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MSc and BSc Theses

Our faculty regularly supervise thesis projects on both the Master's and Bachelor's level. Please feel free to get in touch if you are interested in writing your thesis within the domain of sports.

MSc Theses

Hannah Stihl and Matilda Olsson (2020). Gender quotas, nepotism and whiskey clubs - A qualitative study of the Swedish special sports federations' shift towards gender equal boards. 

Department of Management and Organization, Supervisor: Karin Svedberg Helgesson. 

Despite having had explicit targets for over 25 years, only 37 of 71 Swedish Special Sports Federations had achieved gender equal representation within their boards in 2016. It was thus decided during the general assembly meeting of the Swedish Sports Confederation in 2017 to implement a gender quota that all Special Sports Federations must adhere to by 2021, or otherwise risk losing their entire financial support. At the same time, while much research has been devoted to the benefits of gender equal boards, less focus has been given to organizational change processes towards the desired end-state. This study thus aims to examine how Swedish Special Sports Federations have worked to move from a state of gender imbalance to one of gender equality within their boards by addressing organizational practices and structures that influence the outlook for achieving gender equality. For this, a qualitative case study was carried out in which interviews were held with board members of 24 Special Sports Federations. The findings revealed that although almost all interviewed federations had implemented necessary actions to fulfill the gender quota, there was a discrepancy among the federations for which some mainly focused on representation while others showcased a holistic approach that involved deep immersion in identifying and addressing root causes of the problem. The change process was further found to be influenced by pressures from external as well as internal sources and the way the federations worked to manage perceptions of threat, discussions of the utility of gender equality, top management support, and educational efforts.

Fanny Almersson and Johanna Sand (2020). Accounting and sport in a crisis - give sense to keep racing?. 

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

This study aims to explore how the budget is implicated in the process of how organizational members in a sports organization make sense during a crisis. By using the lens of sensemaking theory, an explanatory single case study has been conducted in the Swedish organization RunningCo during the Covid-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted to answer the research question. Two identified themes in previous literature within accounting and sport have focused on institutional logics and soft budget constraints and external stakeholders, we provide insights to complement these. First, we contribute by showing how the sensemaking strategy compromising and balancing becomes essential in maintaining and prioritizing the sports logic in a crisis as the budget is not used to make the most profitable decision. Second, we contribute to previous literature by showing how the budget in a crisis is primarily used to give sense to external stakeholders by bridging and contextualizing while using the budget for internal financial planning becomes secondary.

Louise Hiort af Ornäs and Petter Aasa (2020). Corporate governance and organizational relations: The rules of the game for a Swedish Football club. 

Department of Management and Organization, Supervisor: Stefan Einarsson.

The aim of this study is to understand how an elite football club accommodates its environmental uncertainties and the dependencies of internal and external stakeholders. We seek to explore this phenomenon by conducting a qualitative, single case study. Although a plethora of research has been done within the field of corporate governance, finite research has been made on how sports organizations act within these parameters to balance the cultural and commercial aspects of their organization while complying with the demands of members, supporter groups, and corporate partners. This study hopes to contribute to the field of corporate governance by analyzing a Swedish football club through the lens of resource dependency, stakeholder theory, and strategic alliances. This will carry the ongoing research field into how hybrid sports organizations have to structure their internal organization to adapt to uncertainty and dependencies of internal and external stakeholders to gain a competitive advantage over other teams within the sports league. We find that the members’ power directly increases the uncertainty that the club faces. Their influence causes major turnover problems both for the positions of the board of directors but also for the top executive and management teams. This, in turn, negatively affects the club since the executive starts prioritizing short-term initiatives to please the members instead of focusing on long-term strategies, sustainable initiatives, and directives for performance and financial success.

Anna Sandäng and Eric Karlsson (2019). The legitimising role of accounting in a public debate: A case study of the Swedish candidacy for hosting the Olympic Winter Games 2026.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Marek Reuter. 

