Authors: Dr. Kelly L. Rhodes
Dr. Kelly L. Rhodes
Department of Communications
Saint Francis University
169 Lakeview Drive
Loretto, PA 15940
Dr. Rhodes is an Associate Professor of Communications and chair of the Communications Department at Saint Francis University.
Impactful Corporate Social Responsibility in Major League Baseball
In an effort to know more about what forces influence Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) decision making, the behaviors of one Major League Baseball team regarding its CSR efforts and the outcomes of those efforts were explored.
A qualitative, single, intrinsic case study methodology was employed. Three sources of data were utilized: annual community reports, newspaper articles, and five personal interviews with purposefully selected members of the organization whose work is related to CSR performance. Institutional Theory was used to provide a foundation for the study.
The results of the study indicate that the organization’s leadership and motivation are significant influences in the direction of CSR efforts, and the organization’s relationship with the community and its approach to implementing initiatives impacts the process. Specifically, it can be seen that the organization’s decision making coincides with Institutional Theory.
The study contributes to the field and this journal by depicting the number of influences on CSR decision making and how understanding those influences allow for more effective impact on communities from the substantial amount of money that teams are spending. The study utilizes Institutional Theory to provide a framework for understanding why and how organizations respond to institutional expectations in their CSR decisions (31).
Applications in Sport
Professional sports will continue to play an important role in society as sport organizations become more like multi-national businesses (8). With the increasing commercialization of sports has come greater scrutiny from both fans and the general public. Sport has to walk a fine line to maintain the traditional elements of the games it plays while increasing its strategic behavior to compete in the business environment of professional sports.(more…)