CSR Initiatives among College Athletic Programs: A Content Analysis of Community Service Endeavors
Master of Science in Education
Department or Program
This study investigated the prevalence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in college athletic program websites. CSR refers to actions that appear to further some social good (McWilliams & Siegel, 2001). Sport entities have widely embraced the principles and practices of CSR over the past decade (Babiak & Wolfe, 2009; Bradish & Cronin, 2009). This particular study builds upon the existing literature by examining CSR practices in NCAA Division I athletic departments. A content analysis was used to collect data and test the research questions. The results suggested that community service activities only appeared on one-third of the 128 FBS schools that were analyzed. However, of the schools that do list community service on their websites, the majority are engaging in socially responsible endeavors that are positively influencing the community. Four major areas of community service emerged from the analysis: Goodwill efforts, Health and Wellness, Youth Development, and Education. The findings of this study will allow collegiate athletic departments and their administrators to develop community service programs that will enhance their respective communities and act in a more socially responsible manner. In addition, it will encourage those athletic departments to exhibit such endeavors on their websites.