Similarly to the business world, the world of sports requires hierarchy, effective management, and team leadership. There is a growing tendency of choosing an individual-based approach in sustaining the vision and mission of the company. However, sports management differs a bit, particularly when it concerns teamwork. In such an environment, it is highly essential to rely on each other, interact, and orient on the collective work. The case under analysis focuses on the importance of effective team leadership and high-possession strategy which could change players’ attitudes towards the game in general.

Issue Identification

Ange Postecoglou is an outstanding manager of Brisbane Roar who helped to get the victory for the team in 2010-2011 and led the team with 36 consecutive victories. His major strategy and vision was constant adaptation and change in terms of game style, specifically the way players thought about the game, with the emphasis placed on the game environment, but not individual skills and advantage of each player. Certainly, such an approach was unusual in the world of sport because Postecoglou demanded players to regularly train on a full-time basis, making some of the players leave the team. During that period, the coach was criticized for losing valuable players in soccer, but this criticism was due to the short-term vision of other managers. In fact, Postecoglou was initially oriented on long-term success which required gradual adaptation and long-term reconsideration. Another problem was the need to rebuild the team and their outlook on the very essence of the game since some players, such as captain and forwards, were unaware of their new duties. Being less individual, and focusing on the team strength have allowed Postecoglou to overplay other teams and strike their rivals.

Critical Discussion

With regard to the above-presented strategies and approaches, several theoretical grounds could be introduced to support the framework used by Postecoglou. Indeed, team leadership and a functional approach to controlling team actions are widely used in business as well. In this respect, Morgeson, DeRue, and Karam (2010) have introduced their vision on the analysis and development of structuring teamwork, as a part of organizational life. In the majority of cases, the success of an organization depends on team effectiveness. The researchers have also outlined the nature of team productivity and performance and the role of leaders in sustaining it. Specifically, there are specific transition phases that should be outlined and encountered by teams (Morgeson, et al. 2010). As a result, there could be challenges and problems which threaten team integrity and viability, but the task of the manager is to make the team members understand that these challenges are logical outcomes of changes. Scholars state, “needs arising during the transition phases include establishing a team charter where overall all objectives outlined, setting” (Morgeson, et al., 2010, p. 7). However, the task of the manager is to ensure support team members understand that problems are natural at the transition phase because there are always boundaries that teach team members to interact on way to problem-solving. At this point, team leadership, the emphasis is made on team satisfaction. Additionally, Morgeson, et al. (2010) have explained, “functional leadership suggests that the leadership role is to do or get done, whatever is not being adequately handled for group needs” (p. 8). What is more important, leadership function is confined to observing which functions contribute to team effectiveness.

Santos, Caetano, and Tavares (2015) have stated that deviating from the functional leadership model, there is a team leadership training model as an alternative for improving the leadership performance and function, as well as promoting team effectiveness. The scholars have introduced longitudinal study embracing 6 teams and 45 leaders who were contrasted to 45 untrained leaders before the group was forwarded to training experience and after 6-months of interventions. The findings have revealed that in comparison with non-trained leaders, the trained ones introduced significant improvements in their accomplishment of leadership functions. Furthermore, these findings have demonstrated that trained leaders caused improvements in team effectiveness by the development of specific team functions. The modern findings propose fresh insights into how leaders introduce and advance team effectiveness. Additionally, Benoliel and Somech (2016) have sought on the increasing trends in senior management teams which are presented by a high extent of functional heterogeneity. Despite the fact that such teams could develop a better connection to information, as well as the advantages of functional heterogeneity comes the probability of conflict development which is predetermined by the value differences among cultural environments in an organization. These conflicts can negatively influence performance. The authors have also examined the way leaders’ activities focus on the connection of senior management functional heterogeneity to its effectiveness. The results of the studies introduced the main internal activities that promoted the role of performance while major external activities advancing innovation. The findings have also demonstrated that major internal activities are potential mediators of the interaction between senior management and functional heterogeneity.

The theory of functional leadership is closely associated with team performance and confidence, which also relies on confidence and potency. Mediation evaluation confirmed the hypothesis that the team confidence mediates partially the outcomes of shared leadership of team productivity and performance. The scholars have found out that the concept of shared leadership promotes unique fluctuation in team performance as compared to vertical leadership. Furthermore, a range of substantive variables was explored as mediators of shared team performance interaction. To enlarge on the issue, the connection between the team and shared leadership was mediated by task isolation and independence. Finally, the findings have shown that the approach employed while evaluating shared leadership, which plays an important role in the observed reliability and validity.

