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Strategic planning in higher education athletic departments

Athanasios Kriemadis Ministry of Education, Argos, Greece

The primary purposes of this study were: to determine the extent to which the strategic planning process was being used in NCAA Division I-A athletic departments; to identify the key factors that discourage the abovementioned departments from engaging in strategic planning activities; to develop and recommend a generic strategic planning process model, which could be implemented by the athletic departments; and to examine the relationships between the extent of strategic planning used by the athletic departments and these selected variables: type of the university (private versus public), university size, and background of athletic directors. All 106 NCAA Division I-A athletic departments were surveyed. The response rate was 72 per cent. Findings of this study were as follows: 33 (43.4 per cent) of the athletic departments were classied as strategic planners; insufficient nancial resources and time were the factors that highly discouraged the athletic departments from engaging in strategic planning; a strategic planning process model was developed and an analysis of its several components was presented; the extent of strategic planning used by the athletic departments was not related to the type of university, university size, and the background of athletic directors.
International Journal of Educational Management 11/6 [1997] 238247 MCB University Press [ISSN 0951-354X]

Introduction
Throughout human history, people have been engaged in some sort of planning in order to accomplish designated goals and objectives. Much of the planning literature currently being published addresses the necessity of planning in the prot and non-prot sectors. According to Buhler-Miko (1985), master planning was the vogue in the sixties, longrange planning in the seventies, and strategic planning for the decades of the eighties and nineties (p. 1). The business sector of society has long recognized that continued protability requires maintaining a strategic t between the organizational goals and capabilities and the changing societal and economic conditions. As these environmental changes evolved, businesses developed planning systems which made possible co-ordinated and effective responses to increasing unpredictability , novelty, and complexity (Ansoff, 1984). According to Bryson (1988), strategic planning, which has developed in the private sector, can help public and non-prot organizations anticipate and respond effectively to their dramatically changing environments. Most of the fundamental approaches and methods of corporate management are applicable to the public and non-prot management area. However, public and non-prot planners must be aware that corporate strategic planning embraces a range of approaches that vary in their applicability to the public and non-prot sectors and in the conditions that govern their successful use (p. 43). Strategic thought and action have become increasingly important and have been adopted by public and non-prot planners to enable them to successfully adapt to the future (Bank, 1992; Bryson, 1988; Coolbaugh, 1993; Duncan, 1990; Espy, 1988; Laycock, 1990; Medley, 1988; Nelson, 1990; Robinson, 1992; Streib and Poister, 1990; Wilson, 1990). The educational sector has begun to recognize that planning is necessary in order to maintain its own responsiveness to a rapidly changing environment (Agwu, 1992; Busler, 1992; DeRose, 1986; Hall, 1994; Potgieter, 1992; Schilling, 1987; Schmeltzer, 1983; Smith et al., 1987; Spence, 1982; Walker, 1990; Williams,

1992). Cameron (1983) stated that the future of colleges and universities as organizations includes conditions of decline which require a new set of administrative and organizational responses (p. 359). Todays colleges and universities have experienced rapid change. Educational administrators are confronted with changes associated with ageing facilities, changing technology, changing demographics, increasing competition, rising costs, funding cuts, etc. Educational administrators are challenged to anticipate changes and to formulate proactive responses that will enhance the educational processes used on college and university campuses. Some of the major issues educational administrators are facing include: the nancing of higher education; increasing levels of involvement by public officials in the processes of higher education; and the broadening of the basis for knowledge within contemporary society (Ostar, 1989). Confronted with the unprecedented magnitude of changes a number of colleges and universities have turned to strategic planning which is designed to help organizations respond effectively to their new situations (Ballou, 1988; Cameron, 1983; Kotler and Murphy, 1982; Livesey, 1990; Manheimer, 1989; Mazur, 1991; Morgan, 1994; Reichrath, 1990; Toll, 1982). Since athletic programmes are so much a part of higher education institutions, athletic departments face the same problems as do institutions to which they belong. Athletic administrators must now deal with periods of decline, governmental mandates and guidelines, and nancial difficulties (Lewis, 1979). Also, emphasis must be on placing the athletic department in a competitive position in changing environments because athletic programmes have evolved to a point where they compete for a segment of the entertainment market. If athletic departments are to respond, they must anticipate change and adapt programmes and resources to meet their mission and objectives (Bucher, 1987). Strategic planning may help athletic departments anticipate and respond effectively to their new situations, and develop strategies necessary to achieve the athletic departments mission and objectives (Dyson et al., 1989; Smith, 1985; Sutton and Migliore, 1988).

