CfP | Box Scores and Bottom Lines: Sports Data Can Inform Research and Practice in Organizations

jbp-dsJournal of Business and Psychology
Special Issue Call For Proposals

Box Scores and Bottom Lines: Sports Data Can Inform Research and Practice in Organizations

Guest Editors: William A. Gentry, Brian J. Hoffman, & Brian D. Lyons

The fields of organizations and sports have borrowed from one another in many respects. One popular example of the latter borrowing from the former was made famous in the book and movie, Moneyball (Lewis, 2003). Sabermetrics, big data, analytics, and statistics were used in baseball players’ selection and development, topics well studied and highly relevant to organizational, business, and management scholars and practitioners. However, organizations have yet to fully integrate lessons and findings in the sports field to inform its own research and practice.

Recently, Day, Gordon, and Fink (2012) organized and reviewed studies from the management literature and proposed that there is much to be gained by seeking to understand organizations through the lens of sports. For instance, the contextual similarities between organizations and sports offer a variety of benefits when sports are applied to the study of work and organizations. For example, teams, whether on the field or in the boardroom, are goal-oriented and performance-driven entities (e.g., Katz, 2001). Similarly, players and employees alike report to supervisors/managers, establish formal and informal status hierarchies, must collaborate effectively, and are evaluated and compensated based on their perceived contributions to success. Furthermore, sports data is both objective and readily available, which can afford organizational scholars and practitioners valuable opportunities to generalize findings and practices from sports into businesses and organizations. Recent academic literature has contributed to this trend, publishing papers using sports data (e.g., Avery, Tonidandel, & Phillips, 2008; Barnes, Reb, & Ang, 2012; Ertug & Castellucci, 2013; Humphrey, Morgeson, & Mannor, 2009; Hunter, Cushenbery, Thoroughgood, & Ligon, 2011; Resick, Whitman, Weingarden, & Hiller, 2009). In spite of this, organizational scholars have been somewhat slow to adopt sports data in its research, and limited formal consideration has been given to the intersection between sports data and organizational research and practice. This special issue proposes that, in light of the myriad commonalities between sports and organizational settings, the lack of formal integration is a missed opportunity for scholars and practitioners in the fields of industrial-organizational psychology, business, and management.

This special issue invites submissions that explore how sports data can influence organizations. Although empirical submissions are preferred, exemplary theoretical, conceptual, or narrative review papers will also be considered. We would also welcome inductive and deductive research, as well as null results research. Submission can include samples of recreational, amateur, and professional athletes and coaches. Submissions might also employ a two-study approach that seeks to generalize the findings from sports settings into organizational settings. The successful submission must provide clear and novel insights of relevance to organizations. Thus, authors should clearly articulate the novel contribution of their study and the implications for organizations. Proposals might include but are not limited to the following:

  • Selection, promotion, and careers of athletes and coaches;
  • Predictors of athlete, team, or coach performance and success;
  • Judgment and decision making of officials/judges;
  • Deviant behavior in athletic contexts;
  • Team or staff composition and team effectiveness; and
  • Coach/manager/leader effectiveness.

 Proposals should consist of no more than two double-spaced pages (note: title page, references, tables, and figures, do not count towards the two page limit but should be used judiciously). Proposals can be for work that is unfinished at the time of the proposal due date, but would be completed by the date that first drafts of full papers are due. The special issue editors will review proposals to ensure that the focus of the proposal is appropriate for the special issue, but developmental feedback will not be given to proposals. Authors of approved proposals will be invited to submit full-length papers for publication consideration. Full papers will be regular length manuscripts in APA style. These papers will undergo the usual double-blind, developmental review process. The final acceptance of invited papers will be contingent upon incorporating editors’ and reviewers’ feedback.

Due to editorial constraints, authors must adhere to the following deadlines:

  • December 31, 2014: Proposals due to Dr. William Gentry <>;
  • January 29, 2015: Authors notified of proposal decisions; and
  • September 1, 2015: If proposal is approved, first draft of regular length manuscript in APA style due.

The corresponding author should register in the system, and then submit the manuscript on behalf of all the authors of the manuscript.  Please make sure that when submitting to the system, authors select the article type for the special issue on Sports Data and Organizations.

We have an impressive, international, editorial board to review papers specifically for this special issue. They come from highly acclaimed academic and practitioner backgrounds. They have published in top-tier journals and have experience serving on editorial boards of top-tier journals.

Special Issue Editorial Board

  • Alexander Alonso, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Derek Avery, Temple University
  • William H. Bommer, California State University, Fresno
  • Beth Bynum, HumRRO
  • Nathan Carter, University of Georgia
  • Jeremy Dawson, University of Sheffield
  • David Day, University of Western Australia
  • Eric Dunleavy, DCI Consulting Group
  • Tamara Friedrich, University of Warwick
  • Sam Hunter, Penn State University
  • James LeBreton, Penn State University
  • Chris Leupold, Elon University
  • Filip Lievens, Ghent University
  • Cindy McCauley, Center for Creative Leadership
  • John W. Michel, Loyola University Maryland
  • Frederick P. Morgeson, Michigan State University
  • Lorin Mueller, The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy
  • Michael Palanski, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Ron Piccolo, Rollins College
  • Chris Rosen, University of Arkansas
  • Paul Sackett, University of Minnesota
  • John Sumanth, Wake Forest University
  • Todd Weber, Central Washington University
  • Fran Yammarino, SUNY-Binghamton

Questions concerning acceptable topics or clarifications around this special issue could be directed to any of the three special issue guest editors:


  • Avery, D. R., Tonidandel, S., & Phillips, M. (2008). Similarity on sports sidelines: How mentor-protégé sex similarity affects mentoring. Sex Roles, 58(1-2), 72-80.
  • Barnes, C. M., Reb, J., & Ang, D. (2012). More than just the mean: Moving to a dynamic view of performance-based compensation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97, 711-718.
  • Day, D. V., Gordon, S., & Fink, C. (2012). The sporting life: Exploring organizations through the lens of sport. The Academy of Management Annals, 6, 397-433.
  • Ertug, G., & Castellucci, F. (2013). Getting what you need: How reputation and status affect team performance, hiring, and salaries in the NBA. Academy of Management Journal, 56, 407-431.
  • Humphrey, S. E., Morgeson, F. P., & Mannor, M. J. (2009). Developing a theory of the strategic core of teams: A role composition model of team performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94,48-61.
  • Hunter, S. T., Cushenbery, L., Throughgood, C., Johnson, J. E., & Ligon, G. S. (2011). First and
  • ten leadership: A historiometric investigation of the CIP leadership model. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 70-91.
  • Katz, N. (2001). Sports teams as a model for workplace teams: Lessons and liabilities. Academy of Management Executive, 15, 56-67.
  • Lewis, M. (2003). Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game. New York: Norton.
  • Resick, C., Whitman, D., Weingarden, S., & Hiller, N. (2009). The bright-side and the dark-side
  • of CEO personality: Examining core self-evaluations, narcissism, transformational leadership, and strategic influence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 1365-1381.
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