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Title: Corporate governance of NOCs : the case of Korean Olympic Committee
Author: Jung, Kyung S.
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2013
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This study identifies the characteristics of seven key principles of good/corporate governance at three levels: as notions that originated in business; in their applications to sport through systematic review; and in relation to the interpretations given to them in the Olympic Movement. The aims of this study are, thus, to establish and utilise the IOC s definitions/interpretations and operationalisations of corporate and/or good governance developed in a western framework and apply to a non-western NOC, the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC). This study adopts critical realist assumptions which give rise to the hypothesis that both the regularities of the Korean society and its unobservable social structures have an impact on the corporate governance of the KOC. It also uses Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine each interviewee s discourse in order to identify the knowledge embraced by it and to interpret social practice(s) and the exercise of power. CDA is employed in relation to four selected events follows: the KOC/KSC merger, budgetary planning, the recruitment of staff in terms of gender and disability equity and the processes used for selecting the KOC President and the Chef de Mission. The unobservable deep structure is shown to be real domain in Korean society by the social practices exhibited in the four events. The government and, in particular, the State President represent the highest and most influential authority in decision-making on Korean sports policy. That power relationship coupled with the pre-existing structure of the KOC/KSC s financial dependency on the government has resulted in a situation where the government has been able to interfere greatly in the KOC/KSC s overall decision-making on sports policy including the election of the President of the KOC. The KOC/KSC President is the most influential stakeholder in the decision-making within the organisation including the selection of Chef de Mission. As the pre-existing structure of cultural expectations determines that women should usually quit their jobs after marriage and that people with disabilities are incapable of working, the strongly male with abilities-dominated organisational culture has resulted in a social phenomenon whereby few females or people with impairments have succeeded in being promoted to senior positions. From the macro-level perspective, the first KOC/KSC merger accomplished on the orders of the State President shows the dominance of economic power as suggested in Marxist influenced forms of analysis. The incumbent KOC President, who is at the pinnacle of the business elite, contributed to the KOC/KSC merger, which illustrates the aspect of elitism. In connection with the budgetary process, this may be viewed as evidence of the existence of a neo-corporatist structure in which the state plays a central role and acts in a unitary way with the involvement of a limited number of actors. With respect to the meso-level perspective, the aspect of clientelism is exhibited since the government habitually appoints its political aides to be the heads of various sporting organisations. Concerning political governance, it becomes obvious that the government has direct control over KOC/KSC s policy. In terms of systemic governance, the relations among the domestic stakeholders of the KOC are more likely to follow a hierarchical type of governance, as the government has adopted the highest position and the National Federations are under the control of the KOC/KSC. With reference to Lukes (1974) second dimension of power this can be evidenced in the context of the non-decision making roles of women and the disabled. The IOC s interpretations of the key principles of corporate governance in a western framework are applied to the KOC. Accountability, responsibility, transparency and democracy are established but the KOC s governance practices are not equivalent, while effectiveness and efficiency are interpreted as the same ways of the IOC s. In general, power centralisation is apparent throughout the Korean cultural context. The KOC s power structure and organisational culture is likely to be concentrated to the KOC President within the organisation and broadly, the Korean government enjoys its power centralisation decision-making in the Korean context which gives rise to a peculiarly Korean way of interpreting and applying the principles of corporate governance. In such circumstances, nevertheless, where the KOC is making an effort to align its practices with the IOC s recommendations as much as possible, the indication is that the KOC is on course to reflect the IOC s governance practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Corporate governance ; Accountability ; Responsibility ; Transparency ; Democracy ; Equity ; Efficiency ; Effectiveness ; Systematic review ; Critical Realism ; Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) ; Political governance ; Systemic governance ; Stratified ontology: empirical ; Actual and real reality ; Organisational values and culture ; National culture ; Leadership ; Marxism ; Elitism ; Neo-corporatism and non-decision making.