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Athanasios Kriemadis Strategic planning in higher education athletic departments International Journal of Educational Management 11/6 [1997] 238247

Purpose of the study


The primary purposes of this study were to determine the extent to which the strategic planning process is being used in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I-A athletic departments; identify the key factors that discourage NCAA Division I-A athletic departments from engaging in strategic planning activities; to develop and recommend a generic strategic planning process model, which can be implemented by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments. The development of this model was based on the review of literature and the recommendations from a selected number of athletic departments which had been identied as strategic planners; and to examine the relationships between the extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments and these selected variables: type of the university (public versus private); university size; and background of athletic directors. The study addressed the following research questions and hypotheses.

Research questions
The research questions to be examined for the descriptive part of the study were as follows: 1 To what extent is the strategic planning process being used in NCAA Division I-A athletic departments? 2 What are the key factors that discourage NCAA Division I-A athletic departments from engaging in strategic planning activities? 3 Is it possible to develop a generic strategic planning process model, which can be implemented by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments?

challenges in the years ahead. According to Bryson (1988), some examples of the several trends and events are the demographic changes, value shifts, the privatization of the public services, shifts in federal and state funding priorities, a volatile economy, and the increased importance of the non-prot sector. This turbulence is aggravated by the increased interconnectedness of the world, so that changes anywhere typically result in changes elsewhere (Luke, 1988). Athletic administrators, just as non-prot leaders and academic administrators, must deal with this turbulent environment. Moreover, intercollegiate athletic programmes have evolved to a point where they compete for a segment of the entertainment market. The future of intercollegiate athletics will depend on the ability of the athletic departments to respond effectively to their new situations, and to develop strategies necessary to achieve the athletic departments mission and objectives. A number of authors (Ansoff and McDonnell, 1990; Barry, 1986; Bryson et al., 1986, 1987; Rowe et al., 1989; Steiner, 1979) argue that strategic planning can help organizations in this turbulent environment to: think strategically and develop effective strategies; clarify future direction; establish priorities; develop a coherent and defensible basis for decision making; improve organizational performance; deal effectively with rapidly changing circumstances; anticipate future problems and opportunities; build teamwork and expertise; and provide employees with clear objectives and directions for the future of the organization and increase their motivation and satisfaction. Newman and Wallender (1987) suggested that basic management concepts should be applied to both prot and non-prot organizations. This study is useful in extending the concept of strategic planning to intercollegiate athletics. The study will be useful in helping athletic administrators to further their understanding of the strategic planning process in their respective athletic departments. More specically , the present study of strategic planning process in NCAA Division I-A athletic departments provided information about the extent of the strategic planning process currently being used in these athletic departments, and the relationships between the extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments and these selected variables: type of university (public versus private);

Hypotheses tested
1 The extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments is independent of the type of the university (public versus private). 2 The extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments is independent of university size. 3 The extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments is independent of the background of athletic directors.

Signicance of the study


Leaders and managers of non-prot organizations and communities face difficult

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Athanasios Kriemadis Strategic planning in higher education athletic departments International Journal of Educational Management 11/6 [1997] 238247

university size; and background of athletic directors. Second, the research provided insight into those organizational factors which discourage the use of the strategic planning process. A generic strategic planning process model was developed that can be implemented by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments.

Research methods and procedures


Population
The population of the study consisted of all 106 NCAA Division I-A athletic departments.

Instrument development
Since a validated instrument had not yet been developed to measure strategic planning activities in athletic departments, a questionnaire was developed by the researcher based on the reviewed literature on strategic planning as well as on input and suggestions from reviews offered by a selected panel of experts.

departments have developed a vision of the departments future direction and aspirations. Sixty-nine (90.8 per cent) of the departments have also developed a mission statement that describes the departments purpose and philosophy . The data in Table I show that 71 (93.4 per cent) of the departments assess their strengths and weaknesses, while 63 (82.9 per cent) assess the opportunities and threats in their external environments. Seventy-ve (98.7 per cent) of the responding athletic departments indicated that they develop goals and objectives, and 70 (92.1 per cent) develop long-range plans to achieve their stated goals and objectives. Table I also indicates that 71 (93.4 per cent) of the athletic departments develop short-range plans to achieve short-range objectives. When it comes to evaluation only 51 (67.1 per cent) of the departments periodically evaluate the performance of their planning process, while 68 (89.5 per cent) evaluate the performance of the athletic department.

