A study of organisational effectiveness in local government recreation services in Western Australia
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The notion of leisure is subjective and contradictory, therefore attempts to organise, manage and measure leisure experiences may be described as paradoxical. The evaluation of recreation and leisure services has been focused on performance indicators associated with specific programmes and facilities. At a macro level, evaluation from the broader perspectives of organisational effectiveness and leisure theory is a neglected area of research. This study examines a model of organisational effectiveness criteria as a way of exploring the "leisure management paradox" in local government recreation services. The focus of the research was local government recreation services in Western Australia.This study had two major purposes. The first purpose was to identify a range of criteria that are appropriate for evaluating organisational effectiveness in local government recreation services. Secondly, the study investigated the perceptions of these criteria held by recreation staff in different local government recreation services in Western Australia.The specific research objectives focused on the issues of effectiveness in local government recreation services, namely:1. To identify criteria for organisational effectiveness relevant to local government recreation services in Westem Australia.2. To develop a conceptual model of organisational effectiveness criteria.3. To test the developed model to confirm the appropriateness of the selected criteria for assessing local government recreation services.4. To determine if there are differences in the perceptions of organisational effectiveness held by different groups of recreation workers in different types of local government settings.The findings revealed that perceptions of the importance of organisational effectiveness criteria held by recreation workers in local government in Western Australia are relatively homogeneous. Differences appeared to be associated with geographic location, availability of resources, and the perceived organisational culture of the local government authority. These findings offer a practical framework for managers of recreation services and provide a benchmark for further research in local government and recreation services generally.
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