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Book part
Publication date: 3 March 2016

Birgit Schyns, Sarah Gilmore and Graham Dietz

Football, or soccer as it is known in the United States, is one area in which managerial positions are hugely volatile with what is often called a ‘merry-go-round’ of…

Abstract

Football, or soccer as it is known in the United States, is one area in which managerial positions are hugely volatile with what is often called a ‘merry-go-round’ of managers sacked for poor performance at their club and reemployed by another club. Not only does this practice often not increase performance but it is also very costly. Considering the nature of football, that is, the relatively high impact of chance on the rare events that goals are, and the high correlation between success and the wage bill, the influence of managers on performance is often over-estimated. However, potentially better preparation of future managers might help to increase competitive advantages. In this chapter, we are looking in depth at leadership in the context of football and the lessons we can draw for other contexts.

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Leadership Lessons from Compelling Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-942-8

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2013

Matteo Rossi, Alkis Thrassou and Demetris Vrontis

Focusing primarily on Italian and European football, the research performs extended analyses at both the club and federation levels, compares between financial and sport…

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing primarily on Italian and European football, the research performs extended analyses at both the club and federation levels, compares between financial and sport achievements, and identifies correlations and discrepancies between the two. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper studies managerial systems and strategic directions across clubs and countries and links them to financial and sport performance. The research is primarily secondary-data and literature review based and uses multiple sources to ensure validity and reliability of the findings.

Findings

Solutions to the diachronic problems of football cannot be addressed through isolated actions, nor by isolated clubs, or even federations; but through systemic changes that affect, at club and federation levels: the organisational structure; the financial control mechanisms; and the very social essence of football.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by its very secondary-data-based nature. Subject-specific primary data are thus necessary to empirically test the preliminary findings and propositions of this research.

Originality/value

The paper escapes the conventional “sports/financial performance” analyses to support a new perspective that examines the core product of football and identifies, comprehends and prescribes the various values offered by football to its various stakeholders and vice versa.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Peter Omondi-Ochieng

This study aims to examine the association between national economic prosperity (measured by per capita gross national income – GNI) and the acquisition of football

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the association between national economic prosperity (measured by per capita gross national income – GNI) and the acquisition of football workers (indicated by number of amateur footballers, football officials and professional footballers) and predict football performances (specified by qualifications at continental football championships) based on per capita GNI and football workers.

Design/methodology/approach

Archival data of 203 national football teams were utilized based on continental football championship records before 2014. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to build various models to ascertain their predictive values. Economically prosperous nations are those with a per capita GNI of more than US$10,000, and unprosperous nations are those with per capita GNI of less than US$10,000.

Findings

The analysis indicated that per capita GNI was significantly and positively associated with the acquisition of football workers – but not predictive of football performance. Rather football officials and professionals emerged to be the key predictors of football performance and not per capita GNI. The final model predicted 73.1 and 74.2 per cent of performance and non-performance, respectively, of national football teams correctly.

Research limitations

The findings were largely restricted to quantitative archival data for the last continental championships. However, future research may benefit from using qualitative interviews, questionnaires and or ethnographic studies of players, teams and or managers.

Practical implications

The results revealed that economic prosperity positively influences the acquisition of football resources (here – in football workers). Specifically, targeted production of football workers, such as the acquisition of a large number of effective professional footballers and officials, can boost football performance – and not merely economic prosperity.

Originality/value

Actual football-specific human capital (and not general population) was used in predicting continental football qualifications – a factor uncommon in such studies.

Details

Team Performance Management, vol. 21 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2018

Vincenzo Scafarto and Panagiotis Dimitropoulos

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between human capital investments and financial performance in the professional football industry. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between human capital investments and financial performance in the professional football industry. The authors examine this association by controlling for internal (club-level) mechanisms of governance. Specifically, as they deal with a context of highly concentrated ownership and familial control of football clubs, they posit that the degree of family board representation and a dual leadership structure exert a moderating effect on the decision to spend on playing talent.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis employs a fixed-effect econometric model on a panel data set of 16 Italian football clubs that spans a nine-year time period ending up with 144 firm-year observations.

Findings

The main novel finding of this investigation is that clubs with CEO duality and a high degree of family board representation manage to profit from investments in player contracts as opposed to clubs which lack these governance mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications

A clear implication is that the presence of corporate governance mechanisms at club level may be value-enhancing. In terms of policy direction, the finding makes the case that regulatory bodies should consider the imposition of governance mechanisms at club level as a means to promote actual financial discipline and a further ally to current regulations that are restricted to monitoring processes tied to accounting data.

