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 This study investigated perceived gender competence by athletes in the administration of sports in Nigerian universities. This is in view of the general assumption that female are weaker gender than their male counterpart. The study was guided by seven purposes, which revolves around finding out the gender perceived to have the competence of coordination of human and material resources for the achievement of sports goals in Nigeria universities; capacity to adapt to administrative duties in sports administration; requisite knowledge in sports; administrative foresight in decision making in sports administration; competence of creativity for effective sports administration; and competence of effective communication in sports administration in Nigerian universities. These purposes were transformed into seven research questions and hypotheses. The Ex-post Facto research design was used to conduct the study. The population of the study consisted of 24,354 male and female athletes spread across 123 universities in the six Geo-political zones of Nigeria. Of this, 500 athletes were used as subjects for the study. A 65 item questionnaire with reliability index of 0.823 was used to elicit responses from the athletes. The research hypotheses were tested using t-test at 0.05 levels of significance for inferential purpose. Findings of the study showed that there was no significant difference in the perceived competence of skills to coordinate human and material resources for the achievement of sports goals in Nigeria universities; there was no significant perceived difference in the ability to adapt to administrative duties in sports administration; requisite knowledge in sports; administrative foresight in decision making in sports administration; competence of creativity for effective sports administration; and there was no significant perceived difference in the competence of effective communication in sports administration in Nigerian universities. The study concluded that female sports administrators are perceived to have the same competency in sports administration with their male counterparts in Nigerian universities‟ sports organizations; both male and female have the required skills for effective coordination of available human and materials resources for the effective administration of sports in Nigerian universities; female sports administrators have the requisite knowledge for effective sports administration in Nigerian universities like their male counterparts; female sports administrator have the required foresight for effective sports administration in Nigerian universities; female have equal ability for creativity with male for the effective sports administration in Nigerian universities; male and female have competency in communication for effective sports administration in Nigerian universities. Based on the findings, the researcher thus recommended that;

i.                    there should be no basis for discrimination in appointing sports administrator based on gender competency in Nigerian universities sports administration, as such sports administration should not be a preserve of a gender against another,

ii.                  male and female should be appointed into positions of sports administrators where skills for effective mobilization of human and materials resources for achieving organizational goals are required,

iii.                male and female administrators should be appointed into position of administration for their ability to adapt to administrative duties in Nigerian universities,

iv.                male and female administrators could be appointed into position of sports administration since they have the requisite knowledge for sports administration



1.1 Background to the Study

Sports organization like any other human organization is an assembly of people with diverse skills and experiences who come from different cultural background but have common interest and goals to achieve. It is an establishment, in which sports policies are formulated, planned and executed. The purpose is to move the organization forward in order to actualize the common goals and aspirations of all the members of the organization and that of the organization at large.

Osakunih, Eboh and Inomiesa (2002) described administration as a process of working with people, making decisions and initiating actions to achieve organizational goals. This modern view of administration is unlike the traditional one which revolves around the idea that administration existed in order to carry out the policies that had been developed by the duly constituted policy makers. Modern administration does not only implement polices but also plays an important role in the development of policies, utilizing the competence, knowledge and expertise that comes from training and experiences of its members. In this situation, strong administrative leadership based on knowledge, training and experiences are requirements to help an organization achieve its objectives more effectively.

Fasan (2004) stated that, Sports administration is a process of planning, directing, managing, coordinating programs, human materials, physical resources in sports organization for the purpose of accomplishing the objectives of the organization through collaborative efforts of the administrators and other staff of the organization. The sports


administrators and other personnel in a sports organization need competence to perform their functions and responsibilities effectively.

Success in sports administration requires certain competencies which include but not limited to the capacity to direct, plan, guide, make decisions, coordinate, control, coach, accountable, productive, solve problems, build good human relationship and commitment to work (Sigh, 2002). These aforementioned skills are however not gender specific, they are equally attributed to both gender (Armstrong and sparkles 1991; Lumpkin 1998 and Bucher and Koenig 1978). In view of the above, it is expected that sports administrators help in developing athletes, personnel and leadership qualities in the sports sector (Barrow, Rovegno, Mbor and Adedeji, as cited in Zamani, 2008).

