Sports and Management - The Interconnectivity

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on May 21, 2016

Sports and management were never been two different identities. In fact all important management lessons come from sports. So it is not fare to compare sports and management altogether as different items. This interconnectivity led to the introduction of new field in management i.e. sports management.

The role of sports manager vary enormously, it is totally depend upon the situation on which he/she’s working but the main function of manager is to apply the general management fundamentals in the field of sports. All the management functions can be applicable for every situation in sports, and only a skillful manager knows when to apply which function in order to get success. If we look broadly, the sports management is all about managing the workplace, the people, the facility, day to day operations and the activity. This is not at all different than general management.

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It is widely recognized and proven fact that there are five general management approaches to management;

1. First one is the classical approach, which deals with the content, suggesting that the managers should possess the core knowledge, this includes the parameters like planning, organizing and controlling. So if we compare it with the role of a sports manager, that’s the crucial task each manager is performing. They are responsible in planning the activities, organizing those activities and most important function controlling those activities, so that proper positive outcome can be expected.

Example: Consider a football manager of any big recognized club. If we closely monitor their tasks and daily activities, then we get to know that core knowledge of the manager is mainly focused on three main functions i.e. planning, organizing and controlling. Manager is the only responsible person in planning the daily workout for the players, organizing those workout sessions for them and important thing controlling those session so that players don’t get burnout physically. This is one the simplest example by which classical approach of the management can be understood.


2. Second one is the behavioral approach, which deals with the role of individual within the management process and simply identifies that each individual has different needs, desires and wants. Every individual is different and needs to be treated accordingly. That’s the crucial role play each sports manager is performing, they are responsible to get best out of the individual players by understanding their needs, desires and wants. Behavioral management approach is the game changing management technique in the sporting arena.


3. Third one is the management science, which deals totally with the mathematical approaches to management to get better efficiency, it’s normally relates to operational problems and approaches to solve it effectively. Quite frequently this approach is being used by the sports managers, they simply deals with the number. Because it is the number which speaks about persons capability in the sports. Better the number better would be his rating. Managers are skillful in dealing with the numbers.


4. The fourth one is the system approach, which deals with the designing of precise system of management made up of different parts which must be brought together to function as a single entity to meet the organization’s objectives. Example: If we closely look on the function of any sporting team, then we realize that manager creates a team of professional who are having expertise in the specific field. Suppose let’s take an example of a cricket team. If we closely monitor the function of the team then we get to know that each function is having specific person assigned. Suppose for fielding, there is a fielding coach assigned, for training and workout a specific trainer is assigned, for batting there is batting coach and for bowling there is bowling coach. Here the sports manager designed a precise system made up of variety of parts which are brought together to meet the objective of a team. Manager took the system approach of general management in order to build a perfect team.


5. The fifth and the final one is the contingency approach, which works on the assumption that there is no single best way to manage. The manager must be able to manage in a different situation and should recognize that organization can vary in different way. There are always “n” number of approaches in managing any situation, but the only thing is manager should know when to apply which approach so that it results in positive outcome. For sports managers, there is always a plan “B” ready for their strategy. They very well know the contingency approach of a management. In fact they are the master of contingency approach. Because they know that game situation can change at any point of time, and to manage that changed situation one must be having plan B ready.

From the above mentioned approaches, it is quite evident that sports and management were never a different field of study. In fact they are so closely bonded that most of crucial situation solution of today’s management world comes from the field of sports.


Sports and management are closely related to each other. Sports not only provides important management techniques, but also make us aware of important management roles e.g. leadership skills, time management, team player, unity & bonding, working under crunching situation and efficiency & effectiveness factors to carry out any task. Sports and management can never be differentiated. There is and shall always remain an interconnectivity between sports and management.


This article has been authored by Rahul Burman from IIM Kashipur


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