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Group diversity's influence on sport teams and organizations: a meta-analytic examination and identification of key moderators

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Research question: The purpose of this study was to examine how group diversity was associated with subsequent outcomes, and whether these associations varied by the type of diversity, setting, sport role, or type of outcome. Research method: The authors implemented a meta-analytic technique to examine the influence of group diversity on a variety of outcomes. Results and findings: Results showed that overall group diversity has a positive effect on group outcomes (rc = .05; z-value = 4.53, p < .001; 95% CI: .03, .07). Sport role (administrator or coaches and players or exercisers), setting type (college athletics, professional sports, or non-profit sports), outcome type (organizational effectiveness, affective outcomes, or team performance) all served to moderate the relationship between team diversity and subsequent outcomes. Implications: The study found group diversity has positive effects on group effectiveness, though the effects are small. The findings are nevertheless instructive because they provide an effect size estimated across a wide range of investigations and suggest that group diversity is positively associated with important group outcomes. The pattern of results might encourage practitioners in sport organizations and professional teams to welcome diverse individuals in their groups by demonstrating this positive link between group diversity and group outcomes.
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European Sport Management Quarterly
ISSN: 1618-4742 (Print) 1746-031X (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/resm20
Group diversity's influence on sport teams and
organizations: a meta-analytic examination and
identification of key moderators
Woojun Lee & George B. Cunningham
To cite this article: Woojun Lee & George B. Cunningham (2018): Group diversity's influence on
sport teams and organizations: a meta-analytic examination and identification of key moderators,
European Sport Management Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/16184742.2018.1478440
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2018.1478440
Published online: 08 Jun 2018.
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Group diversitysinuence on sport teams and organizations:
a meta-analytic examination and identication of key
moderators
Woojun Lee
a
and George B. Cunningham
b
a
Center for Sport Management Research, Jay S. Sidhu School of Business, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA,
USA;
b
Laboratory for Diversity in Sport, Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College
Station, TX, USA
ABSTRACT
Research question: The purpose of this study was to examine how
group diversity was associated with subsequent outcomes, and
whether these associations varied by the type of diversity, setting,
sport role, or type of outcome.
Research method: The authors implemented a meta-analytic
technique to examine the inuence of group diversity on a variety
of outcomes.
Results and ndings: Results showed that overall group diversity
has a positive eect on group outcomes (r
c
= .05; z-value = 4.53, p
< .001; 95% CI: .03, .07). Sport role (administrator or coaches and
players or exercisers), setting type (college athletics, professional
sports, or non-prot sports), outcome type (organizational
eectiveness, aective outcomes, or team performance) all served
to moderate the relationship between team diversity and
subsequent outcomes.
Implications: The study found group diversity has positive eects
on group eectiveness, though the eects are small. The ndings
are nevertheless instructive because they provide an eect size
estimated across a wide range of investigations and suggest that
group diversity is positively associated with important group
outcomes. The pattern of results might encourage practitioners in
sport organizations and professional teams to welcome diverse
individuals in their groups by demonstrating this positive link
between group diversity and group outcomes.
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 13 July 2017
Accepted 10 May 2018
KEYWORDS
Group diversity; meta-
analysis; sport organizations;
diversity in sport
Introduction
Because of a variety of factors, including changing national and community demographics,
equal employment laws, transformations in organizational structures, and social pressures
for inclusive workplaces, sport organizations have become more diverse over the past two
decades (Cunningham, 2015; Cunningham & Fink, 2006). As a result, a number of scho-
lars have endeavored to understand the inuence of diversity on organizational processes
and outcomes. Initial work came by way of theoretical frameworks from DeSensi (1995),
© 2018 European Association for Sport Management
CONTACT Woojun Lee woojun.lee@wilkes.edu Sports Management, Jay S. Sidhu School of Business, Wilkes
University, 84 W South St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701, USA
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY
https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2018.1478440
Doherty and Chelladurai (1999), Fink and Pastore (1999), Cunningham (2004), and Chel-
ladurai (2014). Empirical investigations also exist, though the ndings are equivocal in
nature. For example, Siciliano (1996) studied non-prot sport organizations and observed
that gender diversity among board members was associated with social performance,
though occupational diversity was positively related to external donations received. Cun-
ningham and Sagas (2004a) also found diversity to be positively linked with performance
in their study of football team coaching stas. On the other hand, Brandes, Franck, and
Theiler (2009), in a study of German Bundesliga teams, found that nationality diversity
among defenders was negatively associated with performance, possibly because of the
communications required among these players (see also Haas & Nüesch, 2012). Timmer-
man (2000), in a study of professional sport teams, observed that diversity hurt perform-
ance when the teammates had to interact with one another closely something also
predicted by Doherty and Chelladurai (1999) in their theoretical framework.
As these examples illustrate, diversitysinuence on subsequent team and organiz-
ational outcomes remain equivocal in nature, and as a result, the extant scholarship
oers limited direction to practicing sport managers or to sport management scholars.
One way to reconcile these seemingly contradictory results is through meta-analysis. As
we outline in more detail in the following section, meta-analysis is a statistical method
researches can use to combine results of dierent studies to provide a common metric
and overall eect size (Horwitz & Horwitz, 2007; Hunter & Schmidt, 2004; Lipsey &
Wilson, 2001). Unlike narrative reviews, meta-analyses are able to statistically combine
eect sizes, correcting for various sources of error, to determine the relationships
among variables across studies. Doing so can help researchers nd relationships across
studies that are obscured in other approaches (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004). Therefore, a
meta-analysis can be an appropriate technique to resolve apparent contradictions in
ndings in this topic.
Beyond the empirical value of a meta-analysis, theoretical benets are also present.
First, a key element of theory development is specication of boundary conditions
(Bacharach, 1989), or moderators (see also Colquitt & Zapata-Phelan, 2007). In line
with this perspective, Cunningham, Fink, and Doherty (2016) argued that good theory
moves beyond describing what constructs are relevant, but also includes articulation of
why, when, how, and under what conditions the relationships materialize. Indeed, Harri-
son and Klein (2007) suggested that identication of moderators might also aid in explain-
ing additional variance in outcomes manifesting from group diversity. Recognizing the
value of identifying moderators, in this study, we explore diversity type (surface-level
and deep-level), sport role (administrators and players), setting type (college athletics, pro-
fessional sports, and non-protsports), and outcome type (aective reactions, team per-
formance, and organizational eectiveness). As we explain in the subsequent sections,
each of these variables has the potential to inuence the relationship between diversity
and subsequent outcomes, and thus, serve to better explain why, how, and under what
conditions the relationships occur.
