Centrality of Position and Managerial Recruitment: The Case of Major League Baseball

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Wilbert M. Leonard II Illinois State University

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Tony Ostrosky Illinois State University

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Steve Huchendorf Illinois State University

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Grusky’s seminal investigation of the theoretical linkage between formal structure and organizational leadership, now a quarter of a century old, was replicated and extended. All major league baseball managers between 1876 and 1984 (N=504) as well as a random sample of players (n=504) comprised the units of analyses. The empirical results support Grusky’s theory of formal structure and managerial recruitment. Managers were found to be recruited more heavily from the high interactive positions of catcher and infield than from the low interactive positions of pitcher, outfield and designated hitter. This confirmation holds whether the operationalization of formal structure was the primary position, multiple positions, or the number of games played at each position.

Wilbert M. Leonard II is with the Department of Sociology at Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61761. Tony Ostrosky and Steve Huchendorf are with the Department of Economics.

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