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Exploring internal organisational communication dynamics in the professional football industry

Argyro Elisavet Manoli (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Ian Richard Hodgkinson (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 20 September 2021

Issue publication date: 10 November 2021




Relative to the increasing focus on organisations’ outward communication consistency and coherency, the internal communication taking place between different organisational functions is under-explored. The study aims to address the following two research questions: What form does cross-functional communication take within organisations? How do features of the communication work climate influence the form of cross-functional communication?


The study draws on qualitative data generated from semi-structured interviews with media and marketing managers from 33 professional football organisations operating in the English Premier League.


Thematic patterns between internal communication practices and different communication climates lead to the development of a new internal organisational communications typology, comprising: Type 1: collaborative symmetrical communication (cohesive climate); Type 2: unstructured informal communication (friendly climate); and Type 3: cross-functional silos (divisive climate).


Internal organisational communication practices are deemed fundamental to organisational success, yet there remains limited empirical evidence of the form such practices take or how they interact with features of an organisation’s communication climate. The study introduces a new internal organisational communications typology to develop and extend the theory and practice of internal marketing communications.



The authors would like to thank the reviewers and editorial team for their valuable assistance.


Manoli, A.E. and Hodgkinson, I.R. (2021), "Exploring internal organisational communication dynamics in the professional football industry", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 55 No. 11, pp. 2894-2916.



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