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    The role and performance of supporter directors: a social exchange theory perspective

    McLeod, J. and Jenkin, A. and Walters, Geoff and Irving, Richard (2021) The role and performance of supporter directors: a social exchange theory perspective. Sport Management Review 24 (5), pp. 862-885. ISSN 1441-3523.

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    Supporter directors (SD) are individuals elected to a sport organisation’s board to represent the interests of its supporters. Although their inclusion on boards is widely considered to be good ethical practice, recent research shows that SDs face distinct challenges that often inhibit them from performing effectively. The purpose of this study was to illuminate how SDs can overcome these challenges by, firstly, generating a deeper understanding of the roles of SDs in Scottish football clubs and, secondly, analysing how board-level social interaction influences SD role performance. The research method consisted of 17 interviews with individuals who are currently serving, or have previously served, as SDs on Scottish football club boards. The findings show that SDs perceive their role to encompass three elements: (1) promoting supporters’ interests in board meetings, (2) acting as a conduit of information, and (3) complying with their fiduciary duties. Drawing on social exchange theory, the findings then revealed a perception among SDs that successful performance of those roles is dependent on their ability to initiate and sustain patterns of reciprocal social exchange with their board colleagues. The research provides practical recommendations for SDs and other types of stakeholder representatives on how to improve their performance.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Sport Business Centre
    Depositing User: Geoff Walters
    Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2020 11:03
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:05


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