- 01202 962413
- gevans at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
- Senior Lecturer In Sports Management
- Dorset House D215, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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My research interest is guiding my role as the Contract Manager for the Sport England funded Active Ageing project [SE2017007073], and one of a team of BU researchers drawn from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (FoHSS) and the DoSPA, FoM, to evaluate the effectiveness of the project. The DoSPA is leading the evaluation of system changes as evoked by the project and measuring the physical activity of its 55-65 years of age patients, with the study running between the 1st April 2018 and 31st March 2021. We believe the impact of the research could well influence the future direction of Sport England's policy and strategy for sport and physical activity.
Profile of Teaching PG
- Business Strategy and Finance (Sport).I am Unit Leader for Business Strategy and Finance (Sport), a level 7 Unit delivered to about twenty MSc Sport Management students each academic year. If Sport and the Law is my favourite Unit to teach, then Business Strategy and Finance is a very close second. Business Finance and Strategy is the most challenging Unit I teach, and I always find it quite stressful trying to equip students with enough financial management skills, such as ratio analysis, to be able to review two companies of interest to them critically. And then link their ratio analysis to the strategic management, business policy and management ethics areas of interest of the Unit. It does take a lot of coaxing to convince students the link from their ratio analysis to strategic management, etc., is through the corporate objectives. I know the students enjoy the Unit because they have said they are learning proper business skills, the skills which make it worthwhile to come to university to acquire, which they believe will help them secure their goal of becoming a sports manager. The MUSE scores underline how much students enjoy the Unit, with students mostly scoring the teaching attributes of the MUSE as strongly agree and agree, equivalent to 83.33%. I suppose it should not be a surprise the analysis of football clubs is popular with students and how the financial affairs of clubs appear to work going by the 5-year review of the clubs’ accounts. There is much interest in player trading and how player trading impacts of the finances of clubs. It would not take much at all to change the Unit to become financial management in football. I also refer to the work of a former BSc Sports Management External Examiner, R. Wilson, who many consider an expert on football finances. I would also introduce Z-Scores to analyse investment risk. Overall, an enjoyable Unit for students, plus a USP of the MSc in Sport Management programme, in my view.
- Facility Planning and Design. I am Unit Leader for Facility Planning and Design; a level 7 Unit delivered to about twenty MSc Sport Management students each academic year. Facility Planning and Design, or facility operations management in sport, was the day job, the bread and butter, what paid the bills. It is second nature, just like driving the car. I am fortunate as a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), to receive regular updates on all matters relating to facility operations management. As a result, my teaching and learning materials are up to date. I would say some students struggle with the Unit’s purpose and nature of provision and philosophy of use, plus the critical analysis of two sports venues of their choice, the Unit’s 4,000-word assessment. A highlight of the Unit though, is the field trips to venues in the south of England, to understand the purpose and nature of provision and philosophy of use of the sites. The sites are at the elite, performance, participation and introduction levels of the Sports Development Continuum (Hylton et al. 2016), and managed by private, public and voluntary organisations. Students find the talks and tours by the venue’s operations managers fascinating and informative. They also find the knowledge and understanding of the operations managers impressive and certainly brings a sense of perspective to their thoughts and ideas of what sport management is all about. Despite the difficulties some students experience studying the Unit, the students' MUSE scores for the teaching attributes are in the main strongly agree or agree, equivalent to 90.0%. Students also score the Schwarz et al. (2015) book, the recommended Unit text, highly as well. I do consider the Unit to be a further USP of the MSc in Sport Management, so somewhat dismayed it is not in the new version of the MSc. Never mind, I will organise field trips for the replacement unit.
- Dissertation. I supervise MSc in Sport Management dissertations and mostly supervise dissertations that fall in the subject area of business administration. I supervise up to three MSc students each year and find MSc supervision more stimulating than BSc supervision. To date, all MSc students have completed their dissertations, with two notable theses. Firstly, how social media influences buyer behaviour in sport consumers. Secondly, sport managers attitudes to energy conservation and energy management methods. My running average for agreed percentages for MSc dissertations is 62.0% (the number of decided marks divided by the number of MSc students supervised!). I have, for my sins, opted to supervise the MSc in Sport Management problem children that did ramp-up the workload slightly. However, I got them across the finish line and received a commendation at one Exam Board for supervising a particularly difficult MSc student. A challenge, I believe, is the MSc students do not find it easy to point to their contributions to theory or practice, and whether their work is a contribution to policy, process or practice. Further, not understanding their study is supposed to be strategic. As a result, their work often lacks the impact it should have, and possibly because of the relatively short period to complete their dissertations. I do feel quite pleased that during my spell as the MSc Programme Coordinator, I was able to uplift the standard of statistics to analysing using the Cron Bach’s alpha validation, correlation and factor analysis. The use of inferential statistics over descriptive statistics. Away from the role, I am trying to uplift the reporting of qualitative data in the findings chapter by using alternative methods to the schematic network. Lastly, perhaps a publishable dissertation will emerge from this year’s crop of MSc students or even a Systems study!
