For sport for development practitioners, a theory of change document is a critical first step to map how program inputs yield the desired program outcomes. Yet, in our experience, this document is rarely created in practice. Accordingly, this study makes use of the case of an award-winning sport for development charity that expanded their operations from India to London to illustrate the pejorative implications resulting from failing to create a theory of change. A mixed-methods, quasi-experimental approach was utilized to understand program mechanisms, program processes, and how these influenced the aggregate participant experience. The quantitative analyses yielded no significant effects. Triangulating the qualitative data revealed that personal, social, health, and economic education was a competing product to the program. The limited effects are attributed to a failure to identify and attempt to assuage a local social problem. In addition, alignments with stakeholder expectations, program context, and legal requirements were also derailing. A discussion of the results, implications, and recommendations for establishing and implementing a theory of change are provided.
Stephen Hills, Matthew Walker and Marlene Dixon
Jens De Rycke, Veerle De Bosscher, Hiroaki Funahashi and Popi Sotiriadou
Many Nations are increasingly investing public money in elite sport on the belief that this will trigger a range of benefits for the population. However, there is lack of insight into how the population perceives elite sport’s impact on society. This study developed and tested a measurement scale assessing the publics’ beliefs of the positive and negative societal impacts that could potentially flow from elite sport. A sample of the Belgian population (N = 1,102) was surveyed. A 32-item scale was built using principal component and confirmatory factor analysis procedures for which the goodness-of-fit indices were excellent. Multivariate analysis revealed that the Belgian population perceived elite sport to have mostly positive societal impacts. The study findings can serve researchers wanting to measure the perceived potential positive and negative societal impacts of elite sport.
Carrie W. LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer and Gregory Greenhalgh
The scholars of sport for development (SFD) suggest the need for advancements in theory development and stronger connections between practice and theory. This article outlines some of the challenges and barriers to theory development in SFD and suggests ways to move forward. The authors state that theories and frameworks in SFD are underdeveloped as a result of methodological and contextual challenges due to the variance in SFD programming. The SFD programs are being implemented across the globe in a myriad of countries and contexts, addressing varying social issues that make theory development challenging. Suggestions are put forward to help scholars and practitioners overcome these challenges, including creativity in methodology, collaborations in program assessment, and the need for patience required of fields focusing on social and behavioral change.
Akira Asada and Yong Jae Ko
Sport socialization research has revealed that a community is one of the most influential socializing agents. However, little is known about which aspects of a community promote sport socialization and how it occurs. In the current research, we identified and conceptualized two key factors characterizing sports teams’ fan communities, relative size and entitativity, and discussed how these factors influence sport socialization and its outcomes. First, we developed the model of community influence on sport socialization to depict the effects of relative size and entitativity on people’s perceptions and behaviors at the initial stage of their sport socialization. Second, we proposed the model of community influence on the outcomes of sport socialization, which explains how relative size and entitativity contribute to the outcomes of sport socialization.
Sophie Knights, Emma Sherry, Mandy Ruddock-Hudson and Paul O’Halloran
The purpose of this research was to explore the experience of transition and life after sport in a group of retired professional athletes. A total of 45 retired athletes from three national football leagues took part in semistructured interviews. Two overarching themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) preparing for transition and planning for retirement and (b) supportive environment. For athletes in this study, four main factors were identified as critical to promoting a positive transition. The nature of the transition also directly affected athletes’ experience of retirement from sport and, thus, their experience of flourishing in life after sport. The majority of participants in this study indicated that they lacked support from their sporting club and governing bodies both during their transition and in retirement. Planning for retirement and preparing for the future positively affected their ability to flourish in retirement. Recommendations for sport managers and athlete support services are provided.
Bob Heere, Henry Wear, Adam Jones, Tim Breitbarth, Xiaoyan Xing, Juan Luis Paramio Salcines, Masayuki Yoshida and Inge Derom
The purpose of this study is to examine how effective the international promotion of a sport event is on changing the destination image prior to the event if the sport event lacks global popularity. The authors conducted a quasi-experimental posttest research design, in which they used promotional information of a Tour de France stage to manipulate the destination image nonvisitors (N = 3,505) from nine different nations have of the hosting city, 5 months prior to the actual event. Results show that treating the international market as a homogeneous entity might be deceptive, as the effect of the event was different from nation to nation, pending on the popularity of the event or sport in the specific nation, and whether the nation itself offered similar events.
Hebe Schaillée, Ramón Spaaij, Ruth Jeanes and Marc Theeboom
Funding bodies seek to promote scientific research that has a social or economic impact beyond academia, including in sport management. Knowledge translation in sport management remains largely implicit and is yet to be fully understood. This study examines how knowledge translation in sport management can be conceptualized and fostered. The authors draw on a comparative analysis of coproduced research projects in Belgium and Australia to identify the strategic, cognitive, and logistic translation practices that researchers adopt, as well as enablers and constraints that affect knowledge translation. The findings show ways in which knowledge translation may be facilitated and supported, such as codesign, boundary spanning, adaptation of research products, and linkage and exchange activities. The findings reveal individual, organizational, and external constraints that need to be recognized and, where possible, managed.
Chen Chen and Daniel S. Mason
This study discusses how an epistemological shift—explicitly acknowledging the embedded position of the sport management field in settler colonial societies and its effect on knowledge production therein—is necessary for the field to mobilize social change that problematizes and challenges ongoing settler colonialism. Reviewing previous research examining social change in sport management, the authors then argue that settler colonialism, a condition that underlies some nation-states that produce leading sport management knowledge—the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—should no longer remain invisible in our research. Drawing upon Indigenous Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, and sport-related work from other social science disciplines, the authors contextualize the position of non-Indigenous scholars and then address three questions that highlight the relevance of settler colonialism to sport management research. They conclude with a discussion on possible ways in which settler colonialism can be visibilized and thus challenged by non-Indigenous scholars.
Katherine Raw, Emma Sherry and Katie Rowe
Despite recent advances in sport-for-development (SFD) literature, few scholars have empirically examined organizational hybridity in SFD contexts. This is despite hybrid organizational approaches becoming increasingly common in the delivery of SFD initiatives. Opportunities exist for researchers to build knowledge regarding SFD hybrids, particularly those which operate in professional sport contexts. In this research, we examine an SFD organization, delivered by a professional sport team, which operates under a hybrid structure. A longitudinal qualitative case study design was employed, and findings demonstrate how the SFD organization, which presents a practical example of organizational hybridity, evolved over time. Drawing upon Svensson typologies of SFD hybrids, results illustrate how the organization transformed from a differentiated hybrid into a dysfunctional hybrid, under the influence of funding opportunities and institutional logics. Through the present study, we build upon theoretical understandings of SFD hybrids and offer practical insight into the nuances of SFD hybrids delivered in professional sport contexts.
Landy Di Lu and Kathryn L. Heinze
Multilevel examinations of sport policy institutionalization are scarce in sport management scholarship. As sport policies diffuse across geographic boundaries, there is often variation in the timing of adoption. In this study, the authors used event history analysis to examine the effect of institutional factors, within and between states, on the speed of youth sport concussion legislation adoption. Our quantitative analyses show that a series of intrastate factors—state norms, disruptive events, and local advocacy—had a significant influence on the timing of state policy adoption, but interstate social networks did not. Supporting qualitative data provide additional insight about the relationship between disruptive events and local advocacy in the adoption of concussion legislation. This study contributes to a better understanding of institutional factors in the diffusion of sport policy across geographic boundaries and offers an approach for future research examining variation in sport policy or practice adoption.