Week 3 Dilemmas Discussion

Movie Moneyball (2011)

Movie Summary

In the movie, Moneyball (2011), Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) puts together a baseball team for the Oakland A’s using a mathematical formula that he learns from Peter Brand (Jonah Hill). With the limited budget that the A’s have Billy, the General Manager, couldn’t keep his three best players from the previous season. While scouting in Cleveland to replace the players that he lost, Billy attempts to conduct trades with the General Manager of the Indians, but every offer is turned down because Peter doesn’t see value in them. Peter is recruited to work for Billy, and they build a team of undervalued players based on potential not the formula of looks and personalities. The method of how Billy and Peter build the team is not like by the scouts or Head Coach of the A’s. The head coach, Art Howe (Philip Seymour), refuses to follow Billy’s advice on who to play which causes the team to struggle on the field, resulting in losing many games. Art blames the failures on Billy. Art is quick to point out that Billy is the General Manager and not the Head Coach, so Art can do whatever he wants with the players that he has on the team. Billy is forced to trade off the players that Art has been starting instead of what is recommended to prove that the team that he built can be successful. After the team, that Billy put together, finally gets a chance to work the way that the team was designed they go on a winning streak that sets records. The team ended their season by losing the Division Championship, but their way of working together with the formula led to other teams adopting the formula. One team won the World Series two years later by following the formula.  

Concept from Entrepreneurship

In The Founder’s Dilemma, (Wasserman, 2012) chapter 5, the author covers the Role Dilemma: Positions and Decision Making. Wasserman writes about how some founders don’t want a title, and others only want to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Titles might not seem important at the beginning of a company but as the company matures titles become important in how outsiders view the founders. The title in a business determines how has the authority to make the final decision, and more importantly who could be praised or blame for how things turn out.

The Link

In the film Moneyball, the business is the baseball team the Oakland A’s. The team has been established and is not being founded at the time, but the roles and titles of the management cause friction between the characters. The General Manager has been given the role of recruiting and developing the roster into a winning team by the Team Owner. The Head Coach has the role of using the players on the roster to the best of his ability to win games. The movie highlights how both roles are trying to complete the task given to them, to win, but the Head Coach refuses to follow the General Manager’s vision. Billy must take measures to force Art to do what he wants him to do. In the movie the press and the public blame Billy for the losses. Billy is facing losing his job because the roster was his vision and responsibility no matter how Art chooses to use the player. Once the team starts winning the press praises the Head Coach, but after the season is over it is Billy who is offered a job and huge pay raise because of what he did.

Reference list (APA style)

Miller, B. (2011). Moneyball. Columbia Pictures.
Wasserman, N. (2012). “Chapter 5 Role Dilemma: Positions and Decision Making “, The Founder’s Dilemmas, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey

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