Originality/value

This study attempts to explain the financial outcomes of player investments by combining insights from the mainstream governance and family business literature. Prior works in the field are restricted to testing the direct relation between player investments and performance, but fail to consider the potential moderators of this association.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2020

Florian Holzmayer and Sascha L. Schmidt

Professional football clubs have increasingly initiated two corporate diversification strategies to enfold growth opportunities besides traditional income sources…

Abstract

Purpose

Professional football clubs have increasingly initiated two corporate diversification strategies to enfold growth opportunities besides traditional income sources: business diversification and international diversification. Empirical findings from management and sport management literature provide inconclusive evidence on these strategies' financial performance effects, necessitating further research. The purpose of this article is therefore to investigate how both corporate diversification strategies affect the financial performance of professional football clubs.

Design/methodology/approach

A 15-year panel data set of English Premier League (EPL) clubs is examined, many of which have employed corporate diversification strategies. Measures for related business diversification (RBD) and unrelated business diversification (UBD) as well as international diversification are established from management literature. Based on fixed effects regression models, their effects on clubs' revenues and profitability are then examined.

Findings

U-shaped effects from RBD on revenues and profitability are found, but no effects from UBD. These findings empirically support the theoretically appealing superiority of RBD over UBD and, with increasing levels of RBD, over a focused strategy in management literature. With international diversification, an inverted U-shaped effect on revenues is identified.

Research limitations/implications

Despite focusing only on the EPL, these findings provide new evidence of non-linear financial performance effects from corporate diversification strategies adding to (sport) management literature and setting the stage for future research on these strategies in professional football.

Practical implications

These findings have significant implications for club managers' strategic growth opportunities such as new business models or geographic markets.

Originality/value

This is the first study to empirically examine the financial effects of corporate diversification strategies in the football market context.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2020

Rosa Lombardi, Raffaele Trequattrini, Benedetta Cuozzo and Paola Paoloni

Over recent decades, knowledge transfer processes and knowledge-intensive organizations have been increasingly investigated from several perspectives. Knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

Over recent decades, knowledge transfer processes and knowledge-intensive organizations have been increasingly investigated from several perspectives. Knowledge translation activated by knowledge-intensive organizations is supported by several factors, among which intangible assets play a significant role. Our research mainly investigates the relationship between the knowledge owned by knowledge workers in source organizations and the process of its translation to recipient organizations. Specifically, this paper aims at analyzing knowledge translation and organizational performance in the football industry, uncovering both the role of professional football players' skills transfer and the determinants of achieving positive performance at the organizational level.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative method is adopted, using both bivariate linear regression analysis and network analysis. Using key aspects of Nakauchi et al.'s (2007) knowledge transfer framework, intra-organizational dynamics are analyzed based on measurements of the performance of professional football players before and after transferring from one club (the source organization) to another (the recipient organization).

Findings

Our research results are mainly intended to show the factors that influence knowledge translation in the light of team performance improvement. Our empirical analysis shows the need for the coexistence of a combination of factors, especially the quality of the source and recipient organizations and of the relationship between them, to achieve the transferability of professional football players' capabilities and performance.

Practical implications

The academic community, practitioners and policymakers can draw on the theoretical and practical advances made by the findings to address knowledge translation issues with an improved understanding of its factors and determinants.

Originality/value

Despite some limitations to the study, we identify the factors, determinants and contexts that facilitate the transfer of knowledge and specialist knowledge and thus contribute to the successful operation of contemporary organizations. Moreover, the results of our analysis are applicable to all economic sectors.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 58 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Peter Omondi-Ochieng

This paper aims to predict a college football team’s competitiveness using physical resources, human resources and organizational resources.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to predict a college football team’s competitiveness using physical resources, human resources and organizational resources.

Design/methodology/approach

Guided by the resource-based theory, the study used archival data of 101 college football teams. The dependent variable was competitiveness (indicated by win-loss records), the independent variables were physical resources (operationalized as home attendance and total revenues), human resources (measured as coaches’ salary and coaches’ experience) and organizational resources (specified as conference rankings and the number of sports). Kendall Tau correlation and binary logistic regression were used to examine the associative and predictive competitive advantages.

