Danny O'Brien


  • Bond University, Bond Business School

    4229 Gold Coast


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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

I am an Associate Professor, Sport Management, in the Bond Business School at Bond University. I am also a graduate of Australian Catholic University;  California State University, Long Beach; and, De Montfort University, England.

My research interests are:

1) Sustainable surf tourism: I have conducted research and published work based on the sustainable management of surf tourism in developing countries such as Indonesia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. With Dr. Jess Ponting from San Diego State University, we have developed the Framework Analysis for Sustainable Surf Tourism (FASST). I am a Visiting Professor at the Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University; and a Visiting Scholar at the Plymouth Sustainability and Surfing Research Group at Plymouth University, UK.

2) Event leverage: This research stream explores how event stakeholders can strategically plan for the maximisation and sustainability of the positive impacts from hosting events. I have published articles in this area on events that range from the Olympic Games through to community-based surfing events

3) Organisational change in sport: Ironically, the need to manage organisational change is the most unchanging aspect of organisational life. Most of my work in this area has used institutional theory and has focused on change in the sport of rugby union.

I was part of a team that completed a joint World Rugby - Bond University research grant that examined change and efficacy in national Rugby Sevens high performance training regimes throughout the world. Since the announcement of the sport's inclusion in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, World Rugby are particularly interested in maintaining and improving the standard of men's and women's Rugby Sevens, and is using the results from this research to inform policy development and resource allocations around Sevens high performance training.


Statement for HDR students

Research students I have supervised (or am currently supervising) have conducted research in the following areas:

* An investigation of the relative impacts of economic development and historical and cultural factors on sport development in South Pacific Islands.

* The strategic management of power relationships: Case study of a professional sport franchise bid

* Sport events as levers for sustainable development in host regions.

* The importance of a charitable cause in motivation for participation in sport events

* Building a theory of participation in physically active leisure

* Branding for the triple bottom line in sport events

* Understanding local's experience of establishing and developing small tourism enterprises in Lombok, Indonesia: A grounded theory approach

* Strategic change in response to an environmental jolt: Rugby union NGBs and the Olympic inclusion of rugby sevens.

* Women, boxing, and society: A critical analysis of the social stigma of the female fighter.

* Planning for sustainability: A case study of the implementation strategy of ISO 20121 for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, An investigation of change in the dominant logic of an organisational field: The case of senior English rugby union., De Montfort University

Award Date: 30 Nov 2000

External positions

DeMontfort University, England

Griffith University


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