ESMT Case Study

Team France: Chronicle of a disaster foretold

ESMT Case Study No. ESMT-411-0124-1
Subject(s): Human resources management/organizational behavior
Keyword(s): leadership, authorization, de-authorization, mutiny, followers, ethics, revolt, team, high-performance teams

The case recounts the development of the French national soccer team between 2004 - when Raymond Domenech became head coach for the French national team - and the devastating performances on and off the field by Team France during the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. After a brief overview of French soccer history, the case introduces Raymond Domenech and provides information about his career up to 2004. It presents his unique character and the soccer philosophy that made him such a promising new head coach for the French soccer team. The case continues by describing the developments over the coming years. Its main focus is Domenech but the case also looks at the soccer players - specifically their roles and behaviors vis-à-vis Domenech - the French Football Federation (FFF) as the organization that gave Domenech the job of head coach, as well as developments in the public's perception of Domenech and his work. The narrative culminates in a description of the events on June 20, 2010, when - as an act of solidarity with a player who was dismissed from the team and the tournament - the French soccer team, in front of the television cameras, refused to follow Domenech and boycotted the public training that was announced for that day. The case ends by describing the reactions of fans, media, politicians, and French officials to the events, the measures that the FFF took following the scandal, and the interpretations different observers formulated in the weeks that followed.

Teaching note Yes
Length 14p
Industry Sports
Geographical setting France
Setting period 2004–2010
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