Sport Coursework Paper Sample on A Critical Evaluation of Strategy and Approach for International Association of Athletics Federation (Iaaf)

A critical evaluation of strategy and approach for International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)


            The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) is committed to ensuring that the sports of athletics in the world develop. The organization achieves its objectives through the help of member states.  Among the primary responsibilities of the organization is to manage the activities of member countries so that they all work towards developing athletics (International Association of Athletics Federation 2015). Although the organization has been in operation for more than three decades, the current challenges may lead to its inefficiency. Its primary problem is to create conditions that maximize the potential of athletes in all member countries.  This is major challenge to the organization as it affects its ability to meet its primary objective of developing athletics sports.  To enhance its efficiency, the organization has implemented different strategies whose impact on the organization varies. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the strategies and approaches used by IAAF in developing and managing athletics sports.

The process of strategy planning

            The concept of strategic planning is useful in organizations as it helps in identifying the necessary steps needed for a company to achieve its set objectives. It helps an organization allocate its resources on the basis of activities that help organizations achieve its set goals (Drucker 2007, p. 154). For the IAAF, the strategic plans are mainly focused on promoting the potential of athletes in all member countries. To achieve this, the organization has embarked on strategies that help n raising funds so as to ensure that its administration is effective. The strategy is effective in the sense that it allows the organization to meet its set objectives on time. The other strategy that the organization has implemented is the adoption of performance management strategies.

Raising funds

            For the sports organization to develop the potential of athletes and maximize their potential, it needs to have sound financial base (Slack and Parent 2006, p. 145). The various activities conducted by the organization such as training coaches and transportation are expensive and thus require the organization to have adequate funds for smooth operation.  To ensure that the administrative functions of the company are conducted without interruptions, the sports organization uses different methods of raising funds including fees and levies such as registration fees for athletes and affiliation charges for clubs (Hoye et. al. 2013, p. 198). The organization also receives grants from governments as well as institutions such as the National Olympic Committees. Events are also another way that the organization uses to raise funds by charging entry fees, TV and radio rights as well as sale of merchandise such as branded shirts (Shank and Lyberger 2014, p. 97)

Performance management

            For an organization to determine whether its achieving the set objectives, it is important to conduct regular evaluations on performance. The same concept is applicable t o sport organizations such as IAAF as they seek to identify the impact of the identified strategies. Implementing the performance management measures involves incurring high costs of operation in companies, but the benefits outweigh the costs (Hoye et al. 2013, p.252). The net income and social costs associated with performance management are higher than the costs that companies incur, thus making it a worthy course.  The most suitable approach in measuring performance for sports organizations is the input-output approach that compares the amount of resources invested with the outcome (Shank and Lyberger 2014, p. 150). IAAF’s performance management is enhanced by the activities such as providing professional training to coaches before they are assigned duties. This ensures that the athletes access high quality and professional advice concerning development of their competitive abilities.

Partnership and stakeholder analysis

            The success of a global sports organization such as IAAF is dependent on the type of partners and stakeholders that it has. The activities of stakeholders and partners have the potential to influence the success of the organization. These parties play a primary role in the organization’s decision making process, thus affecting the extent to which the organization meets its objectives. IAAF partners with the well-established institutions such as Adidas, Seiko and Toyota (Shank and Lyberger 2014, p. 103). There exists a symbiotic relationship between the companies and IAAF where they benefit from publicity and promotion of their products in return for grants and sponsorships. The IAAF stakeholders influence the effectiveness of the organization in meeting its goals. They include the athletes, spectators and member federations. The parties have vested interest in the activities of the organization.

Contribution of partners and stakeholders to the success of IAAF

             The success of the organization in developing athletes is influenced by the amount of financial resources available. Money is required to run the organization’s activities in the member countries. This fund is mainly contributed by partners as the benefit from publicity that increases the demand for their products. This in turn improves the ability of the sports organization to meet its set objectives as it is able to meet its operational costs. The IAAF partners do this through various means such as offering grants and sponsorships. The stakeholders also have a great influence on the ability of the organization to meet its set objectives. Some of the stakeholders such as the athletes are directly involved in the organization’s activities. Among the organization’s primary objectives is the implementation of anti-doping regulations. This is mainly achieved through sensitizing the athletes on the need to compete with their colleagues at an equal level.  The member federations also affect the organization’s ability to meet its objectives directly. The federations are involved in the formulation and implementation of the organization’s objectives.