Second, though a number of management and organizational psychology scholars have
conducted similar analyses (Bell, Villado, Lukasik, Belau, & Briggs, 2011; Horwitz &
Horwitz, 2007; Kirca, Hult, Deligonul, Perryy, & Cavusgil, 2012; Mannix & Neale, 2005;
Roth, Purvis, & Bobko, 2012), we did not identify any such analyses in sport. This omis-
sion is unfortunate given the potential empirical and theoretical extensions possible. From
2W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
an empirical standpoint, it is possible that diversity operates dierently on sport and exer-
cise teams than it does among employees working in groups to accomplish a task. We
examine this possibility through a moderator analysis an analysis not undertaken in
past meta-analyses. The presence of such dierences would be theoretically meaningful
for sport management scholars, as they could seek explanations for why the type of
team inuences the diversity-to-outcomes relationship (see also Chalip, 2006; Cunning-
ham et al., 2016).
Given (a) the need to reconcile the seemingly conicting results, (b) the ecacy of
meta-analysis in doing so, and (c) the theoretical value of better understanding how,
why, and under what conditions diversity is associated with subsequent outcomes, the
purpose of this study was to meta-analytically examine the inuence of team and group
diversity on various outcomes. In the following sections, we provide an overview of
meta-analysis, the theoretical framework, and present the specic research questions.
Meta-analysis
Reviews of extant research oer a number of benets, including an overview of the current
state of the eld, the identication of trends, and the uncovering of potential theoretical
and empirical gaps in understanding, among others. Indeed, Schmidt and Hunter
(2015) noted that understanding the current state of empirical research was key to the
development of theory and advancement of science. They noted that the goal in any
science is the production of cumulative knowledge(p. 17). Meta-analysis oers one par-
ticularly eective means for aggregating that knowledge.
Lipsey and Wilson (2001)oered a number of strengths of meta-analysis. First, con-
ducting a meta-analysis calls for systematic and transparent procedures that allow the con-
sumer of the research to assess the scholarsassumptions, evidence, and conclusions.
Second, unlike other empirical reviews (e.g. tallying the number of signicant ndings),
meta-analysis allows for the researcher to statistically aggregate the data across studies
while also taking into account methodological artifacts and errors. Third, meta-analysis
aords scholars to determine the direction and strength of associations, and thus, oers
an advantage relative to narrative reviews, which do not lend themselves to detailed scru-
tiny of the dierences between studies and associated dierences in their ndings(p. 6).
Finally, and related to the previous points, through meta-analysis, researchers can analyze
and report on a greater number of studies than might be otherwise possible in other forms
of review.
Despite the many strengths of meta-analysis, and its widespread use in organizational
psychology, psychology, and biomedical sciences (Schmidt & Hunter, 2015), scholars
examining sport management phenomena have used it sparingly. Exceptions include Mar-
tinez, Stinson, Kang, and Jubenvilles(2010) meta-analysis of fundraising in intercollegiate
athletics, and Kim, Lee, Magnusen, and Kims(2015) study of sponsorship eectiveness.
Noting the infrequent use of the approach, Weed (2005) commented that, although
sport psychologists and exercise scientists had employed the statistical technique, there
are few examples of the use of meta-analysis in sport management(p. 83). He further
suggested that the potential of the statistical technique was largely untapped. Recognizing
this potential, we employed meta-analysis to examine the inuence of diversity on sub-
sequent outcomes, and we articulate our theoretical framework in the following section.
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 3
Theoretical framework
Group diversity
The primary construct in the current study is group diversity, and thus, the study follows
what Tsui and Gutek (1999) refer to as a compositional approach to the study of diversity
(see also Harrison & Klein, 2007). Here, the focus is on how dierences among members
of a group whether a team, exercise group, or sport organization are associated with
subsequent outcomes for that social unit. As an illustrative example, Siciliano (1996)
examined how diversity among board members was associated with the social perform-
ance of and donations given to sport organizations. The compositional approach varies
from an emphasis on individual characteristics and how those are associated with
access to positions and experiences within sport organizations. For example, a number
of authors have examined how women and racial minorities are under-represented in lea-
dership positions (e.g. Burton, 2015; Burton & Leberman, 2017; Champagne, 2017; Regan,
Carter-Francique, & Feagin, 2014), but the focus of these investigations is the individual,
not the group. A compositional approach also diers from analyses of diversity strategies
and culture (e.g. Fink, Pastore, & Riemer, 2001,2003), as the latter investigations have the
specic strategy followed as the point of emphasis, not necessarily the characteristics of the
group or organization. Given the emphasis on group diversity, in the following section, we
outline specic theories that help explain the inuence of dierences among group
members on subsequent outcomes.
Group diversity and subsequent outcomes
There are seemingly two theoretical schools of thought concerning how group dierences
are associated with subsequent outcomes. From one perspective, diversity is thought to
result in poor group functioning and impede performance (Milliken & Martins, 1996).
For instance, the similarity-attraction paradigm (Byrne, 1971) indicates that diverse
teams are less productive than homogeneous teams because of the mutual interaction
among team members with similar characteristics. Thanks to the mutual attraction and
constructive interactions, homogenous teams could outperform heterogeneous teams
(Wiersema & Bantel, 1992). Likewise, social categorization theory indicates that team
members tend to categorize other members into subgroups, which can result in distinc-
tions among in-group and out-group members, ultimately resulting in intergroup bias dis-
tinction (Tajfel & Turner, 1979; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987). Hence,
it is possible that homogeneous teams may cooperate more with one another and sub-
sequently outperform heterogeneous teams (Horwitz & Horwitz, 2007).
