When the Managerial Merry-go-round Stops: A Case Study of how Disconfirming Episodes Affect the Identities of Expert Football Managers


Due to the highly competitive nature of top-level football (i.e., top domestic league or international standard) expert football managers often undergo several disconfirming episodes throughout their careers (e.g., job loss, public criticism, unsuccessful interviews or career moves). However, little is known about how such episodes are experienced and impact identity. Therefore, the following case study aims explore the affect, if any, disconfirming experiences had on the identities and self-concept of three, unemployed, top-level football managers. Narrative constructs reveal that during disconfirming episodes’ managers experience feelings of anger, a loss of self-respect, disappointment, and sadness. Further, they also report how confusion regarding their future career prospects leaves them in a state of limbo (i.e., identity interference), whereby they were unsure as to how, when or if they should cease their commitment to a valued identity.

The Psychologist-Manager Journal

Full citation

Mills, J. P. (2019). When the managerial merry-go-round stops: A case study of how disconfirming episodes affect the identities of expert football managers. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 22(1), 46-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/mgr0000083