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Organizational Design and Change

Case Study Proposal

Case Study on Sir Alex Ferguson How to sustain success at top


level for a very long time

Submitted to:
Prof. A.K. Jain

Submitted by:
Section B | Group 2
Aditya Bansal (15P064)
Anish Barjatya (15P067)
Somyata Rastogi (15P070)
Rohan Deshpande (15P076)
Himanshu Jhamb (15P083)
Vikas Gupta (15P120)

Case Study on Sir Alex Ferguson How to sustain success at top


level for a very long time
"The third year," the great Hungarian coach Bela Guttmann always said, "is
fatal." If a manager stays at a club more than that, he said, his players tend
to become bored and/or complacent and opponents start to work out
counter-strategies. Two of the greatest managers in football currently, Jose
Mourinho and Pep Guardiola has so far confirmed Guttmanns 3 years theory
with neither staying at a single club for more than 3 years. Guttmann's
solution was to keep moving and never hanging around long enough for
entropy to set in. However, there is one glaring exception to the 3 year rule,
Sir Alex Ferguson. He spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester
United. During that time the club won 13 English league titles along with 25
other domestic and international trophiesgiving him an overall haul nearly
double that of the next-most-successful English club manager. And Ferguson
was far more than a coach. He played a central role in the United
organization, managing not just the first team but the entire club. Steve
Jobs was Apple; Sir Alex Ferguson is Manchester United, said the clubs
former chief executive David Gill.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been able to buck the trend by constantly changing
older players and replacing them with younger players with hunger to
achieve success. Any player who showed the slightest sign of wavering from
the one true path was ruthlessly dealt with. Sir Alex stated that no one was
bigger or better than the club, and this was not more evident when in 2005

Alex sacked the team captain Roy Keane for publicly criticising the club and
his teammates. Some very talented players like David Beckham and Jaap
Stam that could have given much more to Manchester United had to leave
because they did not fit into the system. It was a clear conflict between the
very strict frames established by Ferguson and these players interests. His
control over the organization and distinct leadership style ended up with him
building at least five distinct teams that went on to win the Premier League
titles.
In this case study we will try to understand Sir Alex Ferguson success at
Manchester United for such a long time in terms of organizational behavior
theories. We will also try to understand the role played by a leader in the
organization by studying how his successors have struggled to maintain that
hunger as United finished in 7th position with practically the same team with
which Sir Alex Ferguson managed to win the title in his last season before
retirement.