Factors that hinder the effectiveness of IAAF partners and stakeholders

            For the IAAF to achieve its objectives, it needs the support of its partners and stakeholders in meeting its objectives. However, the inability of the organization to create an enabling environment for the existing and aspiring athletes is a clear indication of weak support by the stakeholders and the partners (Shank and Lyberger 2014, p. 100). The athletes for example have frustrated the efforts of the organization on the anti-doping campaigns. This affects the ability of the IAAF to operate effectively.  Apart from lack of support from some stakeholders, the organization faces financial challenge due to inaccessibility of sponsorships and grants (International Association of Athletics Federation (2015). As much as the sponsors benefit from public relations, there are many organizations applying for sponsorships and grants and this competition reduces the pool of resources that IAAF accesses (Shank and Lyberger 2014, p. 103).  The effectiveness of stakeholders such as the member federations is influenced by the economic status of the nation in question. This implies that member federations from developing economies are unable to help the organization meet its set objectives.

Resources and resource allocation

            An organization cannot operate without financial and non-financial resources because they help it achieve the set targets. The financial resources alone are not adequate to achieve the set objectives as there is need for other supplement resources such as the human resources. The ability of an organization to meet its objectives is enhanced by the amount of financial resources as well as the quality of non-financial assets such as employees (Drucker 2007, p. 96). However, a company may have huge amount of resources but still fail to meet the expected objectives. The effectiveness of these resources in meeting the company goals is influenced by the approach used to allocate them, based on the expected objectives.  In every organization, there are competing needs that have different impacts on the success of the company (Slack and Parent, 2006, p. 126). It is therefore important for an institution to strike a balance between these needs during allocation of resources such that they maximize their utility.

IAAF main resources

            The sports organization has both financial and non-financial resources that help it achieve its goals. The non-financial resources include highly qualified team of trainers and coaches that help in developing the talents of athletes (Myers, Hulks and Wiggins 2012, p. 123). The organization also has other highly qualified employees such as financial and legal advisors, and medics. The professionals are valuable resources to the organization because they work towards developing the activities of IAAF.  The organization has other non-financial resources such including buildings in member states. The financial resources that the organization has are mainly sourced from sponsors and charges levied on spectators to hold events.

Challenges facing resource allocation by IAAF

            The IAAF operates like a corporate organization, in the sense that it is interested in making profits out of its activities. The organization is interested in making financial gains so as to fund its activities in the member countries. Over the years, the organization has developed strong ties with its partners and stakeholders but this may not last long. The professional relationship between the organization and the stakeholders has influenced its ability to raise adequate capital to fund its projects (International Association of Athletics Federation 2015). Further, it has developed a positive public image that makes it easy to get donations from different countries. However, the organization is faced with the challenge of managing its resources, mainly due to poor allocation. The varying conditions of the training facilities for all the member states across the globe are an indication of poor resource allocation strategies. The organization ought to be concerned about the poor training facilities in the developing economies. This implies that more resources should be allocated to the member states with poor economic status to make the environment uniformly conducive for all athletes (Slack and Parent, 2006, p. 142). The primary challenge that the organization faces with regard to resource allocation relates to corruption and embezzlement of funds by the member federations. The corrupt officials use the organization’s money for their personal needs and this affects the resource allocation strategies. The vice affects the ability of the organization to meet its set objectives in a timely manner.

