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Sports Settings in Management Research

Aversa, P. ORCID: 0000-0003-3175-9477 & Hallila, P. (2021). Sports Settings in Management Research. In: Griffin, R. W. (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Management. . Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/OBO/9780199846740-0205


In recent years, scholars have increasingly engaged with the use of sports settings to advance management theory. This stream of literature departs from the ‘Sport Management’ conversation, as it aims to move beyond the appreciation of the mere empirical sport phenomenon to advance a theoretical contribution with broader generalizability to other settings. The purpose of this bibliography is to present an organized overview of some of the relevant empirical works which can act as guides to scholars interested in conducting management research using sports data. Sports settings are becoming increasingly popular among management scholars due to the large availability of fine-grained data, well-defined performance metrics, and transparency of changes in strategies and processes. Also, sports settings are considered to be relatively controlled environments, which resemble laboratory conditions. These factors make sports data particularly suitable for quantitative studies, which have been so far more common than qualitative ones. Yet sports data can also ideally suit qualitative research. For example, sporting events are incredibly well documented and often collect multiple informants’ interviews impromptu, thus making them excellent settings for archival, historical, and in-depth case studies. This bibliography aims to provide readers with selected examples of both excellent quantitative and qualitative studies in different sports settings. The first section of the bibliography presents some past literature reviews on how sports data has been used in management research and some suggestions on future research topics in sports settings. Following this, the bibliography summarizes the sports settings which are most popular in management research. We show that especially the various US major league sports (baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey) have been prominent settings for management research. In addition to US major sports, other popular sports settings included in this bibliography are soccer, motorsports, national sports organizations (NSOs) and the Olympics. The bibliography also includes a section on the less common sports that have been used in previous research and a section on studies examining other actors in sports than players and managers.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is a draft of a chapter that has been published by Oxford University Press in Oxford Bibliographies in Management edited by Ricky W. Griffin published in 2021.
Publisher Keywords: American Football, Baseball, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Motorsports, Olympics and NSOs, Soccer, Nonathlete Studies in Sport Settings, Other Sports
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
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