Instrument validity and reliability Instrument validity


The content validity of the questionnaire was determined by a panel of experts in the elds of strategic planning, higher education, management, marketing research, and Division IA Conference Commissioners.

Questionnaire item E
Table II reveals that only 33 (43.4 per cent) of the athletic departments have: formalized

Table I Activities included in the athletic departments current planning process Item Vision Yes No Mission Yes No Strengths/weaknesses Yes No Opportunities/threats Yes No Goals/objectives Yes No Long-range plans Yes No Short-range plans Yes No Evaluation of planning process Yes No Performance evaluation Yes No Frequency 71 5 69 7 71 5 63 13 75 1 70 6 71 5 Percentage 93.4 6.6 90.8 9.2 93.4 6.6 82.9 17.1 98.7 1.3 92.1 7.9 93.4 6.6

Instrument reliability
The reliability of the survey instrument was assessed through Cronbachs coefficient alpha (a). All coefficients alpha were within acceptable ranges for comparable instrumentations (Nummally, 1967).

Presentation and analysis of data


A total of 76 (72 per cent) of the athletic departments responded to the survey . The characteristics of the non-respondents did not follow a specic pattern in terms of geographical location, size of the university, and type of the university . Based on this fact and the high response rate it appears that the results of the study could be generalized to the target population (all NCAA Division I-A athletic departments). Descriptive statistics were used to answer the rst two research questions, while chisquare was used to test the hypotheses.

Research question 1
What is the extent to which the strategic planning process is being used in NCAA Division I-A athletic departments?

51 25 68 8

67.1 32.9 89.5 10.5

Questionnaire item A
According to the survey responses, 71 (93.4 per cent) of the NCAA Division I-A athletic

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Athanasios Kriemadis Strategic planning in higher education athletic departments International Journal of Educational Management 11/6 [1997] 238247

Table II Level of planning in NCAA division I-A athletic departments Plans Structured long-range Operational Intuitive Unstructured Frequency 33 28 13 2 Percentage 43.4 36.8 17.1 2.6

Table III Extent to which external factors are considered in the planning process (in descending order of consideration) Factors Spectators Trustees University administration NCCA trends Education trends Economic tax Community State/federal Demographics Social trends Businesses Competitors Media Suppliers Parents Technology Civic organization Political trends Religious groups
a

Very little or little 1 1 3 2 1 6 2 9 10 7 9 14 19 22 15 21 27 27 46 (1.3)a (1.3) (3.9) (2.6) (1.3) (7.9) (2.6) (11.8) (13.2) (9.2) (11.8) (18.4) (25.0) (28.9) (19.7) (27.7) (35.5) (35.5) (60.6)

Some 10 (13.2) 10 (13.2) 15 (19.7) 16 (21.1) 18 (23.7) 15 (19.7) 19 (25.0) 16(21.1) 22 (28.9) 29 (38.2) 30 (39.5) 26 (34.2) 22 (28.9) 21 (27.6) 30 (39.5) 25 (32.9) 34 (44.7) 35 (46.1) 17 (22.4)

Very great or great 65 (85.6) 65 (85.6) 58 (76.4) 58 (76.3) 57 (75.0) 55 (72.4) 55 (72.4) 51 (67.1) 44 (57.9) 40 (52.7) 37 (48.7) 36 (47.4) 35 (46.1) 33 (43.4) 31 (40.8) 30 (39.5) 15 (19.7) 14 (18.5) 13 (17.1)

Mean 4.30 4.30 4.17 4.08 3.99 4.03 4.01 3.89 3.60 3.53 3.41 3.40 3.27 3.17 3.37 3.20 2.80 2.71 2.32

SD 0.75 0.75 0.93 0.86 0.74 0.95 0.82 1.05 1.07 0.94 0.86 1.03 1.14 1.23 1.06 1.10 0.94 1.07 1.20

written, long-range plans; assessed the external and internal environments; and established strategies based on departments mission, objectives. Consequently, 43.4 per cent of the athletic departments may be identied as strategic planners. The data in Table II also reveal that 28 (36.8 per cent) of the athletic departments utilize written short-range operational plans of action and budgets for the current scal period, while 13 (17.1 per cent) of the athletic departments have no written plans, but instead have developed short-range informal, unwritten plans based on the intuition and experience of the administrative team. A very low percentage of the athletic departments (2.6 per cent) indicated that they had no measurable structured planning.

