The Oakland Athletics


Billy Beane dilemma at Oakland Athletics presents a case of organizational difficulties faced by leaders in their quest for effectiveness and success. In sports, the most difficult part involves the management of players. Star players are important because they make the team shine and grow in championships and reputation. Coaches ought to adopt core human resource management to achieve their targets and maintain players. Retaining star players is imperative because it guarantees a team success and signifies the coach’s ability to manage the players properly (Mondy 28). However, in situations where there is an exodus of star players from a team, the coach ought to manage the situation successfully. With a team struggling with financial resources and exit of star players, Billy had a very big problem, which was a great challenge for the coach who was endeavoring to achieve success in the sports competition. His ability to overcome this dilemma is a momentous indicator of sports management through HR principles. In addition, the coach’s ability to ensure that the team continues to win in spite of the loss was a remarkable quality of good team management. Therefore, to demonstrate how the core principles of solid HR were the key factors that led to success for Billy Beane and his team, the two aspects of resilience and success will be the subject of this evaluation. 

The Dilemma

 The Oakland Athletics dilemma was two-fold in that it involved the lack of sufficient funds to manage the team and the loss of three star players simultaneously. This was a team with less money thus making it very difficult to compete favorably in the league because other teams were financially stable. In fact, inadequate funds could be one of the reasons why the star players left. It was a big blow to the team and a huge test for the coach. As such, the event offered a tricky situation where the coach had to devise various strategies and methods of overcoming the odds. At the heart of the coach’s strategy was to ensure that the star player’s exit did not affect the team. Under normal circumstances, the exit of star players directly leads to the demoralization of other team players (Mark 3). In fact, such an exit can lead to the exit of other players. One imperative consideration in sports management is the aspect of greener pastures. Players could leave a team in search of better prospects in other teams. However, other than the aspect of resources as a way of retaining players, coaches and team managers can adopt proper HR principles.

The Core Principles of Solid Human Resource Management

The role of the essential principles of human resource management in the administration of a sports team is based on the fact that much of what a coach does is managing the talent. Like a business organization, the most crucial resources in a team are people. Players on sports teams are similar to employees in the business organization. Therefore, they require motivation, inspiration, better environment, enticement, voice, and understanding. A coach is the leader and manager of a team. He/she understands his team members better regarding strengths, weaknesses, ability to learn, and the anticipated future potential. Having such knowledge underscores the fact that in the process of offering proper management to a team, care should be given to their inherent qualities (Buettner 4609). Another imperative factor is the vision of a team. A coach should develop a vision and inspire members to pursue this vision. In addition, there should be a culture and structure through which the activities of the team are accomplished, a situation that distinguishes one team from the other.

Billy Beane applied the HR principles to overcome the odds, set a vision in place, inspire players, and communicate effectively. In fact, the approach was the reason for the success of the team. Following the exit of three star players, the coach realized the team had a vacuum. Moreover, the triple exit affected the player’s morale (Lepak and Scott 214). Upon realizing this, the coach embarked on a process of nurturing talent and instilling morale and confidence among the remaining players. The tactic employed by the coach was effective because the remaining players overcame the effects of the exit and focused on playing to win. The coach pooled the few available resources to meet the team’s needs. Later, the process was followed by a proper application of human resource management tactics in administering the players.

The coach interacted with the players at a personal level to realize their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. The approach was an effective tactic in personnel management because a personal relationship between managers and subordinates will develop a rapport that will lead to effective communication and resolution of problems. The coach also utilized nurturing initiatives to ensure that the team remained competitive to be successful. The strategies used by Billy Beane were anchored on human resource management tactics. These principles were successful and had been adopted by other coaches in the management of teams. In essence, teams should be managed based on principles of human resource because the environment and dynamics involved in the administration of sports teams do not differ with those in contemporary business organizations (Buettner 4609).


As evident from the analysis, the Oakland Athletics story is a vivid example of how the core principles of solid human resource management can lead to the success of coach and his team. In fact, the story offers great lessons on the importance of proper human resource management techniques in the administration of sports teams. Therefore, such a success can only be achieved by elucidating the circumstances facing the Oakland Athletics and how the coach maneuvered to deliver outstanding results despite the odds. As such, there are two imperative lessons. Firstly, there is the aspect of overcoming odds through sheer resilience. Secondly, it is through the application of human resource management techniques to offer better management of a team to bring the best result. Billy Beane is a legend because he steered the team out of trouble and placed it on top of the charts through the application of solid people management dynamics. The exit of three star players at the same time was a huge blow to the team. However, the coach did not allow the transfer to bring down the team. Therefore, he embarked on restoring morale among team players by encouraging and motivating them. The approach was followed by good team management approaches that ensured that the team remained competitive. Eventually, the coach revived the team and won several matches, indicating how the essential principles of HR are expedient in managing teams.


Works Cited

 Buettner, Ricardo. A Systematic Literature Review of Crowdsourcing Research from a Human     Resource Management Perspective. 48th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Kauai, Hawaii: IEEE, (2015). pp. 4609–4618

Lepak, David P. and Scott A. Snell. “Virtual HR: Strategic Human Resource Management in the 21st Century.” Human Resources Management Review 8.3 (1998): 214-34

Mark O’Sullivan. What Works at Work. Bath: The Starbank Press, 2014.

Mondy, Mondy, R. Wayne, Judy Bandy. Human resource management (13th ed.). Harlow,          England: Pearson Education Limited, 2014.

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