In this thesis, we examine the legitimising role of accounting in a public debate. We draw upon a case study of Sweden's candidacy for hosting the Winter Olympics in 2026, in which the budget for the games played a central and at the same time problematic role. The Olympic candidature turned out to be a complex procedure, where competing interests, power dynamics, and low confidence in the budget from the start characterised the process of legitimating the candidacy. Building upon the legitimacy process framework by Patriotta et al. (2011), we apply the concept of "orders of worth" to analyse the public debate and conceptualise the role of accounting in a legitimating process. We find that the role of accounting and the factors influencing it differs between the stages of the legitimating process. More specifically, we find that differing mobilisations of orders of worth affect an organisation's ability to legitimise a project to different stakeholders using accounting. In parallel, we show that the quality of current and past budgets also play a role in the legitimating process- We term this historical bias against accounting "the broken environment" since it affected the Swedish Olympic Committee's ability to legitimise the candidature using the budget. Thereby it influenced both the role of accounting and the legitimation process. 

Olle Göransson and Carl Hedström (2019). From bean counter to ball counter? An evaluation of the current role of the finance function in professional Swedish ice hockey and football clubs.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall.

This study examines the current role of the finance function in Swedish football and ice hockey clubs. We make three contributions to previous literature. First, by building on Janin's (2016) study on management accountants at a French football club, our work conduces advancements within an uncharted area of research within sports & accounting, namely, business partnering within the finance function. Our empirical findings reveal that the role of the finance function in Swedish football and ice hockey clubs varies across clubs, but also that distinct differences explained by environmental uncertainties are observed between the two sports. Second, we find that the level of business partnering exerted by the CFO is mostly dependent on three contingent variables, industry culture (external), environmental uncertainties (external), and organizational structure (internal) (Otley, 2016). These contingent variables influence the role expectations sent from other organizational members, which in turn shapes the role of the CFO. Third, inspired by Byrne & Pierce (2007), we build on the framework developed by Katz & Kahn (1978) by incorporating independent contingent variables. We claim that the extension of the framework facilitates holistic analysis of roles within complex organizations that are significantly impacted by external, industry-specific variables. 

Marcus Åvall and Falk Wahlström (2019). Winning without scoring on the field: How management accounting shapes the modern elite football club.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

Following an increasing commercialisation of sports in general and football in particular, modern sports organisations may need to challenge their current business model. Through a qualitative study of a Swedish elite football club, the aim of this paper has been to distinguish the roles of management accounting when reframing a sports organisation with a strong culture. We find that institutional logics succumb to business logics while tensions are mitigated through the deployment of a well-defined long-term strategy. By using a Foucauldian perspective, we studied the power dynamics employed and found that employees are mainly empowered by being increasingly measured, as opposed to what Foucault may suggest. We conclude that elite football clubs may use management accounting processes to achieve long-term stability while decreasing short-term focus on sport performance. 

Carl Grant and Marcus Skantze (2018). Numerical professionalization: The role of calculative practices in governing the individual football player.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

In a time of pervasive quantitative performance regimes and numerical professionalization, an investigation of individual accountability seems timely. This paper seeks to investigate the role of calculative practices in governing the emotions and performances of individuals within popular culture. By applying the lens of Foucault (1977) and viewing the concept of internalization as a cognitive state (Sauder and Espeland, 2009), our first main contribution is that performance measurement systems (PMS) seem to govern individuals by informing their emotions. We find that emotions are unique with a distinct PMS and dependent on the successful administration of the system to render positive cognitive connotations. Additionally, measures that appealed to self-interest seemed to generate productive emotions with players and positively impact their performances. The second main contribution was to highlight the role of the expert in creating productive emotions with individuals. Credible data collection of the administered PMS, management of personal relationships with players, and avoiding mixing qualitative and quantitative discourse, were important factors to decrease negative cognitions between players and administered PMS. 

Christoffer Gerdin and Christian Rump (2017). Predicting Financial Distress: A model for the European Football Industry.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Kenth Skogsvik. 

The present study successfully develops a probit model that predicts financial distress for European football clubs. The model consists of both financial variables that are common in accounting-based bankruptcy prediction models as well as financial and non-financial variables that capture the distinct characteristics of the football industry. While it significantly outperforms naïve decision rules in classifying clubs as distressed or surviving, it achieves a lower accuracy compared to those attained in many prominent bankruptcy prediction studies. The lower predictive accuracy can be explained by the unique conditions under which football clubs operate. The model is based on a sample of 208 European clubs in the 2006-2016 period that mostly are private or public limited companies and that play in UEFA's top divisions. Using the model at hand, stakeholders of football clubs can make better-informed and more timely decisions in their interactions with clubs. 

