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Social responsiblity, Philanthropy and entrepreneurship in the sports industry

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Product Description

By Vanessa Ratten, Kathy Babiak

Published: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-921348-23-5
Pages: 144
Imprint: eContent Management

Editors:

Vanessa Ratten
Duquesne University, USA

Kathy Babiak
University of Michigan, USA

Overview

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is playing an increasingly important role in business today, and economic, political and social factors are shaping CSR activities in businesses around the world (Baughn, Bodie, & McIntosh, 2007). The core principle of CSR is that the corporation incurs responsibilities to society beyond profit maximization, as 'corporations possess the power to control and influence the quality of life of employees, customers, shareholders and residents of local communities in which they operate' (Pava & Krausz, 1997, p. 357). Companies, it is thus argued, have a fundamental responsibility to act in a manner that positively contributes to their stakeholders and the communities in which they exist (Sagawa & Segal, 2000). The articles in the Special Issue detail the changing role and perception of CSR in business today as it is reflected in sport organizations.

Many businesses are engaging in strategic philanthropy. This type of philanthropic engagement is part of a broader CSR framework that encompasses ethical business conduct, diversity and protection of the environment, and following legal regulations (Bruch & Walter, 2005; Carroll, 1999). Strategic philanthropy is an area that has received little academic attention, although recently some authors have made inroads in attempting to understand the evolution and structure of organization's strategic socially responsible efforts (cf, Brammer & Millington, 2005; Bruch & Walter, 2005; Gan, 2006; Godfrey, 2005; Ricks & Williams, 2005; Saiia, Carroll & Buchholtz, 2003).

The connection between CSR, philanthropy and entrepreneurship has tremendous potential for exploration. Increasingly social entrepreneurs (enterprising individuals who apply business practices to solving societal problems) are using their entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. The primary objective of social entrepreneurship is to make beneficial social and environmental impacts. Social responsibility, philanthropy and entrepreneurship offer direction to business leaders who want to increase their companies' social and economic performance (Wolcott & Lippitz, 2007). Sport has an entrepreneurial nature as it is constantly adapting to suit changing societal needs. Sport has been studied from a variety of disciplines but it is only recently that it has been examined from an entrepreneurial perspective (Ratten, 2010).

To date, social responsibility, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship in sports remain relatively unexplored research areas. CSR, entrepreneurship and philanthropy have emerged as a topic of importance to the sport sector, thus this special issue is timely and will draw attention to the emerging issues facing newly formed and existing sport organizations and those conducting research investigating these important organizational practices. Although sport organizations have been involved in their local communities for decades, we know little about the relevance, importance, and impact of socially responsible practices to the organizations themselves, to the individuals they intend to benefit, and to their governing bodies. Considering the fact that the sport industry is growing rapidly and this trend is likely to continue in the future (Humphreys & Ruseski, 2008), the sport sector presents a rich context in which to study CSR given this growth and the increasing focus on CSR by organizations in the industry (Babiak & Wolfe, 2009).

The landscape of sport has changed dramatically over the past 25 years. While little empirical research has been conducted on the intersection of CSR and sport, one look at any sport related business or professional sport team's webpage and other communication vehicles indicates that CSR has become an important part of these organizations' business operations.

The aim of this Special Issue is to improve the understanding of social responsibility, philanthropy and entrepreneurship within a sport context. Papers included in this Special Issue are from international authors and highlight the worldwide significance and importance of social responsibility, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship in the sports context.

These articles add to our knowledge about CSR, philanthropy, and entrepreneurship in sport, stimulate our thinking, and offer potential future areas of investigation.

Table of Contents


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