A Collaborative Approach
The N2W industry partners are New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Rugby in collaboration with AUT researchers. Both industry partners are making a financial contribution to the project, and significantly, are also providing key staff that are imbedded in the core project team. New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Ruby are actively contributing to and shaping how the N2W project is designed and implemented through the phases of the action research project. The enthusiasm and drive that our partners demonstrate shows their level of commitment to influencing and effecting change within the current rugby system. Having well developed working relationship with our industry partners supports the research project to produces outcomes that directly benefit the rugby community. It also assures that the project has the support from the community it is trying to effect change with.
The New Zealand Coaching & Mentoring Centre (NZCMC) and LEAD Centre are recognised leaders in their fields – in professional coaching and mentoring services and leadership development in the not for profit and Pacific sectors, respectively. They work with organisations who want to be more strategic in how they use mentoring and coaching approaches to enhance leadership and learning. The New Zealand Coaching & Mentoring Centre and Lead Centre are our programme partners for the delivery of the Pacific Leadership programme and the Club Leadership programme.
The potential industry partner benefit include:
-Increase leadership capabilities and capacity of Pacific people in non-playing roles within the New Zealand Rugby system.
-Increase cultural intelligence and leadership capabilities of current office holders within the New Zealand Rugby system.
-Strengthen leadership practices inside the New Zealand Rugby system.
Innovative engagement and potential contribution to academia and the sporting community
N2W is a unique project that focuses on a mutual exchange and development of capabilities of both current office holders and emerging Pacific leaders in management and governance roles within the New Zealand Rugby system. It is a leadership and cultural development programme situated within a sport of significance for New Zealand society.
N2W is encapsulated within an action research framework, underpinned by the notion of leadership as a social construction (refer above). The iterative, practical, and collaborative nature of action research provides multiple points for reflection, feedback, and evaluation during the project and at project completion (Bradbury, 2015). It also allows for each key stakeholder groups (AUT SPRINZ, New Zealand Rugby, Auckland Rugby, including Pacific community members) to be important contributors on all aspects of the project planning, implementation, delivery and evaluation. This innovative engagement brings together research and practice, where those most affected by the intended changes are highly engaged in creating change. Learning as action and change takes place also provides a rich environment to advance concepts and theory associated with sport leadership, specifically, the social construction of sport leadership and the role of cultural intelligence in developing sport leadership (Ferkins & Shilbury, 2016).
The anticipated outcomes include:
-Increased number of Pacific people in non-playing roles in rugby.
-Increased cultural intelligence in current office holders within rugby.
-Enhanced understanding of Pacific culture within the New Zealand Rugby community.
-Enhanced understanding of cultural obligations and how that affects involvement and engagement in non-playing roles in sport.
-Enhanced leadership practice through encompassing Pacific and Western worldviews.
The change and learning through this research are intended to offer insight about culture and leadership within New Zealand society, by drawing on the context of rugby. Such insights, also relevant for the world stage, will potentially place New Zealand as a lead contributor to changing the conversation about leadership within sport and the influence of non-western culture.