Planning, Promoting and Assessing Social Learning in Sport: A Landscapes of Practice Approach

Title: Planning, Promoting and Assessing Social Learning in Sport: A Landscapes of Practice Approach
Authors: Kraft, Erin
Date: 2021-04-15
Abstract: In recent years, there has been an increase in women securing leadership positions across Canadian sport. However, when compared with their male counterparts, there continues to be an imbalance of women in these roles. The purpose of this doctoral dissertation was to evaluate a social learning initiative implemented in the province of Alberta to address these existing gender disparities by increasing gender equity, leadership development/diversity, and knowledge transfer across sport systems. The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program (AWiSL) was framed using Wenger’s (1998) concept Communities of Practice and consisted of 12 sport leaders (from various PSOs, clubs, and other sport organizations) and six mentors (with leadership expertise). Each sport leader planned and implemented a project in their home sport organizations to support the increase of gender equity and leadership development/diversity. The mentors were responsible for supporting the sport leaders in achieving their project goals and facilitating leadership development opportunities to inspire growth in the sport leaders. Accordingly, an evaluation was conducted using the Value Creation Framework (Wenger-Trayner et al., 2011) to examine the perceived value of participating in this social learning initiative. Data were collected over a year and a half period, from the 18 members who made up the AWiSL group and other important stakeholders. The data included in-depth interviews, informal conversations, observations, surveys, and collecting organizational documents resulting in over 700 pages of transcribed data. The findings are presented in four articles and an additional findings section. The first article focuses on one of the sport leader’s projects which aimed to foster a collaborative women-only training program for 10 women to become certified coach developers. The second article examines the development of the AWiSL mentors’ social learning leadership capabilities during their first attempt at facilitating a CoP to promote gender equity and leadership development/diversity, through an action learning approach. The third article delves into the sport leaders’ perceptions of their leadership skill development through their participation in the two and a half year social learning initiative, specifically a CoP of femininity. Finally, the fourth article highlights the 12 sport leaders’ projects to examine the impacts of the AWiSL in terms of moving gender equity forward across the province. The additional findings section touches on the knowledge transfer outcome of the AWiSL, including the development of a how-to model for organizations wishing to implement a similar initiative and the overall perceived value of this initiative. The dissertation is concluded with a general discussion highlighting the theoretical contributions and practical implications, along with future recommendations for research.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -