Complexity Within the Beautiful Game

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Abstract: This study examines managerial change in swedish football. It roots itself in traditional managerial change literature, and further examines the phenomenon from the perspective of institutional complexity, something that has not previously been researched. The thesis is of qualitative nature and the empirical evidence is collected through nine interviews with three seperate stakeholders; the manager, the sporting director and the player, all with operational roles within the clubs. The results show presence of two separate institutional logics; the profession represented by the managers, and the corporation represented by the boards of directors. The clubs are found to be trying to handle the logics conflicting demands through the strategic response of compromise. This is manifested in two ways; through the manager compromising on their own expert opinions and the presence of sporting directors, who act as intermediaries negotiating and balancing between the logics. The institutional complexity is tied back to theory of scapegoating where the manager is sacrificed and ultimately let go due to tensions arising from institutional complexity.

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