Inside the Bubble: Examining the Impact of Organizational Culture on Youth Athletes’ Career Development - Dr Aku Nikander (Pt 2) - Meaningful Sport Series
In today's episode, we continue our conversation with Dr. Aku Nikander, delving into the challenges faced by young athletes in their career journeys. Aku shares his findings on the role of sport organizations in shaping the aspirations and possibilities of youth athletes. Specifically, we uncover the impact of organizational culture and the tensions that arise when implementing a dual career approach in a talent development environment.
The conversation focuses on Aku's case study in a talent development environment that has been in existence for decades. Informed by the European Commission's dual career guidelines and the broader movement around dual careers, the organization defines itself as a dual career development environment. Curious about the integration of this concept at different cultural levels within the organization, Aku examines how well it supports dual career development as outlined in existing research and literature. Specifically, Aku focuses on the cultural aspects, as they greatly influence the thinking, development, behavior, and well-being of group members. With a particular interest in the coaches' adoption of dual career thinking and the athletes' career goals, Aku conducted observations and interviews in the environment to gain a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics at play.
[00:00:58] Environment's impact on youth athlete development.
[00:09:13] Sports prioritized over education, devaluing student effort.
[00:13:32] Cultural change needed to support athletes in pursuing balanced dual careers.
[00:15:23] Elite sport faces dilemmas: competition intensifies, dual career as the ideal pathway.
[00:18:31] Low value of sporting achievement in Finland. Challenges in funding and support for elite sports. Discussion about athletes' rights and equity.