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Journal cover: Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 2042-678X

Online from: 2010

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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Implementing corporate social responsibility in English football: Towards multi-theoretical integration

Document Information:
Title:Implementing corporate social responsibility in English football: Towards multi-theoretical integration
Author(s):Christos Anagnostopoulos, (Coventry Business School, Coventry, UK), David Shilbury, (Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Citation:Christos Anagnostopoulos, David Shilbury, (2013) "Implementing corporate social responsibility in English football: Towards multi-theoretical integration", Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 3 Iss: 4, pp.268 - 284
Keywords:CSR, Football, Implementation, Multi-theoretical, Paradox, Sport
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/SBM-05-2013-0009 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to bridge the micro-macro divide by trying to integrate the micro-domain's focus on individuals (i.e. managers) with the meso-domain's and macro-domain's focus (i.e. leagues/football clubs and the socio-political environment, respectively). The examination takes place within the context of English football and in relation to the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on data collected by 21 charitable foundation managers of the top two divisions of English football. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim from digital voice recorders and were analysed using grounded theory coding techniques.

Findings – The study found a paradoxical context in which foundation managers make strategic decisions in an endeavour to harmonise multiple environmental and institutional “recipes”. Managers are confident that they have the capability to do so, yet realise that this capability is the result of a heavy reliance on external and internal resources. These considerations come together to create the micro-context, here identified as a dysfunctional setting, in which managers are required to make the decisions that confirm their role as managers. Therefore, multiple, and often contradictory, theoretical perspectives are in play and explain the foundation managers’ role in the implementation process.

Originality/value – The paper moves away from mono-theoretical approaches that have been mainly used for the examination of CSR in the sporting context, and by placing its focus on the individual level of analysis illustrates the complexity of the CSR implementation process.

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