Author

Eric Hoffman

Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Leadership Studies

Abstract

My research has yielded two distinctive types of literature which I will be combining in my research to develop logical conclusions that will provide support for the basic hypothesis: The ability of a commissioner to effectively exercise leadership skills in crisis and negotiation has a correlated effect upon the popularity and marketability of the sport. The two categories of literature are leadership textbooks and newspaper articles primarily written by sports journalists.

The main hypothesis that will be tested in this research project is that when a commissioner competently exercises crisis management, conflict resolution, and communication skills in the eyes of the print media (and inherently from there to the eyes of the sport's fans), the commissioner advances the popularity and marketability of the game. The alternative hypothesis to this is that competent execution of leadership activity will have no effect on the popularity of the game. Both hypotheses have examples which will provide support, but it will be my end to determine an actual conclusion to this inconsistency.

In summary, this paper has shown that leader action can and does effect the popularity and marketability of professional sports leagues. The main leader actions which are observed in the press and are therefore relevant are the resolution conflict and the management of crisis. It is essential that the next person selected to be MLB Commissioner have an aptitude with these skills and be able to communicate well with the media.

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