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Size is a central characteristic of organizations. While previous studies point to size differences among nonprofit sport clubs, size effects have not yet been investigated systematically. The concepts of economies of scale and economies of scope are used to explain size advantages. Yet, club theory stresses that benefits from sharing production costs only exist until some point and decrease afterward. The purpose of this study is to examine size effects in sport clubs using data from two nationwide online surveys in Germany (n = 19,345) and Switzerland (n = 6,098). The results support the existence of economies of scope, since costs decrease with increasing number of different sports (not codes) offered in the same club. Yet, clubs only benefit from reduced costs until some point supporting club theory. Organizational size has a significant effect on various organizational problems. The findings have implications for the management of sport clubs and for policy makers.
Pamela Wicker and Christoph Breuer are with the Department of Sport Economics and Sport Management at the German Sport University Cologne in Cologne, Germany. Markus Lamprecht and Adrian Fischer are with L&S Sozialforschung und Beratung (L&S Social Research and Consultancy) in Zurich, Switzerland. Address author correspondence to Pamela Wicker at email@example.com.