Understanding Corporate Social Irresponsibility on Sports Organizations

  •  Jersan Hu    
  •  Chien Hsien Lee    
  •  Haw Ran Wong    
  •  Tzuyi Kao    


For this study, we sought to understand the conceptualization of sports organizations in the CSR context from the customer perspective. Previous studies have mainly focused on the positive effect of CSR and neglected the negative effect of irresponsible behaviors. The associations on these entities are often treated discretely, whereas the interrelatedness of the associations are overlooked. This research employs the brand concept map (BCM) method to elucidate the complex and interconnected associations of how a sports organization is perceived, and presents these findings in a graphical network structure. The aggregated network of associations in people’s memory, consisting of performance, setting, and auxiliary elements, constitutes the core (brand) images and relevant patronage values of an organization. This research contributes to the understanding of sports brand on the association and network levels. This study identifies useful individual associations such as baseball, players, mascots, related products and corporations, CSR-related behaviors, and the interconnection patterns between elements. These identified factors are useful in detecting and developing patronage and in identifying incongruence in the conceptualization of brand and organization image. The interconnectivity and network structure of people’s associations are considered by the employed in this methodology in this study. This study identifies the framework of relevant associations, elements, values, and interconnection patterns, which not only provide comprehensive information in understanding complex conceptual perceptions, but might also be leveraged and focused on by marketers for an enhanced creative marketing and communication strategy.

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