Rikard Edvardsson and Michael Kestad (2017). Controlling the journey from amateur to pro: Institutional work in sport organizations.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

In light of the professionalization of elite sports, the field has become divided into two parts, the amateur and the professional level, with differing conditions and logics that affect the design and use of management control systems (MCS). Taking a holistic view of how MCS develop in sport organizations that move from amateur to professional, we add to the previous research on management control and sports that mainly has explored narrow topics of control. This multiple case study examines three Swedish football clubs that made the journey to tier 1 in a similar time period, although in separate ways, as the clubs engaged in different types of institutional work: maintaining, creating, and disrupting. We make three main contributions: First, regardless of MCS professionalization, soft controls are the dominant form of control when moving from amateur to professional, in which culture, values, and beliefs are used as the main controls. Second, despite the isomorphism in sports, strong institutional actors are able to challenge norms and practices, as the three clubs, through the design of their MCS, engaged in different institutional work. Third, we argue that the absence of a distinct institutional actor should be understood as the main reason for conformity among sport organizations, rather than solely strong institutional pressures. 

Hang Nguyen and Beichen Chen (2017). Talent management in sports - A qualitative analysis of Swedish sport federations.

Department of Management and Organization, Supervisor: Pernilla Bolander. 

The purpose of this thesis is to explore how Swedish sport federations define talent, how they conduct their talent management practices and which factors that affect talent definitions and talent management in different sports. To investigate this a theoretical framework is designed which merges the literature from the field of talent definitions in business, talent management in sports and institutional logics in sports. The method used is an explorative abductive approach with a qualitative study design. In-depth interviews were conducted in 12 different Swedish sport federations. Our conclusion is that there is a homogeneity in how the sports define talent and how they conduct their talent management activities. There is a strong focus on motivation when talent is defined and little focus on results. Talent identification is done by using different assessment methods. The view shared among the sports is that there is a variety of factors that are important for elite success. Another similarity between the sport federations is that there is a strong emphasis on adapting to individual needs when it comes to talent development. A factor which affects talent development is how the sports are organized in the Swedish sports model, a model which we confirm gives rise to institutional pluralism between the sport-for-all logic and the result-oriented logic. 

Amanda Sochon and Anna Zdolsek (2017). The Sponsorship Collaboration – a Game on equal Terms? A qualitative study of gender-influence in football sponsorship collaborations

Department of Management and Organization, Supervisor: Karin Svedberg Helgesson. 

Corporate interest in sponsorship is continuously increasing globally and sport is receiving the largest portion. In Sweden, a country ranked as one of the most gender-equal countries in the world, 46% of elite athletes are women but only 20% of sport sponsorship resources are allocated to this group. While previous research on women in sport found women to be restricted in the sport arena, adjusting to the prevailing male norm, sponsorship literature has illuminated how a corporation can benefit from, and use sponsorship. The few studies that have connected the two research areas have studied single aspects of sponsorship collaborations influenced by gender. Lacking in research is still a holistic perspective of the sponsorship collaboration in relation to gender to further understand which aspects and why they influence the possibilities of women's clubs in obtaining and maintaining sponsorship collaborations. In order to isolate aspects influenced by gender in sponsorship collaboration and set a direction for future research in the field a qualitative multiple-case study on the elite level in Swedish football was undertaken. Interviews with nine football clubs; four women-only, three men-only, two with men's and women's teams, and nine football sponsors, were undertaken in relation to sponsorship collaborations. These showed that gender is foremost influential in the pre-phase and the start-up phase of collaboration. Furthermore, aspects such as personal influence, continuous collaborations, and untargeted measurements that previously were favoring men to obtain and maintain sponsorship are still related to gender but either one can experience the benefits. Gender per se was however not found to influence the management of the collaboration or evaluations, foremost related to the possibilities of maintaining sponsorship. 

