Corporate Social Responsibility In Sports

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[Corporate Social Responsibility in Sports]



I would first like to express my gratitude for my research supervisor, colleagues, peers and family whose immense and constant support has been a source of continuous guidance and inspiration.


I [type your full first names & surname here], declare that the following thesis and its entire content has been an individual, unaided effort and has not been submitted or published before. Furthermore, it reflects my opinion and take on the topic and is does not represent the opinion of the University.




The rise to prominence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the modern economy and in the management literature has been one of the most notable global trends over the last 20 years. Because of increasing public concerns for the natural environment, for the respect of human rights, for the ethical aspects of business and for other social issues, firms have multiplied their efforts to deal with their responsibilities to society. According to KPMG (2008), 80 per cent of the Global Fortune 250 firms now release corporate responsibility information (up from 50 per cent in 2005), and 75 per cent have a formal corporate responsibility strategy in place.

Correspondingly, scholars have developed a vast range of theories and concepts about how a firm should address the social issues involved in business operations. Different schools of thought have proposed different and competing constructs, which cover a similar territory as CSR, like “corporate citizenship”, “sustainable business”, “corporate social performance” and others.

Table of Content

Chapter 1: Introduction6

Forty Years in the Making7

Who Is a Stakeholder10

Chapter 2: Literature Review12

CSR as a Business Strategy12

Social Responsibility and Investors13

Implementing CSR14

Putting Words into Action16

Measuring Words against Deeds18

The Theory of CR20

CR in Practice22

Critique of CSR22

Herd behaviour: is CSR a fad?28

Convergence as the result of institutional isomorphism34

Convergence as the result of strategic cooperation 39

Strategic cooperation in the steel industry 44

Analysis of the Subject49

Corporate citizenship54

Chapter 3: Methodology57

Data collection and sampling58

Data analysis60

Chapter 4: Discussion and Analysis63

Teams: a CSR1 (responsibility)63

Sport leagues: a CSR2 (responsiveness)66

Companies, organizations, and governing bodies: a CC (citizenship) focus70

Responsibility -CSR172



Chapter 5: Conclusions, future directions, and limitations80


Chapter 1: Introduction

Social responsibility [is the] responsibility of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment through transparent and ethical behaviour that is consistent with sustainable development and the welfare of society; takes into account the expectations of stakeholders; is in compliance with applicable law and consistent with international norms of behaviour; and is integrated throughout the organization.” —Working definition, ISO 26000 Working Group on Social Responsibility, Sydney, February 2007

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an evolving concept that does not currently have a universally accepted definition. It frequently overlaps with similar terms, such as corporate sustainability, corporate sustainable development, and corporate citizenship. Whether or not or to what extent businesses must implement CSR has been a heated topic of discussion through the years, but was particularly vociferous during the debate about conducting business in South Africa during the apartheid era. At the time, many corporate executives maintained that their responsibility extended only to their shareholders (Ackerman, 1973, ...
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