Spreading Research Uncomfortably Slow: Insight for Emerging Sport Management Scholars

in Journal of Sport Management
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Self-reflection on knowledge generation in sport management is essential for continued growth and remains a prevailing topic for recipients of the Earle F. Zeigler Award. To date, two perspectives largely guide such evaluation: What makes a theoretical contribution and what constitutes new theory. The 2018 Earle F. Zeigler Address introduces a third perspective based on the concept of diffusion to explore three elements: article innovation, communication channel, and social system that contribute to producing and spreading new knowledge. This examination utilizes data and information collected from sport management articles, journal citations, a case study, editorial board membership characteristics, and my coauthor network and publishing experiences. Holistically, the evidence collected provides insight into how and why ideas could spread in sport management. Unfortunately, for new and emerging scholars, spreading ideas through academic journals will be uncomfortably slow and managing expectations important. However, by understanding the academic publishing ecosystem, scholars can improve chances for idea diffusion through selecting appropriate journal outlets, establishing interpersonal connections, creating weak and strong coauthor ties, and engaging in programmatic research. This address concludes with strategies to help navigate spreading research ideas by setting realistic goals, optimizing the coauthor network, and reinvesting in the original idea.

Funk is with the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Address author correspondence to Daniel C. Funk at dfunk@temple.edu.
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