Profile of Teaching UG
- Sport and the Law. I am Unit Leader for Sport and the Law which is proving a big hit with UG students from all four programmes. The applied nature of the Unit means students acquire knowledge on relevant Acts, principles and processes they can immediately use in professional practice. Sport and the Law is also stimulating their interest in further study after graduating BU, such as PG certificate, diploma or an LLB accredited MA in Sport and the Law (Nottingham Trent University!). A fair few have taken this option, plus CPD qualifications such as Sports Agent, with one student going on to study a PhD in Sport and the Law. The MUSE scores attest to the Unit’s attractiveness and resonance with the students, as students scored the MUSE teaching attributes as strongly agree or agree, almost equivalent to 100%. Sport and the Law is, without doubt, my favourite Unit to deliver, and I would relish the opportunity to complete further study in this subject area, possibly research, such as the efficacy of CASC. It is a shame the Unit is not in the new version of the BSc Sports Management programme, even if re-titled legal issues in sport to soften its perceived complexity and difficulty. Perhaps next time!
- Personal and Professional Development in Sport. I am the Unit Leader for Personal and Professional Development in Sport, a level 5 Unit, which is compulsory for all UG sports students pre their industrial placement. It is fair to say the Unit is a labour of love because students seem split in terms of its value to them. Each year my co-deliverer and I make changes based on students feedback we feel will uplift the student experience, only to read of minor improvement in the MUSE scores. However, I believe the balance is now right in terms of the employability skills, managing people and organisational behaviour content. I have simplified the teaching and learning materials as much as I can to make the documents accessible as possible for the broadest cross-section of students. I have also changed the seminar activities in the hope of maximising student engagement, and to help them as much as possible pre their assessments. A positive is the Unit’s assessments, the syndicate team PowerPoint presentation and exam, are producing good marks for students, especially for those students who usually engage with their University studies. It is those who do not engage who remains the concern. A further positive is our cooperation between the Careers Team, PDAs and I. We enjoy excellent communications and support each other in various ways, e.g. pre-placement brief, to service the placement needs of students. We collaborate on developments too, such as the Industrial Placement for Sport Brightspace content area, so we can all upload materials for students when they are out on their placement. Returning to MUSE, the recent scores for the teaching attributes based on strongly agree or agree were as follows: explore own ideas or concepts 63.18%, effectiveness at explaining things 68.43%, making the subject interesting 42.10%, marking criteria are clear 78.95%, and helpful comments on work 42.11%. The planning for next year’s delivery starts on the 21st of June.
- UG Dissertation. I am a supervisor for UG dissertations, level 6, usually supervising student projects that fall in the business subject area of Sport Management. It is quite a diverse range of studies I oversee, plus more awkward studies that do not neatly fall into one of the distinct areas of Sport Management. While my overall average mark for supervising dissertations has dropped quite noticeably, 67% to 61%, as measured by the first and second marker agreed on percentage for a student dissertation divided by the number of UG students I have supervised in the DoSPA; there have been virtually no fails. I put the latter down to the aide memoirs I have pioneered to guide students in the right direction with their work. Many students have commented on how useful they found my aide memoirs. My strength as a supervisor is in research design, methodology, so I am quite demanding of students when it comes to this element of their work. However, I would like to see a range of methods considered for the findings section of students work, e.g. conceptual models, mind maps and system diagrams. I fear we have become entrenched in the mapping of findings as a schematic network, often lacking any narrative to the merits of the schematic network. The prioritising of the schematic themes too; otherwise, the overarching themes seem to leap out of nowhere as devoid of any logic. All that said, there have been several highs and a more recent UG study on leadership mobility, or how on-field leadership of elite players transfer to the world of business. Part of the findings questioned players development programmes because of how little preparation players received to assist the transition from sport to the world of work. Interestingly, shortly afterwards the RFU commissioned a study on this very topic! Lastly, to date, I have supervised something in the order of 300 + UG dissertations and never surprised at the topics some students propose to investigate.