From a dierent perspective, other theoretical frameworks suggest that dierences
among group members should be a source of learning and enrichment, ultimately result-
ing in improved performance (Ely & Thomas, 2001). For example, van Knippenberg, De
Dreu, and Homans(2004) categorization-elaboration model suggests that group diversity
can result in more ideas and perspectives brought to the group, and to the degree that these
are elaborated upon, performance should improve. This perspective is consistent with the
information-decision-making model (Williams & OReilly, 1998), which suggests that
diversity should result in information richness and better decision-making capabilities.
Finally, in their theoretical model focused on sexual orientation diversity, Cunningham
4W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
and Melton (2011) argued that diversity should improve organizational performance
because of higher quality decision-making, improved marketplace understanding, and
goodwill among consumers. These perspectives suggest diversity should be positively
associated with important group processes and outcomes.
As this review illustrates, the theoretical models used to understand diversityseects
on groups and organizations mirror the empirical research on the topic: some suggest
negative eects, while others suggest positive ones. As a purpose of this study is to
meta-analytically examine the eect of group diversity on subsequent outcomes, the fol-
lowing research question is oered:
Research question 1: What is the relationship between group diversity and subsequent out-
comes for sport teams and organizations?
Diversity form
As previously noted, this study included several moderators, including type of diversity. In
drawing from Harrison and colleagues (Harrison, Price, & Bell, 1998; Harrison, Price,
Gavin, & Florey, 2002), this study considers two broad forms of diversity: surface-level
and deep-level. The former represents observable characteristics, such as age, race, sex,
and the like. These have been the focus of most diversity studies within the sport manage-
ment literature (for an overview, see Cunningham, 2015). For example, Timmerman
(2000) investigated the inuence of age and racial diversity on the team performance of
professional baseball and basketball teams. Deep-level diversity, on the other hand, rep-
resents diversity forms not readily seen, such as values, sexual orientation, and personality.
Comparatively few scholars have focused on this diversity form. As an illustrative
example, Cunningham (2011b) observed that sexual orientation diversity was associated
with performance gains among college athletic departments, particularly when the diver-
sity culture was inclusive.
There are varying theoretical perspectives concerning the eects of dierent diversity
forms on subsequent outcomes. Pelled (1996) suggested that some, job-related forms of
diversity, such as dierences in tenure or functional background, may be helpful while
others, such as surface-level dierences, would be hurtful to group processes and out-
comes. Also, people use visible demographic characteristics for categorization processes,
which could give rise to hostility, anxiety, and stereotyping (Tsui, Egan, & OReilly,
1992). The previous literature suggests that there would be dierences between surface-
and deep-level forms of diversity.
Given the possible dierences between surface- and deep-level forms of diversity, this
study developed the second research question:
Research question 2:Is the relationship between group diversity and subsequent outcomes
in sport teams and organizations moderated by diversity form?
Diversity across sport roles
Though other authors have conducted diversity-focused meta-analyses, a key extension in
this study is the focus on sport. Attention on the sport context is important, as the type of
team under examination can vary considerably. Whereas management and organizational
psychology scholars attend to management teams or functional groups, examples of
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 5
groups in sport include exercise groups (Shapcott, Carron, Burke, Bradshaw, & Estab-
rooks, 2006), professional sport teams (Sakuda, 2012), coaching stas (Cunningham &
Sagas, 2004a), and sport organization employees (Kerwin & Doherty, 2012). These dier-
ences are potentially meaningful, as the nature of relationships among group members is
likely to vary based on whether one is on (for example) a professional athletic team or a
member of an exercise group.
Recognizing these possibilities, the current study categorized the sport roles into two
theoretically distinct groups: (a) coaches or administrators and (b) players. There are
several reasons why diversityseects might dier based on the sport role. From one per-
spective, Chelladurai (2014) theorized that diversitysinuence was likely to be stronger
when group membersinteractions were marked by reciprocal interdependence. While
group members are, by their nature, dependent upon one another, it is possible
members of sport teams interact in a more interdependent manner than do members
of a top management team. In this case, diversitys relationship with subsequent outcomes
would be stronger on sport teams.
From a dierent perspective, other authors have theorized that the diversityseects are
likely to be strongest among groups where dierences are not common (Tsui & Gutek,
1999). Within the sport context, sport teams are likely to be diverse across a range of charac-
teristics (Cunningham, 2015), and such dierences have been commonplace for a number of
decades. Despite the dierences on teams, coaching stas and administrative units have tra-
ditionally been homogeneous, a pattern that is largely still observed today (Cunningham,
2015). As such, it is possible the eects of diversity on group processes and outcomes are
stronger when considering diversity among coaches and administrators relative to dier-
ences on teams. Given this possibility, this study developed the following research question:
Research question 3: Is the relationship between group diversity and subsequent outcomes
in sport teams and organizations moderated by sport role?
Diversity across settings
In addition to dierences in sport roles (e.g. athletic team or management group), the
setting might inuence the relationship between diversity and subsequent outcomes.
Cohen and Bailey (1997) recognized, for example, that organizational context is likely
to inuence the type of rewards oered, the level of supervision, and leader behaviors.
Thanks to the unique characteristic of sport, a number of researchers have conducted
studies in various settings. For example, Weimar and Wicker (2017) observed that age
diversity was positively associated with wins among German Bundesliga teams. In
addition, Cunningham and Sagas (2004a) collected data from college football coaching
stas, examining the relationship between various diversity attributes and aective out-
comes. Also, other researchers looked at a non-prot organization and the impact of
diversity within the organization (Siciliano, 1996; Spoor & Hoye, 2013). Acknowledging
these various setting types, the inuence of diversity on team and sport organization out-
comes could be dierent based on the setting types. Therefore, it is also possible that type
of setting could moderate the relationship between group diversity and group outcomes.
Research question 4: Is the relationship between group diversity and subsequent outcomes
in sport teams and organizations moderated by setting?
6W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
Diversity and various outcomes
Researchers have examined the inuences of group diversity on a variety of dierent out-
comes, including (as some examples) conict (Kerwin & Doherty, 2012), occupational
commitment (Cunningham & Sagas, 2004a), creativity in the workplace (Cunningham,
2011a), athletic team performance (Sakuda, 2012), and intentions to remain in the
organization (Spoor & Hoye, 2013). Rather than grouping all of outcomes together or con-
sidering each outcome idiosyncratically, the outcomes were classied into three broad cat-
egories: organizational eectiveness, aective outcomes, and team performance.
