Jahrestagung EASM 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshops, courses, seminarsResearch


Stefan Walzel - Organiser

Workshop EASM Konferenz 2014: Corporate social responsibility in and through sport

Within the global debate about sustainable development and corporate sustainability, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of professional sports organisations has come to the attention of scholars, sport managers, sport sponsors, fans, policy makers and other parties concerned (Paramio-­‐Salcines, Babiak & Walters 2013). However, while approaches to CSR are reaching levels of maturity in some industries, it was only recently that professional sport, especially football, started to embrace the concept for its own specific means (Smith & Westerbeek 2007; Breitbarth & Harris 2008; Walters & Chadwick 2009).

Whereas some argue that sport is a distinctive social-­‐economic area with the need for special treatment because of the way it touches people’s everyday lives, others consider high-­‐profile professional sports leagues and clubs as hardly different from medium-­‐ sized, multi-­‐national companies because they consist of tangible, financial and intangible assets that are professionally managed and marketed. Bradish and Cronin (2009, p 692) argue that “sport is unique for being both a social and an economic institution, and as such, well-­‐suited ... to be interpreted by the business principles and practices of CSR.” Clearly, the manifestations of the CSR debate need to be considered by modern sport managers and administrators. Arguably, CSR-­‐oriented organisational strategies and activities help sport organisations to be more robust and competitive, and less dependent on short-­‐term sporting performance only.

It adds to (re)connect professionalised sports organisations with society, i.e. their stakeholder community. It is concerned less with what kind of goals are achieved (e.g. sporting success, profits), but how they are achieved. For example, policies and ethics have become key values under close scrutiny especially from commercial and media partners, political actors, and fans, because the sport has to preserve both the commercial and the symbolic qualities of its sporting products (Rouvrais-­‐Charron & Durrand 2009). Brand image is particularly important for European football teams and mainly commercial stakeholders of the game expect those brands to perform well (Blumrodt, Desbordes & Bodin 2010).

While the growing research literature concerning this area has been much focusing on the ‘content’ of CSR in sport organisations and descriptive contributions, this conference panel focuses on the integration with contextual and process aspects in particular. Therefore, the focus is on contributions that develop concepts and theory based on a firm grounding in strategic (sport) management literature. Further important fields for investigation are the differentiation between ‘CSR in sport’ and ‘CSR through sport’; organisational drivers/barriers for implementing CSR, the monitoring/evaluation of CSR activities and its impact on stakeholders; and cultural differences between national sport and CSR systems worldwide and its impact on the application of CSR in sport (Breitbarth & Walzel 2013).

Key words: Social responsibility, strategic management, organisational behaviour, communication

We would like to invite extended abstracts (3 pages) with a focus grounded in the (sport) management, OB or marketing literature and/or contributions from profound managerial experience. At EASM 2013 the following session formats were used: moderated ‘standard’ conference session, moderated discussion rounds, invited special industry presentations and moderated panel discussion.
Authors of the best/most suitable conference contributions will be approached to contribute a full paper to a potential book edited by the convenors.

Dr Tim Breitbarth
Dr Stefan Walzel
Drs Frank van Eekeren
Mr Christos Anagnostopoulos
Jahrestagung EASM 2014

ID: 157050

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