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Billy Beane: Changing the Game Case Coursework

Based on Billy beane “changing the game” case, explain why and how the Oakland A’s economic situation after 1995 shaped its

Compensation strategy

In 1995, when the Oakland A team was sold out, Alderson realized that he had to adopt a different approach so that the Oakland A’s would be able to compete well with other teams. In this case, he went ahead and embraced the on-base percentage system, explaining that, if he could get every player to play his part on the production line, then he could pay less for runs than the going rate.

Moreover, the better the players played, the higher they were paid by the association. This was done to boost the players morale and increase loyalty, thus avoiding poaching of Oakland A’s players by other organizations.


One of the roles of human resources department involves hiring the most competent employees for the firm through a formal and rigorous selection process, as well as creating a conducive working environment that ensures all the recruited staff remain in the firm for most of their productive life.

However, in the contemporary business world, most organizations often outsource some of the processes to recruitment agencies, since they are cheaper to deal with, and the company will not have to undergo the entire process.

In the Oakland A‘s organization, Billy Beane recruited the players depending on the skills they seemed to posses. He relied on a method called, scouting, in which, he used a five-tool theory that consisted of the following elements: hitting for average, hitting for power, running speed, arm’s strength, and the field ability. In this approach, he used a checklist to indicate how many tools a player possessed.

In the system of money ball collected baseball experts that included: players, coaches and managers, and is often subjective.Runs battle in, and battling statistics were used to gauge players; they were the only statistics that were available at the time.

Lewis (2003) argues that “the Oakland A’s’ front office took advantage of more empirical gauges of player performance to field a team that could compete successfully against richer competitors.”

The management of the Oakland A paid the best players well as a way of retaining them and keeping them from been poached by other competitive baseball agencies (Pedersen et al, 2010). This is in realization that well compensated players will tend to commit their efforts and loyalty to the team.

Training and development strategies

After Billy beane adopted the system of selecting players based on the 5-tool method, the players went through training. Keeping in mind that they were the best in their high school teams, they did not need much training. They had the notion that their capability in individual performances was crucial in winning games even without having to train for long periods.

Primarily, baseball is usually dependent on individual performances. According to Lewis (2004, p. 423), “in football, a play can only succeed if all players on a team work together in terms of blocking, running, catching, and throwing,” while for baseball to be of numeric value, every pitch, hit, catch or throw depends on a player’s efforts.

In this case, when a team comprises of player who are competent in hitting, catching, and throwing, there is a high possibility of being formidable in all games played.

Explain how compensation, staffing, and training strategies were aligned with each other to create an overall HR strategy for the Oakland A’s organization

Billy Beane employed the use of checklist as a way of hiring players due to the fact that the approach was relatively efficient and reliable. According to Lewis (2003, P. 423), the success of the Oakland was via the application of a unique scientific evaluation method and selection of athletics talent.

A checklist assists an organization to systematize and perfectise its hiring process, depending on how many employees it wants to hire at that particular time. In addition, a checklist on how to hire an employee helps you keep track of your recruiting efforts, since one is able to choose between different character and ability of an employee.

In addition, a checklist acts as a communication aid during the recruitment process all the way to the completion of hiring process. Moreover, it is employed in training programs for new players. Therefore, having merged the three strategies, the Oakland management was able to lead the Oakland A’s to various wins.

However, despite these few merits, there are some potential problems encountered with some human resource strategies used by the Oakland organization. These include staffing strategies, whereby, selection used checklist as a way of selecting potential players as they play. As much as there are advantages to this method, it also contains several limitations, thus it is a poor way of selecting players.

First, the checklist method is a behaviorally based approach to performance appraisal that requires raters to observe employees’ behavior and record performance related judgments about these behaviors. The checklist method may be biased in distinguishing the best, average, and poor characteristics of employees.

Secondly, it is expensive and time consuming, especially for an organization like Oakland which is large, and may need to rate several players. Moreover, some very essential characteristics may pass unnoticed since the method is conducted on sight, hence becoming difficult for the manager to evaluate the athletes effectively.


Lewis, M. (2004). Moneyball. Retried from

Lewis M. (2003). Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. New York: W.W. Norton.

Pedersen, P. M. et al. (2010). Contemporary Sports Management. New York: Human Kinetics.

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