The business of football
The business of football

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

1 What motivates people to work?

Some football players are highly paid and receive strong recognition for their work but this does not automatically lead to them being motivated individuals. In football it certainly isn’t always the case – there have been many examples of high profile footballers in teams apparently lacking the motivation to play well.

If the ‘perfect’ job as a professional footballer isn’t enough, what is? And what motivates us all to get up in the morning and go to work?  We start to explore some of this in the following sections.

Apart from financial necessity, there are many reasons why people go to work. Happy, motivated people are a key component in both a successful football team and a business.

Figure 1

Activity 1 What motivates you to work?

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Consider your workplace and what motivates you to go to work each day. Jot down the main words or phrases that come to mind.

Click on 'Reveal discussion' to read some of our thoughts.


These are some of the words or phrases that we came up with:

Some people are seeking rewards, whether these be financial or aspects such as recognition or a sense of self-worth. Some people go to work to thrive and need social interaction whilst other personality types prefer independence and like to work alone. Those whose work is their passion are likely to use phrases like job satisfaction.

Two other aspects often feature:

  • Work can give people an identity. We feel that we belong to a group of people, such as being a physiotherapist or an accountant or being an integral part of a team. Belonging and identity are an inherent part of a football club too.
  • Some people are drawn to their work which might involve doing good for others – social workers, school teachers, nurses or those who work for community or charity schemes for example.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371