Stakeholder Management in Swedish Football : An Exploratory Study of Stakeholder Management in the Context of Swedish Elite Football

University essay from Jönköping University/IHH, Företagsekonomi

Abstract: Background: Due to the commercialization of football, clubs have put more focus on management in general, and stakeholder management in particular. Despite this, research on stakeholder management in football is in its infancy. Therefore, little is known about how football clubs manage their stakeholders that also possess unique characteristics. Furthermore, these characteristics are more prevalent in Swedish football because of the ownership structure that allows the stakeholder to possess multiple roles at once. Thus, Swedish football was selected as the area to study, as the unique features of Swedish football provide interesting implications.  Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the concept of stakeholder management in Swedish football. This study aims to understand the managerial implications that arise when managing stakeholders in Swedish football, how tensions are managed, and how to keep stakeholders satisfied.  Method: In order to fulfill the purpose of this thesis, a qualitative multiple case study approach was adopted since the nature of the study is exploratory. Through twelve semi-structured interviews, empirical data was gathered. This study adopted an inductive approach, and the data were analyzed using thematic analysis.  Conclusion: This study has found that tensions are managed through the use of good communication tools, as well as the building of relationships. These relationships later affect the level of influence stakeholders have on the club. Furthermore, clubs keep their stakeholders satisfied by listening, being clear and transparent, having good values for the stakeholders to be proud of, as well as giving stakeholders a good return on their investment. These findings emerged into a suggested framework that displays the relationship between the different aspects of stakeholder management in football. 

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