Cancer Support Services in southwest England, Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), China, 06 Jun 2018 more
I was invited to present at the 2018 International Forum on Sports Economy and Regional Cooperation, the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), Chengdu, China, Tuesday 5th June 2018, after a referral by the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE), Chengdu, China. The focus of my presentation was the 16-month Fusion funded cancer support services project [NFNA.32X]. I was the Principal Investigator that led the inquiry into the effectiveness of the physical activity, health and well-being interventions for those living with cancer in the Southwest of England. I believed its key findings were relevant to the stream Economic Cooperation and Community of Shared Future of Mankind. The first finding of interest is that to deliver physical activity, health and well-being interventions is not a single agency responsibility, rather a multi-agency responsibility. Its implication being, the agencies who were involved in long-term health conditions needed to be joined-up to be able to effectively refer patients to the physical activity, health and well-being pathway. The second key finding was, the need to perceive the delivery of the physical activity, health and well-being pathway as a delivery system. That there is strategic leadership for each delivery system in a conurbation of interest. The third finding was that patients need to have their interventions designed for them, as this usually results in their long-term adherence to their preferred intervention. The fourth key finding was the requirement for training and development for all those engaged in delivering and referring patients to the pathway, especially healthcare professionals who are not experts in the path. Lastly, create the evidence base to support the need for the interventions, rather than just the numbers of patients who participate in the responses. An essential element here is the patients' story, the patient’s narrative.
Systems Approach to Guide Cancer Services Research, SWUFE, Chengdu, China, 06 Jun 2018 more
Following the successful cancer support services presentation at the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) invited me to present my research to staff and students of the School of Sport Science and Physical Education. However, the focus was much more on the Systems Thinking, Systems Practice (STSP) (Stowell et al. 2012) approach I employed to guide the research. The staff at SWUFE was unaware of such STSP (op cit) methodologies. The lecture commenced by giving an overview of STSP (op cit) and each of the paradigms of practical thought and which methodologies could inquire each paradigm of practical thought for a given context, as argued by Flood et al. (1991). I then gave an overview of Castle’s (1998b) CVAM and why it was suited to the opportunity context. It proved an awkward part of the presentation because CVAM (op cit) can guide inquiry into each paradigm of practical thought almost simultaneously. The staff found this confusing and questioned whether it was a contradiction. I spent a lot of time addressing their questions and relating my responses to the CVAM Process Framework (Castle, 1998b) to explain how it guides an inquiry. The lecture then progressed to introducing the CVAM (Castle, 1998b) sub-methodologies such as STAR and MRAM, and how conceptual models were built from the data by the system's actors. I stressed one reason for the success of the inquiry into cancer support services was because of the purposively selected system's actors. How the sub-methodologies engaged the system's actors resulted in conceptualisations of the Delivery Chain and Hub of Practice models (Evans et al. 2018) for physical activity, health and well-being for those living with cancer in the area of interest. There is no doubt the lecture resonated with the staff. I have since been asked to deliver a seminar to cover in more detail the different STSP (Stowell et al. 2012) approaches during my next visit.
Managing People in Sport, SWUFE, Chengdu, China, 17 Apr 2018 more
The requested lecture opportunity came about because of the MoU between BU and the School of Sport Science and Physical Education, Southwestern University for Finance and Economics (SWUFE), Chengdu, China. Under the MoU, SWUFE requested the delivery of a Sport Management short course to its Majors students in Sport Management. Of all the topics I could deliver, SWUFE asked for a 30-hour applied short course focusing on Managing People in Sport. Managing People in Sport is a fusion of personnel management, organisational behaviour and employability skills, and delivered as a mix of lectures and practical seminar sessions. Two of my lectures were also guest lecture spots and opened up to the Faculty, and those lectures were: organisational conflict in sport and organisational culture in sport. In preparation for delivering the short course at SWUFE, my teaching and learning resources were emailed ahead of the short course to allow the translation of some materials into Chinese, and my roleplay assessment documents. So, the tasks for the Majors students were to translate my PowerPoint slides and assist in coordinating sessions such as setting-up the teaching space and preparing for the syndicate team activities. In terms of the latter, I was very keen to get the Majors students doing activities, to engage their thought processes, and for them to compare their outputs with their classmates. Of all the teaching, learning and assessment theories that probably underpin my teaching methodology, I found Goleman’s (2006) Social Intelligence theory to be particularly useful. Teaching in a foreign country such as China, I feel it is the supreme test of one’s teaching ability. It demands the skill to be able to quickly adapt teaching techniques in response to the dynamics of the situation. All in all, though, I was delighted the Majors students rated my teaching as good-to-excellent, and SWUFE followed up with an invitation to return in 2019, to deliver the short course.