Questionnaire item B
The data from the respondents (see Table III) indicate that the external factors considered to a very great or great extent by 70 per cent or more of the athletic departments when formulating their plans were: spectators, board of trustees, NCAA Division I-A trends, university administrators, educational trends,and economic/tax considerations. There were no factors considered to a very little or little extent by 70 per cent or more of the athletic departments when formulating their plans. The factor considered to the least extent by 60.6 per cent of the athletic departments was religious groups.

Questionnaire item C
As noted in Table IV , it was found that the internal factors considered to a very great or great extent by 70 per cent or more of the athletic departments when formulating their plans were: nancial performance, adequacy of facilities, coaches opinion, athletes academic achievement, athletic performance, coaches performance, and athletic departments staff performance. There were no factors considered to a very little or little extent by 70 per cent or more of the athletic departments when formulating their plans.

Notes: Frequency (percentage) Scaling: 1 = very little; 2 = little; 3 = some; 4 = great; 5= very great

Table IV Extent to which internal factors are considered in the planning process (in descending order of consideration) Factors Financial preference Facilities Coaches opinion Athletic academics Athletic preference Coaches preference Staff preference Administration preference Athletes preference Athletes opinion Advisory committees Very little or little 1 (1.3)a 2 (2.6) 1 (1.3) 1 3 3 5 4 7 9 (1.3) (3.9) (3.9) (6.6) (5.3) (9.2) (11.8) Some 9 (11.8) 8 (10.5) 11 (14.5) 13 (17.1) 14 (18.4) 12 (15.8) 14 (18.4) 18 (23.7) 26 (34.2) 23 (30.3) 34 (44.7) Very great or great 66 (86.8) 66 (86.9) 64 (84.2) 63 (82.9) 61 (80.2) 61 (80.3) 55 (72.3) 53 (69.7) 46 (60.5) 46 (60.6) 33 (43.4) Mean 4.37 4.08 4.03 4.26 4.08 4.01 3.92 3.90 3.75 3.64 3.42 SD 0.80 0.67 0.63 0.74 0.73 0.76 0.75 0.92 0.83 0.87 0.84

Questionnaire item F
The data displayed in Table V reveal that the items incorporated to a very great or great extent by 70 per cent or more of the athletic departments were: nancial plan, facilities master plan, and marketing plan. There were no items incorporated to a very little or little extent by 70 per cent or more of the athletic departments.

Notes: a Frequency (percentage) Scaling: 1 = very little; 2 = little; 3 = some; 4 = great; 5= very great

Questionnaire item G
The responding athletic departments (see Table VI), utilize short-range plans which cover approximately two years, and long-

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range plans which cover approximately six and a half years.

Research question 2
What are the key factors that discourage NCAA Division I-A athletic departments from engaging in strategic planning activities?

Questionnaire item H
The responding athletic departments have engaged in long-range planning for about six years.

Questionnaire item D
As mentioned above, 43.4 per cent of the athletic departments were engaged in strategic planning, while 56.6 per cent were not identied as strategic planners. The data displayed in Table VII reveal which factors discourage those athletic departments not identied as strategic planners (56.6 per cent) from engaging in strategic planning activities. Table VII indicates that 46.5 per cent of the athletic departments not engaged in strategic planning identied insufficient nancial resources and time as factors that discourage them to a very great or great extent from engaging in strategic planning activities. On the other hand, there were two factors (lack of planning policy , and planning not valued by athletic departments) that discourage 46 per cent or more of the athletic departments not engaged in strategic planning to a very little or little extent. Interestingly , 60.5 per cent of the athletic departments indicated that insufcient experience and training was a factor that discouraged them to some extent from engaging in strategic planning activities.

Questionnaire item I
Only 29 (38.2 per cent) of the athletic departments have already established a formal planning committee.

