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Dr Steve Swanson



Senior Lecturer, Sport Management


Faculty of Business and Law


Deakin Business School


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Dr Steve Swanson is a Senior Lecturer in Sport Management in the Department of Management in the Deakin Business School. He teaches Sport Leadership and Governance and Sport Organisation Behaviour and has supervised several PhD and Masters candidates to completion. Steve is a member of the Centre for Sport Research, an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Global Sport Management, and a Section Editor for Sport Management Digest. He has also recently co-authored a book called Fostering Innovative Cultures in Sport and served as Guest Co-Editor of a special issue of the Journal of Sport Management, entitled Sport Leadership: A New Generation of Thinking.

Dr Swanson’s research focuses on leadership, innovation, and well-being, with a particular focus on the sport environment. In addition, he also leads multiple international research projects relating to topics such as sport for development, social networks, foreign ownership, and community identity.  Additional projects include work on unity in diversity through the Olympics and drivers of sport employee job attraction and engagement. Dr Swanson’s research is being funded by prestigious organisations such as the British Academy and the Olympic Studies Centre. He is a Fellow in the UK Higher Education Academy, the recipient of multiple teaching awards, and has been a guest speaker for several international universities and sporting bodies. Dr Swanson has also been a successful basketball coach at both the professional and intercollegiate levels.

Read more on Steve's profile

Research interests

  • Leadership, innovation, and well-being
  • Social networks and sport for development
  • Foreign ownership and community identity
  • Unitiy and diversity through the Olympics


  • European Association for Sport Management (EASM)
  • North American Association for Sport Management (NASSM)
  • Sport Management Association Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ)
  • World Association for Sport Management (WASM)

Teaching interests

  • Leadership
  • Organisational Theory

Knowledge areas




Organisational Theory

Sport Development



Selected Examples:

Inoue, Y., Lock, D., Gillooly, L., Shipway, R., & Swanson, S. (2021). The organizational identification and well-being framework: theorizing about how sport organizations contribute to crisis response and recovery. North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), Online.

Swanson, S., & Todd, S. (2019). Servant Leadership for Multidimensional Sport Employee Well-being: Relationships, Health, and Happiness. European Association for Sport Management (EASM), Seville, Spain.

Todd, S., Magnusen, M., Swanson, S., Koba., T. (2019) The attractiveness of sport jobs: A policy capturing approach for key predictors of job seeker decision making. Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC), St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Todd, S., Koba, T., Mao, Z., and Swanson, S. (2019) A Policy Capturing Exploration of Sport Job Seeker Decision Making: The Relative Influence of Prestige, Segment, Duties, and Location. North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), New Orleans, LA, USA.

Mueller, J., Skinner, J., Swanson, S., Billsberry, J. (2019). Surfacing Implicit Leadership Theories in a Professional Sport Context: A Comparison of Four Research Techniques in Two Bundesliga Handball Clubs. Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ), Adelaide, Australia.

Swanson, S., Kent A., Smith, A.C.T. & Skinner, J. (2018). Innovative Cultures in Professional Sports: The Role of Servant Leadership in Fostering Employee Cooperation, Creativity, and Satisfaction. European Association for Sport Management (EASM), Malmo, Sweden.

Swanson, S., & Skinner, J. (2017). Leading in Multiple Contexts: Investigating the Meaning of Leadership for Sport Officials. European Association for Sport Management (EASM), Bern, Switzerland.

Swanson, S., & Kent, A. (2016). Employee Pride and Identification with Sport: Key Drivers of Positive Organizational Behavior. European Association for Sport Management (EASM), Warsaw, Poland.

Swanson, S., & Kent, A. (2015). Sport Workplace Identification: Multiple Pathways to Job Engagement. European Association for Sport Management (EASM), Dublin, Ireland.

Swanson, S., & Kent, A. (2014). Affect in the Workplace: The impact of passion and pride in professional sports. Inaugural meeting of the World Association for Sport Management (WASM), Madrid, Spain.

Professional activities

Google Scholar

Research groups

  • Centre for Sport Research - Deakin University


2012 Student Research Competition Winner, North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM). Toward a Sport-Specific Model of Leadership: Initial Evidence of What is Credible and Prototypical in Sport.


