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Book Review: Moneyball as Sport Finance in Action: But are the Lessons from Baseball More Generally Applicable?


  • Richard Wolfe

    () (University of Michigan)

  • Kathy Babiak

    (University of Michigan)

  • Kim Cameron

    () (University of Michigan)

  • Robert E. Quinn

    () (University of Michigan)

  • Dennis L. Smart

    (Texas State University)

  • James R. Terborg

    (University of Oregon)

  • Patrick M. Wright

    (Cornell University)


Moneyball (Lewis, 2003) is a book about baseball. The book describes how a small-market Major League Baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, has been able to compete with large-market teams by being innovative in a tradition-laden industry. However, when read through a business management lens, one discerns that this baseball book, in fact, has general management lessons in a variety of areas including leadership, innovation, overcoming resistance to change, and creating a sustainable competitive advantage. In this article, we outline and illustrate the valuable lessons for business that emerge from the Moneyball story. More specifically, we provide a brief overview of the book; summarize arguments for applying Moneyball ideas to management as presented in the popular media as well as in academia; determine the underlying management themes contained in the Moneyball story; and propose Moneyball lessons for managers.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Wolfe & Kathy Babiak & Kim Cameron & Robert E. Quinn & Dennis L. Smart & James R. Terborg & Patrick M. Wright, 2007. "Book Review: Moneyball as Sport Finance in Action: But are the Lessons from Baseball More Generally Applicable?," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 2(4), pages 249-262, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:2:y:2007:i:4:p:249-262

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul, Rodney J. & Weinbach, Andrew P., 2007. "The uncertainty of outcome and scoring effects on Nielsen ratings for Monday Night Football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 199-211.
    2. Michael R. Butler, 2002. "Interleague Play and Baseball Attendance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(4), pages 320-334, November.
    3. Daniel Rascher, 1997. "A model of a professional sports league," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 3(3), pages 327-328, August.
    4. Kahn, Lawrence M & Sherer, Peter D, 1988. "Racial Differences in Professional Basketball Players' Compensation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 40-61, January.
    5. Stefan Kesenne & Wilfried Pauwels, 2006. "Club Objectives and Ticket Pricing in Professional Team Sports," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 549-560, Summer.
    6. Christopher R. Bollinger & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2003. "The Upside Potential of Hiring Risky Workers: Evidence from the Baseball Industry," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 923-944, October.
    7. Kanazawa, Mark T & Funk, Jonas P, 2001. "Racial Discrimination in Professional Basketball: Evidence from Nielsen Ratings," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 599-608, October.
    8. Hausman, Jerry A & Leonard, Gregory K, 1997. "Superstars in the National Basketball Association: Economic Value and Policy," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 586-624, October.
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    More about this item


    competition; innovation; resistance to change; innovation diffusion; competitive advantage;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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