Managing the compliance of national federations: an examination of the strategies of international Olympic sports federations

Wan Ching Cho, Tien Chin Tan*, Alan Bairner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Research question: The influence of international sports federations (IFs) on domestic settings through their member federations is palpable, but the mechanisms by which these influences are exercised and the ways in which IFs manage the compliance of their member federations are not widely studied. This research aims to contribute to identifying the ways IFs, specifically those responsible for summer Olympic sports, secure the compliance of their member federations and to examining the issues arising from their compliance strategies. Research methods: The study uses Haas’ seven institutional inducements of compliance, namely ‘national concerns’, ‘monitoring’, ‘verification’, ‘capacity building’, ‘horizontal linkage’, ‘nesting’ and ‘institutional profile’, as our analytical framework through which semi-structured interview guidelines were developed. Eight Olympic IFs were selected via purposive sampling and 12 of their staff members were interviewed based on the interview schedule. Results and Findings: Five key compliance management strategies were identified: (1) raising awareness, (2) offering capacity-building resources, (3) evaluating national federations, (4) strengthening resources, (5) reinforcing sanctioning capacity. Implications: This research uniquely revealed an empirical perspective of the process of Olympic IFs managing the compliance of their NFs and explored to pave the foundation for future studies to measure the effectiveness of international sports policy regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-322
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • International federations
  • compliance
  • governance
  • international relations
  • sport management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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