Apples and Oranges? Establishing Equivalence in Comparative Sport Policy Research

Dowling, Mathew and Harris, Spencer (2022) Apples and Oranges? Establishing Equivalence in Comparative Sport Policy Research. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 14 (2). pp. 191-206. ISSN 1940-6959

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2021.1996440

Abstract

The notion of equivalence is important in the context of comparative studies, such as those that compare performance across sporting nations or those that compare good governance across different sport organisations. However, despite its importance, the concept has been interpreted and employed in different ways, resulting in the term being misunderstood or conflated. This article examines the concept of equivalence, discusses how issues of non-equivalence can arise, and identifies potential strategies that can be employed by researchers to ensure it is more appropriately addressed. We examine and apply three main types of equivalence (construct, sample and functional) to two empirical cases, (1) the SPLISS analysis of critical success factors in elite sport policy and (2) Play the Game’s Sport Governance Observer to demonstrate how researchers attempt to overcome or at least mitigate the problems of equivalence and how, despite these efforts, there remain equivalence-related problems that limit the reliability and credibility of comparative elements of the study. We conclude our paper by discussing the implications for comparative sport research and specifically how future comparative sport research may be enhanced.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: equivalence, comparative, methodology, sport policy, elite sport, governance
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 12:57
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 13:33
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707002

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