In order to prevent unethical and illegal behavior sport managers at all levels must take an active role. The following strategies, adapted from Rein (9), for controlling unethical and illegal behavior in sport organizations, may be implemented at all levels of management. Sport managers should:
1. Identify specific ethical/legal standards that have been compromised and determine why they occurred. For example, does the organization’s culture support unethical behavior?
2. Identify and analyze their specific responsibilities and management decisions and determine if they would feel comfortable telling their superiors, or other sport managers about their actions and decisions. If they would not feel comfortable in doing that, then they should reevaluate those actions and decisions in light of ethical/legal and more considerations.
3. Take an active role in discussing ethical/legal and moral considerations in sport. They should not assume that reinforcing ethical behavior should be
someone else’s responsibility, but should assert their organization’s concerns and policies in all matters related to unethical and deviant behavior, and address the critical issues facing sport generally and their organization specifically.
4. Assure all constituencies (community, faculty, fans, etc.) that ethical considerations are important to the way that their sport organizations are managed. However, sport managers must be committed to ensure that the conduct of the entire organization reflects high standards.
5. Evaluate policies and operating procedures in terms of ethics. Are the established goals of the organization realistic? Sport managers should avoid establishing goals that are unrealistic because they may engender the attitude that “anything goes- the end justifies the means.”
6. Promote the concept of honesty over expediency. They should encourage an accurate representation of their organization by all members.
7. Involve all levels of the organization in ethical concerns. Delegate authority to establish ethical guidelines for various dimensions of the organization and, if feasible, “establish quality circles on codes of conduct and ethical behavior”.
8. Hold “ethics workshops” for personnel, management, and athletes and determine if there is a need for a comprehensive code of ethics for the organization to help reduce unethical and deviant behavior and to develop a culture of integrity. According to Eitzen, “codes of conduct are required that are strictly monitored and administered at all levels of sport to keep the actions of those involved as close to the ethical high road as possible.”
9. Send representatives from the organization to speak publicly about ethical questions and topics. Sport managers should reinforce ethical values that relate to matters vital to the welfare and success of their organizations.
10. Publicize and reinforce positive examples of ethical conduct. They should consider holding seminars with media to inform the organization’s constituencies of the appropriate and ethical behaviors within their organizations.
11. Coordinate the organization’s efforts to speak out and to answer false or unjust media or public criticism of the organization’s ethical conduct.
12. Include ethical behavior, conduct, and goals as an integral part of the organization’s management-by-objectives and/or performance appraisal system. In addition, it is quite clear from the literature that if unethical and deviant behavior is going to be reduced in sport organizations, responsible action must start at the top. Those in high level management positions must set the moral tone of the organization. In summary, if sport managers are going to control unethical and deviant behavior, they cannot depend upon increased regulations, enforcement, or legislation. They must implement strategies designed to reinforce ethical values within all levels of the sport organization.