Considering the role-expected of sports organizations in the provision of high quality product, it should be noted that competence alone makes the difference between professionals and non-professionals in any field of endeavor (Killers and Campbell as cited in Zamani, 2008). Therefore, competence implies the ability of an individual to carry out a particular task effectively and successfully. Armstrong and Sparkles (1991) stated that, professional competencies are the demonstratable abilities that enable the professionally trained individuals to successfully carry out their duties in their special field of endeavours.

According to Chom (2008), Professional experts and seasoned sports administrators often lamented that the failure of Nigeria to achieve international standard in sports is mainly because of placing incompetent individuals in the administration of sports organizations. Stark, Lowther, Hagerty and Orczyk as cited in Chom (2008) analyzed professional competence in six perspectives: interpersonal communication, integrative competence,


conceptual competence, technical competence, contextual competence, and adaptive competence. Hornby (2005) also sees competence as the ability to do something well. A competent person is one who performs a particular task effectively. Hornby further stated that competence has characteristics such as: the skills, knowledge, ability to perform certain task and attitude that shows that a person or an individual has been trained and is capable of certain responsibilities. Similarly, Mustafa (2003) observed that competence is the capacity of an employee to meet or exceed a job requirement within the constraint of an organization‟s internal and external environments. This shows that there are certain competencies that are required of members of every profession. These competencies are developed on the job regardless of gender. For example, according to Mustafa (2003) a competent person in sports administration by standard appraisal must demonstrate competence in the following areas: Competence in Skills, Competence in Adaptability, Competence in foresight, Competence in Knowledge, Competence in Creativity. Competence in communications and competence in Financial Management.

The absence of these aforementioned qualities will negatively affect productivity and performance of sports administrators. Sports administrators irrespective of gender are expected to be trained to acquire the necessary skills for effective administration of sports in their domains. Regrettably, female administrators are viewed by the society as not having the necessary ability to effectively handle the administration of sports organizations in Nigeria universities.

Ogbogu (2009) explained that women face cultural barriers in the performance of their roles and that some of the responsibilities of women have conflicting demand on their ability to take active part in sports administration. Hence it is often thought that they find it 3

a bit uncomfortable to combine both roles of sports administration and domestic roles. Burton and Parker (2010) added that women may experience discrimination in sports organizations at the very onset of their careers as a result of gender stereotype. The pro-male mentality in sports exists throughout the circle of sports administration. Its ability to keep women within the margins of sports has been well established (Coakley, 2009).

Women are said to be less competent leaders within sports administration because of stereotype belief and judgments concerning their ability to deliver the goods. The misconceptions about women‟s capability to deliver the goods have stunted their career and advancement to top-level managerial positions in most sports organizations (Wislow, 2010). To find out about the most significant barriers to women‟s advancement in sports administration, women reported that as sports administrators, they have experienced negative perceptions about their knowledge of intercollegiate sports, questions regarding their ability to be effective leaders and a lack of respect (Burton and Parker, 2010) Top-level managerial positions continue to be held by men who have encountered minimal challenges, while advancing to top managerial positions in sports organizations. Researchers have proved that gender has been a hindrance to advancing vertically through sports administrative hierarchy to top-level leadership positions in sports administration (Burton and Parker, 2010). Therefore, for effective and successful sports organization, sports administrators are traditionally expected to be men without due consideration to the ability of the occupier of that position irrespective of gender. This study therefore examined gender competence in the administration of sports in Nigerian universities as perceived by athletes in academic institutions where people are supposed to objectively acknowledge a person‟s competence regardless of gender.


