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Get real: Using engagement with practice to advance theory transfer and production


  • Irwin, Richard L.
  • Ryan, Timothy D.


The purpose of this paper is to illustrate that strengthening links with practice through authentic and collaborative instruction, research and professional service, significantly reduces these two gap-enhancing problems and represents an ideal opportunity to apply, test and, perhaps most importantly, generate theory. Authenticity, or connectivity with practice, through the use of practical content as well as interaction, provides a valuable mechanism for enhancing, if not accelerating, knowledge production and transfer. The sport management literature widely supports the merits of experiential learning, as an authentic method of advancing knowledge acquisition. Moreover, while sport academia and sport business may comprise distinct cultures, there is a common purpose for research: an understanding of unique, emerging phenomena. As such, authentic research and learning environments have the potential to yield multiple benefits that include (a) enriching student learning outcomes, (b) fostering healthy relationships with industry, (c) establishing a mechanism for external funding, (d) serving as a platform for scholarship, and (e) challenging faculty to upgrade instructional methods and content; ultimately enhancing professional competency and connectivity of faculty and students alike, and thus, advancing the discipline.

Suggested Citation

  • Irwin, Richard L. & Ryan, Timothy D., 2013. "Get real: Using engagement with practice to advance theory transfer and production," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 12-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:spomar:v:16:y:2013:i:1:p:12-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2011.12.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joris, Drayer & Daniel, Rascher, 2007. "The Use of Simulation Technology in Sport Finance Courses: The Case of the Oakland A’s Baseball Business Simulator," MPRA Paper 25802, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gerard P. Hodgkinson & Denise M. Rousseau, 2009. "Bridging the Rigour-Relevance Gap in Management Research: It's Already Happening!," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 534-546, May.
    3. Alfred Kieser & Lars Leiner, 2009. "Why the Rigour-Relevance Gap in Management Research Is Unbridgeable," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 516-533, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cunningham, George B., 2013. "Theory and theory development in sport management," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-4.
    2. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:5:p:522-534 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:spomar:v:20:y:2017:i:3:p:243-251 is not listed on IDEAS


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