‘European-ness’ in social responsibility and sport management research: anchors and avenues

Tim Breitbarth, Stefan Walzel, F.J.A. van Eekeren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research question: The contribution frames the special issue ‘Social responsibility and the European sport context’. It investigates and aims to inspire the discussion around what constitutes a European approach in social responsibility and sport management research focussing on how the special historical and persisting features of the European (sport) context impact on knowledge creation and diffusion. Research methods: The article reflects on the contributions included in the special issue; is based on reviewing relevant management literature; and is guided by the authors’ rich observations derived from their deep involvement in the international space of social responsibility in and through sport, spanning research and practice. Results and findings: Four anchors are suggested and explored as promising avenues to constitute ‘European-ness’ in social responsibility and sport management research. In short, these are investigations driven by empirical data; a comparative approach; comprehensive literature review; and theoretical/conceptual development. It is argued that the theory anchor is the most critical and challenging, but not fully developed yet. Implications: The article contributes a critical view on the potential for American/English hegemony in sport management scholarly activity, also impacting on one of its popular and growing sub-fields: social responsibility. Enhanced intellectual fertility and diversity of perspectives will produce more accurate understandings of the role and conceptualisation of social responsibility in European sport, impacting on both theoretical richness and relevance for contextually-embedded sport organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • CSR in sport
  • Europeaness
  • Sportmanagement
  • contextual sensitivity


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