1.2         Statement of the Problem

The factors that prompted the researcher to embark on this study, is that, there is a general perception about female that they are weaker sex and do not have the ability to perform their administrative duties as men, and as a result of this perception, the number of women has reduced from getting into administrative positions particularly in the area of sports. To support the above statement, out of 123 registered Nigerian universities only three universities have female sports administrators. It is however not clear if the general opinion about women‟s lack of competence in administration extends to the administration of sports in the university setting which houses intellectuals that should not be blinded with stereotype believes.

From the earlier identified perception about women‟s competence to effectively manage the affairs of sports in general (Yuval-davis, 2008) one wonders whether men and women in sports administration attend sports related institutions and went through the same training programmes. It has been reported that there are instances whereby women‟s performance at training outsmarts those of the men (Ayara, 2014). Ayara also found that in practical activities like circuit training that comprises of five activities: jump and press, squat thrust, sit-ups, jump and reach, and dumbbell squat, women were found to have better performance than men at Jos Shire Hill leadership and citizenship training school. Likewise, even among practicing administrators and managers, there are women that excel in whatever responsibility they are assigned. Typical examples are Late Professor Dora Akunyili formally the Director of NAFDAC, Prof. Grace Alele Williams fondly known as the iron lady of University of Benin in the 1980s, late Margret Thatcher former Prime Minister of Britain fondly called the Iron lady, Indira Gandi of India, Bedniza Bhuttu of


Pakistan, and Prof. (Mrs) Florence Bola Adeyanju the Founder of Nigeria Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS) which has contributed to Sports development in Nigeria and a lot of noble women leaders. Notwithstanding their achievements in their responsibilities, it is insinuated that female administrators are people who do not know how to wield power and who are usually unable to distinguish important issue from trivialities. There is the general belief that women are too emotional, temperamental and usually not too aggressive in achieving results. Akanbi and Salami (2011) pointed out that, inadequate professional training in administration caused primarily by bias against women as inefficient administrators and lack of relevant experience occasioned by little or no exposure to sensitive and important jobs, have also contributed to the paucity of women in sports administrative positions.

Garica, (2009) opined that attitude and behaviours are seen as problems for example, lack of confidence is usually consider as inhabiting factor in women‟s carrier development. Garica further found that even when women were perceived capable, they were not considered desirable for administrative positions because of anticipated resistance by co-workers. In line with that reasoning, Razen in Akanbi and Salami (2011) examined co-workers attitude (particularly subordinates) to superior‟s sex and found that subordinates were less satisfied, if their superiors were female. Thus, some viewed women as too hard on other women and that there is less “status” in working for a woman than working for a man. Adeniji and Osibanjo (2013) revealed that stereotype and cultural beliefs are factors that seem to block women‟s advancement to top level of administrative position, due to the notion that women are weaker sex and not competent to handle top level positions such as sports administration.


Brittany, (2012) stressed that organizational policies, the style and personalities of its top administrators have a major impact on the scope and pattern of career development, and opportunities open to women for advancement. For example, a positive attitude can ensure the career development of some women regardless of other factors and a negative attitude, on the other hand, will mean that no woman will advance beyond a certain level in the hierarchy.

It is an irony to use gender as an excuse for the assumed incompetence of women in general and sports administration in particular rather than looking at incompetence which results from lack of professional training which is the yardstick for good performance. The researcher believes that every person who is endowed with professional skills in administration, irrespective of gender, can excel in the management of Nigerian universities sports. Therefore, the researcher was motivated to undertake a study on the perceived gender competence by athletes in the administration of sports in Nigerian universities.

1.3         Purpose of the Study

In order to effectively conduct this study, the researcher intends to:

1.      find out which gender is perceived to have the skills to coordinate human and material resources in order to achieve sports organizational goals in Nigerian universities;

2.      determine which gender has the ability to adapt to administrative duties in sports administration in Nigerian Universities;

3.      ascertain the gender that has the requisite knowledge in sports administration in Nigerian universities;


4.      investigate the gender that has foresight in decision making in sports administration in Nigerian universities;

5.      identify the gender that has the creativity for effective sports administration in Nigerian universities; and

6.      find out the gender that has effective communication in sports administration in Nigerian universities.

1.4         Research Questions