Creative and Innovative Management

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The 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games

(Adapted from a case written by Peter McNamara, Garrett Murray and Carolin Grampp, UCD Business School and Paul Browne, 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games Limited.)

For 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games to be successful: ➢ First of all, it “has to be organisationally well run, well managed so that the country is seen to be capable of organising an international world event and that is what it is”. ➢ Secondly, “the special people involved and their families have a good event”… ➢ Thirdly, “the people on the whole island feel that this is us doing something and participating in something helping special people”.[1]

It is June 2002- just one year before the largest sporting event of 2003, which will be held in Ireland’s capital city - Dublin. The Special Olympics World Summer games will bring together over 7,000 athletes with a learning disability from 166 international delegations. The sporting competition will take place over nine days, across more than 22 venues in Dublin, with the wider Games embracing the whole island off Ireland. The organisational task is immense and rests upon the shoulders of Mary Davis, CEO, the Board of Directors and her team at 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games Limited. From their offices in central Dublin, a core team of 112 full time employees will over the coming year manage a network of stakeholders including 30,000 volunteers, corporate sponsors, several arms of the government and civil service, and a disparate group of suppliers, media, accommodation and sporting venues.

The following captures the essence of the challenges faced by Mary Davis, CEO of the nodal firm- ➢ The challenge of the task is enormous- a successful Games cannot be achieved using the internal resources of the nodal firm alone ➢ The contributions of the stakeholders are very diverse, ranging from labour and skills, financial resources, and social legitimacy. The...
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