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International sourcing, social responsibility and human assets: a framework for labor procurement negotiations in baseball’s talent supply chain

Adrien Bouchet (Collins College of Business, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)
Mike Troilo (Collins College of Business, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)
William Spaniel (Department of Political Science, The University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 7 April 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the question: how does socially responsible buying/sourcing applies to human talent? The authors examine this question in the unique context of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) relationship with the “buscones” (agents) representing prospects from the Dominican Republic.

Design/methodology/approach

Using game theory, the authors model how MLB teams create rules to curb unethical behavior within the supply chain. The principal relationship the authors will model is that of the franchises and the prospects. This relationship has as its core an investment decision by the individual franchises: should they incur costs to ameliorate the context in which the prospects find themselves, or not? The costs of investment, whether it is in academies, general education, a revision of recruiting policies or something else, must be weighed against the negative externalities that are likely to result if the exploitation of the DR recruits becomes common knowledge to other stakeholders, particularly the public.

Findings

The model shows that when investments are roughly evenly distributed, the teams successfully vote to outlaw unethical behaviors and thus collectively avoid the negative externalities. However, when investments are asymmetric, the teams invested in the current system vote against a ban to maintain a competitive edge, even though the system imposes costs on all of those involved.

Originality/value

This paper serves as the initial paper that examines international sourcing, social responsibility and baseball. As international sport clubs/franchises continue to source athletic talent from around the globe, the issues discussed in the paper are both original and pertinent.

Keywords

Citation

Bouchet, A., Troilo, M. and Spaniel, W. (2015), "International sourcing, social responsibility and human assets: a framework for labor procurement negotiations in baseball’s talent supply chain", Corporate Governance, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 214-228. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-09-2014-0108

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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