Previous research has examined the effect of changes in upper management positions on actual organizational performance; however, the influence of leadership changes on performance expectations has been largely neglected. This gap in the literature is surprising given that failure to meet expectations leads to dismissal. The purpose of the present research is to analyze how coaching changes affect expectations of a sports team’s performance. Betting lines are used as performance expectations because they are unbiased forecasts of game outcomes. This study uses data from 13 seasons of the German Football Bundesliga. Significant positive timelagged effects on performance expectations are evident when examining underlying expected performance. These positive effects are evident 8 weeks after the leadership change, indicating that new leaders are expected to need some time before significant performance improvements are expected to occur.
Brian P. Soebbing is with the School of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. Pamela Wicker is with the Department of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Daniel Weimar is with the Department of Managerial Economics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany.