Developing CSR in professional football clubs: drivers and phases



Kolyperas D, Morrow S & Sparks L (2015) Developing CSR in professional football clubs: drivers and phases. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 15 (2), pp. 177-195.;

Purpose: Given that professional football organizations have become particularly strong socio-political business institutions, often home to numerous social and business relationships, the purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of how CSR develops within professional football clubs, along with its organizational implications, phases, drivers and barriers for corporate governance. Additionally it aims to to consider CSR development generally drawing specifically on examples from Scottish professional football whilst answering two key research questions: (1) what kind of drivers do clubs identify as reasons to develop CSR?, and (2) can developmental phases be identified during this process? Design/methodology/approach: The paper builds on a qualitative case study methodology that draws on primary and secondary data collected across 12 Scottish Premier League (SPL) football clubs. Three stages of data collection were set out including interviews, web content analysis and annual/CSR reports analysis. Findings: This research highlights internal and external drivers of change in Scottish football clubs along with institutional barriers and organizational (developmental) phases of CSR and corporate governance. Research limitations/implications: This research is limited on the CSR development across 12 SPL clubs Originality/value: The paper is the first to consider CSR in professional football clubs from a developmental point of view. Six phases of CSR development are identified and defined - volunteering, regulation, socialization, corporatization, separation, and integration - and implications for football and general corporate governance are presented.

CSR; Sport; Marketing; Management; Governance; Football; Stakeholders

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society: Volume 15, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2015
Publication date online03/2015
Date accepted by journal04/12/2014
Publisher URL…/CG-05-2014-0062

People (2)


Dr Dimitrios Kolyperas
Dr Dimitrios Kolyperas

Lecturer, Marketing & Retail

Professor Leigh Sparks
Professor Leigh Sparks

Deputy Principal, Marketing & Retail