A taxonomy of dual career development environments in European countries

Robert Morris*, Emily Cartigny, Tatiana V. Ryba, Paul Wylleman, Kristoffer Henriksen, Miquel Torregrossa, Kent Lindahl, Sasa Cecić Erpič

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Research question. The last decade has seen an increase in empirical research associated with dual careers in sport, with a particular focus on understanding and developing individual characteristics which are important to ensure success in sports and education or a vocation. More recent work has, however, also identified the importance of environmental factors in ensuring successful dual career outcomes. The aims of this study, therefore, are to: (a) identify and classify the different types of dual career development environments (DCDEs) and (b) provide outlines of the key features of the environments identified. Research methods. To achieve these aims, this study adopted the procedure of initial documentary analysis, interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders, cross-case analysis, and researcher discussions across seven countries in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom). Results and findings. Results highlighted that there are eight types of DCDEs – (a) sports-friendly schools, (b) elite sport schools/colleges, (c) professional and/or private club programs, (d) sport-friendly universities, (e) combined dual career systems, (f) national sports programs, (g) defense force programs and (h) players’ union programs with a range of approaches to supporting dual careers. Implications. The research has practical implications in the context of dual career, through providing a possible framework for developing national taxonomies and, therefore, identifying DCDE characteristics and gaps in dual career support.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)134-151
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • dual careers of athletes
  • ecological approach
  • elite sport
  • support system
  • talent development


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