Marcus Kristensson and Gabriel Spetz (2016). The interrelations of intrafirm management control and inter-organizational relationships: A study of sponsorship activities within elite sports clubs.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

This paper adds to the emerging stream of literature on the interrelations between intra- and interfirm management control by looking into how various forms of collaborations influence, and are in turn influenced, by internal management control systems (MCS). We draw theoretically on Merchant & Van der Stede's (2003) result, action, personnel and cultural controls, which are used as a package to analyze mutual influences between the firm and its various collaborations. The chosen empirical method is a multiple case study design in the context of Swedish elite hockey clubs and their various forms of sponsorship collaborations. Theory within sponsorship is found helpful in identifying how the commercialization of sports influences the motivations of the club and its sponsorship partners, which allows for a classification of collaborations in terms of low and high strategic integration. It is found that the closer the collaboration, the higher the impact is on a firm's internal MCS. It is also shown how adding intrafirm competencies by adjusting internal management control systems leads to closer and more intense collaborations. 

Johan Hanström and Caroline Lundström  (2015). Budgeting for gold or profit? A case study on budget uses within a Swedish elite ice hockey organisation.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall.

This paper explores, through a single-case study, the budget uses and roles of budgeting within a professional ice hockey organisation that encompasses different and sometimes diverging logic. We identify a sport and a managerial to enable an exploration of how different logics affect budget uses and roles of budgeting within the case organisation. Drawing upon recent work by Amans et al. (2015), we find that sport and managerial logics shape the budget uses in various ways. Further, we find that budgeting plays certain roles during three different processes studied: budget setting, monitoring, and revision. A particularly noteworthy role unfolds during the budget-setting process, as a tension between the two logics arises when the size of the player budget is to be decided. By deploying the Guardian and Advocate terminology of Wildavsky (1975), we illustrate how different organisational actors help manage the co-existence of multiple logics during the budget setting process, which in turn plays the role of an arena for discussion allowing for compromise (cf. Chenhall et al. 2013). We use previous literature on roles of budgeting to discuss and substantiate our findings, which contribute to the growing field of budget research in organisations facing institutional complexity (Ezzamel et al. 2012; Amans et al, 2015). 

Adrian Strömberg and Victor Wänerfjord (2015). Sports merited CEOs and firm performance: An empirical study of sports merited CEO characteristics and firm performance

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

This thesis examines whether the personal characteristics of chief executive officers (CEOs) - sports merits from endurance challenges - influence accounting firm performance. The linkage between executive traits and firm outcomes is well established and recognized in academia. Furthermore, adult sports engagement in long-distance races had increased and individuals who successfully cope with endurance performance are considered to possess a cocktail of traits cherished by executive recruiters. For the years 2003-2012, we have defined Swedish CEOs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as sports merited if they have completed demanding endurance challenges. Using data on accounting firm performance for SMEs matched with data on sports-merited CEOs, we quantitatively analyze whether firms run by sports-merited CEOs tend to perform better than firms whose CEOs are not defined as sports merited. Notably, the insignificant results found speak in favor of problematizing the current literature. Further, as executive recruiters consider experienced-based CEO personal characteristics to be of importance, this study adds complexity and facilitates a progress towards a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of CEOs and firm performance. 

Elina Hämäläinen (2015). Talent recruitment and development in hockey: A multiple-case study involving four Swedish ice hockey clubs.

Department of Management and Organization, Supervisor: Pernilla Bolander. 

Even though talent management has received more and more attention in recent years, the research around it is still young and lacking especially in empirical research in different kinds of organizational environments. The aim of this study is to broaden the scope of talent management research by examining how talent is managed, acquired and developed in professional ice hockey organizations in Sweden. In order to do this, an explorative multiple-case study was planned. Four Swedish ice hockey clubs playing in SHL, the highest ice hockey league in Sweden, were included in the study. Altogether 19 people were interviewed in these clubs with the intention of getting an understanding of the talent management practices applied. Tbe results of the study show that a variety of talent management activities is undertaken by these organizations and that the clubs themselves exhibit approaches very similar to each other in identifying, selecting and developing talent. 

Daniel Ahlenius and Anders Nyman (2015). Management Control Systems in Elite Sport Organizations - Understanding MCS structure in Swedish Professional sport clubs. 

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

This paper employs a qualitative survey approach to study the structure of formal management control systems ("MCS") among the top Swedish football and ice hockey clubs. Applying a theoretical framework based on research of initial MCS adoption among start-up companies, we create a unique and comprehensive empirical overview of MCS adoption in Swedish sport clubs. With this as a starting point, we develop a framework for understanding patterns in the core MCS structure across three stages of MCS professionalization. Our framework offers a point of origin for future research on control in a professional sports context, and could also be used by practitioners in the field looking to design MCS structures in professional sport clubs. 

