The academic discipline and field of sport management has become a legitimate area through which scholarship and theory development can impact sport populations. Yet it has been suggested that sport management journal articles are read by less than one percent of the population. Though it is important to build the theoretical knowledge base of the field, it could be viewed as irresponsible to not search for insightful ways to engage sport practitioners and participants with sport management research. The purpose of this paper is to argue for the use of qualitative research as a research as praxis in the field of sport management.
First, the authors provide a brief, critical commentary on the research process and what impact academic research is (or should be) having outside of the academy. Then, the authors briefly discuss the significance of qualitative research in the academy in general, concluding with a discussion of some implications for sport management research and education.
The authors emphasize the role that various forms of qualitative inquiry play in connecting researchers with study populations, in efforts to empower them, and ultimately, bring about social change.
The paper should stimulate critical thought and dialogue among sport management scholars.