The Distinctiveness of Sport Management Theory and Research

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Four decades have passed since the publication of Perspectives on the Academic Discipline of Physical Education: A Tribute to G. Lawrence Rarick—an edited text that offered a comprehensive overview of the field at the time. Missing, however, was any discussion of sport management. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to overview sport management and the development of the field since the publication of Brooks’s edited text. The authors summarize events in the field, including those related to educational advances and professional societies. Next, they highlight theoretical advances and then review the research in the field over time. In doing so, they categorize the scholarship into three groups: Young Field, Enduring Questions, and Emerging Trends. The authors conclude by identifying advances in the field and how sport management has emerged as a distinctive, robust discipline.

Cunningham is with the Center for Sport Management Research and Education, Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA. Fink is with the Mark H. McCormack Dept. of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA. Zhang is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

Cunningham (gbcunningham@tamu.edu) is corresponding author.
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