Technological progress in operation of multiservice sport centers viewed as management issue


Dr.Sc.Phil., Professor V.P. Babintsev1
PhD, Associate Professor B.V. Zalivansky1
PhD V.V. Krivchenkov1
PhD, Associate Professor Е.В. Samokhvalova1
PhD Zh.A. Shapoval1
Belgorod State National Research University, Belgorod

Keywords: multiservice sport center, social technologies, socio-technological culture, self-learning technology, reflective analyzing technology.

Background. A high priority in the national physical education and sports sector development process is being given to the modern multiservice sport centers (MSC) composed of indoor and outdoor sport facilities, fields and grounds for physical education sessions, trainings and competitions located within the same designated area and managed by the same management entity [5]. Practical experience of the MSC service shows their operations being still complicated by the asset management inefficiency, shortages of the necessary equipment, accessories, human resource (both management and coaching specialists) and finance, plus too high operational and maintenance costs. A top priority in the efforts to find solutions to the problems is given to the modern MSC operations management technologies with the relevant operational algorithms and procedures to help optimize the corporate development process [2, p.4].

Objective of the study was to consider benefits of the relevant social technologies applicable to improve the modern multiservice sport center (MSC) management systems.

Methods and structure of the study. We have analyzed a variety of the MSC operation and progress factors and provisions by a sociological study “Multiservice sport center management problems” completed in July through October 2015 in the Belgorod region including a questionnaire survey of the MSC clientele (n=636) and service personnel (n=377).

The study was designed to offer sustainable progress concept for the modern MSC, with the progress viewed as a sequence of quality improvement systemic transformations in the corporate environment and performance geared to prevent, among other things, negative internal and external factors and secure persistent improvement of the relevant progress rates in the context of the local physical education and sport sector operations. For the purposes of the study, the study data were processed to obtain the following profiles: (1) External sustainability profile with the relevant MSC progress rates in the physical training and health service quality and accessibility domain; (2) Internal sustainability profile with the relevant MSC corporate management quality rates; and (3) Socio-technological competency profile with the relevant MSC personnel service quality rates critical for the MSC operations and progress.

Study results and discussion. Having analyzed the survey data, we have every reason to believe that the clientele is fairly informed on the MSC services and practices (92% of the sample), with the information sources categorized by the responses as follows: close surrounding, as reported by 64.58% of the sample; local mass media, as reported by 37.58%; followed by online advertisements (14.69%) and posted ads (12.31%). Our analysis of the information sources gives the reasons to state that the service promotion process is still largely disordered and poorly managed and, hence, unproductive. The situation is further complicated by the poor efficiency of the consumer demand (for the MSC physical training and health service) survey and analyzing efforts. Only 38.99% of the Belgorod region based MSC service personnel reported their companies taking systemic service promotion efforts.

The MSC clientele survey showed, however, that every third (34.40%) sampled Belgorod resident is served by the MSC; with 21.80% reported attending the centers before the survey. A significant share (43.40%) of the sample, however, reported never being served by the MSC, and it is a high figure. Furthermore, the sampled clientele reported a fairly high satisfaction with the MSC service quality, with most of the active clientele (82.55%) found satisfied with the service quality on the whole; and only 4.40% rating the service quality low. It should be noted, however, that 49.53% of the clientele reported fully satisfied by the MSC assets and technical equipment.

In the questionnaire survey the MSC service personnel was required to rate the key MSC internal environmental factors on a 5-point scale to assess the MSC management system, including personnel motivations; corporate values; corporate traditions; management culture; focus on client satisfaction; and sport events management quality. As a result, the sport events management quality was rated the highest (4.44 points) by the sample; followed by the focus on the client satisfaction (4.11); management culture (4.02); personnel motivation system (3.96) and overall management system (3.92 points). The survey also found that only every third (36.87%) MSC team member rates the MSC management quality fairly high at present.

