Corporate social responsibility in the scottish premier league: Context and motivation

Sean Hamil, Stephen Morrow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Widespread acceptance of football club businesses as stakeholder organizations suggests that clubs might be expected to embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR). Focusing on Scottish Premier League (SPL) clubs, this study provides empirical evidence of CSR engagement and motivation. We argue that these clubs are well positioned to act as vehicles to deliver CSR because of their community embeddedness and the strength of their stakeholder relationships. For CSR actions to occur, findings suggest they must be driven by (a) the normative expectations of executives or stakeholders, (b) a response to wider social agendas, or (c) potential economic benefit. Evidence of each of these sources of motivation is presented in this article. Findings also suggest that enhanced communication of CSR activities provides an opportunity to improve stakeholder accountability within a corporate governance structure and facilitate the development of relational partnerships and networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-170
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Business of football
  • Communication
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Football and the community
  • Stakeholder management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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