Handbook of Research on Sport and Business
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Handbook of Research on Sport and Business

Edited by Sten Söderman and Harald Dolles

This Handbook draws together top international researchers and discusses the state of the art and the future direction of research at the nexus between sport and business. It is heavily built upon choosing, applying and evaluating appropriate quantitative as well as qualitative research methods for practical advice in sport and business research.
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Chapter 22: Examining corporate social responsibility in football: the application of grounded theory methodology

Christos Anagnostopoulos


Grounded theory is a systematic inductive and comparative methodology for conducting inquiry with the purpose of developing theory (Bryant and Charmaz, 2007). Jones and Noble (2007) refer to Locke (2001) in giving three main reasons why grounded theory has proved popular in management research: (a) it is useful for developing new theory or fresh insights into old theory; (b) it generates theory of direct interest and relevance for practitioners, and (c) it can uncover micro-management processes in complex and unfolding scenarios. Notwithstanding its increasing popularity as a research methodology within the management discipline, its application in the sport management field has been relatively sparse. Such is the dearth of grounded theory in sport business and management research that, for their publication Qualitative Research in Sport Management, Edwards and Skinner (2009: 347) had to make reference to two postgraduate theses and two conference papers in order to illustrate the application of grounded theory in various sport management contexts. The reasons behind the methodology’s failure to penetrate the sport management field of study remain a ‘curious paradox’, as Sotiriadou and Shilbury (2010: 185) point out.

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