Therefore, the survey data and analysis give the grounds to believe that the key problems of the modern MSC are largely due to the management quality as is the case for many other national businesses. The quality is also heavily dependent on the operational environments offered to the MSC service personnel. The survey found the MSC service personnel rating high the following aspects of their operations: work schedules (rated satisfactory by 75.07% of the sample); labour safety policies and practices (71.88%); and work site equipment and accessories (63.13%). Furthermore, the psychological climate at work was rated fairly high by 75.07% of the sample; albeit 15.12% of the sample reported poor professional/ progress motivations as detrimental to their labor progress and results; and 11.67% complained being unsupported by the management.

About 40% of the MSC service personnel reported being in need of advanced professional training, with a special demand for the modern sports management skills and technologies (reported by 40.5% of the respondents in need of professional progress); computer and IT competences (38.65%); human resource management in the physical education and sports sector (31.45%); and mass physical education and health services to communities (30.06%).

Special attention was given to the social technologies related competences of the MSC personnel that are critical for the MSC service technology advancement efforts. The survey found only a minority of the MSC personnel reportedly having the relevant socio-technological competences including: situation analysis, with 28.91% of the sample reported competent in this domain; optional actions feasibility analysis (29.97%); option selection skills (30.77%); decisions and procedures documenting competences (28.38%); and data processing and database management skills (28.12%). Only 38.99% of the MSC personnel reported being competent in the goal-setting aspect; 22.81% in the forecasting procedures; and 22.28% in the resource assessment procedures. It means that the MSC service technology advancement process is largely limited by the cognitive and values barrier due to the shortage of knowledge and skills in the modern social technologies and underestimation of their potential benefits for the service; plus shortage of the relevant practical skills.

One of the key provisions for success of the MSC service technology advancement initiatives is the basic socio-technological competences of the service personnel including reflective, operational, and forecasting ones. It is based on the persistent progress of the socio-technological skills that the MSC service technology may be advanced, with the progress additionally determined by the personal predispositions for the skills building and behavioural modeling for success in the professional and life agendas via the social technologies being applied on a proficient and efficient basis.

One of the most promising elements of the relevant competences building process is the facilitating provisions for the social technologies mastering process with a special emphasis on the reflective aspects i.e. the individual ability to analyze and efficiently manage own performance and progress [4], with the technology mastering process being driven by the relevant self-learning technologies [1, p. 75-76]. This is the reason why the MSC management is recommended to  ensure broader engagement of the personnel in the management decision-making process, teamwork encouragement and efforts to implement modern project models in the corporate operations.

The relevant self-learning technologies shall be supported by the reflective analyzing technologies [3, p. 222-224] including self-rating qualities for the individual progress assessment; self-monitoring and control; problem finding with the problem origins detection capacities; and ability to analyze successes and pitfalls in own performance and progress.

Conclusion. Most of the MSC staff members were found incompetent in the basic social technologies and their design and application aspects; and even insufficiently aware of the practical benefits of the modern social technologies. The shortage of such competences and skills may be considered a major barrier for the social-technologies-driven physical training and sport service asset management system. This is the reason why the MSC management is recommended to offer a personnel skills advancement educational systems to develop the critical socio-technological competences in the service personnel with a special emphasis on the relevant reflective aspects of the social technologies including the abilities to analyze and rate own performance and progress.


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Objective of the study was to consider benefits of social technologies in application to the modern multiservice sport center (MSC) management systems. To analyze the factors and conditions of effect on the MSC service progress, we performed a questionnaire survey of the MSC clientele and service personnel in July-October 2015 in the Belgorod region. The MSC operations were rated by the following grouped performance rates: external sustainability profiles including MSC service quality and accessibility rates; internal sustainability profiles including the MSC management quality rates; and socio-technological competency profiles including personnel competency rates in the operational, reflective and forecasting domains. The questionnaire survey data and analyses helped identify the MSC service management problems and offer the relevant technologies to develop the necessary socio-technological culture in the MSC service personnel.