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Implementing corporate social responsibility through social partnerships



This paper examines how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is implemented through social partnerships. Drawing on previous literature and case study research, it presents a conceptual model of the process of implementation. An exploratory case study of the social responsibility partnership programme at the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has been conducted. The case study draws on interview data and documentary sources of evidence gathered from UEFA and the six partner organisations that comprise its CSR portfolio. The conceptual model identifies three stages of the implementation process (selection, design, management), with partnership evaluation being an ongoing process during all three. The latter consists of two elements, namely project and process evaluation. A key finding is the lack of process evaluation due to a high degree of inter-personal trust. The conceptual model adds to the growing body of research on the implementation of social partnerships and CSR. This paper is also the first to empirically explore the process of CSR implementation through social partnerships in the football sector.