Questionnaire item J
When athletic departments were asked whether they plan to establish a formal planning committee within the next two years, only eight (10.5 per cent) indicated that they plan to establish such a committee.

Table V Extent to which the athletic departments incorporate the following items (in descending order of consideration) Factors Financial plan Facilities plan Marketing plan Human resource plan Contingency plan
a

Very little or little 4 7 10 18 (5.3) (9.2) (13.2) (23.6)

Some 5 (6.6)a 13 (17.1) 12 (15.8) 25 (32.9) 34 (44.7)

Very great or great 70 (92.1) 58 (76.3) 56 (73.7) 40 (52.6) 21 (27.6)

Mean 4.53 3.97 3.97 3.50 3.08

SD 0.62 0.80 0.80 0.84 0.95

Research question 3
Is it possible to develop a generic strategic planning process model, which can be implemented by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments? Figure 1 presents the strategic planning process model as developed by the researcher. A brief analysis of the several steps involved in the strategic planning process follows.

Notes: Frequency (percentage) Scaling: 1 = very little; 2 = little; 3 = some; 4 = great; 5= very great Table VI Number of years short- and long-range plans cover Plans Mean 1.75 6.50

Short-range plans Long-range plans

Strategic planning process model Strategy formulation


1 Whether developing a new organization or reformulating the direction of an ongoing one the culture, policies, values, vision, mission, and long-term objectives which will shape an organizations strategic posture must be determined. 2 The existence of social, political, educational, demographic, legal, economic/tax, technological, and competitive changes require athletic departments to perform an effective external environmental assessment of the existing opportunities and threats, and in this way to anticipate and respond effectively to changes. 3 Athletic departments should evaluate their strengths and weaknesses which could inuence the future of their survival and growth. 4 Periodically , athletic departments should reconsider/revise their stated values,

Table VII Factors that discourage strategic planning in athletic departments (in descending order of consideration) Factors Insufficient nance Insufficient time Personnel resistance Communication Insufficient training Planning policy Planning value
a

Very little or little 12 11 18 15 10 20 23 (27.9)a (25.6) (41.9) (34.9) (23.3) (46.5) (53.5)

Some 11 (25.6) 12 (27.9) 15 (34.9) 19 (44.2) 26 (60.5) 17 (39.5) 14 (32.6)

Very great or great 20 (46.5) 20 (46.5) 10 (23.3) 9 (21.0) 6 (13.9) 6 (13.9) 6 (13.9)

Mean 3.35 3.35 2.67 2.84 2.86 2.49 2.26

SD 1.31 1.09 0.99 0.95 0.81 1.03 1.04

Notes: Frequency (percentage) Scaling: 1 = very little; 2 = little; 3 = some; 4 = great; 5= very great [ 242 ]

Athanasios Kriemadis Strategic planning in higher education athletic departments International Journal of Educational Management 11/6 [1997] 238247

Figure 1 Strategic planning process model


External environment assessment Opportunities Threats Reconsider/ revise Culture Policies Values Vision Mission Long-term objectives Selection of long-term strategies Performance measurement and evaluaton Establish short-term objectives

Culture Policies Values Vision Mission Long-term objectives Internal environment assessment Strengths Weaknesses

Develop short-term strategies

vision, mission, and long-term objectives in order to be responsive to changes occurring in their external or internal environments. 5 After the athletic department has established its long-term objectives (taking into consideration external and internal environmental assessments), the selection of long-term strategies that meet the departments objectives should be undertaken.

Strategy implementation
Once selection of long-term strategies has been made, the next step would be the establishment of short-term objectives and shortterm strategies to achieve long-term objectives and strategies.

Strategy evaluation
The nal component in the strategic planning process is the strategy evaluation and is essential to ensure that stated objectives are being achieved. Reviewing internal and external factors, measuring performance, and taking corrective actions are the activities associated with this component.

private). The data displayed in Table VIII revealed no signicant relationship between the two variables. 2 The extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments is independent of the university size. The analysis indicated that there was no signicant relationship between the extent of strategic planning and university size in NCAA Division I-A athletic departments (see Table IX). 3 The extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments is independent of the background of athletic directors. The data were analysed by using Chisquare. The results demonstrated that there was no signicant relationship between the extent of strategic planning used by athletic departments and background of athletic directors (see Table X).

