An inferiority complex: Managing semi-professional clubs

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Simon Day
Elsa Kristiansen
1,2
1
University College of Southeast Norway
2Norwegian School of Sport Science


Although researchers have typically focused on professional teams due to their revenue generating power, to reach these teams, athletes usually go through semi-professional clubs first. Maximizing management activity effectiveness and efficiency, therefore, becomes critical in such organizations to examine organizational factors and elaborate on the experiences of semi-professional athletes that can affect organizational and athletic performance. This is our aim in this paper when investigating a (semi-)professional women’s football team. Qualitative data highlighted two primary (partners and players) and seven secondary (coaching staff, women’s football, media, volunteers, Norwegian Football Association, fans, board) stakeholders in the club’s environment. The players reported 34 organizational stressors, demonstrating both organizational and individual level factors affecting club and athlete performance, with many perceived stressors directly related to boardroom decision-making. Athletes’ dual careers seems to be an additional managerial element in this context – especially since women have less opportunities than men do to reach a professional level.


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SIMON DAY is a former master student at the Norwegian School of Sport Science, where he wrote his master thesis A football player’s perception of organizational stress: a management and athlete point of view, with Elsa Kristiansen as his supervisor. He currently works as Equipment Manager for the Football Association of Norway, where he facilitates all of the national teams from youth to senior elite.

ELSA KRISTIANSEN is an Associate Professor at the University College of Southeast Norway (USN) where she is the Research Manager at the Center for Emergency and Crisis Management. She has published over 50 articles and book chapters, the majority of which are in the areas of sport psychology (e.g., motivation, coping with organizational issues and media stress, coping with youth competitions) and sport event management (e.g., volunteerism, Youth Olympic Games, stakeholders involved in talent development).

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