PhD Leandro Mazzei

High-performance Judo: organizational factors influencing the international sporting success

Doctoral dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor in Physical Education and Movement Sciences

Promotors: dr. Prof. Dr. Maria Tereza Silveira Böhme and Prof. Dr. Veerle De Bosscher


Judo can be considered a popular sport in the world and is an important Olympic sport. Since Barcelona 1992, 56 Olympic medals have been awarded in judo (one country cannot win more than 14 medals). By consequence, some countries consider judo one of the major investment target for their high-performance sport policies. Following the recently tendency in the Sport Policy research area, which is research that analysing sport systems and success factors at a sport specific level (Brouwers, Sotiriadou, & De Bosscher, 2015), the aim proposed in this PhD study was to identify the organizational factors influencing the international sporting success in international high-performance Judo. Organizational factors were understood as manageable factors present in a system.
To fulfil the objective of this research, a Sequential Exploratory Design was used, which involves three phases. The initial phase was the collection and analyses of qualitative data, in this case was 33 individuals (athletes, coaches, performance directors and experts) that act in the international high-performance judo and Content Analysis. The second phase was a questionnaire development and the first validation of the qualitative results by Content Validation with six experts. The third and final phase involved the collection and analysis of quantitative, which was the application of one questionnaire in sample of 406 individuals, divided into athletes, coaches, performance directors and experts from Brazilian high-performance judo context and an Exploratory Factor Analysis.
The main results were 11 categories and 44 subcategories were identified which were considered the dimensions and the organizational factors influencing the international sporting success in high-performance judo. The 11 categories were:

  1. Sport system, organization and structure;
  2. Sport participation at all levels;
  3. Athletic career and post career support;
  4. Financial resources;
  5. Quality of Teachers and Coaches;
  6. Tradition, history and cultural aspects;
  7. Competitions;
  8. Training facilities;
  9. Governments (interest), sponsors and media;
  10. Talent identification and development;
  11. Scientific support.

From these results, the “Judo Organizational Factors Influencing the International Sporting Success” (JUDO-OFIISS) model was developed and validated in the second and third phase. Besides that, the results from the third phase also provided interesting findings. In this quantitative phase, one of the main findings was that success in high-performance judo systems depends on the combination and synergy of resources, process and environment, which may be different in each country.

Specifically for judo, the identified results may provide knowledge into the development and management of high-performance judo and it can even be used as a model for the identification and evaluation of key factors in existing judo policies and systems. As to its theoretical contribution this research contributes to the understanding of sport policies and high-performance sport systems considering a sport specific level.


Powerpoint presentation used during the public defence.

Table of content of the doctoral dissertation.

The first part of the doctoral dissertation of Leandro can be downloaded here.