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Title: Corporate and Social Responsibility in Professional Football Club Organizations
Author(s): Kolyperas, Dimitrios
Supervisor(s): Sparks, Leigh
Morrow, Stephen
Keywords: CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, Communinity Involvement, Football Clubs, Sports, Sports Management, Sport Marketing, Corporate Governance, Strategic Mangement, Sustainability
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: Kolyperas, D. and Sparks, L. (2011) 'Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communications in the G-25 football clubs'. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, Vol. 10, Issue 1, pp. 83-103
Abstract: While professional football clubs are facing increasing pressures to balance their business with social goals, an important unanswered question is whether these rather stakeholder-oriented organizations understand the nature and impact of corporate and social responsibility (CSR). Research has yet provided little information on how football clubs perceive and react to CSR. This thesis examines how three important aspects of CSR (communication, development and integration with other strategies) evolve across different football clubs and cultures. Because specific clubs may have unique social responsibilities attributed to them, the current study is not limited to one industry and one particular club / segment. It rather contains three complementary case studies and explores CSR activities associated with an overall 38 professional football clubs residing in a pan-European, national (league), and organizational context respectively. Specifically, the primary international analysis reveals that while most football clubs communicate various CSR efforts, these activities primarily refer to ten distinct areas. These areas, as well as prior literature, served as the framework for the development of an international football CSR typology. In addition, qualitative results gathered from a second study across football clubs from the same national context sought to determine the moderating role of national business system characteristics (i.e. legislations, socio-political drivers, internal and external barriers, and phases of CSR development). The results of a third study generally supported the aforementioned contentions providing additional information on the strategic benefits more integrative CSR can offer. Synthesizing outcomes and findings from three complementary studies, this thesis develops a conceptual model that brings together the two different views of the modern CSR debate. This conception theorises CSR as being a legally, socially and organizationally constructed umbrella positioned over the corporate organization. On one hand, CSR is an umbrella protection to cover up corporate irresponsibility, window-dress illegitimate actions, and distract public attention from sensitive business issues. On the other hand, more collaborative, planned, participative and long-term involvement to CSR activity can turn the umbrella model upside down and provide a collector of public support, or a battery where public benevolence can be stored and reused for future purposes. These findings are discussed in the context of contributions to the field of sport management and marketing, practitioners within the football industry, and scholars pursuing a research agenda in the area of CSR and sports. Future research suggestions are forwarded.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Management Education Centre

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