The Growing Hybridisation of Non-Profit Organisations: a Focus on Grassroots Sport Clubs in France

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Monday 24 April 2023

12:30 PM - 01:30 PM


CC1.4 TechnoCentre, Puma Way , Coventry, CV1 2TT

Event details

This event will discuss the growing hybridisation of non-profit (sport) organisations and how it impacts on the risk of mission drift.


Grassroots Sport Clubs (GSCs) represent an essential component of many sport delivery systems around the world (Slack, 2014; Stenling & Fahlen, 2016), yet they are facing increased pressures for the joint pursuit of social and economic objectives – a process known in the non-profit sector as organisational hybridisation (Battilana, 2018). However, the process of hybridisation involves the risk of mission drift where social objectives are progressively overshadowed by commercial ones (Cottin-Marx et al., 2017; Suykens et al., 2017; Maier et al., 2016). Therefore, this study aims to analyse the impact of hybridity on the governance system of GSCs, in order to prevent mission drift.

The theoretical background is grounded in research on organisational hybridity, paradox theory and the sociology of the French associative movement (Cottin-Marx, 2020). The methodology is qualitative and comprises semi-structured interviews (n=21) with senior administrators of GSCs in the Hauts-de-France, France.

In terms of findings, this study has identified 8 major governance issues related to hybridity in non-profit (sport) organisations as well as a set of managerial strategies that can prevent mission drift.


Simon Gérard is an Assistant Professor (Research) in Sport Management. Until his recent move to CBiS in 2022, he was Lecturer then Assistant Professor in Sport Management for 5+ years in the School of Marketing and Management (SMM) at Coventry University. He completed a PhD in 2016 at the UCLouvain, Belgium, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in 2016/17 at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Simon’s research concentrates on 1) the risk of mission drift in non-profit sport organisations and how it impacts sport participation for marginalised groups and 2) the socio-economic inclusion of people with disabilities through the medium of sport.