Title: Ethical Strategists in Scottish Football: The Role of Social Capital in Stakeholder Engagement

Authors: Joshua McLeod; Andrews Adams; Katherine Sang

Addresses: Deakin Business School, Deakin University, Australia ' School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, UK ' School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Abstract: Governance and leadership failings have been a common feature of Scottish football (McLeod, 2016). In response, many Scottish football clubs have adopted the approach of an 'ethical strategist' - meaning stakeholder engagement has become central to their strategies (Noland and Phillips, 2010). Such strategies are argued to necessitate sustainability (Mason and Simmons, 2012), but little is known about how they can be implemented effectively. The purpose of this paper is to address that gap and examine how social capital influences the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement-focused strategies in Scottish football. Using a multiple-case study approach, we make two contributions to the literature. First, we add to existing knowledge of how ethical strategists can utilise social capital to achieve strategic success. Second, we make a theoretical contribution to Nahapiet and Ghoshal's (1998) three-dimensional model of social capital by showing how contextual factors influence the interaction process between dimensions.

Keywords: board of directors; football; social capital; stakeholder engagement; ethical strategists.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBGE.2020.108085

International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2020 Vol.14 No.3, pp.298 - 316

Accepted: 24 Jul 2019
Published online: 02 Jul 2020 *

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