Scholars have traditionally considered organizational eectiveness as a form of goal-
attainment (Georgopoulos & Tannenbaum, 1957). However, more recently, many
researchers have used the term more widely to include a variety of inputs, throughputs,
and outputs (Chelladurai, 1987), and this is also reected in the study of group diversity.
Thus, we include a number of outcomes under the organizational eectiveness category,
including the performance of the organization, revenues generated, and the ability to
attract diverse fans.
Other outcome variables are more aective in nature, reecting diversitysinuence on
psychological processes and outcomes. Cunningham and Sagass(2004a) study of how
coaching stadiversity was associated with occupational commitment and turnover
among the coaches serves as an illustrative example. Consistent with this approach, this
study included a number of outcomes under the aective outcomes heading, including
commitment to diversity, in-group identity, and cohesion.
Finally, a number of authors have examined the inuence of diversity on the teams per-
formance. For example, Prinz and Wicker (2016) examined the inuence of various diver-
sity dimensions tenure, ability, age, nationality, language, and experience on team
performance in the Tour de France. Thus, this study included all outcomes focusing on
the athletic teams or groups, such as winning percentage of a team, playoattendance,
and average points, as types of team performance.
Recognizing the dierences between outcome variables, this study developed the fol-
lowing research question:
Research question 5: Is the relationship between group diversity and subsequent outcomes
in sport teams and organizations moderated by the type of outcome?
Method
Literature search
This study implemented a meta-analytic technique to examine and integrate peer-
reviewed articles focusing on group diversity and its relationship with subsequent out-
comes. The rst step in the data collection process was to collect all potential studies to
include in the analysis. Following the procedures outlined by meta-analysts (Cooper,
2010; Lipsey & Wilson, 2001), the following steps were followed:
1. A computerized search for relevant articles in the following databases: ABinform,
EBSCO, JSTOR, Sport Discuss, Expanded Academic Index, PsychInfo, Business
Source Complete, Google Scholar, and Science Direct. A variety of keyword combi-
nations were used, including diversity,diversity in sport,team diversity and
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 7
sport,group diversity and group eectiveness,organizational diversity and sport,
group and diversity and sport,diversity and performance,sport diversity and
team performance,diversity and organizational performance in sport, and diversity
in sport and team performance.
2. A search of ProQuest Dissertation and Theses to retrieve any theses or dissertations
that had not otherwise been published;
3. A manual search of several leading academic journals, including European Sport Man-
agement Quarterly,Journal of Sport Management,Sport Management Review,Inter-
national Journal of Sport Management,Journal of Applied Psychology,Journal of
Applied Social Psychology, and Journal of Intercollegiate Sport. This was done to retrieve
articles potentially missed in the initial analyses;
4. The use of ancestry methods, including a review of the reference lists of the retrieved
studies for additional studies; and
5. An analysis of well-established diversity researchers(e.g. Sagas, Kerwin, Spoor, and
Singer) CVs to obtain their working papers and forthcoming articles.
After collecting all potential articles, theses, and dissertations, the following criteria
were used when designating studies for inclusion. First, the studies have to quantify one
or more associations between antecedents and outcomes in the research model; thus,
qualitative studies focusing on diversity were excluded from the analysis. Second, as this
was a sport-focused meta-analysis, only studies that are related to sport teams, physical
activity groups, or sport organizations were included in the study. Third, the study system-
atically screened for overt and covert duplicate studies to remove bias due to duplicate
study eects (Wood, 2008). Both published and unpublished studies (e.g. dissertation,
theses, conference papers, and working papers) were included to diminish potential
eects of publication bias (Rothstein, Sutton, & Borenstein, 2005). Finally, the meta-analy-
sis included studies where the authors published the zero-order correlations (r) and
sample size. As Lipsey and Wilson (2001) have shown, researchers can use other data
to calculate the correlation including means and standard deviations from experimental
groups, data from a 2 × 2 chi-square, and frequency tables to calculate a correlation, but
these data were not included in the studies examined. These criteria served to eliminate
several earlier studies from inclusion, as authors did not include the needed information
to calculate eect sizes. Because several decades of studies were searched (the earliest was
1996), this study did not reach out to individual authors for missing information. Doing so
would have potentially biased the data toward inclusion of more recent studies relative to
latter ones, and previous researchers have shown poor success in gathering the needed
information (Gibson et al., 2006).
Coding procedures
A coding form (see Lipsey & Wilson, 2001), as an information-gathering instrument, was
prepared for two coders who recorded the extracted data on the variables of interest,
including outcome statistics (i.e. coecient correlation r, reliability of outcome variables,
and number of samples). In coding the data, this study reverse coded negatively focused
outcomes, so as to create consistency across outcomes. For example, job satisfaction and
negative aect are both in the aective domain, but have dierent foci: job satisfaction is
8W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
positive, while negative aect is negative. Thus, in this example, the negative aect score
was reverse scored. In all of the coding decisions, disagreements between coders were dis-
cussed and the coders eventually reached consensus on such issues.
The meta-analysis also included examination of a number of moderators, including
type of diversity, sport role, setting, and type of outcome. Type of diversity included
surface-level diversity (sex, racial, age, ethnicity, culture, and nationality) and deep-level
diversity (value, sexual orientation, and tenure and work). Sport role was coded as (a)
administrators and coaches and (b) players and exercisers. Study setting was coded as
college athletics, professional sports, and non-prot sports (most of which were set
within communities). Consistent with the previously articulated framework, type of
outcome was coded as team performance (e.g. team total points, Sagerin ratings,
winning percentage), organizational eectiveness (e.g. NACDA points earned, revenues
generated, social performance), and aective outcomes (e.g. job satisfaction, turnover
intentions).
Analyses
In this study, the primary eect size index was the correlation coecient (r), as there was
interest in the relationship between diversity and subsequent outcomes; thus, a meta-
analysis of correlations was conducted, following procedures recommended by Cooper
(2010). In order to minimize a potential bias, the correlation coecient was rst trans-
formed via the Fishersrto ztransformation (Fisher, 1970; Johnson & Eagly, 2000).
