How Coaching Ability Moderates Player Incentives to Perform: A Hierarchical Bayesian Approach of the NFL

in Journal of Sport Management
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

1 year subscription

USD  $111.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $159.00

2 year subscription

USD  $208.00

Do better coaches strengthen player incentives to perform? This research examines how coaching ability moderates extrinsic motivators (salary and contracts) on player performance. Building on motivation and sports psychology theory, this study proposes that better coaches facilitate higher paid players to perform. However, the author proposes that an increase in coaching ability weakens player performance when contracts are used as motivators. Making this challenging is evaluating player performance, especially in disentangling the player’s performance from that of the team. To address these concerns, a hierarchical linear model with empirical Bayesian processes is used; the model separates player and group effects by allowing for nonindependent observations (i.e., player performance depends on team members and competitors). Using a novel and holistic data set of National Football League player performance, the findings show that, on average, an increase in coaching ability is associated with higher player performance. Coaching ability does not significantly moderate salary on player performance. Yet, increasing coaching ability negatively moderates contractual incentives on player performance. The research concludes with implications and future research directions.

The author is with the College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA.

Address correspondence to akoschma@emich.edu.
  • Allen, W.D., & Chadwick, C. (2012). Performance, expectations, and managerial dismissal: Evidence from the National Football League. Journal of Sports Economics, 13(4), 337363. doi:10.1177/1527002512450257

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Annala, C.N., & Winfree, J. (2011). Salary distribution and team performance in Major League Baseball. Sport Management Review, 14(2), 167175. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2010.08.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berman, S.L., Down, J., & Hill, C.W. (2002). Tacit knowledge as a source of competitive advantage in the National Basketball Association. The Academy of Management Journal, 45(1), 1331.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berri, D.J., & Burke, B. (2012). Measuring productivity of NFL players. In K. Quinn (Ed.), The economics of the National Football League: The state of the art (pp. 137158). New York, NYSpringer.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berri, D.J., & Krautmann, A.C. (2006). Shirking on the court: Testing for the incentive effects of guaranteed pay. Economic Inquiry, 44(3), 536546. doi:10.1093/ei/cbj033

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berri, D.J., Leeds, M.A., Leeds, E.M., & Mondello, M. (2009). The role of managers in team performance. International Journal of Sport Finance, 4(2), 7593.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Berri, D.J., & Simmons, R. (2009). Race and the evaluation of signal callers in the National Football League. Journal of Sports Economics, 10(1), 2343. doi:10.1177/1527002508327383

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bishop, J.W., & Scott, K.D. (2000). An examination of organizational and team commitment in a self-directed team environment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(3), 439450. PubMed ID: 10900817 doi:10.1037/0021-9010.85.3.439

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bradbury, J.C. (2017). Hired to be fired: The publicity value of managers. Managerial and Decision Economics, 38(7), 929940. doi:10.1002/mde.2834

  • Byanna, N., & Klabjan, D. (2016). Evaluating the performance of offensive linemen in the NFL. (Northwestern University Working Paper, Evanston, IL).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cao, Z., Price, J., & Stone, D.F. (2011). Performance under pressure in the NBA. Journal of Sports Economics, 12(3), 231252. doi:10.1177/1527002511404785

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dirks, K.T. (2000). Trust in leadership and team performance: Evidence from NCAA basketball. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(6), 10041012. PubMed ID: 11125648 doi:10.1037/0021-9010.85.6.1004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eitzen, D.S., & Yetman, N.R. (1972). Managerial change, longevity, and organizational effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 17(1), 110116. doi:10.2307/2392099

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fair, R.C. (2008). Estimated age effects in baseball. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 4(1), 139. doi:10.2202/1559-0410.1074

  • Feltz, D.L., Chase, M.A., Moritz, S.E., & Sullivan, P.J. (1999). A conceptual model of coaching efficacy: Preliminary investigation and instrument development. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(4), 765776. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.91.4.765

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fizel, J.L., & D’Itri, M.P. (1996). Estimating managerial efficiency: The case of college basketball coaches. Journal of Sport Management, 10(4), 435445. doi:10.1123/jsm.10.4.435

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frey, B.S., & Jegen, R. (2001). Motivation crowding theory. Journal of Economic Surveys, 15(5), 589611. doi:10.1111/1467-6419.00150

  • Frick, B. (2004). Management abilities, player salaries, and team performance. In S.R. Rosner& K.L. Shropshire (Eds.), The business of sports (pp. 285289). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frick, B. (2011). Performance, salaries, and contract length: Empirical evidence from German soccer. International Journal of Sport Finance, 6(2), 87118.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frick, B., & Simmons, R. (2008). The impact of managerial quality on organizational performance: Evidence from German soccer. Managerial and Decision Economics, 29(7), 593600. doi:10.1002/mde.1431

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Giambatista, R.C. (2004). Jumping through hoops: A longitudinal study of leader life cycles in the NBA. The Leadership Quarterly, 15(5), 607624. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2004.07.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hayes, R.M., & Schaefer, S. (1999). How much are differences in coaching ability worth? Journal of Accounting and Economics, 27(2), 125148. doi:10.1016/S0165-4101(99)00007-5

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B.B. (1959). The motivation to work. New York, NY: Wiley.

