A regression analysis of predictors on the productivity indices of Major League Baseball: 1985–2003

2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

This ex post facto nonexperimental constructive replication study revisited earlier work by Grusky (1961, 1963), Gamson and Scotch (1964), and Gordon and Becker (1964) on whether Major League Baseball (MLB) managerial succession reflected scapegoating behaviors. Also there was interest in learning if selected independent variables were predictive of a team's won-loss record, termed the productivity index.

Nineteen-years of relevant data was collected from 26 of the 30 MLB teams. The four excluded were relatively new expansion teams. The dependent variable of team efficiency, a productivity index, was the won-loss records during the tenure of a specific manager with a given team. Eight independent variables we selected as predictors: on-base percentage, on-base plus slugging percentage, walks plus hits per inning pitched, stolen-base efficiency, total team salaries, length of manager tenure, average strikeouts per nine-innings, and managerial change.

The conclusions were: (1) The two most potent predictors of team efficiency were the on-base plus slugging percentage (OBS) and the walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) statistics. According to the model studied, those two independent variables accounted for 26% of the variance in prediction. Using all eight independent variables resulted in a 27% variance. (2) Capable players who consistently performed up to expectations were the determining factor influencing productivity indices. (3) According to the model studied, managerial succession was not critical for improving a team's productivity index.

Recommendations on pursuing future research included: (1) Manager approaches on actions resulting in success or failure, on intangibles such as risk-taking and team culture. (2) Qualitative approaches including interviewing current and former players, managers, team management and owners on the relative role and importance of a manager. (3) Mixed method approaches including interviewing media personnel and relevant fans on the importance of a manager. (4) Repeat the study using a longer time period and use other independent variables.

Indexing (details)

0454: Management
0814: Recreation
0463: Statistics
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Pure sciences, Baseball, Major League Baseball, Managerial succession, Productivity indices
A regression analysis of predictors on the productivity indices of Major League Baseball: 1985–2003
Stick, Jeremy Daniel
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
0542285665, 9780542285660
King, James W.
The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
University location
United States -- Nebraska
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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