Sarah Ahnström and Sofia Albertsson (2014). Management control systems for corporate sponsorship: A study of corporations’ holistic management of sponsorship.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Kalle Kraus. 

Corporate sponsorship continues to experience growth globally. The study investigates corporations' engagement in sports, culture and community-related sponsorship from a management control perspective. Previous research on corporations' management of sponsorship addresses the use of individual control elements but fails to acknowledge that control elements often interconnect in a control system. The study aims to address this gap by investigating how corporations manage sponsorship activities through the use of holistic management control systems (MCS). The analysis builds on a multiple case study, including six large Swedish companies, chosen for being active, front-tier sponsors in Swedish communities. Based on an abductive research approach, a theoretical MCS framework is developed by the authors. The holistic MCS consists of five control elements, where Merchant and Van der Stede's (2012) object-of-control framework (result, action, personnel and culture controls) is complemented by Malmi & Brown's (2008) organizational structure control. The findings show that various MCS configurations exist for sponsorship. Organizational structure controls and action controls are found to be the primary control elements, whereas result controls do not provide effective control due to the immeasurable nature of sponsorship effects. Personnel and culture controls are also of limited application in the sponsorship context, but it is found that an ownership culture baed on personal influences may enhance control rather than damage it, contradicting previous research. 

Ellen Ekblom and Denise Stengård (2014). Management control systems as a package in a hybrid organization: A case study of a Swedish elite football organization.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

This paper investigates the management control system (MCS) package in a hybrid organization. The aim of the study is to increase the knowledge and insight regarding how the design and use of the MCS package manage the co-existence of competing institutional logics in hybrid organizations. To reach this aim we conduct an in-depth case study of a Swedish elite football organization, Public F.C., and identify two inherent logics: the business logic and the sports logic. Combining Malmi & Brown’s (2008) MCS package framework with findings from previous research within institutional logics and hybrid organizations, we construct a theoretical framework, which guides the collection and analysis of data. Our findings show that the MCS package managed the co-existence of sports- and business logics by enabling the maintenance of separate institutional identities, while also facilitating collaboration and negotiation. We show how this was made possible by the design and use of the various MCSs; firstly, by designing and using the administrative controls as facilitators of collaboration and separation between the logics, and secondly, by designing and using a unique set of classic formal and cultural controls within each logic. Drawing upon Abernethy & Chua’s (1996) definition of internal consistency, we suggest that these two sets could be considered smaller, individual control packages, within the large MCS package.

Marcus Janback and Tor Pöllänen (2014). Management control systems in Swedish elite football associations - A case study on Djurgårdens IF Fotboll.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Walter Schuster. 

The sports organizations is, from an accounting perspective, a little researched area. This thesis adds accounting knowledge to the field through a single case study on Djurgårdens IF Fotboll (Djurgården), one of the top Swedish football clubs. The Swedish elite football industry has for well over a decade shifted towards an increasingly commercial environment, while the conditions for carrying out commercial activities fundamentally differ from the comparable business setting. The study is carried out with the aim to, using the Malmi & Brown (2008) management control system as a package framework, identify the current configuration of an elite sports association's management control systems. Moreover, such systems are, using the notion of institutional logics, put in relation to the Swedish elite sports association environment. The results suggest that an elite sports association, with some support of more formal control techniques, heavily relies on culturally oriented steering mechanisms in order to influence employee behavior. Furthermore, such management control system design can be traced to the organizational context, that to a large extent obstruct business-like rationalities to thrive. 

Louise Karlsson (2014). Management control systems in sport event organizations: How to cope with a pulsating nature and multiple stakeholders.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

Management control systems (MCS) are a common feature in most organizations. However, few have explored the functioning of MCS in sport event organizations. This paper aims to address this apparent gap, exploring how sports event organizations apply MCS and investigating how such systems are affected by the pulsating nature of the organizations' operations as well as by its stakeholders. A multiple case study, including six Swedish sport event organizations, serves as the basis of the analysis. Adopting a broad perspective on management control in order to capture both informal and formal controls and applying the framework by Malmi and Brown (2008) enabled the identification of the control elements. The distinction between participator and spectator events, as well as the concept of stakeholders and the pulsating organization, were found useful and enhancing the understanding of MCS in sport event organizations. The findings suggest that stakeholders' effect on MCS differs depending on the characteristics of the stakeholders. Furthermore, action planning is found to be a prominent control element assisting sport event organizations in managing the inherent pulsating nature of the operations. 

