The importance of theorizing social change in sport-for-development: a case study of magic bus in London

Hills, Stephen, Walker, Matthew and Dixon, Marlene (2019) The importance of theorizing social change in sport-for-development: a case study of magic bus in London. Journal of Sport Management, 33 (5). pp. 415-425. ISSN 0888-4773

Hills, Walker & Dixon (2019) .pdf - Accepted Version

Download (343kB) | Preview
Official URL:

Abstract / Description

For sport for development (SFD) practitioners, a theory of change document is a critical first step to map how program inputs yield the desired program outcomes. Yet, in our experience, this document is rarely created in practice. Accordingly, this study makes use of the case study of an award winning SFD charity who expanded their operations from India to London to illustrate the implications resulting from failing to create a theory of change. A mixed methods, quasi-experimental approach was utilized to understand program mechanisms, program processes, and how these influenced the participant experience. The quantitative analyses yielded no significant effects. Triangulating the qualitative data revealed that personal, social, health, and economic (PSHE) education was a competing product to the program. The limited effects are attributed to a failure to identify and attempt to assuage a local social problem. Additionally, alignment with stakeholder expectations, program context, and legal requirements were also derailing. A discussion of the results, implications, and recommendations for establishing and implementing a theory of change are provided.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sport-for-development; theory; theory of change; social change
Subjects: 700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 790 Recreational & performing arts
Department: Guildhall School of Business and Law
Depositing User: Stephen Hills
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2019 09:13
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 10:56


Downloads per month over past year

Downloads each year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item