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Logics and legal forms: An empirical legal analysis of sports club decision-making

Evans, Rhys 2022. Logics and legal forms: An empirical legal analysis of sports club decision-making. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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There has been a growth in concern that the legal risks of personal liability for those contributing to amateur sport has translated into a circumstance whereby voluntary sports clubs struggle to recruit and retain both members and volunteers. A contributory factor to such struggle is understood to be related to clubs’ choices of legal form, and in particular, problems connected to the use of the unincorporated association. This study explores club engagement with a policy attempting to placate concerns of personal legal liability through the advocacy of a move away from the unincorporated form. The Welsh Rugby Union’s “incorporation policy” consists of the provision of information and funding to constituent clubs in order to facilitate a transformation of legal forms away from the unincorporated association to the company limited by guarantee. By undertaking this incorporation, clubs afford the opportunity to their constituent members and volunteers to mitigate those risks of personal legal liability perhaps serving as barriers to participation. The study utilises a mixed-methods approach, underpinned by critical realism, to improve understanding as to the how, the why, and the consequences of club engagements with incorporation. The research suggests that to properly account for those forces influencing club choices of legal form, a holistic understanding of causation is required. The research therefore seeks to supplement legally grounded explanations for incorporating with theories and concepts traditionally existing outside of legal scholarship. Attempting to provide a theoretical richness to understandings of causation, the thesis engages existing perspectives applied to explanations of organisational change regarding voluntary sport clubs. The thesis ultimately concludes that an institutional logics perspective, established within the voluntary sports club literature and experiencing growth in empirical legal scholarship, is capable of enriching existing explanations of how and why not-for-profit entities engage with decisions of legal form.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Uncontrolled Keywords: Legal Forms, Sports Clubs, Unincorporated Associations, Incorporation, Limited Liability, Institutional Logics, Nonprofit Organisations, Organisational Decision-Making.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 May 2022
Last Modified: 11 May 2022 12:40

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