Overview of modern sport management theses for last decade (2006-15) (Sport management issues) 

Overview of modern sport management theses for last decade (2006-15) (Sport management issues) 


PhD, Associate Professor E.A. Shirobakina
PhD, associate professor N.V. Stetsenko
PhD, Associate Professor I.V. Lushchik
Volgograd State Academy of Physical Culture, Volgograd

Keywords: thesis, sport management, administration, marketing


The study offers an overview of the subjects addressed in the doctoral and PhD theses on sport management issues for the last decade of 2006-15. Subject to our analysis under the study were more than 1700 abstracts of theses in Specialty 13.00.04, including 64 theses with concern to sport management problems.

It should be noted that for the last few years – since the sport sector was ranked among the commercial (profit-generating) economic sectors – the sport sector economy has been rapidly commercialized (Yu.A. Zubarev, 2013). In the context of new economic processes and challenges, it becomes more and more obvious that success of the sport sector is dependent not only on professional athletes and coaches, but also on professional managers that are knowledgeable and skilful in the administrative, financial and economic matters and processes important for the sport organizations being managed in a most efficient manner (I.I. Pereverzin, 2003; E.A. Shirobakina, 2015).

Objective of the study was to make an overview of the thesis abstracts for the period of 2006-15 in Specialty 13.00.04 (Sport Management Issues).

Having analyzed more than 1700 doctoral and PhD thesis abstracts on the top priority issues of the national physical culture and sports (PCS) sector, we sorted out 64 sport management theses, including 12 doctoral and 52 PhD ones. The topics of the theses were categorized into the following ten key sport management issues: physical culture and sport activity management in the RF; marketing; sport federations; commercial professional sports; university students’ and youth sport movement; sport management within the municipal-level public education system; sport schools; professional responsibilities of a sport manager; sport managers’ training; and the administrative and legal relationship issues.

Most of the analyzed theses were found to explore the national physical culture and sports management issues with an emphasis on the following matters: PCS sector management and development across the regions of the RF (V.V. Novokreshchenov, 2006); new social and economic conditions for the PCS management (M.D. Gulyaev, 2012); management based on a set of forecast/ target/ performance indicators (A.N. Kaldarikov, 2013); result-oriented approach (S.A. Arkhipova, 2009); result-oriented management approach in territorial government policies (A.Y. Bliznevskiy, 2015); and regional PCS potential management issues (A.O. Semenova, 2013). Subject to special analysis are the topics of mass media coverage of the regional PCS management process (M.V. Khompodoeva, 2008) and municipal-level PCS institutionalization and management issues (S.V. Ivanova, 2013). Some authors explore the issues of elite sport management models applicable at the regional level (E.N. Uzberg, 2009); regional PCS system modernization issues (O.S. Kolesnikova, 2008); and adaptive sports development process management problems in Russia (A.S. Makhov, 2013). One thesis explores the Mongolian PCS system management improving potential (Choizhgavaa Naranbaatar, 2011).

We have found quite a few theses that study a variety of sport federation management issues faced by: Futsal Federation of Russia (A.G. Aliev, 2010); Ice Hockey Federation (L.V. Mikhno, 2011); Football Federation (V.N. Alexeyev, 2009); and Fitness Federation (S.I. Smirnov, 2013). One thesis offers a sport federation management model designed to support a specific sport discipline in the modern social and economic environment (G.P. Briusov, 2012); one more thesis explores the issues of mass media coverage of the local sport federation office management activity (V.V. Yermilova, 2007); and one more thesis studies the problems of high-level artistic gymnastics referees’ training system viewed among the top priority management issues faced by a sport federation (N.V. Kim, 2011).

