Call for Papers | “Transformative Sport Service Research: Linking Sport Services with Personal, Social, and Ecological Well-being” | Special Issue of the Journal of Sport Management. Call ends May 14, 2019

Guest Editors: 

  • Yuhei Inoue, University of Minnesota 
  • Mikihiro Sato, James Madison University 
  • Kevin Filo, Griffith University 

In this special issue, we envision to highlight new research directions in sport management by advancing the theoretical and empirical understanding of transformative sport service research (TSSR). TSSR refers to an area of research that focuses on improving the individual and collective lives of sport consumers (e.g., spectators, participants) and employees (both paid and unpaid staff, such as managers, coaches, and event volunteers) through the optimal production and delivery of sport services. This emergent research area builds on a transformative research paradigm developed in various business fields, such as consumer behavior (Mick, Pettigrew, Pechmann, & Ozanne, 2012), marketing (Tadajewski et al., 2014), management (Subramony, 2017), tourism (Chen & Petrick, 2013), and service research (Anderson & Ostrom, 2015), that seeks to understand the role of consumption and services in producing personal and collective well-being outcomes. As an integral part of this broad paradigm, TSSR strives to create a body of knowledge on how personal, social, and ecological well-being can be distinctively improved through five categories of services offered in the sport industry, namely, spectator, participant, sponsorship, donor, and social idea services (Chelladurai, 2014). 

A growing line of sport management research has begun to address topics related to the relationship between sport services and well-being outcomes (e.g., Dixon & Warner, 2010; Doyle, Filo, Lock, Funk, & McDonald, 2016; Filo & Coghlan, 2016; Inoue & Kent, 2012; Inoue, Sato, Filo, Du, & Funk, 2017; Jang, Ko, Wann, & Kim, 2017; J. Kim, Kim, & Kim, 2017; M. Kim, Kim, Newman, Ferris, & Perrewé, 2018; Sato, Jordan, & Funk, 2015; Taks, Littlejohn, Snelgrove, & Wood, 2016). Thus, the goal of this special issue is not to generate an entirely new stream of research. Rather, by introducing the terminology of TSSR, we aim to provide an overarching framework for this growing research and facilitate more collective efforts across different subfields of sport management (e.g., sport consumer behavior and psychology, sport marketing, sport policy, human resource management in sport, sport economics) as well as other related fields (e.g., marketing, consumer behavior, organizational psychology, service, leisure, tourism, psychology, public policy, public health) to produce knowledge that has implications for the well-being of sport consumers and employees. 

In line with the broad transformative research paradigm (Anderson et al., 2013), in this special issue we define well-being as entailing both eudaimonic and hedonic well-being. Eudaimonic well-being refers to the realization of human potential through increased access, enhanced physical and mental health, and reduced disparity; hedonic well-being relates to the experience of happiness and pleasure (Ryan & Deci, 2001). Moreover, these two types of well-being are examined not only at the individual level (e.g., subjective well-being of individual participants, spectators, volunteers, and managers), but also at the collective level (e.g., social well-being of the host community of a sport event) and the ecosystem level (e.g., sport events’ impacts on ecological well-being, which in turn influences future personal well-being). 

Themes and Topics of the Special Issue

With this broad definition of well-being as well as the aforementioned five categories of sport services (Chelladurai, 2014), possible topics for our special issue can be classified into the following three research themes: 

  1. Impacts of sport services on consumer well-being. The first theme is concerned with theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence on how each of the five categories of sport services may influence personal and collective well-being of sport consumers. Suggested topics under this theme include (but are not limited to): 
    1. Psychological processes underlying the impact of sport participation and spectatorship on happiness and subjective well-being. 
    2. Roles of sport events and organizations in creating civic pride, collective identity, sense of belonging, and other social well-being outcomes for local communities. 
    3. Impact evaluation of health promotion campaigns implemented by sport organizations. 
    4. Population-level analysis of the relationship between sport participation and well-being. 
    5. Well-being benefits that consumers derive from donations to community and nonprofit sport organizations as well as participation in charity sport events. 
  2. Management processes for optimizing the well-being outcomes of sport services. The second theme addresses how sport managers and event organizers can improve the way by which sport services are produced and delivered to successfully leverage the potential of these services to promote eudaimonic and hedonic well-being at the individual, collective, and ecosystem levels. Suggested topics under this theme include (but are not limited to): 
    1. Policies and programs to increase access to sport participation and spectatorship and their impact on well-being among marginalized populations, such as lower income families in developed countries, base-of-the-pyramid (or impoverished) consumers in developing countries, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens. 
    2. Efforts to reduce the detrimental effects that sponsorship and advertising of alcohol, gambling, and other potentially harmful products at sport events may have on the personal and collective well-being of consumers. 
    3. Strategies to promote the ecologically sustainable behavior of sport consumers. 
    4. Consumer participation in the co-creation and co-delivery of sport service experiences to optimize well-being outcomes. 
    5. Roles of organizational values, vision, and mission in driving sport organizations’ efforts to enhance consumer and employee well-being. 
    6. Impacts of the interaction between sport customers and frontline staff (e.g., customer service representatives, athletic trainers, coaches, event volunteers) on the well-being of both customers and employees. 
    7. Identification of organizational attributes (e.g., leadership, organizational climate, job design) that promote the well-being of employees who engage in the production and delivery of sport services. 
  3. Business cases for transformative sport service research. The third theme focuses on understanding business cases for organizational efforts that correspond to TSSR. Suggested topics under this theme include (but are not limited to): 
    1. Reciprocal relationships between the enhancement of consumer and employee well-being through sport services and the creation of economic value for sport organizations. 
    2. The impact of well-being outcomes on customer and employee loyalty toward sport organizations and events. 
    3. Financial, social, and environmental benefits of sustainable business practices by sport organizations and events. 
    4. Economic implications of well-being outcomes derived from sport events and programs for their sponsors. 
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 Author Guidelines”. 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 14, 2019 using ScholarOne. Authors should indicate in their cover letter that the submission is to be considered for the Special Issue on Transformative Sport Service Research: Linking Sport Services with Personal, Social, and Ecological Well-being. 

Please note: Separately and without the paper being attached, the co-editors request an email be sent to with the subject “JSM SI on Transformative Sport Service Research” to let us know the title of the paper and the list of co-authors that have been submitted to ScholarOne. 

Guest Editors – Contact Information: 

Yuhei Inoue, Ph.D.
School of Kinesiology
University of Minnesota
1900 University Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Office Phone: +1-612-624-2317

Mikihiro Sato, Ph.D.
Hart School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management
James Madison University
MSC2305, 261 Bluestone Drive
Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA
Office Phone: +1-540-568-7667

Kevin Filo, Ph.D.
Department of Tourism, Sport and Hotel Management
Griffith University
Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia
Office Phone: +61-7-5552-8719

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