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Sports: Controlling Unethical & Illegal Behavior Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Strategies for Controlling Unethical and Illegal Behavior

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


In order to prevent unethical and illegal behavior sport managers at all levels must take an active role. The following strate­gies, adapted from Rein (9), for contro­lling unethical and illegal behavior in sport organi­zat­ions, may be implem­ented at all levels of manage­ment. Sport managers should:


1. Identify specific ethica­l/legal standards that have been compro­mised and determine why they occurred. For example, does the organi­zat­ion’s culture support unethical behavior?

2. Identify and analyze their specific respon­sib­ilities and management decisions and determine if they would feel comfor­table telling their superiors, or other sport managers about their actions and decisions. If they would not feel comfor­table in doing that, then they should reevaluate those actions and decisions in light of ethica­l/legal and more consid­era­tions.

3. Take an active role in discussing ethica­l/legal and moral consid­era­tions in sport. They should not assume that reinfo­rcing ethical behavior should be
someone else’s respon­sib­ility, but should assert their organi­zat­ion’s concerns and policies in all matters related to unethical and deviant behavior, and address the critical issues facing sport generally and their organi­zation specif­ically.

4. Assure all consti­tue­ncies (commu­nity, faculty, fans, etc.) that ethical consid­era­tions are important to the way that their sport organi­zations are managed. However, sport managers must be committed to ensure that the conduct of the entire organi­zation reflects high standards.

5. Evaluate policies and operating procedures in terms of ethics. Are the establ­ished goals of the organi­zation realistic? Sport managers should avoid establ­ishing goals that are unreal­istic because they may engender the attitude that “anything goes- the end justifies the means.”

6. Promote the concept of honesty over expedi­ency. They should encourage an accurate repres­ent­ation of their organi­zation by all members.

7. Involve all levels of the organi­zation in ethical concerns. Delegate authority to establish ethical guidelines for various dimensions of the organi­zation and, if feasible, “establish quality circles on codes of conduct and ethical behavior”.

Ethics in Sports

Strategies Continued

8. Hold “ethics workshops” for personnel, manage­ment, and athletes and determine if there is a need for a compre­hensive code of ethics for the organi­zation to help reduce unethical and deviant behavior and to develop a culture of integrity. According to Eitzen, “codes of conduct are required that are strictly monitored and admini­stered at all levels of sport to keep the actions of those involved as close to the ethical high road as possible.”

9. Send repres­ent­atives from the organi­zation to speak publicly about ethical questions and topics. Sport managers should reinforce ethical values that relate to matters vital to the welfare and success of their organi­zat­ions.

10. Publicize and reinforce positive examples of ethical conduct. They should consider holding seminars with media to inform the organi­zat­ion’s consti­tue­ncies of the approp­riate and ethical behaviors within their organi­zat­ions.

11. Coordinate the organi­zat­ion’s efforts to speak out and to answer false or unjust media or public criticism of the organi­zat­ion’s ethical conduct.

12. Include ethical behavior, conduct, and goals as an integral part of the organi­zat­ion’s manage­men­t-b­y-o­bje­ctives and/or perfor­mance appraisal system. In addition, it is quite clear from the literature that if unethical and deviant behavior is going to be reduced in sport organi­zat­ions, respon­sible action must start at the top. Those in high level management positions must set the moral tone of the organi­zation. In summary, if sport managers are going to control unethical and deviant behavior, they cannot depend upon increased regula­tions, enforc­ement, or legisl­ation. They must implement strategies designed to reinforce ethical values within all levels of the sport organi­zation.