• Mark T. Williams

    Mark Williams

    Mark T. Williams is a BU Questrom School of Business executive-in-residence and a master lecturer in finance and holds the James E. Freeman Lecturer Chair. He is the founder of UmpScores, a performance app used to measure MLB umpire accuracy. Profile

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There are 3 comments on POV: Winning Is Great—but at What Cost?

  1. This article is spot-on…sign stealing gives an enormous advantage to hitters, and folks wonder why the number of home runs per year is now surpassing the steroid era.

    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/hihr6.shtml

    The only way to minimize this cheating going forward is to monitor all teams during the season, and apply game forfeitures, coach suspensions and fines in real-time to prevent another World Series from being stolen.

  2. Great article Professor Williams!!! You nailed it. What is said is long overdue and the tip of the iceberg. Does BU Questrom School of Business teach a class in ethics? If not, it should.

    Professional athletes and the teams that hire them are so high-profile and influential to so many people that they should consistently demonstrate the highest ethical standards and good sportsmanship. No doubt that professional sports are big business. Yet, that is no excuse for sacrificing ethics, as this article does a nice job of outlining.

    It seems much of corporate America has lost it way. Maintaining morals and basic decency is critical to ensure that capitalism works and is not overcome by its basic flaws. Bare with me a moment while I explain.

    In a capitalist structure, the sole quest is profits which means economic growth is required to ensure the real appreciation of capital. Clearly shareholders want the highest return on their investment, thus corporate leaders are incentivized to achieve this goal at almost any cost. Winston Churchill once said, “Capitalism is the worst economic system except for all the others.”

    On the one hand, capitalism is revolutionizing and pioneering because when one reaps the rewards of their own efforts there is incentive to innovation and reinvest. This desire to win at all costs, as the article states, is also why businesses have a tendency to lose their way.

    Karl Marx was a brilliant economist who wrote about capitalism’s inherently unsolvable contradictions – which, as he wrote, contained within itself the seeds of its own self-destruction.

    The root of the problem is capitalism’s underlying focus on profits and the necessity for endless purchases of goods and services. Logically, there has to a practical limit before over-capacity collapses the system.

    Wealth inequality is surging today: corporate profits are at record levels while average incomes have stagnated at levels equivalent to 1970. The only way for the United States to continue being a great country is for corporate America to recalibrate its moral compass. Standards for all managers is something that rolls down from CEO’s. Corporations need to be more generous to its workers, the local community, and the environment, and must do so with a strong sense of fairness and ethical code. If companies do not self-police better, then major revolt and disruptions will arise. The future of capitalism, our country and kids depend on everyone person and company finding a better level of decency.

    Thank you Professor Williams for beginning this important discussion.

  3. For 40 years…100 million viewers….Mr. Rogers said “I like you for who you are, not for who I want you to be.” Behavior has little to do with ‘corporate America’…..it’s who one is as a person and how one treats others not whether one is an athlete or a corporate CEO.

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