Summative discussion

            The organization uses two main strategies aimed at enhancing its financial success as well as evaluating its performance. By identifying the most suitable strategies to raise funds, the company eliminates challenges that would occur due to lack of funds (Drucker 2007, p. 129). With limited funds, the organization may not be able to conduct its activities such as training and holding events. The organization’s methods of raising funds are thus crucial to achieving its set objectives (Myers, Hulks and Wiggins 2012, p. 389).  The most essential aspect with regard to the organization’s strategy to raise funds is how the funds are managed and allocated to various competing activities.  Resource allocation is among the areas that pose a challenge to organizations today due to many competing needs. According to Drucker (2007), the success of an organization greatly depends on the ability of the top management to identify the suitable ways to allocate the available resources. This applies even to the human resources where an individual is assigned to do jobs that they are most suited in terms of professional abilities. The support that the company gains from the stakeholders and partners is important in enhancing its ability to develop athletics sports.

            The other primary strategy that the organization has adopted is measuring its progress through performance management techniques. The approach helps the IAAF identify the areas that need improvement to enhance the effectiveness of the organization. To survive in the dynamic world today, organizations must keep on evaluating their progress so as to determine the best time to implement changes. It is necessary for organizations to change their operational strategies through innovation to enhance their productivity (Myers, Hulks and Wiggins 2012, p. 123). The organization should consider changing its current strategy on performance management to include more transparent methods of operations, especially for the finance and procurement departments which are the most vulnerable to inefficiencies.  Thompson and Martin (2010, p. 98), states that there is a direct link between organizational effectiveness and its ability to make flexible decisions on how to improve the organization over time.

            The strategies adopted by the IAAF are clearly meant to enhance the company’s effectiveness in developing athletics in member states. The involvement of stakeholders and partners in the company’s affairs helps in making them aware of the important role that their input has on the organization’s success. According to Mullins (2010, p. 425), the effectiveness of an organization in meeting its strategies is greatly influenced by the actions of management in coordinating the parties involved. The IAAF has succeeded in ensuring that the partners and stakeholders are aware of their contribution to the development of athletics sports (Thompson and Martin 2010, p. 285). The strategies used by the organization are clearly meant to enhance its ability to develop athletics, but this will only be achieved if the organization defines alternative ways of raising funds and managing performance.  The dynamic nature of the world today requires companies to be flexible so as to adopt new methods of operation when a need arises (Osborne and Brown 2005, p. 205).


            The effectiveness of an organization in meeting the set targets is greatly influenced by its ability to formulate and implement effective strategies. The nature of strategies formulated by an organization greatly depends on its set targets and the activities it is involved in. For the IAAF, the activities it is involved in requires a lot of funding hence its strategies are based on methods of raising funds. The performance of organizations is also an indication of the extent to which it is able to meet its strategies. The events held by IAAF are partly meant to evaluate the impact of training on the performance of athletes. The success of IAAF in meeting its set targets is also influenced by the support of partners and stakeholders who provide both financial and non-financial resources. Although the organization is able to meet most of its financial needs today, the situation may change in the near future due to the high number of companies applying for donor funds. It should therefore restructure its finance strategies to include ways through which it can generate and sustain its income.


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Hoye, R., Smith, A., Westerbeek, H., Stewart, B. and Nicholson, M. 2012 (3rd Ed) Sport             Management: Principles and Application, Oxford: Elsevier / Butterworth- Heinemann.

International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) 2015, About the IAAF: A Modern Sport. International Association of Athletics Federation Newsletter. 

Mullins, L. J. 2010. (9th Ed) Management and Organizational Behavior. London: FT /       Prentice Hall.

Myers, P., Hulks, S. and Wiggins, L. 2012. Organizational Change: Perspectives on Theory          and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Thompson, J. and Martin, F. 2010. (6th Ed) Strategic Management: Awareness and Change.          Andover: Cengage


Comparison chart for the themes

Process of strategy planningPartnership and Stakeholder analysisResource allocation  
The organization uses strategies such as events and sponsorships to raise funds for its activities.  The activities that it is involved in such as training require funds to be executed.The IAAF also uses performance management strategy to ensure that it is working towards the set targets.The organization has partnered with well established organizations such as Adidas to raise funds, as they benefit from publicity.The stakeholders include the athletes and member federations, who play a major role in ensuring that the organization meets its main agenda of developing athletics.-The company owns physical, human and financial resources that play a crucial role towards meeting its set objectives.