  • Hitt, M.A., Biermant, L., Shimizu, K., & Kochhar, R. (2001). Direct and moderating effects of human capital on strategy and performance in professional service firms: A resource-based perspective. The Academy of Management journal, 44(1), 1328.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hofmann, D.A., & Gavin, M.B. (1998). Centering decisions in hierarchical linear models: Implications for research in organizations. Journal of Management, 24(5), 623641. doi:10.1177/014920639802400504

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holcomb, T.R., Holmes, R.M., Jr., & Connelly, B.L. (2009). Making the most of what you have: Managerial ability as a source of resource value creation. Strategic Management Journal, 30(5), 457485. doi:10.1002/smj.747

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Idson, T., & Kahane, L. (2004). Teammate effects on pay. Applied Economics Letters, 11(12), 731733. doi:10.1080/1350485042000254872

  • Idson, T.L., & Kahane, L.H. (2000). Team effects on compensation: An application to salary determination in the National Hockey League. Economic Inquiry, 38(2), 345357. doi:10.1111/j.1465-7295.2000.tb00022.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kahane, L.H. (2001). Team and player effects on NHL player salaries: A hierarchical linear model approach. Applied Economics Letters, 8(9), 629632. doi:10.1080/13504850010028607

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kahn, L.M. (1993). Coaching quality, team success, and individual player performance in major league baseball. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 46(3), 531547. doi:10.1177/001979399304600306

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Katz, R.L. (1974). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 52(5), 90102.

  • Keegan, R.J., Harwood, C.G., Spray, C.M., & Lavallee, D. (2014). A qualitative investigation of the motivational climate in elite sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15(1), 97107. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.10.006

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kor, Y.Y. (2003). Experience-based top management team competence and sustained growth. Organization Science, 14(6), 707719. doi:10.1287/orsc.14.6.707.24867

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Koschmann, A. (2017). A peer-relative perspective of the contract year phenomenon using Bayesian analysis. Journal of Applied Sport Management, 9(4), 19. doi:10.18666/JASM-2017-V9-I4-8071

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krautmann, A.C., & Donley, T.D. (2009). Shirking in Major League Baseball revisited. Journal of Sports Economics, 10(3), 292304. doi:10.1177/1527002508325817

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krautmann, A.C., & Oppenheimer, M. (2002). Contract length and the return to performance in Major League Baseball. Journal of Sports Economics, 3(1), 617. doi:10.1177/1527002502003001002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kreft, I., & de Leeuw, J. (1998). Introducing multilevel modeling. London, UK: Sage Publications.

  • Mageau, G.A., & Vallerand, R.J. (2003). The coach–athlete relationship: A motivational model. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(11), 883904. doi:10.1080/0264041031000140374

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Raudenbush, S.W., & Bryk, A.S. (1992). Hierarchical linear models. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  • Raudenbush, S.W., & Bryk, A.S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  • Raudenbush, S.W., Bryk, A.S., Cheong, Y.F., Congdon, R., & du Toit, M. (2006). HLM 6: Hierarchical linear and nonlinear modeling. Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rosenthal, R., & Jacobson, L. (1968). Pygmalion in the classroom. The Urban Review, 3(1), 1620. doi:10.1007/BF02322211

  • Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 5467. PubMed ID: 10620381 doi:10.1006/ceps.1999.1020

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schell, M.J. (2005). Baseball’s all-time best sluggers. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

  • Scully, G.W. (1989). The business of baseball. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Sirmon, D.G., Gove, S., & Hitt, M.A. (2008). Resource management in dyadic competitive rivalry: The effects of resource bundling and deployment. The Academy of Management Journal, 51(5), 919935. doi:10.5465/amj.2008.34789656

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Snijders, T.A.B., & Bosker, R.J. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. London, UK: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sommers, P.M. (2008). The changing hitting performance profile in major league baseball, 1966–2006. Journal of Sports Economics, 9(4), 435440. doi:10.1177/1527002507311468

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thaler, R.H. (1988). Anomalies: The winner’s curse. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2(1), 191202. doi:10.1257/jep.2.1.191

  • Torgler, B., & Schmidt, S.L. (2007). What shapes player performance in soccer? Empirical findings from a panel analysis. Applied Economics, 39(18), 23552369. doi:10.1080/00036840600660739

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vincent, C., & Eastman, B. (2009). Determinants of pay in the NHL: A quantile regression approach. Journal of Sports Economics, 10(3), 256277. doi:10.1177/1527002508327519

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weintraub, R. (2007). What’s the most valuable position in pro football? Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2007/09/most_valuable_position.html

    • Export Citation
  • White, M.H., & Sheldon, K.M. (2014). The contract year syndrome in the NBA and MLB: A classic undermining pattern. Motivation and Emotion, 38(2), 196205. doi:10.1007/s11031-013-9389-7

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woltman, H., Feldstain, A., MacKay, J.C., & Rocchi, M. (2012). An introduction to hierarchical linear modeling. Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, 8(1), 5269. doi:10.20982/tqmp.08.1.p052

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 478 477 19
Full Text Views 112 112 1
PDF Downloads 47 47 1