Table VIII Chi-square analysis of the extent of strategic planning and type of university Chi-square 0.029 DF 2 Signicance 0.99

Hypotheses tested
1 The extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments is independent of the type of university (public versus private). Chi-square was performed to determine whether there was a relationship between the extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments and type of the university (public versus

Table IX Chi-square analysis of the extent of strategic planning and type of university size Chi-square 2.06 DF 4 Signicance 0.72 [ 243 ]

Athanasios Kriemadis Strategic planning in higher education athletic departments International Journal of Educational Management 11/6 [1997] 238247

Table X Chi-square analysis of the extent of strategic planning and background of athletic directors Chi-square 6.75 DF 4 Signicance 0.15

Discussion, implications and recommendations


This study is an attempt to assist the management of athletic departments by identifying strategic planning activities utilized by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments and by introducing a strategic planning process model which can be utilized in departmental planning. The strategic planning process model may help athletic departments to think strategically, clarify future direction, deal effectively with rapidly changing environments, and anticipate and initiate change.

Discussion
More than 80 per cent of the athletic departments indicated that they were involved in strategic planning activities such as developing vision, mission, goals and objectives, longterm and short-term strategies, and evaluation procedures. However, only 43.4 per cent of the athletic departments may be classied as strategic planners since only that percentage met the criteria of: having formalized written, long-range plans; having assessed the external and internal environments; and having established strategies based on departmental mission and objectives. A majority of athletic departments (56.6 per cent) were identied as non-strategic planners even though they took into consideration some of the strategic planning process components. They were excluded because their planning endeavours fell into one of the following categories: they utilized short-range, written plans of action and budgets for current scal period (short-range planners); they utilized short-range, unwritten plans that are stored in the memories of the athletic departments administrators (intuitive planners); or they did not use any measurable planning procedures. According to Harvey (1982), the purpose of the development of a strategic plan is to maintain or gain a position of advantage in relation to competitors. Once the strategic plan is made, the implementation stage of the plan is the critical step. The issue of implementation was not rigorously assessed in this study . Consequently, it may be questioned whether the athletic departments that had been identied as strategic planners, actually implement the strategic plan when making decisions concerning the commitment of departments

resources towards the desired objectives. This position is supported to some degree by the following ndings surfacing in this study: 1 A small percentage of the athletic departments (38.2 per cent) have established a formal planning committee. In addition, long-range planning experience is only about six years old. Given the lack of experience and a formal planning committee, it does not seem likely that many of the athletic departments systematically adhere in the entire strategic planning process, i.e. formulation, implementation, and evaluation. 2 There seem to be differing opinions concerning the number of years the short- and long-range plans should cover. With the external environment changing so rapidly, athletic departments must realize that they have to reduce the period of time the short- and long-range plans cover. 3 Athletic departments do not seem to sufficiently consider the human resources factor and the development of contingency plans in their planning activities. These two support activities are time consuming. Since time and expertise are two signicant factors that inuence athletic departments not to plan, these two factors might also be signicant in athletic departments not implementing the strategic plan. To the contrary, the strategic planning literature indicates that signicant consideration must be given to the development of a human resources plan. David (1989) suggested that even a well-designed strategic plan can fail if insufficient attention is given to the human resources dimension. Regarding the importance of developing contingency plans, Pearce and Robinson (1985) stated that for organizations to improve their ability to cope with change, they must adopt a contingency approach to strategic planning and must develop contingency plans. The success of the strategy chosen is contingent to varying degrees on future conditions. Based on this important observation, administrators should identify scenarios, develop alternatives, and formulate contingency strategies for the athletic department. In this way, they will always anticipate and respond to changes effectively . A small percentage of Division I-A athletic departments are nancially self-supporting (Atwell et al., 1980; Raiborn, 1990). Athletic directors, already under nancial duress, have not seen the value of utilizing scarce resources for engaging in strategic planning activities. Since contradictory ndings have been drawn from studies concerning the relationship between strategic planning and nancial

