Applying a Communicating Vessels Framework to CSR Value Co-creation: Empirical Evidence From Professional Team Sport Organizations

in Journal of Sport Management
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Despite the increasing number and significance of charitable foundations in various business sectors, their role in cocreating corporate social responsibility (CSR) value remains unclear. This paper identifies CSR value cocreation in professional team sport organizations (PTSOs) and answers three key research questions: (a) Why have PTSOs developed charitable foundations as their means toward CSR value cocreation? (b) What CSR-related resources do PTSOs and their charitable foundations integrate? and (c) How do they manage, share, and transfer such resources to cocreate CSR value? Drawing theoretical insights from service dominant logic and consumer culture theory—and using empirical data from 47 semistructured interviews of UK-based professional football (soccer) clubs—this study develops a communicating vessels framework to illustrate the role of charitable foundations in the CSR value cocreation process. Through four tentative CSR value cocreation levels of relationship (bolt-on, cooperative, controlled, and strategic) the study suggests several internal strategies that can enhance the level of collaboration between founders and foundations. These include information sharing through customer relationship management (CRM) systems and social media platforms; staff sharing or flexible movement across the organizations; quality assurance agreements; flexible team cooperation; partnership protocols with social, media, cultural, and commercial stakeholders; and cotraining of personnel.

Dimitrios Kolyperas and Leigh Sparks are with the Marketing and Retail Division, University of Stirling, Stirling, United Kingdom. Christos Anagnostopoulos is with the Faculty of Business Administration & Social Sciences, Molde University College, Molde, Norway, and with the School of Business & Management, UCLan,Cyprus. Simon Chadwick is with the University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom. The first two authors contributed equally to this paper.

Address author correspondence to Christos Anagnostopoulos at christos.anagnostopoulos@himolde.no.