Jonas Bukenas (2014). Benefits of Sponsoring a Football Club: An event study.

Department of Economics, Supervisor: Erik Meyersson. 

Motivated by an increased interest in sports industry, this paper examined the relationship between a football club's performance in the UEFA Champions League and its jersey sponsor's stock price. The paper aims to quantify the benefits of football sponsorships, expand current academic knowledge about sport sponsorships and provide insights into why companies are investing increasing amounts of money into football clubs. A total of 9 teams and 12 sponsoring companies were used in this analysis which covered 12 seasons, starting from 2001/02. Using the event study methodology it was found that despite the outcome, positive abnormal returns can be observed after every game. Additionally, the size of a company and the stock exchange where the company is listed seem to be important factors affecting abnormal returns. There is some evidence that the pre-game probability of a team winning or losing a game decreases abnormal returns however these results lack statistical significance. 

Bernhard Böhm (2014). The downside of fandom and sponsorships: An empirical study of sports team rivalry and other negative sport sponsorship effects.

Department of Marketing and Strategy, Supervisor: Magnus Söderlund. 

This study examines how sports team rivalry and other negative sport sponsorship effects can interfere with a successful sponsorship agreement between a sponsor and its sponsored object. The study consists of two sections, a quantitative, as well as a qualitative research part. In the quantitative part of the study, I have focused my research on European club football and analyzed rival fans' reactions in the highest club football competitions in Austria and Germany. Results showed that fans of the examined football teams transferred their negative rivalry feelings towards their rival's sponsors. However, not all sponsors were fully influenced by this negative image transfer. For this, influencing factors were analyzed. The level of fan identification showed no significant influence on fans' responses; however, the cause of the cooperation deal did. Furthermore, it was found that there is a statistically significant interaction between the effects of sponsorship level and geographic origin of a rival brand on fans' responses towards this brand. An experimental design was used to test those hypotheses. The qualitative research part tried to examine what fans' reactions look like if their favorite team's main sponsor acts in a legally or socially controversial way. This was done through a Netnography study of two different German football fan groups. The study tried to analyze supporters' opinions towards their controversial main sponsor. Results showed that it seems like the longer and more intense a sponsorship deal lasts, the easier sponsor and team become "one" in the supporters' mindsets and, as a further step, negative opinions towards this controversial sponsor seem to disappear. The implications of these studies' findings for both managers in the business world as well as football club officials are discussed. Managers are recommended to consider possible negative effects of sponsorships in subgroups. Similarly, team sport officials have to strategically analyze their potential main sponsors and consider future scenarios. 

BSc Theses

Oliver Lindqvist Parbratt and Marcus Wernersson (2019). Thinking differently about a newly implemented pms: a single-case study of a swedish elite football club.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Martin Carlsson-Wall. 

In an attempt to explore an unexplored linkage in previous literature on accounting and sport, this thesis investigates how differences in thought worlds in a Swedish elite football club may lead to differences in effects on organizational routines of an implemented performance measurement system (PMS). This is done by performing a qualitative single-case study on a Swedish elite football club, and developing a theoretical framework based on the concepts of thought worlds and organizational routines from Dougherty (1992) and integrated with Weick's (1995) sensemaking and his discussion of the pulsating interrelation between intersubjectivity and generic subjectivity. Through this, it is found that: (1) thought worlds and organizational routines differ between the business and sport parts of a football club; (2) the implementation of a PMS may give rise to uncertainty in its interruptive entrance; and, (3) the PMS is better (worse) received if the contents of it are compatible (incompatible) with the sensemaking processes of the thought worlds. 

Gustaf Banér and Christian Thorwid (2015). Är det tanken som räknas? En kvantitativ studie om hur sponsorskapsmotiv och kongruensnivå påverkar sponsorskapsutfall inom e-sport.

Department of Marketing, Supervisor: Jonas Colliander. 