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performance, athletic directors may not wish to expend resources on an unproven venture. Insufficient training in strategic planning practices may be another factor which discourages athletic directors from engaging in strategic planning. The availability , cost, and time for training does not readily lend itself to the needs of athletic departments to become procient in the strategic planning process. The study provided evidence that the extent of strategic planning used by NCAA Division I-A athletic departments does not seem to be related to the type of university, university size, and background of athletic directors. According to Steiss (1985), the concept of strategic planning rst found application in the private sector. The strategic planning process was designed to provide direction to the organization and guide all its operational activities. However, most of the fundamental approaches, methods, and procedures of strategic planning are directly applicable to the public or non-prot sector. Based on this observation, this author is wondering why athletic departments in private universities have not taken greater advantage of this planning process when compared with public universities. David (1989) noted that strategic planning in small rms is more informal than in large rms. It was surprising to this author that large universities have not adopted a strategic planning approach to decision making to a greater extent when compared with small universities. While some athletic directors had work experiences from the private sector, it would seem that they either did not transfer their knowledge and experiences in strategic planning or had not acquired the necessary skills in strategic planning to be able to transfer them to the athletic departments environment. This may be attributed to the fact that the athletic department decision makers may lack the necessary human and nancial resources to undertake strategic planning activities. Another possible reason could be that university administration does not encourage the formulation and implementation of the strategic planning process in athletic department decision making.

the proposed model, athletic departments will be better able to: establish and periodically review mission and objective statements; identify external and internal variables and their interrelationships; and formulate, implement, and evaluate their strategies. The identication of these variables will contribute to the development of realistic decisions in the light of their future consequences. 2. Since the two most signicant constraints to strategic planning were insufficient nancial resources and time, athletic departments need to recognize these constraints and be willing to commit the nancial resources and time, if they are to support the implementation of the strategic plan. 3 If strategic planning is to be considered as an important administrative responsibility (as suggested by the literature), and if another signicant constraint to strategic planning is insufficient training and experience in planning procedures, then athletic departments should provide necessary planning skills through educational programmes. In this way , decision makers will begin to consider strategic planning as one of their primary responsibilities rather than an additional task. Educational programmes emphasizing such skills as human relations, analytical thinking, time management, and participatory decision making can greatly assist athletic departments in carrying out the strategic planning process. 4. In developing the strategic planning process model, those who were identied as strategic planners indicated that they relied heavily on the expertise of consultants. It would, therefore, seem advisable that outside consultation and facilitation can help athletic administrators in the application of the strategic planning process for their respective departments.

Recommendations for further study


The literature in the area of strategic planning in intercollegiate athletics is very limited. There appears to be an ever increasing interest in this area, and further studies could prove to be benecial. Based on the ndings of this study, the following recommendations are offered for future research: 1 Follow-up studies should be done to the same sample in three to ve years to investigate possible changes in the utilization of the strategic planning process. 2 Research needs to be done to the same population (NCAA Division I-A athletic departments) to assess qualitatively the extent of strategic planning. Qualitative case studies rely on data obtained from interviews, observations,

Implications
The ndings presented and discussed above have implications for the development and use of the strategic planning process in athletic departments: 1 The proposed strategic planning process model is a way of helping athletic administrators think and act strategically . By recognizing and analysing key variables in

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and the study of official documents. Some of the interview and observation issues would address membership of the planning committee, the type of data used in planning, the methods used to obtain the data, the type of leadership behaviour which appears to be needed to ensure the success of the planning effort, and the resistance that is encountered in gaining commitment to strategic planning. The study of official documents would reveal the extent to which these documents address themselves to strategic issues such as the external or internal environmental assessment. 3 A comparative study of strategic planning should be conducted among the NCAA Divisions (I, II, and III). 4 A useful investigation might also be undertaken to assess the relationship between the extent of strategic planning activities used by athletic departments and the nancial performance or productivity of these departments. It would be necessary to establish which measures of nancial performance or productivity would be appropriate. A suggestion concerning a measure of nancial performance for athletic departments might be the percentage of self-generated revenue. Examples of self-generated revenue are ticket sales, concessions, sponsorships, TV and radio, etc., as opposed to university funding. Another suggestion concerning a measure of productivity of athletic departments might be the in-conference and national performance of the total athletic programme. 5 Finally, future research should be designed to establish the validity and reliability of a strategic planning survey instrument which could be used in any NCAA athletic department to evaluate the quantity and quality of strategic planning activities which are occurring, and the effectiveness of the implementation of those strategic plans that have been developed.

References
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