric, the progress made to-date has been very limited. This study adopts a theoretical framework based on the three key domains of strategising (i.e. the 3Ps) (e.g. Whittington, 2006; Jarzabkowski and Spee, 2009). Strategising differs from conventional strategy in that it regards strategy work as a pattern in a stream of goal-directed activity (Johnson, Melin, & Whittington, 2003; Jarzabkowski, 2005; Whittington, 2006). The deployment of the strategy-as-practice research agenda is recent and limited in sport management research, and empirical type of studies are noticeably scant. Hence, this study addresses part of this existing gap. On a practical level, the study puts forward policy recommendations towards enhanced understanding of strategising dynamics within sport organisations. Through holistic, embedded multiple-case study research design, comprising a sample of eighteen case studies, this study addresses the relationship between strategy and strategising through all phases of the strategy journey. In particular, the study aims to reveal how strategising practices are manifested in the strategising work around the privatisation of Saudi sport clubs and evaluate the various strategising actors’ roles at macro, meso and micro levels. The main findings are reported along two broad levels, firstly in terms of the three domains of strategising, and secondly with regards to the key patterns of strategising. Consistent with the predictions of theoretical framework, overall findings provide strong evidence for the key role played by the 3Ps and their strong interconnectedness within the overall dynamics of the strategising activity system. The second level of findings documents the dominance of the procedural type of strategising, which is mainly enacted through the widespread use of long-established formal administrative practices that came to typify centralised policymaking in Saudi Arabia. These findings are not surprising and are entirely consistent with existing evidence (for example, Jarzabkowski, 2003; Whittington, 2003) when considering the high levels of ‘embeddedness’ and ‘persistence’ of this type of strategising within the wider functioning and organisational culture of these entities. Hence, various facets of this prevailing situation could be seen as a the major obstacle in the face of any attempt to successfully introduce new ways of organising and strategising within the Saudi sport sector in general, and the sport club privatisation policy in particular.
Supervisor: Girginov, V.; Hills, L. Sponsor: Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Strategy ; Strategising ; Sports clubs ; Strategizing ; Privatisation ; Saudi Arabia