Competition: The Heart and Soul of Sport Management

in Journal of Sport Management
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Understanding competition is central to the task of strategy formulation and implementation and it is the link between competition and strategy that was explored in the 2011 Dr. Earle F. Zeigler Lecture. It was argued that strategy, given its centrality to organizational phenomena, and strategy research in particular, provides rich and diverse competitive contexts with the potential to reveal some of the unique properties of sport management. To ascertain the prevalence of sport-related strategy research, three sport management journals were subject to content analysis to identify published manuscripts related to strategy. Before presenting the results, the Lecture considered competition on and off the field, the origins of competitive behavior in sport management and a brief review of the major research themes in the generic strategic management literature. Results revealed that 20 (2.5%) of the 805 manuscripts published in the three journals were strategy focused. Research themes and contexts were presented as well as a bibliometric analysis of the reference lists of the 20 identified strategy manuscripts. This analysis highlighted the journals that are influencing published sport management strategy-related research. It was concluded that strategy research specific to sport management has been sparse to date, yet the role of strategy formulation is central to the role of management and should also be central to sport management scholarship.

Shilbury is with the Sport Management Program, School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia.

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