Insights into informal practices of sport leadership in the Middle East: the impact of positive and negative wasta

Majd Megheirkouni*, David Weir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to explore and understand the impact of one of the informal culture forces on leadership corruption in sport settings. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 individuals. Board members, presidents, and secretaries general were asked via phone interviews to describe the term wasta, using evidence from non-profit sectors in the Arab Middle East. The results show that when wasta is considered from a positive perspective, it is perceived as a means to solve problems or avoid bureaucracy, whereas it is perceived as corrupt behavior when it is considered from a negative perspective. Practical implications of the findings are discussed, together with limitations and ideas for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-656
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Issue number4
Early online date15 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Corruption
  • Non-profit sectors
  • Impacts

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