Swanson, S., Collison, H., Burnett, C., & Skinner, J. 'Sport for Development and Olympic Movement Stakeholders: A Social Network Analysis'. Olympic Studies Centre, 2019.

Swanson, S., Skinner, J., & Smith, A. 'The Impact of Foreign Ownership on Community and Club Identity: A Case Study of Leyton Orient FC'. The British Academy, 2019.

Inoue, Y., Yoshida, M., & Swanson, S. 'Promoting unity in diversity through the Olympics: Multinational comparisons of young adults’ perceived impact between London 2012 and Tokyo 2020'. Olympic Studies Centre, 2019.


Filter by


An agenda for future leadership research in sport management: explorations, considerations, and challenges

Steve Swanson, Jon Welty Peachey

(2022), pp. 93-109, A Research Agenda for Sport Management, Cheltenham UK, B1

book chapter

The organizational identification and well-being framework: theorizing about how sport organizations contribute to crisis response and recovery

Y Inoue, D Lock, L Gillooly, R Shipway, S Swanson

(2022), Vol. 25, pp. 1-30, Sport Management Review, C1

journal article

Leading for multidimensional sport employee well-being: the role of servant leadership and teamwork

S Swanson, S Todd, Y Inoue, J Welty Peachey

(2022), Sport Management Review, C1

journal article

Investigating shared leadership in elite sport: A social network study of USA Rugby 7s

Jacky Mueller, James Skinner, Steven Swanson, Michael Naraine, Katrien Fransen

(2021), pp. 161-183, Embedded Multi-level leadership in elite sport, New York, NY, B1

book chapter

Promoting Universal Attitude toward Diversity and Inclusion through the Olympics: Multinational Comparisons of Young Adults between London 2012 and Tokyo 2020

Yuhei Inoue, Masayuki Yoshida, Steve Swanson

(2021), Lausanne, Switzerland, A6

research report/technical paper

Leader prototypicality in sport: The implicit leadership theories of women and men entering sport management careers

S Swanson, J Billsberry, A Kent, J Skinner, J Mueller

(2020), Vol. 23, pp. 640-656, Sport Management Review, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Use of machine learning to automate the identification of basketball strategies using whole team player tracking data

C Tian, V De Silva, M Caine, S Swanson

(2020), Vol. 10, pp. 1-17, Applied Sciences, Basel, Switzerland, C1-1

journal article

Fostering innovative cultures in sport: leadership, innovation and change

James Skinner, Aaron Smith, Steve Swanson

(2018), Cham, Switzerland, A1-1


Reimagining leadership in sport management: lessons from the social construction of leadership

J Billsberry, J Mueller, J Skinner, S Swanson, B Corbett, L Ferkins

(2018), Vol. 32, pp. 170-182, Journal of sport management, Champaign, Ill., C1

journal article

Sport leadership: A new generation of thinking

L Ferkins, J Skinner, S Swanson

(2018), Vol. 32, pp. 77-81, Journal of Sport Management, Hanover, PA, C1-1

journal article

Passion and pride in professional sports: Investigating the role of workplace emotion

S Swanson, A Kent

(2017), Vol. 20, pp. 352-364, Sport Management Review, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Fandom in the workplace: Multi-target identification in professional team sports

S Swanson, A Kent

(2015), Vol. 29, pp. 461-477, Journal of Sport Management, Champaign, Ill., C1-1

journal article

The complexity of leading in sport: Examining the role of domain expertise in assessing Leader credibility and prototypicality

S Swanson, A Kent

(2014), Vol. 28, pp. 81-93, Journal of Sport Management, C1-1

journal article

Roles of performance and human capital in college football coaches' compensation

Y Inoue, J Plehn-Dujowich, A Kent, S Swanson

(2013), Vol. 27, pp. 73-83, Journal of Sport Management, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Industry and Other Funding

Basketball Victoria: Positive Start Program Evaluation.

Dr Katie Rowe, Prof Pamm Phillips, Dr Steve Swanson, Dr Helen Brown

Basketball Victoria

  • 2022: $11,118


No completed student supervisions to report