The e-sport industry has experienced enormous growth the recent years and is not showing any signs of stopping. This has led to the emergence of incongruent companies looking to reap the benefits of an emerging market. With this in mind, a skeptically characterized target group could induce a stronger need for marketing efforts to be perceived as authentic. Within e-sports, sponsorship is the dominant form of marketing. Thus, this study aims to investigate how the perceived motives of a sponsor affect the sponsorship outcome, and what influence different levels of congruency have. Attribution theory is used as a framework to hypothesize the effects of authentic sponsorship motives and congruency. An experiment was conducted where four different press releases were designed. These were conveyed by either a congruent sponsor or an incongruent sponsor with authentic or less authentic motives. The sponsorship outcome was measured and compared between the four groups. The results are inconclusive, but the study indicates that an incongruent sponsor to establish congruency rather than solely signaling authentic sponsorship motives, to increase sponsorship outcome. Furthermore, the study supports previous research regarding sponsorship motives, and establishes that a congruent sponsor is naturally perceived as having more authentic motives. 

Johan Lindbäck and Tobias Bengtsdahl (2015). Management control systems in a hybrid organization facing financial problems.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Per Ewing. 

This thesis aims to further increase the knowledge regarding hybrid organizations and their use of management control systems (MCS). Unlike previous research, the aim is to examine a shorter time span and to add insight to the specific use of MCSs and the effect of hybridity when facing an internal financial crisis. The study is conducted by looking at one type of organization that is subject to multiple institutional logics: an elite sports organization. Based on Malmi & Brown's MCS package (2008), a theoretical framework has been designed in order to examine the use of in-crisis control systems. Combining this framework with Pache and Santos' (2010) theories regarding organizational responses when facing competing institutional demands, the thesis finds that sports has been heavily prioritized ahead of business. This has been played out by unequal treatment of the two different organizational units where the sports unit's MCSs were almost untouched whereas the business unit had to make heavy cutbacks. The paper's conclusion, as previous research suggests, is that non-profit organizations merely see financials as a means and are prone to put non-financial goals ahead of financials. Adding on to previous research, this has been found to be true also when examining a shorter time period. 

Oscar Lundqvist and Philip Green (2015). Measurability of corporate Sponsorship in sport events: An empirical study of Ericsson’s and Stora Enso’s commitment in the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun.

Department of Accounting, Supervisor: Per Ewing. 

The number of companies that get involved in sponsorship has been increasing over the years and today sponsorship is a fully global industry (Stotlar 2004). Despite this little research has been made in the area, and in particular in the field of corporate sponsorship and measurability. Some research made, often concludes that measuring Return On Investment from sponsorship activities is difficult, why it rarely is discussed in the financial reports. In this thesis, we aim to address the measurability of corporate sponsorship, through a multiple case study at two Swedish large corporations and their engagement in the 2015 FIS Ski World Championship. Among the conclusions, it's found that sponsorship and measurability are highly experience-based. From experience, a company can find ways to quantify and measure Return on Objectives. By being able to quantify and measure sponsorship activities, a company can further increase the level of sophistication in a managerial control system, and better find a purpose of sponsorship that maximizes value. 

Anna Söderlind and Emma Nilsson (2015). Decision-Making Processes for Different Categories of Sport Sponsorship.

Department of Marketing, Supervisor: Hans Kjellberg. 

Sport sponsorship is becoming an increasingly used marketing measure. Companies spend billions of dollars on sponsoring every year and revenues from sponsoring constitute an essential part of the sports associations' and athletes' businesses. Despite this, many aspects of sponsorship are still unexplored. This thesis aims to create a better understanding of how decision-making processes work and differ for varying categories of sport sponsorship collaborations in Sweden. This is done through interviewing ten Swedish companies active in a number of industries and studying the composition of their sponsorship activities and processes. By analyzing the results from the interviews with the help of relevant marketing and management theory, structures in the decision-making processes of the different sport sponsorship categories are found. It is shown that some sponsorship categories can be defined as traditional, with characteristics such as long-lasting contracts, vague objectives, and inconsequential use of policies leading to indistinct decision-making processes and results. Meanwhile, other sponsorship categories can be defined as modern, with attributes like large decision-making units, distinct strategies, and active involvement from the sponsoring company, resulting in sponsorship activities corresponding closely with the core business activities.