Network characteristics of volleyball teams in Brazil: amateurism and professionalism

João Paulo Lara de Siqueira, Renato Telles, Maciel M. Queiroz, Edison Yoshihiro Hamaji, Gabriel Gomes Ferreira


Objective of the study: This study aims to investigate the characteristics of the networks of volleyball teams in Brazilian context, in amateur and professional level.

Methodology/Approach: This research adopted an interpretive paradigm, in which six Brazilian volleyball teams were studied. The techniques of data collection were qualitative and encompassed interviews, analysis of information available in the press and on websites and observation.

Originality/Relevance: Prior literature has not investigated in-depth with the lens of the networks theory, the sports organizations at an amateur and professional level, considering the firms’ life cycle. To address this gap, considering that, similar to the life cycle of firms, amateurism and professionalism are specific strategic contexts.

Main results: Our findings indicated that actor’s of team’s networks could be divided into two groups, one linked to sports and other to administrative activities. Additionally, teams’ networks have in common the fact that paid team members perform activities related to the sport itself.

Theoretical/Methodological contributions: The fact that Superliga B has more collaborations obtained by personal contacts, while  Superliga A teams build a more calculated network, meet the propositions made in this study and are aligned to the general idea of the work of Hite and Hesterly (2001) about changes in firm’s network and firm’s life cycle.  

Social contribution/for management: The main implications for management indicated that, whether companies or volleyball teams, should align their networks with the current life cycle stage. If a volleyball team plans to become professional, it should be aware of the need to adapt the network to a new division.


volleyball; network; evolution; amateurism; professionalism

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