Title: It is not about the problem you face but how you define it: the case of the gentlemen's pact in the Mexican football league

Authors: Rogelio Puente-Díaz

Addresses: Universidad Anáhuac México, School of Business and Economics, Av. Lomas de Anáhuac 46, Col. Lomas de Anáhuac, Huixquilucan, Estado de México, C.P. 52786, Mexico

Abstract: Problem definition is a robust framework to examine leadership from a social constructionist perspective. Problems can be defined as critical, wicked or tame with their respective forms of action. Using the social construction of problem definition as our theoretical framework, we analyse the case of the gentlemen's pact in the Mexican football league. This pact represents an oral agreement between owners not to acquire a player until the selling and the buying teams set a financial compensation for the selling team even though the contract of the desired player has expired. We suggest that the pact represents a pertinent example of how a problem is defined as critical, rather than as a wicked problem, with its respective consequences. We also discuss how this definition legitimises the acceptance of the pact, even though this pact is illegal, unconstitutional, and against the rules set by FIFA regarding the transfers of players.

Keywords: leadership; football; pact; problem definition; sport management; marketing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2021.10043930

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2021 Vol.21 No.5/6, pp.336 - 347

Accepted: 30 Jun 2021
Published online: 03 Jan 2022 *

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