Findings

The binary logistic regression model showed an overall percentage predictive correctness of 71.3%, with a Negelkerke R2 of 41.1% of the variance of all predictors – with coaches’ experience, total revenues and home attendance being the best predictors of generating competitive advantages that produced superior win-loss records.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused exclusively on physical, organizational and human resources as sources of competitive advantage and not physiological and/or psychological variables.

Practical implications

College football teams aspiring to be competitive may benefit from this study by applying a three-fold strategy of hiring well-paid high performing and experienced coaches who can increase attendance and revenues.

Originality/value

The study was unique in two ways – one, it made clear the positive significance of coaches’ experience as a source of competitive advantage, and second, it highlighted the catalytic effects of revenues and attendance in fueling competitiveness.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Peter Kennedy and David Kennedy

The purpose of this paper is to examine the elective affinity between sport science and elite football by situating it first, within the wider political economy of football

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the elective affinity between sport science and elite football by situating it first, within the wider political economy of football and second, within the dynamics of the market and work situation faced by elite players in the modern game.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology underpinning this paper continues this movement by considering the impact on market and work situation of elite footballers due to wider social structures and the distribution of social power peculiar to the football industry. It is premised on the view that observed events and contingent relations and processes are linked to more enduring social structures and that knowledge must take account of all three.

Findings

The resulting impact of sport science on elite football is contradictory, facilitating, on the one hand, the development of football as an aesthetic experience, while on the other hand, threatening to transform the football spectacle into a mundane exercise in the search for increased functional peak performance for its own sake.

Research limitations/implications

The value of this paper is that it considers salaries and player power to determine value by exploring the impact on market and work situation of elite footballers set in the context of wider social structures and the distribution of social power peculiar to the football industry.

Practical implications

Elite footballers yield immense power over their market situation, which sport science has the potential to enhance and sustain by fine honing peak fitness. The football club’s relative lack of control of the player’s market situation necessitates the appliance of sport science to help maximize control over the player’s work situation.

Social implications

The paper demonstrates that sport science develops elite footballers to peak fitness, while also developing footballers as commodities; and this latter aspect if taken too far may potentially transform football into a mundane exercise in the search for increased functional peak performance for its own sake.

Originality/value

The paper draws together the relatively neglected analysis of the football labour process with the increasing interventions of sport science to football and sets this within a broader political economy of football.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Dino Ruta, Luca Lorenzon and Emiliano Sironi

The purpose of this paper is to verify the theoretical assumption about a weaker role of internal governance structures (namely, board and CEO) in determining sporting and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to verify the theoretical assumption about a weaker role of internal governance structures (namely, board and CEO) in determining sporting and financial performances in highly concentrated club ownership environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from the Italian and English football clubs playing in their national top divisions, over the period 2006–2015, the authors apply agency theory, property rights theory and win maximization logic to test the absence of a significant impact of internal governance structures on financial performances and clubs’ sporting performance. Ownership structure’s variables are used as control variable.

Findings

Empirical findings document an overall poor impact of board structure and CEO features on financial performances, in comparison with the influence of ownership structure; the consolidation of win maximization logic of clubs’ owners has been demonstrated in this specific context. However, the authors found that some internal governance elements have also an impact on performance even if their contribute is limited: board size results negatively associated to club profitability, board independence and CEO tenure are positively related to sporting performance; in addition, CEO tenure also increases profitability.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies on the contribution arising from this empirical research, since a scarcity of empirical studies analyzing the correlation between internal governance and performance in European football sector is noticed.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

Rob Wilson, Daniel Plumley and Stuart William Flint

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of managerial change in the English football industry. The authors’ theoretical discussion covers three contrasting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of managerial change in the English football industry. The authors’ theoretical discussion covers three contrasting concepts that attempt to explain the association between manager change and organizational performance (scapegoating theory, vicious circle theory and tenure and life-cycle theory).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected for the four main English Football Leagues (EFLs) between 2000/2001 and 2015/2016. A total of 2,816 football matches were included in the study and during this time 525 instances of managerial change were observed. Analysis was conducted using relevant statistical techniques to examine the impact of managerial change on performance.

Findings

The results show significant differences in all four EFLs when considering teams who make a managerial change and those who do not. Further analysis revealed that a managerial change is more beneficial for clubs in the bottom half of the league, particularly for the English Premier League.

Originality/value

The implications for clubs competing in English football are clear when considering the strategic direction of the club in respect of managerial change and its impact on team performance. Yet, our findings come with a warning. The findings do not infer direct cause and effect here, and any board decision should consider additional factors other than sporting performance before deciding to sack their manager.

Details

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-678X

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