The article written by Chelladurai (1992) is devoted to the discussion and classification of services in the area of sports; it is even more important, that this classification is critically evaluated by the author in the light of earlier scholarly works, as well as in the light of its possible applicability to the sphere of practical sport management.
Chelladurai (1992) relates the article to several aspects of sport services’ classification. Primarily, the author evaluates the dimensions of the future classification, which will make it proper and relevant. Among the dimensions mentioned by the author, ‘the type and extent of employee involvement’ (p. 40) is emphasized. In this dimension, the disparities between consumer service, professional service and human service are identified. Identifying human services in sports as those which ‘define or alter the person’s behavior, attributes, and social status in order to maintain or enhance his (or her) well being’, (p.
41), Chelladurai (1992) concludes, that human services dimension is more applicable to sport than the traditionally accepted concept of professional services. (p. 41)Another essential dimension in sport classification related to by the author, is client motivation. Among the major motives driving people to participate in sports, Chelladurai (1992) discusses pursuit of pleasure, pursuit of skill and pursuit of excellence.
Motives’ identification is essential to critically evaluate the outcomes of physical activity services provision. As a result of the created classification, in which the author represents sport services through smaller human and consumer subdivisions, managerial applications of this classification is assessed. The potential benefits brought by the classification are viewed by Chelladurai (1992) in the better opportunities for programming the format of physical activities, organizing the extent, to which employees are involved into the sport facilities’ hierarchy, along with staffing and leading these structures.
CritiqueThe discussion presented by Chelladurai (1992) is very relevant, bearing in mind that similar systematizing sport services and activities has not acquired sufficient attention of scholars through the prism of sport management. The author’s attempt to identify the dimensions which determine major differences among various sport activities, and to create classification according to the identified dimensions, is necessary to change the direction of sport management according to current conditions and requirements. Additionally, the suggested classification is a solid basis for further research and expansion of the profound scientific knowledge obtained from the article.The works of other authors used in the research are mentioned as the basis for the classification created by Chelladurai (1992). However, the author lacks objective evaluation of the works performed by other scholars; Chelladurai (1992) tends to simply identify the classification dimensions, found in other research articles.
For example, in the work of Sasser et al (1978) the author relates to dividing sport services into consumer and professional; Woodward’s research (1965) is mentioned in its dividing services production into mass, consumer and continuous production without any assessment of such classification relevance. The literary research performed by Chelladurai (1992) is profound, but he avoids agreeing or contradicting to other author’s conclusions, making the author’s own works of earlier period serve as the basis for expanded classification research and objective assessment.The content presented by Chelladurai (1992) is very relevant in the sphere of sport management; it is even more important, that the author himself understands the barriers his classification may face as soon as it is practically applied. The author’s doubts as for the need in such classification should thus be erased; implying possible inapplicability of the suggested classification, Chelladurai’s (1992) research can be used for further improvement of the current sport management’ theoretical basis.
The results of this research should be objectively assessed in the light of current sport management requirements and adjusted to serve the promotion of sport activities at all consumption levels.