"Like Ships in the Night" and the Paradox of Distinctiveness for Sport Management: A Citation Network Analysis of Institutional Theory in Sport
Journal of Sport Management
A central issue within sport management is the extent to which the field should develop a distinctive theoretical knowledge base. This paper empirically investigates the connectedness within (intrafield) and between (interfield) management and sport management disciplines in one specific knowledge domain—institutional theory. We utilized a database of 188 sport-related institutional studies and conducted a citation network analysis of the aggregated reference lists from these articles. We argue that the fields of management and sport management act like “ships in the night.” That is, as the field of sport management has become more distinctive, the field is becoming less connected with general management literature and contemporary theoretical discussions. Potential implications for sport management scholarship and understanding the nature of the field are discussed, along with how it may be possible (if desired) to bridge the gap between sport and management research.
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Dowling, M., Robertson, J., Washington, M., Leopkey, B., Ellis, D. L., Riches, A., & Smith, L. (2023). “Like Ships in the Night” and the Paradox of Distinctiveness for Sport Management: A Citation Network Analysis of Institutional Theory in Sport. Journal of Sport Management, 1(aop), 1-14.