This study also tested for outliers due to sample size. Grubbs test revealed three such
outliers (p< .05): Timmermans(2000) sample of baseball teams (n= 1082), Timmer-
mans(2000) sample of basketball teams (n= 871), and Shappcott et al.s study of exercise
groups (n= 1392). Following Cooper (2010), these sample sizes were adjusted to the next
largest (n= 239) so as to avoid biasing the ndings.
It was also necessary to take into account issues of independence, as data points are not
independent if they are computed from data collected from a single sample. As Arthur,
Bennett, and Hucutt (2001) note, data management decisions related to independence
need to take into account whether the eect sizes represent unique variables and con-
structs (see also Arthur, Bennett, Edens, & Bell, 2003). Because outcome type was a poten-
tial moderating variable, when a study contained multiple outcomes (aective, team
performance, or organizational eectiveness), the eects were considered independent
even if they came from a single sample. On the other hand, when eect sizes are based
on the same construct, the data should be averaged to represent a single data point.
Thus, data based on the same outcome (e.g. aective) were averaged to represent a
single score (see Arthur et al., 2003).
In conducting the analysis, correction for sample size (Hedges & Olkin, 1985) and
the reliability of the measures was undertaken (Hunter & Schmidt, 2004), as doing so
provides more precise estimates. This study also calculated eect size, the 95% con-
dence interval around the corrected correlations, and z-values for signicance
(Cooper, 2010). These values oer information as to how the particular diversity
form is associated with the outcome of interest. This study also reports the practical
signicance of the eect following Cohens(1988) guidelines: an association of .10 is
small, .30 is moderate, and .50 is large.
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 9
Finally, research questions 25 were concerned with the eects of potential moderators.
The tests for moderators were performed following Hedges and Olkins approach (1985),
such that the Qstatistic was computed for each potential moderating variable. This stat-
istic demonstrates whether the average eect from various groups are homogeneous
(Cooper, 2010); thus, a statistically signicant Q statistic demonstrates that the eect
sizes in the comparison groups are signicantly dierent from one another.
Results
The literature search process, coupled with the winnowing process for study inclusion,
resulted in the inclusion of 19 studies, and each of these is listed in the Reference
section, denoted by asterisks, with an overview in Table 1. From these studies, this
study was able to analyze 65 unique eects from 16,107 participants. After correcting
for sample size outliers using Grubbs correction, the adjusted sample size is 8769.
The main purpose of this study was to meta-analytically examine the eect of group
diversity on subsequent outcomes. Table 2 shows results of the analyses testing on the
research questions on the relationship between group diversity and subsequent outcomes.
Research question one focused on the relationship between group diversity and sub-
sequent outcomes. Results show that overall group diversity has a positive main eect
on group outcomes (r
c
= .05; z-value = 4.53, p< .001; 95% CI: .03, .07). While the eect
was statistically signicant, the practical eect was small (Cohen, 1988).
Tests for moderators
This study also tested for the eects of four moderators: diversity type (RQ2), sport role
(RQ3), setting (RQ4), and outcome type (RQ5).
Diversity type
As seen in Table 2, the Q
b
value was not signicant for diversity type (Q
b
= .03, df =1,p
= .86), indicating the relationship surface-level diversity (r
c
= .05; z-value = 3.77, p< .001;
95% CI: .02, .07) and deep-level diversity (r
c
= .06; z-value = 2.52, p< .05; 95% CI: .01, .10)
did not dier.
In addition, this study examined the inuence of specic surface-level and deep-level
diversity forms. Results indicate that the specic surface-level diversity form served as a mod-
erator (Q
b
= 11.98, df =3, p= .007). Though age diversity did not hold a signicant eect,
racial and ethnic diversity (r
c
=.06;z-value = 3.29, p= .001; 95% CI: .03, .11) and sex diversity
(r
c
= .06; z-value = 2.67, p= .007; 95% CI: .02, .11) were positively signicantly related to sub-
sequent outcomes, and national diversity (r
c
=.22; z-value = 2.64, p= .008; 95% CI: .38,
.06) was negatively associated with the overall group outcomes. Although all values were
statistically signicant, the eects of racial team diversity and sex team diversity were
small, and the eects of nationality team diversity were small to moderate (Cohen, 1988).
The type of deep-level diversity was not signicant: (Q
b
= 5.14, df =2, p=.08). Thus,
although the eects of tenure and work diversity were signicant (r
c
= .11; z-value =
3.11, p= .002; 95% CI: .04, .17), they did not statistically dier from those of value diversity
(r
c
=.01; z-value = 0.02, p= .98; 95% CI: .09, .07) and sexual orientation diversity (r
c
= .05; z-value = 1.13, p= .13; 95% CI: .03, .13).
10 W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
Table 1. Overview of studies included in the meta-analysis.