In the PCS domain of the municipal-level education system, the following issues are covered in the theses: institutional and educational conditions of a school sport club foundation project (T.N. Karamysheva, 2009); a school sport club foundation model (O.S. Zdanovich, 2011); a fitness-aerobics-based sport education model applicable by the general education schools (E.A. Fonareva, 2011); and a school sport club as a basis for integration of the standard and additional PCS education curricula (N.M. Akhtemzyanova, 2011). Furthermore, subject to consideration in the theses are the institutional and methodological factors of the initiatives to improve the performance efficiency of the regional PCS and Health Centre (V.A. Aleshin, 2013); and the PCS Association operations transformation to facilitate elite athletes’ training process (J.M. Sharunenko, 2010). One thesis recommends to introduce the notion of the PCS education “quality management by teachers” at the general education schools (G.A. Litvinova, 2009); and the other explores the institutional and educational aspects of a PCS teacher’s performance (N.I. Pronina, 2015). The authors of theses are interested in the issues of physical culture and health improvement management technologies applicable in: the innovation-type educational establishments (L.V. Novotochina, 2009); pre-school establishments (M.M. Musanova, 2012); and the sport-centred educational institutions (D.V. Fonarev, 2012). The municipal-level institutions must, in opinion of some authors, make an emphasis in their policies on the PCS promotion issues (L.B. Shorozova, 2008); personnel development management principles (A.P. Lopatin, 2006); and the forecast-model-based management policies (G.N. Kuz'menko, 2008).

The university students’ and youth PCS activity issues are studied in the following works: the children’s and youth sports-and-patriotic movement management model applied by the Moscow-based PCS “Yuniy Dinamovets” Association (V.V. Skorlupov, 2009); the high-ranking university sport team establishment and management  model applied in Chinese universities (Chan’ Hao, 2008).

Of special importance for sport schools are deemed to be some PCS process management issues covered in the theses, including: administration and methodological activity management (A.V. Mishukov, 2006); education and training process management (V.G. Timofeev, 2008); administrative/ control/ business activity management aspects of the sport school manager’s activity (N.V. Kandaurova, 2014); including the modern IT-based management aspects (E.V. Khoka, 2006). Two theses refer to some important issues of the federal-level Olympic reserve school operations management, including: administrative and teaching process management matters (A.S. Solntseva, 2010); and the institutional and control aspects of school operations (L.A. Loginova, 2006).

Only three works were found to explore issues with concern to the PCS marketing technologies, being as follows: the PCS services provided by the PCS sector institutions (G.B. Ryabenko, 2014); large stadium management and service marketing issues (A.S. Akimov, 2010); and the PCS service efficiency improvement in cooperation with the relevant universities (V.I. Yangirov, 2012).

In the commercial professional sport sector, the studies give the top priority to the following issues: institutional and management aspects of the initiatives to develop professional commercial sports in Russia (A.V. Pochinkin, 2006); professional commercial dimension of the team (game) sports and individual sport disciplines (V.S. Shelestov, 2006); professional boxing sport management matters (S.I. Mikaelyan, 2011); and professional mini-football club management problems (A.A. Demin, 2013).

Only one of the theses under review was found to explore sport managers’ professional activity on the whole and its psychological and educational aspects in particular (A.V. Fedotov, 2006).

Quite a few researchers were found to address the sport manager’s education and training matters, including the following: sport manager’s psychological balancing matters (A.M. Kamneva, 2011); sport manager’s physical fitness issues (O.A. Tynyankin, 2014); business-success-focused mindset cultivation in a sport manager (A.A. Popova, 2011); personality-centred approach in the sport manager’s job (E.M. Gubina, 2008); and modern IT toolkit application by a sport manager (J.A. Orlova, 2009). Furthermore, some studies explore the physical culture and education sector management training issues: in application to pre-school education system (T.A. Guseva, 2008); in the context of modern market economy (M.M. Abzeev, 2009); and in application to the large-scale sport forums (T.V. Nesterenko, 2013). 

Matters of the administrative and legal relationship in the PCS sector were addressed in two theses: the first one explores the professional labour relationship regulation by sport institutions and entities (M.M. Kuznetsova, 2010); and another one provides an insight to the legal support of the commercial PCS Association management process (N.I. Antonova, 2013).


The overview of the theses with concern to the sport management matters for the last decade demonstrates that the sport management domain has been addressed in a very limited number of studies that make up only 3.5% of the total sample under the study in fact. Top priority aspects of the sport sector management need to be identified in view of the high demand for a high-quality competitive management of the national PCS sector and current shortage of specialists in the sector. 


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Corresponding author: shirobackina_prepod@mail.ru