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Determining key attributes of social capital and social impact: the case of surf life saving australia


Darcy, S and Onyx, J and Edwards, M and Maxwell, H and Bullen, P and Sherker, S, Determining key attributes of social capital and social impact: the case of surf life saving australia, SMANZ 2012, 28- 30 November, 2012, Sydney, Australia, pp. 33. (2012) [Conference Extract]

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Surf Life Saving Australia is an Australian icon from both a sporting and a volunteer perspective. Sport organisations and the third sector generally need to understand the social impact they have on society generally and their specific constituencies. Do they make a difference to their constituency or to the social life of a community? If they do make a difference, what kind of difference are they making? Most organisations measure the economic impact they have but more often it would be beneficial for an organisation to understand the contribution they make to the social lives of their members and to civil society. This paper is part of a larger study investigating the development of social impact measures for third sector organisations. Specifically this paper seeks to understand how to measure the social capital of an organisation and the social impact that the organisation has on civil society.

The research design used a two stage process: 1. The first stage involved a qualitative interpretive approach through focus group discussions with a variety of SLSA stakeholders. Data was collected from eight focus groups with key SLSA staff, board members and 'toes in the sand' volunteers, nationally {a total of 61 participants). The analysis produced a hypothesised model of social capital and social impact; 2. The second stage involved the development of an online questionnaire to test the hypothesised theoretical model where 2,500 usable responses were collected from the membership via e-mail contact. The questionnaire developed 71 items from the focus group data together with an additional five questions for those in a governance role concerning the organisation as a whole. An additional 20 demographic items were included together with open ended questions regarding examples of social impact, cultural diversity and their description of the social contribution of the organisation. The paper presents the analysis of the findings through the use of a logic model. The paper concludes by discussing the theoretical implications for understanding social capital and social impact in a sporting context. This includes the organisational activities regarded as having lower and higher orders of impact The model suggests a logic path that progresses from events inside the organisation with immediate benefits to individuals through to the wider community with networks extending from the organisation to provide a series of social impacts and benefits to civil society.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:social impact, social capital, community sport
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social theory
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Maxwell, H (Dr Hazel Maxwell)
ID Code:102423
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2015-08-20
Last Modified:2015-08-20
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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