Study Author(s) Year Overview of ndings
1 C. T. Bogar 2010 Collected data from 48 basketball teams (players and
coaches); observed that racial diversity among coaches
was positively related with team performance, while
racial diversity among players was not
2 M. M. Campion 2011 Collected data from 30 baseball teams (players); found that
racial, country, age, and tenure diversities were
positively related with team performance and aective
outcomes
3 G. B. Cunningham 2007 Data were collected from 45 track-and-eld teams
(coaches); observed that although age diversity was
positively associated with performance, gender, racial,
perceived age, perceived gender, and perceived racial
were negatively correlated with performance
4 G. B. Cunningham 2008a Collected data from 258 NCAA Division I athletic
departments (administrators); revealed that gender
diversity was positively associated with performance,
while racial diversity was not
5 G. B. Cunningham 2009a Data were collected from 71 coaching stas (coaches);
observed that racial, age, and tenure diversities were
negatively related with aective outcomes
6 G. B. Cunningham 2009b Data were gathered from 75 NCAA athletic departments
(administrators); found that racial diversity was positively
associated with team performance
7 G. B. Cunningham 2011a Collected data from 199 athletic departments
(administrators); observed that racial, gender, and sexual
orientation diversities were positively associated with
aective outcomes
8 G. B. Cunningham 2011b Data were collected from 239 athletic departments
(administrators); found that gender, racial, and sexual
orientation diversities were positively correlated with
performance
9 G. B. Cunningham and M. Sagas 2004a Data were gathered from coaches in 48 NCAA Division IA
football coaching stas; observed that although age
diversity was positively related with performance, age,
tenure, and ethnic diversities were not
10 G. B. Cunningham and M. Sagas 2004b Collected data from 77 NCAA Division I athletic coaching
stas (coaches); observed that racial diversity was
negatively associated with team performance
11 G. B. Cunningham and J. N. Singer 2011 Data were gathered from 258 NCAA Division I athletic
departments (administrators); found that racial, gender,
and deep-level diversities were positively related with
team performance
12 S. Kerwin and A. Doherty 2012 Collected data from 119 Canadian athletic departments
(administrators); observed that age and gender diversity
were negatively associated with negative outcomes
13 K. H. Sakuda 2012 Data were collected from 96 Japanese Baseball teams
(players); found that national and age diversities were
negatively associated with team performance
14 K. M. Shapcott, A. V. Carron, S. M. Burke,
M. H. Bradshaw, and P. A. Estabrooks
2006 Collected data from 1392 Walking groups (walkers);
observed that gender and ethnic diversities were
positively related with performance
15 J. I. Siciliano 1996 Data were gathered from 240 YMCA organizations (board
members); found that gender and age diversities were
positively associated with performance
16 J. R. Spoor and R. Hoye 2013 Data were collected from 216 sport organizations
(employees); indicated that gender diversity was
positively associated with performance
17 T. A. Timmerman 2000 Collected data from 1082 Major League Baseball (MLB)
teams and 871 National Basketball Association (NBA)
teams from 1969 to 1992 (players); observed that racial
(Continued)
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 11
Sport role
The third research question focused on the potential moderating eects of sport role. The
analyses indicated that sport role did moderate the relationship between group diversity
and subsequent outcomes: Q
b
= 6.89, df =1, p= .008. When the sport role included
coaches or administrators, group diversity was positively associated with subsequent out-
comes (r
c
= .07; z-value = 5.06, p< .01; 95% CI: .02, .11), though group diversity among
players or exercisers was not associated with group outcomes (r
c
= .02; z-value = 0.39, p
= .70; 95% CI: .02, .05).
Setting
With the fourth research question, this study examined whether setting type inuenced
the relationship between group diversity and group outcomes. Results indicate this was
Table 1. Continued.
Study Author(s) Year Overview of ndings
and age diversities were positively related with team
performance
18 D. S. Waltemyer and G. B. Cunningham 2009 Data were gathered from 90 National Hockey League
(NHL) teams (players); found that age and tenure
diversities were positively associated with performance;
while ethnic diversity was not
19 S. Nüesch 2009 Data were Bundesliga soccer teams over six seasons; found
that age and tenure diversity were positively associated
with sporting success, while racial diversity was not
Table 2. Diversity meta-analysis results.
Relationship KN^ r
c
95% CI
Lower
95% CI
Upper
zQ
b
Diversity performance (overall) 65 8769 .05 .03 .07 4.53***
Type of diversity 0.11
Surface-level 50 6605 .05 .02 .07 3.77*** 11.98**
Age diversity 14 1562 .02 .02 .08 1.10
Nationality diversity 3 156 .22 .38 .06 2.64**
Racial and ethnic 22 2885 .06 .03 .10 3.29***
Sex diversity 11 2002 .06 .02 .11 2.67**
Deep-level 15 2164 .06 .01 .10 2.52* 5.14
Value 3 635 .01 .09 .07 0.02
Sexual orientation 3 637 .05 .03 .13 1.13
Tenure and work 9 892 .11 .04 .17 3.11**
Sport role 6.02**
Administrators and coaches 41 5439 .07 .04 .10 5.06***
Players and exercisers 24 3330 .02 .02 .05 0.97
Setting 9.00*
College athletics 38 4551 .07 .04 .10 4.27***
Professional sports 20 2508 .02 .02 .06 1.06
Non-prot sports 7 1710 .05 .01 .10 2.07*
Outcome 6.02*
Organizational eectiveness 21 3316 .07 .04 .11 3.96***
Aective outcomes 20 2060 .08 .03 .12 3.14***
Team performance 24 3393 .02 .02 .05 0.98
Notes: K=number of correlations; N^ = the adjusted N after adjusting for outliers (Grubbs); r
c
= corrected mean eect size;
95% CI
Lower
= lower bound of the 95% condence interval; CI
Upper
= upper bound of the 95% condence interval; z=
signicance; Q
b
= between-class goodness of t statistic.
*p< .05.
**p< .01.
***p< .001.
12 W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
the case: Q
b
= 9.69, df =2, p= .01. Group diversity was positively associated with sub-
sequent group outcomes when set in the context of college athletics (r
c
= .07; z-value =
4.27, p< .001; 95% CI: .04, .10) and non-prot sport (r
c
= .05; z-value = 2.07, p= .04;
95% CI: .01, .10), though both values have small practical eects (Cohen, 1988). On the
other hand, group diversity in the professional sport setting was not related to subsequent
outcomes (r
c
= .02; z-value = 1.06, p=.29; 95% CI: .02, .06).
Outcome type
In the nal research question, this study considered whether the type of outcome
aective, team performance, or organizational eectiveness moderated the relationship
between group diversity and group outcomes. Results indicate outcome type did moderate
the relationship: Q
b
= 6.02, df =2,p= .05. Although the magnitude of the eects was small
(Cohen, 1988), group diversity was positively associated with measures of organizational
eectiveness (r
c
= .07; z-value = 3.96, p< .001; 95% CI: .04, .11) and aective outcomes (r
c
= .08; z-value = 3.14, p= .002; 95% CI: .03, .12). However, group diversity was not related
with team performance outcomes (r
c
= .02; z-value = 0.33, ns; 95% CI: .02, .05).
Discussion
Sport organizations and teams have become more diverse over the past two decades (Cun-
ningham, 2015; Cunningham & Fink, 2006). As a result, a number of scholars have exam-
ined the inuence of diversity on organizational processes and its subsequent outcomes.
However, the inuence of group diversity on team and organizational outcomes
remains mixed, and as a result, the available research has provided limited direction to
practicing sport managers or to sport management scholars. In order to resolve these
equivocal results, this study employed a meta-analysis to integrate extant work on
group diversity in sports and provide estimates of the relationship between group diversity
and subsequent outcomes. Importantly, this study extended the ndings from previous
meta-analyses and oered new theoretical insights by considering the inuence of four
potential moderators: diversity type, sport role, setting, and outcome type.
