As an emerging research approach, social network theory and analysis has been embraced and effectively applied in disciplines that have overlapping interests with sport management researchers including such fields as organizational behavior and sport sociology. Although a number of sport management scholars have investigated network-related concepts, to date no sport management studies have fully utilized the analytical tools that social network theory and analysis have to offer. In conjunction with a discussion about the ontological, epistemological, and methodological perspectives associated with network analysis, this article uses several examples from the sport management and organizational behavior bodies of literature to illustrate a number of the advantageous techniques and insights social network theory and analysis can offer. These examples are meant to provide a general understanding of the utility and applicability of the social network theory and analysis and potentially inspire sport management researchers to adopt a social network lens in their future research endeavors.
Quatman is with the Dept. of Health and Human Services, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43614. Chelladurai is with the Dept. of Sport and Exercise Management, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.