SIRC - Sport Research The World's Leading Sport Resource Centre LoginContact UsSite MapFAQsHome
Print this page
Favourite Links

News Service
Conference Calendar


Email Address:


Forgot Your Password?

Not yet a member? Register Now!

SIRC on the web

Incremental and radical innovations in community sport organizations

Larena Hoeber -SRG 2010
Doherty, A., Hoeber, O., Wolfe, R.



With more reliance on community sport organizations (CSOs) to deliver programs and services to increase the participation of Canadians (Canadian Sport Policy, 2002), it is necessary that we understand how they respond to pressures to innovate.

In our exploratory study of innovations in CSOs, volunteer presidents identified 188 innovations (Hoeber et al., 2009). We categorized these innovations as radical or incremental, depending on the degree of departure to existing practice (Dewar & Dutton, 1986). We concluded that 22 innovations (12%) represented a fundamental change in the adopting CSO and 166 (88%) were an incremental departure from the status quo (Hoeber et al., 2009). An alternative is to ask members of the adopting organization to identify and discuss radical innovations, as they are most aware of existing practices (Dewar & Dutton, 1986) and the notion of radicalness can vary from setting to setting. To advance our understanding of radical vs. incremental innovations in CSOs, Study 1 of our research will examine the specific nature of these innovations in greater depth, based on adopter perceptions.

Telephone interviews will be conducted with presidents of 30 CSOs in Ontario and Saskatchewan. Each CSO must have recently adopted at least one radical and one incremental innovation. Participants will be asked to discuss the innovations in relation to existing practices. Interviews will be transcribed and uploaded to NVivo 8. The transcripts will be read, reviewed, reflected upon, coded, categorized, compared and themed.

 The findings will inform action to improve CSOs’ capacity to implement innovations that enhance sport participation. Insight into the nature of radical vs. incremental innovation has implications for developing policy and practice with regard to adopting more radical innovation in CSOs when appropriate or necessary.

SIRC is funded by Canadian Heritage