Call for Papers | “Blurring Sector Boundaries & New Organizational Forms” | Special issue of Journal of Sport Management

Submit your papers for our 2017 Special Issue by May 27, 2016


The evolution of organizational forms has long been recognized as a response to political, economic, and environmental turbulence (e.g., Byers, Slack, & Parent, 2012; Heydebrand, 1989). In light of these complex competitive pressures, the boundaries of organizations involved in the production and delivery of sport are becoming increasingly blurred and new organizational forms are emerging. While the pillars of the sport “industry” remain, there are many examples of new organizational forms that challenge traditional sectoral boundaries within and across government/public, nonprofit, and commercial sport. For example, the rise of social entrepreneurship has drawn attention as a new structure to address social causes through sport-based commercial ventures. The structure and values of nonprofit sport organizations are also shifting as they are increasingly being expected to perform in “business-like” ways. Public sector organizations are under intense scrutiny to form effective partnerships and deliver sport programs that address health outcomes yet they often compete with nonprofit organizations for sponsorship. Other hybrid organizations and sport-based foundations combine elements of different sectors in order to achieve a desired purpose. As the nature of sectoral relationships shift, there is great potential for innovation and experimentation.

We invite submissions for this Special Issue that articulate the ways that sport organizations are responding and adapting their structure and values in response to contemporary issues. We also encourage submissions that explore whether current theoretical frameworks effectively represent the complexity of issues that stem from the erosion of sector walls. The focus of the special issue will be conceptual and empirical research with a strong contextual, theoretical, or methodological basis that advances knowledge. Studies using quantitative and/or qualitative or mixed methods approaches are welcomed.

This Special Issue of JSM builds on an established body of research on partnerships in sport management (e.g., Babiak & Thibault, 2009; Cousens, Barnes, & MacLean, 2012; Dowling, Robinson, & Washington, 2013; Farrelly, 2010), yet focuses on nontraditional and emergent relationships and new ways of organizing. The field of sport management would benefit from greater exploration, critique, and, perhaps, adoption of these emergent organizational forms. Understanding and exploring these examples provides an important platform for future studies in organizational theory.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Social enterprise and entrepreneurship in sport
  • Partnerships between brands and social enterprises as co-production of sport
  • Negotiations of power in shifting organizational forms
  • Shifts and representations of organizational identity
  • Governance practices and issues within hybrid organizations
  • Evolution of sectoral boundaries from local to global sport contexts
  • Tensions between State or public sport and commercial enterprise
  • New organizational forms of community sport delivery
  • Opportunities for new organizational forms following major sport events
  • Evaluation and impact of sport-based foundations
  • Comparative analysis of organizational legitimacy among different forms
  • New organizational forms in sport-for-development
  • The impact of shifting boundaries and expectations on sport sponsors
  • The impact of globalization and demographic change on shifting forms
  • Managing multiple and diverse stakeholder relationships
  • Critical examinations of the impact of shifting sector boundaries on vulnerable populations

Submission Guidelines: Manuscripts should follow the guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (, and should be prepared in accordance with the Journal of Sport Management “Instructions to Authors” ( Manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal while they are under review by the Journal of Sport Management, nor should they have been previously published.

Manuscripts should be submitted no later than May 27, 2016, using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Authors should indicate in their cover letter that the submission is to be considered for the Special Issue on blurring sector boundaries and new organizational forms.

Please note:  Separately and without the paper being attached, the co-editors request an email be sent to them, at and, with the subject line “JSM SI on Blurring Sector Boundaries,” to provide them with the title of the paper and the list of co-authors as submitted to ScholarOne Manuscripts.

Contact Details for the Guest Co-Editors

Katie Misener, PhD
Assistant Professor, Recreation and Leisure Studies
University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave W., Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4567, ext. 37098

Laura Misener, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology
Western University, London, ON, N6A 3K7
(519) 661-2111, ext. 86000

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