Changing boundaries and evolving organizational forms in football: novelty and variety among Scottish clubs

Ian Thomson, Stephen Morrow, Andrew Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
128 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper presents a novel theoretical conceptualisation of football clubs and empirical evidence as to how supporter groups, owners and others engaged to resolve threats to their club. We use boundary theory to understand the evolution of two football clubs’ ownership, financing and governance structures, and demonstrate how the blurring of club boundaries was linked to engagements in interface areas between the club and other social groups. We argue that the appropriateness of different combinations of ownership, financing, and governance practices should be evaluated in terms of how they support effective engagement spaces that negotiate relationships with co-dependent social groups. Conceptualising football clubs as boundary objects provides some specific insights into changes observed in Scottish football clubs. However, this approach is relevant to other situations in which club success is dependent on co-operative engagements with multiple social groups that have both convergent and divergent interests in the club.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sport Management
Early online date2 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2017

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