It should be acknowledged that functional leadership is an important issue in team performance management. As proof, Berlin has worked on analyzing the way psychiatric doctors resort to leadership in multidisciplinary teams. The research also seeks to analyze the question of whether psychiatric doctors manage multidisciplinary teams in the course of treatment conferences. The findings are beneficial for understanding the importance of leadership in mediating multidisciplinary medical teams. By introducing the reversible logic of leadership, knowledge sharing, and cooperation, which implies that, a situation of peaceful interaction can be ignored. Understanding the significance of information contact makes it possible to shift leadership among the team members. A reversible leadership with an informal contract allows the team to be stronger. The team professionals, therefore, could easily tackle challenging situations and conflicts, promoting management and leadership of multidisciplinary teams.

Functional leadership is appropriate for the sports environment. As a proof, Rapp, Gilson. Mathieu and Ruddy (2016) have examined the influence of external leaders and team coaches, as well as with team-based and organizational human resource support – on performance, processes, and team empowerment. Employing survey measures and temporally lagged performance indices derived from 70 service teams and developing structural equation modeling, the findings have shown that coaches influence team empowerment, and therefore, team performance and team performance are essential for external team leaders. The results have also indicated that human resources and organizational support are associated with team empowerment and that the outcome of coaches on enhancement is beyond the influence of organizational and HR support, external team leaders and interdependence. Directions for future studies and applications are developed in regard to team coaches, along with traditional leaders for the members of the team who should adjust to changes.

Functional leadership is also strongly associated with efficient conflict management, which is underexplored in the case under analysis. As such, team-centric leadership could be promoted to review specific context. Despite the process of leadership is represented as social influence, the majority of leadership theories and social integration which occurs. The overview of literature conducted by Kozlowski, Mak, and Chao (2016) has revealed that there is a number of recommendations for synergizing different theories and styles to adjust to the environment.

The role of cross-functional teams has become the leading topic of discussion for a long term of study. The research develops a theoretical framework that expands prior research by examining the way functional diversity affects team performance through team learning and team cohesion. Additionally, the model defines the conditions under which the predicted negative relationship between team cohesion and functional diversity is mediated. The findings have supported the increasing role of team behavioral integration in the connection to functional diversity and cohesion. In general, the research focuses on the primary research gap by defining the processes and context of functional diversity that contributes to higher team performance. Additionally, Hoegele, Schmidt, and Torgler (2016) have also provided an examination of a sports environment where customers address diverse celebrity features and whether they are affected by facial attractiveness. Focusing on sociological and psychological theories, including social norm, attachment, and social role theory of gender, the scholars have developed hypotheses related to the way gender and age influence the significance of major features of football starts, including behavior, experience, personality, and skills. By employing information regarding professional football players, the researchers have found that celebrities play an important role in promoting new schemes in management and leadership. However, the research also disapproves of the collective management proposed by the coach of Brisbane Roar because Postecoglou denies any displays of individual skills and superiority of others.

In opposition to the collective and cross-functional management, there are alternative outlooks on effective leadership. Specifically, DiRenzo, Weingarden, and Resick (2016) have provided an analysis of the coach’s management and professionalism, including individuals’ style, behavior, and wisdom. The overview of empirical leadership study carried out in the world of sports. The purpose of the research is to define the thought-provoking network, generating insights for organizational management environment.

Cross-functional management is closely related to power transition and distribution of responsibilities. The conceptualization of power structure in teams that are more fluid and dynamic is essential. Our findings have demonstrated the positive outcome of the power hierarchy of power expressions, discussing the importance of power structure. Specifically, DiRenzo, Weingarden, and Resick (2016) have presented an extensive review and evaluation. There are numerous interpretations of such evaluations which can lead to the hierarchical reconstructions.

It is essential for understanding the concept of cross-functionality, and the coach should explain the concept to the team members to make them more resistant to challenge and changes. Based on the evidence provided by Foersti, Hartmann, Wynstra, and Moser, (2013) support should be highlighted for the positive influence of cross-functional integration and coordination on buying performance and organizational performance. It has been defined that both talent management and performance evaluation positively influence cross-functional coordination and integration. It also directly affects buying performance. Similarly, the sports environment could also be presented through the analysis and understanding of the purposes and visions which are proposed by the leader. In order to enhance the effectiveness of cross-functional teams, knowledge sharing and exchange is critical for promoting team effectiveness. Specifically, Majchrzak, More, and Farak (2011) emphasize the importance of knowledge management because it has a positive influence on organizational cohesion, understanding how knowledge differs and how it can be delivered to the team.

