Developing culturally specific tools for the evaluation of good governance in diverse national contexts: a case study of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran

2015-09-22T14:37:38Z (GMT) by Mehdi Ghadami Ian Henry
One of the key features of the Olympic movement is its universalistic appeal, particularly in the sense that it has sought to establish itself as a platform for universal interaction and promotion of universal values. In this paper, we consider the nature, feasibility, and implications of the IOC's promotion of its universalist position in terms of the ethical standards it promotes in relation to universal principles of good governance. A major problem in this respect is the culturally diverse set of constituencies that are incorporated within the Olympic movement, such that the imposition of ‘one size fits all’ policies may be impractical and in many instances undesirable. The authors of this paper therefore argue that although universal agreement is often impractical, general agreement may often be established. The paper therefore presents an approach to balancing centrally promoted principles of good governance with local preferences in terms of the weighting to be given to particular values within the operationalization of good governance. This approach, based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process technique, developed by Thomas Saaty and widely employed in decision-making with regard to evaluating and weighting alternatives, is introduced here in the context of the evaluation of National Sport Federations in Iran. The paper highlights ways in which this technique allows for the expression of local priorities within the general framework of good governance principles in ways which satisfied both global and local priorities. In effect, it is a practical example of what Robertson has termed glocalization. The paper concludes by applying this framework to an evaluation of the National Federation (NF) of Football in Iran as an example of how this technique will be used for the purposes of ranking NFs in terms of performance with respect to elements of good governance which will inform both self-assessment by the NF and the decision-making process for allocation of funds by government to NFs in Iran in the future.