Professional team sports organizations (PTSOs) are highly influential in our society. They can both positively and negatively shape the public discourse around responsible norms of behavior. The purpose of this article is to describe and critically review the literature on PTSOs’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) to develop a comprehensive understanding of current and future research directions in the field. Our analysis reviewed articles on CSR within PTSOs and identified publication year; geographical dispersion; journal type; sports contexts; social issues investigated; research approaches and methods; and how CSR was conceptualized, defined, and theoretically supported. The findings indicate that CSR within PTSOs has primarily been investigated in community programs, using qualitative research methods and pragmatically conceptualizing CSR on the basis of return on investments to the organization in European and North American contexts. Our discussion provides a critical review of the literature before outlining avenues for future research and practice.
Stefan Walzel, Jonathan Robertson, and Christos Anagnostopoulos
Jonathan Robertson, Ryan Storr, Andrew Bakos, and Danny O’Brien
The aim of this article was to develop a theoretical framework to aid the current understanding of social change practice. Drawing on concepts from institutional theory, the authors proposed and applied a theoretical framework to investigate social change at the intersection of gender and sexuality inclusion in Australian cricket. Qualitative techniques (interviews and document analyses) were utilized to investigate the trajectory of lesbian inclusion in Australian cricket over time. Starting from the perspective that institutional arrangements can be exclusionary (or biased) toward certain groups in society, this research investigated how the actions of institutional entrepreneurs can create more inclusive institutional arrangements. Theoretical and practical implications for future research are discussed.
Jonathan Robertson, Mathew Dowling, Marvin Washington, Becca Leopkey, Dana Lee Ellis, and Lee Smith
Institutional theory has generated considerable insight into fundamental issues within sport. This study seeks to advance Washington and Patterson’s review by providing an empirical review of institutional theory in sport. We follow Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review protocol to identify 188 sport-related institutional studies between 1979 and 2019. Our review provides evidence regarding the state of institutional scholarship within sport via an analysis of authorship, year, journal, methodology, method, study population, and use of institutional constructs (legitimacy, isomorphism, change, logics, fields, and work). Rather than a hostile takeover or a joint venture proposed in Washington and Patterson’s review, the relationship between fields is more aptly described as a diffusion of ideas. By developing an empirical review of institutional studies in sport, we hope to expedite the diffusion of ideas between the two fields and work toward realizing the collective benefits any future joint venture may bring.
Mathew Dowling, Jonathan Robertson, Marvin Washington, Becca Leopkey, Dana Lee Ellis, Andie Riches, and Lee Smith
A central issue within sport management is the extent to which the field should develop a distinctive theoretical knowledge base. This paper empirically investigates the connectedness within (intrafield) and between (interfield) management and sport management disciplines in one specific knowledge domain—institutional theory. We utilized a database of 188 sport-related institutional studies and conducted a citation network analysis of the aggregated reference lists from these articles. We argue that the fields of management and sport management act like “ships in the night.” That is, as the field of sport management has become more distinctive, the field is becoming less connected with general management literature and contemporary theoretical discussions. Potential implications for sport management scholarship and understanding the nature of the field are discussed, along with how it may be possible (if desired) to bridge the gap between sport and management research.