With regard to the above-presented theoretical overview, it could be stressed that there are numerous assumptions that could be taken into consideration for further improvement. First of all, team effectiveness largely depends on the collective understanding and conception of efficient management with the managers and leaders who are on the way to self-accomplishment and development. What is more important is that the analysis of these schemes must be congruent with the team’s self-realization as a whole in which each individual should contribute to the effectiveness. Making the members of the team change should be a gradual process without stress and pressure, which is the major problem in the specific case study because some of the members could excel individually but had tremendous problems while accepting the significant role of teamwork. Second, emphasizing collectiveness must also be revealed through the managerial network in which the coach should not show its superiority and excellence; rather Postecoglou integrated into the training process, playing similarly and showing the equality and free access to all aspects of the game. At the same time, there should be a regularity of training and strict discipline, which is the key to achieving success. Third, collective team effectiveness could only be revealed after a specific period, and it is not a short-term goal to be accomplished. Therefore, there should be a specific emphasis placed on the longevity of the action. High-possession and short passes must be trained for a long period, proving that the team effectiveness is prioritized despite the fact that fans are more concerned with individual celebrities. Otherwise, the team would not be able to reach the goal.


In the majority of cases, many team members leave the working group because of the increased pressure and rigid competition. Indeed, this contextual dimension can become the major cornerstone that ignites the conflicts and controversies, aggravating and creating misunderstandings. At this point, Clerq, Thongpaganl, and Dimov (2012) have discussed the dimension which confirms that cross-functional fairness is enhanced through healthy competition, but higher levels of confrontation could be detrimental. The avoidance of conflicts could be possible through greater access to theoretical knowledge. In the case study, the coach could have been more educational by providing theoretical programs and training courses that could change the awareness of the players and their vision of the purposes of the game. In fact, the coach’s intentions are logical, but they should be explained in a more consistent way. As an example, the training groups must go through a range of lectures and tests in which the coach could find the compatibility and define some of the individualized methods which could be adjusted to the collective trend that embraces the entire theory.

With regard to the above, it could be acknowledged that developing cross-functional is a real challenge and it requires sufficient theoretical support. Pimenta, Silva, and Tate (2014) have presented an overview of industrial growth through cross-functional opportunities. According to the scholars, cross-functional teams “…are permanent or temporary groups aimed at reducing conflicts in goals, language, ad processes that require cross-functional integration” (Pimenta, et al., 2014, p. 1). The use of cross-functionality is essential for increasing the company’s ability to resist changes, but it requires active participation in different activities that would improve the quality of interaction and interpersonal behavior. The competition is important, but it should prevent the team players from opposing each other’s results. Further, long-term project teams should possess certain similarities and common goals. In fact, it is an important tool employed for surpassing barriers, but it is effective and the manager should promote mutual awareness and understanding among team members. Different aspects and dimensions of intense interaction are urgent for expanding knowledge and among various project teams.

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Team members in various countries could have different mechanisms. Similarly, the environment within a football team also relies on culturally and socially diverse outlooks. The task of the coach is to make each member of the team be tolerant and loyal to each other. At the same time, there should be something common among them to reach similar purposes. Therefore, if some of the members fail to understand it, their decision to leave is logical and Mr. Postecoglou should also think over those who decided to stand the change and rethink their vision and views on the concept of the game. Such an approach could also provide new methods of rethinking and redeveloping new methods of management and control.

Finally, the manager should pay attention to three major aspects – application context, power distribution, and team procedures. These categories establish the relationship between those environments to bring in positive contributions and integrate new visions. Integrated planning is the key solution that allows regular meetings, and special meetings with necessary adjustments. It carried out planning of long-term objectives. They should rely on negotiation and decision-making powers (Swink & Schoenherr, 2014). The situation will provide new insight into the current situation in the football club because the future implications must take into account the previous gaps to release the pressure and provide a new vision of the regular operations. The agreements, production capacity, and sales forecasting must be integrated to define cross-functionality and the effectiveness of team members.

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