This study found group diversity has positive eects on subsequent outcomes for sport
teams and organizations, though the eects are small. These ndings are nevertheless
instructive because (a) small eects can have a meaningful cumulative eect over time
(Tsui & Gutek, 1999) and (b) they provide an eect size estimated across a wide range
of investigations, suggesting that group diversity is positively associated with important
group outcomes. To illustrate, consider the inuence of group diversity on organizational
eectiveness (r
c
= .07), of which revenue generation is a part. The average athletic depart-
ment in the US generates US$42.23 million annually (NCAA Finances, n.d.). Results from
our analyses suggest diversity is associated with $211,129 annually. Over a 10-year span,
these dierences accumulate to US$2.22 million. Similar principles can be applied to other
outcomes, all of which illustrate that even associations with small practical signicance
can, over time, results in meaningful dierences (Tsui & Gutek, 1999).
In addition, due to the inconsistent previous results of a meta-analysis study (Horwitz
& Horwitz, 2007), the results of this study may help scholars in the eld of sport manage-
ment understand sport-related eects of group diversity. Previously, Horwitz and Horwitz
(2007) supported that homogeneous teams may cooperate more with one another and
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 13
outperform heterogeneous teams. However, the results presented here illustrate that,
within the sport context, group diversity is associated with desirable group outcomes.
That is, sport oers a unique context where dierences among group members are posi-
tively associated with a bevy of group outcomes.
Moderators of the relationship between diversity and outcomes
One of the primary contributions of our study was the inclusion of a number of modera-
tors. Such analyses are important because they help to extend theory (Colquitt & Zapata-
Phelan, 2007), as good theory helps explain when, how, where, and under what conditions
various relationships might occur (Cunningham et al., 2016). Furthermore, Harrison and
Klein (2007) suggested that identication of moderators might also assist in explaining
additional variance in outcomes manifesting from group diversity. In line with this pos-
ition, we found value in including a number of theoretically and practically relevant mod-
erators: type of diversity, sport role, setting, and type of outcome.
This study observed that surface- and deep-level diversity forms, broadly dened, had a
similar inuence on subsequent outcomes; additionally, subsequent analyses show that the
types of surface-level dierences varied in their relationship with group outcomes.
Whereas Pelled (1996) theorized that surface-level dierences might impede performance,
such a position lacks empirical support in the sport setting. Instead, both sex and race
diversity were positively associated with subsequent outcomes. van Knippenberg et al.
(2004) and Ely and Thomas (2001) suggested these diversity forms might be a source
of competitive advantage because they are associated with unique experiences and per-
spectives. As a result, the breadth and quality of decision-making are enhanced. Cunning-
ham (2009b) advanced similar arguments and observed that racially diverse sport
organizations outperformed their counterparts, especially when the organization followed
an inclusive strategy. These studies, when coupled with the ndings from this meta-analy-
sis, suggest that within the sport context, Pelleds(1996) argument is not supported, and
instead, sex and gender diversity can benet the group.
Although sex and gender diversity were positively associated with subsequent out-
comes, this study observed that another surface-level characteristic, nationality, held
a negative association. The negative eects might be due to substantive underlying
dierences based on national origin. Consistent with this perspective, Sakuda (2012)
suggested these eects might materialize because of the cultural dierences among
people from dierent countries. Communication and language barriers might also
impede performance among groups with high nationality diversity (Prinz & Wicker,
2016), especially when such communications are essential to the success of the unit
(Brandes et al., 2009).
This study also observed that deep-level dierences were, as a whole, positively associ-
ated with group outcomes. Though some of the deep-level diversity characteristics held
signicant eect sizes (tenure and work) and others did not (sexual orientation and
values), the magnitude of the eect sizes did not statistically vary, as illustrated by the
non-signicant Q
b
value. Horwitz and Horwitz (2007) also observed that deep-level dier-
ences were positively associated with a number of outcomes, including the quality and
quantity of team performance. The benets are likely to accrue because of the varied per-
spectives, viewpoints, and work experiences that diverse group members bring to the unit.
14 W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
Next, one of the key benets of studying diversity in the sport context is the ability to
examine dierences in the eects of diversity across dierent types of groups, including
those that work in an organizational context (e.g. administrators and coaches) and
those who interact on teams (e.g. players). This is not possible in meta-analyses set in
other business contexts. Results show that sport role (i.e. administrators/coaches or
players/employees) moderated the relationship between group diversity and subsequent
outcomes. These ndings are consistent with Tsui and Guteks(1999) argument that
the eects of diversity are prone to be strongest among groups where dierences are
scarce. Though athletic teams are frequently diverse, coaching stas and administrative
groups are usually more homogeneous (Cunningham, 2015). Therefore, our ndings
can support these previous studies and suggest that the benets of group diversity are
most likely to be realized when dierences are otherwise not observed in that context.
Along with the dierences in sport roles (e.g. athletic team or management group), the
setting type has been considered as a crucial moderator of the relationship between group
diversity and subsequent outcomes (Cohen & Bailey, 1997). Findings suggest that group
diversity was positively associated with subsequent group outcomes when set in the
context of college athletics and non-prot sport, though group diversity in the professional
sport setting had no eect on subsequent outcomes. Cunninghams(2008b) qualitative
study of college athletic directors sheds light on why diversity is associated with positive
outcomes in that context. The participants in his study noted that diversity was associated
with better ideas, greater inclusion, and the ability to learn from others. They also noted
that diversity beneted student-athletes in that setting, and that diverse leaders served as
role models for the athletes. Finally, the participants noted a direct relationship between
department diversity and the eectiveness of the unit. Of course, many of these benets
might be evident at the professional sport setting. We suggest, however, that the eects
of diversity on the student-athletes the prime beneciaries of the organizations (Chella-
durai & Riemer, 1997; Fields, 2012)is unique and might dierentiate this context from
the professional ranks, where prot maximization and shareholder value might be more
valued. Future researchers will likely benet from exploring these dynamics further.
