Corporate Social Responsibility and Intellectual Capital in Sports and Leisure: The case of a Golf Club


  • Francesca Dal Mas
  • William Jupp
  • Maurizio Massaro Ca' Foscari University of Venice
  • Carlo Bagnoli
  • Giuseppe Roberto Marseglia



Sports and leisure; Golf; Intellectual Capital; Relational Capital; Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives; Clubs


Golf is becoming an increasingly popular sport, and golf clubs have, therefore, a growing social and environmental impact, with several stakeholders engaged in the activities. While the press and the media have reported countless initiatives conducted by golf clubs worldwide that highlight how environmentally and socially conscious and supportive the golf industry is, little has been said in academia. The paper aims to investigate the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in golf clubs, and how golf clubs’ Intellectual Capital (IC) may foster CSR initiative.

The paper employs a case study methodology, analyzing one Golf Club in the United Kingdom, using semi-structured interviews.

Results underline the great potential of the relationship between the clubs and their stakeholders, especially the customers, to create an influential cycle of CSR in the local communities. Relational capital stands as a central IC element to foster CSR in golf clubs. Moreover, findings highlight the need to develop new business models that can merge the need to be compliant with a strong CSR philosophy ensuring, at the same time, financial sustainability.

The paper is one of the firsts to investigate an increasingly popular sport which CSR can be fostered by relational capital, with a relevant impact on its customers, employees, and communities.