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Michael B. Edwards and Jon Welty Peachey

Throughout sport management’s history, scholars have wrestled with the discipline’s appropriate home within the academy. Sport management programs are often placed within other departments or schools, with one potential home being established parks and recreation management departments. However, one of the most prevalent issues within the parks and recreation academic field is the perceived invasion of sport management into its “nest.” In a recent article in the field’s leading education journal, a prominent scholar suggests that parks and recreation programs housing sport management run the risk of undermining their mission and may ultimately face extinction. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to offer a response to this article, and examine the position of sport management within traditional parks and recreation departments. We argue that because of the interrelatedness of the disciplines and shared ontological and epistemological roots, fostering collaboration rather than divisiveness would enhance the scholarship, academic integrity and student learning outcomes of both fields.

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Kimberly A. Bush, Michael B. Edwards, Gareth J. Jones, Jessica L. Hook, and Michael L. Armstrong

Recently, scholars of sport management have called for more research aimed at understanding how sport can be leveraged for social change. This interest has contributed to a burgeoning paradigm of sport management research and practice developed around using sport as a catalyst for broader human and community development. In order for sport practitioners to successfully develop, implement, and sustain these programs, integration of development-based theory and concepts are needed in sport management curricula. Service learning is one pedagogical approach for achieving this objective, and is well suited for promoting social change practices among students. This study assesses how participation in a sport-for-development (SFD) service learning project impacted the social consciousness and critical perspectives of sport management students. Results suggest the experience raised student’s awareness of community issues, developed a more holistic perspective on the role of service, and influenced their future careers.

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Gareth J. Jones, Christine E. Wegner, Kyle S. Bunds, Michael B. Edwards, and Jason N. Bocarro

To promote community development, sport-for-development (SFD) organizations strive to build local leadership that fosters long-term sustainability. Although shared leadership (SL) structures are particularly effective in these settings, there has been limited attention to SL within the SFD context, especially from a multilevel perspective. While previous studies of leadership in sport have primarily focused on the individual traits of leaders, multilevel analysis is required to understand how environmental characteristics relate to leadership development. This qualitative case study analyzes the development and deployment of SL in an American SFD organization. Interviews, observations, and document analysis are used to generate data, and theoretical thematic analysis is used to identify key themes related to the environmental characteristics of SL. Results highlight how environmental characteristics are related to SL, as well as group and task characteristics. The discussion integrates these findings with SL theory to discuss implications for the management of SFD projects in this context, and recommends integrated forms of leadership that combine shared and servant leadership approaches.