Finally, we classied the outcomes into three broad categories: organizational eective-
ness, aective outcomes, and team performance. Then, we considered whether the type of
outcome moderated the relationship between group diversity and group outcomes. Results
suggest that outcome type moderated the relationship. Specically, group diversity was
positively related to organizational eectiveness, which included the performance of the
organization, revenues generated, and the ability to attract diverse fans. These ndings
are consistent with pro-diversity theory (van Knippenberg & Schippers, 2007) and empiri-
cal extensions of that work into the sport context (Cunningham, 2009, 2011a,2011b), in
that diverse groups and inclusive mindsets are associated with organizational eectiveness.
Also, group diversity was positively associated with aective outcomes, such as commit-
ment to diversity, in-group identity, and cohesion. These ndings are consistent with
Fink and colleaguestheorizing (Fink & Pastore, 1999) and subsequent empirical work
(Fink et al., 2001,2003), such that people are attracted to and want to work in diverse
and inclusive organizations (see also Cunningham & Melton, 2014). However, team per-
formance was not signicantly associated with group diversity. Team performance
included all outcomes focusing on the athletic teams or group, such as winning percentage
of a team, playoattendance, and average points. These results suggest that other factors,
EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 15
such as team talent, strategy used, strength of schedule, or other non-diversity factors, are
more directly relevant to team success than the diversity of the players.
Contributions, limitations, and future directions
This study makes several important contributions. Noting the equivocal results of previous
empirical analyses, the meta-analysis helps clarify the relationship between diversity and
subsequent outcomes. Importantly, this study extends previous meta-analyses by speci-
cally considering important moderators: diversity type, sport role, setting, and outcome
type. Inclusion of moderators is important for theory building (Colquitt & Zapata-
Phelan, 2007) and provides insights as to when, how, and under what conditions diversity
is likely to hold an association with group outcomes.
Results of the meta-analysis are also of interest to practicing sport managers. Speci-
cally, the ndings arm managers with empirical evidence as to the inuence of group
diversity in their organizations and on their teams. Such information is especially useful
when persuading key stakeholders whether internal or external to the organization
as to the benets of diversity (Fink & Pastore, 1999). To be sure, persuasion involves
more than just throwing facts at the audience. Instead, Baldoni (2011) found that
stories are often the most eective means of inuencing others. Importantly, he also
notes that, in addition to staying on message, using the appropriate examples, and eec-
tively narrating, storytelling must be supported by empirical evidence. Our meta-analysis
provides such evidence.
The last point also highlights a limitation of this study, as well as the empirical work
related to diversity in sport teams and organizations. Specically, this focused on organ-
izational outcomes, such as eectiveness, aective outcomes, and team performance all
of which are important and relevant outcomes. Missing from this dialogue, however, is a
focus on engaging members of the community in sport and physical activity, especially
among historically marginalized groups. Spaaij et al. (2014) astutely captured this discon-
nect in their qualitative analysis of sport clubs in Australia. They observed:
The ndings suggest that there is a discrepancy between the policy objectives of government
and sport organizations and the way in which diversity is understood and responded to in
practice. The idea of a moral imperative to cater to people with diverse backgrounds and abil-
ities is largely absent; rather, the dominant discourse is underpinned by a business rationale
which interprets diversity in terms of benets and costs to the organization. This business
driven approach is often detrimental to the social policy objective of ensuring equitable out-
comes in sport. A fundamental reconsideration of the rationale and practice of managing
diversity in sport is therefore necessary. (p. 346)
Related to this point is a second limitation of the study. Meta-analysis allows researchers
to aggregate data from empirical examinations. Though useful, it means that qualitative
studies are not included. Given the impressive number of qualitative studies examining
the inuence of diversity in sport organizations (e.g. Knoppers, Claringbould, & Dortants,
2013;Shaw&Hoeber,2003;Singer,2008), meta-ethnographies are needed to integrate
this literature (Noblit & Hare, 1988). Given the importance of diversity in sport and sport
organizations, all investigations aimed at better understanding diversityseects are needed.
Finally, the ndings from this study, coupled with the limitations, give rise to areas for
additional inquiry. First, this study examined how personal characteristics, whether
16 W. LEE AND G. B. CUNNINGHAM
surface- or deep-level, among group members are associated with group outcomes. The
study notes, however, that other forms of group dierences might emerge, and these
are largely based on managerial decisions. How, for example, do cross-functional teams
consisting of members from various organizational units (e.g. marketing, operations,
sales) perform relative to more homogeneous groups (Cunningham & Chelladurai,
2004)? How does wage diversity (Coates, Frick, & Jewell, 2016; Franck & Nüesch, 2011)
inuence team process and performance? Additional inquiry is needed in these areas,
as understanding how these forms of dierence might aid managers in their decision-
making. In addition, this study has observed that sport oers a unique setting in which
to examine the eects of diversity. The study has drawn from past theorizing, which is
largely based in the psychological and sociological literatures, as well as previous empirical
studies based in sport, to help explain these ndings. But, additional theorizing is needed
to better explain these patterns. Given the value of theory building (Cunningham et al.,
2016) and theorizing about the unique nature of sport (Chalip, 2006), future scholars
will like prot from such endeavors.
Disclosure statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the authors.
ORCID
Woojun Lee http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1905-9144
George B. Cunningham http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1170-1780
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EUROPEAN SPORT MANAGEMENT QUARTERLY 21
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Although women and girls participate in sport in greater numbers than ever before, research shows there has been no significant increase in women leading sport organizations. This book takes an international, evidence-based perspective in examining women in sport leadership and offers future directions for improving gender equity. With contributions from leading international sport scholars and practitioners, it explores the opportunities and challenges women face while exercising leadership in sport organizations and evaluates leadership development practices. While positional leadership is crucial, this book argues that some women may choose to exercise leadership in non-positional ways, challenging readers to consider their personal values and passions. The chapters not only discuss key topics such as gender bias, intersectionality, quotas, networking, mentoring and sponsoring, but also present a variety of strategies to develop and support the next generation of women leaders in sport. A new model of how to achieve gender equity in sport leadership is also introduced. Women in Sport Leadership: Research and Practice for Change is important reading for all students, scholars, leaders, administrators, and coaches with an interest in sport business, policy and management, as well as women's sport and gender studies. © 2017 Laura J. Burton and Sarah Leberman. All rights reserved.