Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the relationship between sport and business has increased the complexity of ethical issues affecting contemporary sport management. Specifically, this paper seeks to define conflict of interest and how it is manifested in both business and sport. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a conceptual discussion of the issue of conflict of interest as it relates to the management and governance of sports organizations. Relationships between business ethics, governance and sport management are examined in the quest to understand conflict of interest and its prevalence in and relevance to sport management. Findings – Conflicts of interest within the sport industry may have the same structural elements as those occurring in mainstream business, such as benefits, obligations and issues of trust, but it is the higher societal expectations and values placed on sport and sporting organizations that provide the key points of difference. Practical implications – Through collaboration with sport management practitioners, via inductive in-depth research, a clearer definition of conflict of interest and the range of situations in which it may occur can be developed. It is through a continued research effort in this area that sport managers will be better able to both identify and manage conflicts of interest as they occur. Originality/value – It is the lack of definitive examples or guidelines for recognition of an actual or a potential conflict of interest that appears to cause the greatest confusion within sport management. By drawing together the key concepts found within the extant literature, a clearer understanding of what constitutes a conflict of interest is provided by this paper.
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Field of Research
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
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