Understanding the competitive advantage of National Olympic Committees


Robinson L & Minikin B (2012) Understanding the competitive advantage of National Olympic Committees. Managing Leisure, 17 (2-3), pp. 139-154.

The competitive advantage of an organisation arises from the resources and capabilities that are in place within the organisation. Competitive advantage leads to strategic success and a lack of it leads to a lack of success. Using the resource-based view of developing competitive advantage, this paper aims to investigate why many National Olympic Committees (NOCs) do not appear to be successful at the Olympic Games. It does this by investigating the resources and capabilities of the national federations (NFs) that are responsible for developing the athletes that are the main resource of the NOCs. The underlying premise of this research is that the competitive advantage of an NOC is reliant on the ability of their NFs to produce athletes who can be competitive on a world stage. The NFs within three Pacific countries were audited using the Readiness Assessment Tool developed to assess their resources, structures and capabilities. The research shows that the NFs under investigation were not sufficiently developed to create competitive advantage due to poor resources and low levels of capability. Therefore, there is a need for these NFs to develop further as organisations through 'knowledge transfer', the leveraging of resources and capacity-building through alliances with other organisations or countries that are better placed to produce elite athletes.

Competitive advantage; resource based theory; National Olympic Committee; resources and capabilities ; Olympics Management History

Managing Leisure: Volume 17, Issue 2-3

Publication date30/04/2012
PublisherTaylor and Francis