More than meets the (rationalistic) eye: people, politics and the everyday doing of management work in English professional football academies

McCutcheon, Mark (2021) More than meets the (rationalistic) eye: people, politics and the everyday doing of management work in English professional football academies. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
mccutcheon.mark_phd(00132446).pdf - Submitted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Empirical research addressing the everyday realities of management work remains surprisingly limited in the sport management literature base. Inspired by recent inquiry (e.g., Gibson & Groom, 2018, 2019, 2020; Kelly, 2017) addressing the micro-dynamics of management work in sports organisations, this thesis generated original knowledge regarding the ways in which academy football managers strategically engage in their interactions and relations with others to achieve organisational and personal goals. Indeed, the significance of this thesis lies in its illustration of the importance for managers to build and nurture collaboration, as well as deal with resistance, as an everyday feature of their working practice. Cyclical, in-depth interviews were used to rigorously generate data with five English football academy managers. The data were analysed iteratively (i.e., subject to etic and emic readings). Here, the seminal symbolic interactionist theorising (e.g., Mead, 1934 and Cooley, 1902) was combined with related work addressing human interchange in organisational life (i.e., Grills & Prus, 2019). Furthermore, Kelchtermans (2007) micropolitical theorising and the dramaturgical insights of Goffman (1959) and Hochschild (1983, 2000) were utilised to support the analytic insights generated in this thesis. Importantly, the analysis revealed that the managers recognised the importance of securing the trust and support of their superiors and highlighted the different ways they go about achieving this. Furthermore, the findings also revealed how they interacted with subordinates to establish their vision for the academy and how they navigated various situations in order to secure their own desired working conditions. Finally, the range of emotions that the managers experience and how they strategically show or hide such emotions is highlighted, along with how they manufacture their emotions in order to achieve desired outcomes. Overall, this thesis gives a more nuanced understanding of the everyday doing of management work in English football academies and can therefore provide valuable insights for the education of managers to help them deal with the everyday realities of football academy management work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: presentation of self when leading and managing, micropolitics in elite sport, navigating complicated situations with others, emotions and emotion work in sport, getting work done, with and through others
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 10:44
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2022 10:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics