FC Barcelona: “Més que un club” (english)

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CASE STUDY. This case examines the evolution of this organization against the backdrop of the Spanish and Catalan socio-political context.

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FC Barcelona: “Més que un club” (english): Abstract

FC Barcelona ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious soccer clubs. Its legal status as a not-for-profit sporting club along with its collective ownership model and democratic structures set it apart from most other world-class teams. Since its founding in 1899, the club has had a rich history of sporting success tempered by recurring periods of financial instability. Its founder, Joan Gamper, made national identity a core element of his strategy for the club, turning it into a veritable symbol of Catalan nationalism. Despite the best efforts of the Francoist regime to “Spanify” the club, to this day it remains a powerful source of pride and national identity for the vast majority of Catalonians. After over a century of sporting exploits mixed with disappointments and internal conflict, the implementation of an aggressive strategy of modernization in the early 2000s has proved highly effective, as evidenced by the club’s remarkable achievements on the field and its new-found financial stability. This case examines the evolution of this organization against the backdrop of the Spanish and Catalan socio-political context.

Teaching objectives

  • Teach students to identify relevant historical and socio-political elements
  • Make students aware of the importance of considering an organization’s cultural and identity-based dimensions
  • Introduce students to the use of a strategic analysis grid inspired by Crozier and Friedberg (1977), which is based on identifying the key actors in a given situation, their goals, resources, strategies and stakes, as well as on identifying the links between these different variables.

Main themes covered

  • Organizational identity
  • Links with the sociopolitical environment
  • Managing strategic change
  • Globalization of professional sports

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre for more information.

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