The modernisation of the GB sport system, The School of Physical Education, 24 Apr 2017 more
Invited to lecture at the SIAS International University, Xinzheng, Zhengzhou City, Monday 24th April 2017, 1.30 p.m. BU’s International Marketing and Student Recruitment Team arranged the visit to Jo Jo to see if we could progress a Partnership Development Proposal (PDP) between BU and SIAS. SIAS agreed and suggested it would be an excellent opportunity for a guest lecture slot. The approved title was: The modernisation of the GB sport system. Much of the content for the lecture was from the SWUFE organisational change presentation, with new slides to address: the history of GB sport up to 1997, the political imperatives of the then socialist government, why a root and branch reform of GB sport was necessary, and the intended outcomes of the changes. A number of the conflict theory slides were included too because much of the root and branch reforms challenged the history and traditions of many sports organisations and their mode of operation. The centrepiece though were the strategic examples, the models, especially the Multi-sport Hub (SE, 2004), the Delivery System (SE, 2005) and Sporting Future for All (HMG, 2015). The dissection of each model was in an attempt to explain how organisations operationalise the models and show how linked to the elite sport system managed by UK Sport. Links to the Whole Sport Plans of the national governing bodies for each sport too which must deliver physical activity, mass participation and the talent pathways to the elite level of competition. In conclusion, the latest sport participation rates were profiled to show what some of the shift had already achieved to date. Questions from the audience were few and limited in their complexity. It was a scary presentation because the large lecture room was up to its gunnels with staff and students, with rows 1 to 3 heaving with the Faculty’s academics. The academics might not have asked that many questions; however, they did take an awful lot of notes.
Paradox of conflict with organisational change., The School of Sport Science & Physical Education., 20 Apr 2017 more
The opportunity to deliver a lecture stemmed from the invitation from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE), Chengdu, China. SWUFE requested BU provides two Sport Management lectures. In lecture 1, a process of organisational change in sport, I introduced the fundamental theories of change, such as the drivers and types of change. I then argued the critical role of leaders in preparing an organisation for its transitional state and through unfreezing, movement and refreezing. Why leaders had to sell change too, and how we might conceptualise change by drawing on the prescriptions of change. What followed were the examples from GB sport that illustrated the strategic change sports organisations had evoked, plus what the implications were for the future. The models were the centrepiece of the session and explained as a result of the imposed change to modernise and professionalise GB sport. I concluded by engaging the discourses surrounding change programmes, and resistance to change. Lecture 2, approaches to conflict resolution in sport, this session started by defining what conflict is and some of the causes of conflict in sport organisations. Why it was necessary to understand conflict followed and into the discourses as to whether we perceive conflict to be a good or bad force by engaging in the arguments put forward by De Drue (2008) versus Tjosvold (2008). The centrepiece of this presentation, was the overview of the five approaches to conflict resolution, forcing, avoiding, accommodating, collaborating and compromising, as proposed by Ruble et al. (1976). Of particular interest, the explanation on how to operationalise their matrix based on the assertiveness of the ꭚ axis against cooperativeness of the ꭓ axis. To conclude, interpreting the ꭚ and ꭓ axis allows us to understand what approach might be the response to an organisation’s conflict.
- United Kingdom Systems Society (UKSS), Board member (2019-2020), http://www.ukss.org.uk/; International Journal of Systems and Society
- Level P Tutor for UG sports programmes. The position supports students while away on their BU placement, and directly supports the PDAs., The Executive of the Department of Sport and Physical Activity. <a href="http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/" class="iconRight" target="blank">http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/<i class="fa fa-external-link"></i></a>
- Academic Lead for China (Sport). To assist IMSR identify opportunities for BU to collaborate with Chinese sport HEIs, and be the academic link between BU and the Chinese HEIs, International Marketing and Student Recruitment (IMSR). <a href="http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/international" class="iconRight" target="blank">http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/international<i class="fa fa-external-link"></i></a>
- Visiting Professor in Sport Management, 1st July 2017 to 1st July 2020. Based on my industry and academic experiences in Sport Management, there is an opportunity for me to deliver short courses in Sport Management. The short course of interest is Managing People in Sport, a 34-hours short course I provide to about 12 Majors in Sport Management each year. I also try and support the School on matters relating to Sport Management research and would like to collaborate research-wise. (School of Sports Science and Physical Education, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE), Chengdu, China., 2017)
- Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, Fellow (Membership number 6135) (2012-), http://www.cimspa.org.uk/
- Higher Education Academy, Fellow (Recognition reference 31360) (2007-), http://www.hea.org.uk/
- Royal Society for the Arts, Fellow (1997-), http://www.rsa.org.uk/
- The Association of MBAs, Member (Membership number 18944) (1997-), http://www.mba.org.uk/
- United Kingdom Systems Society, Member (Membership number 579) (1997-), http://www.ukss.org.uk/
- Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Fellow (Membership number P451117) (1996-), http://www.managers.org.uk/