The contingent effect of social capital on performance of professional athletes: life cycle stages and changes in regulation as moderators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Motorboat racing is a sport organized as public gambling in Japan. As well as physical strength and driving technique, skills to adjust equipment are critical for racers to win a race. Based on the contingency theory of social capital, this study analysed comprehensive panel data of motorboat racers and revealed that bonding and bridging social capital had different impacts on performance according to life cycle stages of racers and changes in regulation. First, bonding social capital has a positive impact on performance when racers are less experienced and most need psychological aid stemming from strong ties. Second, bridging social capital has a positive impact on performance when racers are more experienced and have accumulated absorptive capacity to learn efficiently from diverse sources of knowledge. Third, both bonding and bridging social capital lose their explanatory power after the changes in regulation that shifted ownership of propellers from racers to the authority, which could mitigate the significance of the formation of small groups among racers to share cost and knowledge regarding the improvement in propellers. Research and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1693
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Economics
Volume50
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 28

Keywords

  • Japan
  • Social capital
  • contingency theory
  • knowledge spillovers
  • motorboat racing
  • panel data
  • performance analysis
  • public gambling
  • social networks
  • sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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