What is phenomenology?
In his pioneering work regarding phenomenology in the field of philosophy, Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) attempted to shift the focus of philosophy away from large-scale theorization toward a more precise study of discrete phenomena, ideas, and events. Subsequently, French phenomenology philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) once contended that science and too much abstraction had resulted in a philosophical tendency to reduce every phenomenon, every object, and every person to nothing more than collected data. Merleau-Ponty believed that philosophers had a duty to relate things as they were viewed, not as science described them.
The founders of JSAS likewise believe that a distinct lack of congruence exists between academic research and practice in the field of sport management. The founders also believe that this disconnect can be traced to the ambiguous and conflicting goals and expectations of scholarly research, such as:
JSAS seeks to address such conflicts and narrow the gap between the academy and sport properties by evolving research in practically applicable directions.
The Scholarly Sport Practitioner is the needed next-generation evolution in the sport industry’s work force. This worker can cause sport organizations to successfully generate management practices that utilize the power of knowledge as the primary capital of the future economic landscape and marketplace. Accordingly, JSAS seeks to supply this worker with meaningful research that builds his/her knowledge capital base for successful organizational and stakeholder management in the sport industry.
The founders of JSAS believe that, as an institution, sport must begin to fully acknowledge and completely embrace its role as a social product, formulate ethical imperatives to improve society, and generate long-term ideals that are good for society.
For too long, sport as an institution has clung to various defenses of aged clinical, value-neutral capitalism and modern advertisement-based refusals to accept role model functions. In postmodern times, however, sport professionals and organizations must imperatively employ knowledge as their power capital in the competition to shape and define the character and meaning of sport.
Instead of a philanthropically-rooted approach, the founders of JSAS believe that sport must take a socially responsible mindset that can best be described as business activism—an approach that seeks to show the world that business can be a powerful, positive, and progressive voice in society, and accordingly manages organizations to do well (functionally) so they can do good (become forces for positive change in the world).
History Repeating & The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
The most worrisome trends in the institution of sport appear to be interrelated and self-compounding. The future of sport will rest heavily on sport organizations’ and stakeholders’ abilities to create and globally distribute institution-saving initiatives and innovations. Many of these initiatives and innovations will upend current notions of the management, production, and consumption of sport.
Solutions for Commerce
Markets value what they measure, and future practices of innovative, socially responsible sport capitalism will require effective research metrics that are practically applicable.
One of the greatest challenges in providing sport consumer services to stakeholders has not been a lack of intent or even a lack of resources, but rather a lack of efficient markets with effective ways to connect, aggregate, and deliver services. However, meaningful sport research will spur the painfully slow but inexorable progress toward closing global divides and pay dividends that, along with new thinking about systems and social networks, will transform sport’s provision of its services to all categories of stakeholders.
The Conscious Consumer
With two huge generations dominating American society—Baby Boomers, who created the first draft of contemporary social change, and Millennials, the most globally connected group in history—principles of conscious consumption will come to dominate the global marketplace. That ethos will carry with it a direct penalty for organizations reluctant to comply, including those within the sport industry. Research indicates that these consumers are nearly twice as likely to associate their own personal values with companies and their brands, and that perceptions of environmental, ethical, and social stewardship are the fastest-growing contributors to consumer brand value and are reshaping society and the marketplace.
In the Internet age, methods of sharing and using academic research are rapidly, fundamentally, and irreversibly changing, bringing about great potential as a result, including faster and wider sharing of journal articles, research data, simulations, syntheses, analyses, and other findings which fuel knowledge and practice advancements.
In scientific fields, journals have long been the binding glue of a multifaceted system of scholarly communication.
Open-access journals not only recognize and preserve the important role of peer review in scholarly communication but help break down or lower access barriers between the basic functions of journals, including:
Since Gutenberg, academic publishing has been tied to paper-based distribution of knowledge, an expensive method for the dissemination of scholarly work that evolved into a lucrative commercial operation. Authors were obliged to trade copyrights of their works to ensure publication to further their efforts for obtaining tenure. Accordingly, market forces distorted the core academic purpose of disseminating ideas and encouraging discussion. Institutional rates for journal subscriptions have increased exponentially in the last 20 years without an equivalent increase in the number of papers published. However, the cost of publishing an open access journal is quite low for numerous reasons, including specific knowledge sharing initiatives, such as librarians’ sponsorship of movements like the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) (www.arl.org/sparc/publications/index.html).
Beyond cost, commercial journals often subvert the basic concept that is essential to academic communication: free access. With open-access journals, articles produced by scholars either individually or as members of professional associations are freely accessible worldwide, including regions of the world where access to commercially published work is limited or nonexistent. Many associations have already made this choice and now publish approximately 1400 journals that are available online free of charge to people worldwide (see the Directory of Open Access Journals, www.doaj.org/).
Additionally, articles in open access journals are more widely read and cited than articles in commercially produced journals, thereby making knowledge creation and distribution increasingly more equitable and inclusive (see www.createchange.org; www.arl.org/sparc/openaccess/; http://www.arl.org/sparc/bm~doc/Cooperatives_v1.pdf) to both students and scholars alike.
Other advantages of open access journals lie in open source software, which is used to efficiently manage the submission, review, and publication processes. As a result, substantive quality and article readability are not compromised. Publication turnaround time is reduced, and authors have the option of embedding links and including visual images in their manuscripts without increasing publication costs. This creates pedagogical benefits unavailable in hard copy journals (see Creative Commons, http://creativecommons.org/).
The founders of JSAS believe that authors of scholarly articles should own all rights to their works. Authors whose articles appear in JSAS will own the rights to their works and can freely publish and present it as they see fit.
Regarding scholarly articles, the authors are the copyright holders unless and until they transfer a copyright to someone else in a signed agreement. Authors who have transferred copyrights without retaining these rights must ask permission to use their own works unless the use is one of the statutory exemptions in copyright law. Decisions concerning use of the work, such as distribution, access, pricing, updates, and any use restrictions belong to the copyright holder. Authors who have transferred their copyright without retaining any rights may not be able to place the work on course websites, copy it for students or colleagues, deposit the work in a public online archive, or reuse portions in a subsequent work.
Transferring copyright doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The law allows authors to transfer copyright while holding back rights for themselves and others. JSAS will not seek to copyright the manuscripts of authors for its own exclusive purposes, given its mission as an open-access journal published by a not-for-profit entity.