Mapping Research on Interorganizational Relationships in Sport Management: Current Landscape and Future Research Prospects

in Journal of Sport Management
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This article reviewed, synthesized, and analyzed the research published on interorganizational relationships (IORs) in sport and sport-related contexts. In total, 162 articles were analyzed along the dimensions of publication rate and outlet, geographical scope, disciplinary domain, methods used, levels of analysis, setting, and theoretical framing. Results revealed an increased emphasis on composition, structure, and process dimensions of IORs. Overall, the diverse perspectives, questions, and contexts explored not only contributed to the richness of the field, but also underscored a lack of consensus in theories, concepts, and frameworks useful to assess IORs among sport organizations. Based on the gaps found, research prospects are identified including a focus on network and individual levels of analysis, comparative and cross-cultural studies, understanding the impact and outcomes of IORs and their value for innovation and organizational learning, and examining how the interconnected nature of IOR domains affect their success or failure. These are areas in the context of sport that have been largely overlooked but which could make substantial contributions to further understand IORs in sport management and its respective parent disciplines.

Babiak is with the Department of Sport Management, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Thibault is with the Department of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Willem is with the Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Address author correspondence to Kathy Babiak at kbabiak@umich.edu.
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