The field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) has evolved considerable since the Magglingen Declaration in 2003 – which formally recognized sport as a means for promoting social change. Today, organizations operating grassroots SDP initiatives are found in more than 120 countries (Svensson & Woods, 2017) and the field includes stakeholder groups from across different sectors (Giulianotti, Hognestad, & Spaaij, 2016). The past decade has also attracted researchers to increasingly study SDP from different perspectives (Schulenkorf, Sherry, & Rowe, 2016), including the management of SDP efforts. Organizations implementing SDP initiatives face considerable challenges as capacity levels often remain low, resources are scarce, and the environment is often uncertain. The recent closing of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace has put additional stress on SDP practitioners to come up with innovative solutions.
While SDP scholars have been calling for theory development and ways of bridging the theory-practice divide (Welty Peachey, Schulenkorf, & Spaaij, 2017), this issue aims to focus on innovative practices and empirical findings. Additionally, this issue hopes to serve as an outlet for uniquely designed organizations and programming that have received limited attention previously in sport management journals. Thus, the purpose of this special issue is to encourage scholarly attention to the nature of organizational innovation in SDP.
For the purpose of this special issue, innovation is broadly defined as the implementation of new ways of addressing a problem to promote social change (Shier & Handy, 2016) and has the potential to help advance SDP practice. The specific benefits and challenges of innovation and the conditions for when organizational innovation is developed in SDP remains to be determined. There has been some limited scholarly work examining aspects of social entrepreneurship (Cohen & Welty Peachey, 2015; Hayhurst, 2014), the role of new technology (Hambrick & Svensson, 2015), the use of alternative sports or non-traditional sports (Cohen, Melton & Welty Peachey 2015; Thorpe & Rhinehart, 2013), and non-traditional program models (Cohen & Ballouli, 2016). Even so, few prior studies have directly examined the nature of organizational innovation in SDP. However, there are calls by researchers for more work on the managerial structures, processes, and behaviours of SDP organizations (Schulenkorf, 2017).
This special issue also builds on the momentum of several recent gatherings of SDP stakeholders. Beyond Sport recently facilitated conversations around innovation among practitioners, policymakers and funders at the 2016 Beyond Sport Summit in London, England and the 2017 Beyond Innovation event in San Francisco, USA (Beyond Sport, n.d.). At the same time, researchers have participated in a symposium on innovation in SDP research in Atlanta, USA (Chawansky, Hayhurst, McDonald, & van Ingen, 2017) and a workshop on innovation in SDP practice at the 2017 European Association of Sport Management Conference in Bern, Switzerland (Svensson & Probst, 2017).
Understanding the opportunities and challenges of innovation will provide a foundation for identifying how and when SDP organizations may develop innovative solutions for fulfilling their social change-focused missions. Studies using quantitative and qualitative or mixed methods approaches are welcomed.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
- The types of organizational innovations found in SDP practice
- The process of developing and implementing non-traditional sports and SDP models
- The impact of new organizational forms on program participants
- Local community perspectives on innovation in SDP
- Processes for capturing creative knowledge and supporting organizational innovation
- Human-centered design thinking for social innovation in the SDP program models
- Critical examination of potential risks of organizational innovation
- Unique settings and sports which have received less attention in SDP research
Additional suggestions to consider:
- Western and Non-Western conceptualizations of innovation
- Governance practices and issues associated with hybrid organizations in SDP
- The relationship between organizational capacity, life cycle and innovation
- Open innovation and coopetition between SDP organizations
- Professional backgrounds of staff and skills necessary for organizational innovation
- Open-source solutions as means for improved collective impact
- How founders and senior-level decision makers shape organizational innovation
- Creative monitoring and evaluation approaches
- The impact of funding requirements and reporting structures on innovation
- Managerial challenges and opportunities of new technologies in SDP
- Creative inter-organizational collaborations between non-traditional partners/sectors
- Historical analysis of the evolution of SDP and the diffusion of organizational innovations
How to submit your paper
Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with Managing Sport and Leisure formatting standards. For full submissions instructions, please visit the Instructions for Authors page.
Manuscript should be submitted no later than 15th September 2018 via ScholarOne for full consideration.
- Guest Editor: Per G. Svensson, Louisiana State University
- Guest Editor: Adam Cohen, University of Technology Sydney