Unit One - Personal Leadership to Shape, Inspire and Develop
Ensuring you get the best out of yourself and those around you is central to the role of Sport Director. In addition, we have placed neuroscience throughout the Master's Degree in Sport Directorship.
Recognising the brain first and foremost as a social system, neuroscience enables a better understanding of how individuals can use their understanding of neuroscience to impact their leadership and performance.
Summary of learning:
- Personal leadership
- Critical reflection
- Coaching and mentoring
- Leader as coach
- Leadership development.
As a Leader, Manager and Coach, a critical skill required is the importance of understanding yourself and others. Understanding neuroscience, how your brain responds and reacts is fundamental to how you perform. Throughout this unit you will develop an understanding of emotional regulation and the neuroscience of smart work.
This unit explores leadership through exploring theory and practice. You are also required to explore leadership through a reflective lens to enable critical reflection on self as leader, development of self, leadership and management practice within a Sport Directorship context. It critically examines the importance of coaching, mentoring and action learning as approaches to facilitate development of others, develop leadership practice and develop leader as coach. The unit will critically examine leadership dynamics within complex settings.
Personal Leadership: Personal critical reflection through the use of leadership profiling tools, neuroscience, leadership theory and reflection frameworks.
Critical reflection: Reflective frameworks and approaches (reflection, coaching, mentoring, action learning) to critically explore self, self as Leader, development of self and leadership practice in the complex context of Sporting Directorship.
Coaching and Mentoring: critically examine the importance of coaching, mentoring and action learning as approaches to facilitate development of self, leadership practice and others.
Leader as coach: critically starting the development of Sport Director/leader as coach; evaluate role of leader as coach and complexities of developing and inspiring others.
Leadership development: examine the complexities of leadership drawing on leadership theories including sports leadership and emerging fields of leadership (e.g. Ethical, Collaborative, and Authentic). These will be evaluated in relation to dynamics of leadership in a complex setting and will include areas such as conflict, power, trust, collaboration and context.
Unit Two - Leading a High Performing Sports Organisation
As guardian for the organisation's future development, the Sport Director needs to be a visionary and inspirational leader, focused on performance delivery and not afraid to take centre stage. Introducing change to an organisation requires focus and excellent personal leadership skills.
Summary of learning
- Leadership advantage - sense making to find strategic advantage for sporting organisations
- Communicating and leading to build a performance culture
- Shaping high performance.
This unit is about how leaders create a high performance sport organisation. It will help leaders identify strategic advantage, and navigate the unpredictable nature of sporting contexts. It explores how they communicate and influence to effect and lead cultural change to shape high performance sports organisations. Throughout this unit you will come to see what a substantial role and understanding of neuroscience can play in how we work with people.
Unit Three - Masterminding Innovation and Change
This unit takes an action research-based approach to explore the effects of innovation on organisations, drivers of change and the challenges of implementing change in the context of high performance sporting organisations. You will learn to understand that a change from the norm often creates a chemical response within the brain that will drive our mental, emotional and social interactions. Throughout this unit the Sport Director will be empowered to understand and learn how feedback often produces an intense threat response in the brain.
Summary of learning:
- Managing change and innovation in a sports organisation
- The effects of change on the individual through the lens of neuroscience
- Structure and innovation, international cultures and innovation. Global innovation networks - examining the role of regional, international and global networks on the innovatory capacity of organisations
- Developing core competence and absorptive capacity - the mechanisms by which organisations develop the capacity to innovate and change
- The problems of managing innovation in organisations. Organisational culture - developing cultures that promote innovatory activity
- Organisational structure and the effective management of innovation. Interconnections between innovation, change and strategic management
- Roles of external sources in innovation. Formal networks (joint venture and strategic alliances) and informal networks (communities of practice and invisible colleges)
- The relationships between innovation and sustainability at individual, organisational, industry and societal level. Key opportunities and challenges presented by administrative, economic and socio-technical systems oriented towards sustainability.
Unit Four - Sport Governance and Best Practice
This unit will address the challenges facing the professional sport industry in relation to international developments in recent years. It will also cover the challenges associated with commercial development, establishment and development of European political and economic institutions. Finally, you will also address the global challenges of governance on multi stakeholder organisational interest in sport.
Throughout this unit, you will demonstrate an understanding of neuroscience and its relevance to human performance. Such understanding will enable you to apply neuroscience to how you lead, manage and coach people within the sports organisation.
This unit will also have emphasis on the international sport governance and legal frameworks. In addition, the North American Sport Model will be looked at and analysed. Content will cover a multidisciplinary approach by providing an in-depth analysis of legal, political and economic issues (e.g. competition law, litigation prevention, risk management, regulation and media policy). The unit will focus on current and future key challenges faced by sports organisations (specificity of sport, competitive balance, exploitation of commercial rights, social dialogue, violence, doping, social responsibility).
Summary of learning:
- International sport governance and legal frameworks
- Legal, political and economic issues
- Competition law, litigation prevention, risk management
- Regulation and media policy
- Exploitation of commercial rights
- Violence, doping, social responsibility.
Unit Five - Sporting Directorship in Practice: Dissertation
In this unit, students are expected to identify, structure, frame and investigate a complex managerial or business issue and produce a substantial written document of their achievements and conclusions.
Students may fulfil the requirements of the unit by undertaking one of five types of dissertation:
- Consultancy-based: Entailing the answering of distinct research questions that are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance to a specific client organisation, mainly by conducting fieldwork (collecting primary data) in the client organisation, with the objective of offering an appropriate short to medium-term solution to the business, and also drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice
- Empirically-based: Entailing the answering of distinct research questions, which are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance, mainly by conducting fieldwork (collecting primary data), with the objective of drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice
- Library-based: Entailing the answering of distinct research questions, which are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance, mainly by gathering secondary data and doing a meta-analysis of published interpretations of existing data sets, with the objective of drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice
- Action Learning: Entailing the reflective examination and interpretation of a problem-solving 'action intervention' made by the author in his/her organisation through the lens of relevant literature with the objective of demonstrating insights and enhanced managerial competence, and drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice
- Enterprise-Based Business Plan: entailing developing a business plan for a start-up business, underpinned by secondary data and fieldwork on the proposed business area, with the objective of a possible launch of a small enterprise. The programme is predominantly for existing practitioners in the place management sector. The place management sector encompasses a range of professions internationally, including town and city centre management, place marketing and branding. It is increasingly involving civic society and the third sector, through initiatives such as Transition Towns and the Portas Pilots.