April 2015 | 

Sport Matters: Leadership, Power, and the Quest for Respect in Sports

Sport Matters Book

In his new book, Wharton’s Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics Kenneth Shropshire paraphrases the former commissioner of Major League Baseball, A. Barlett Giamatti: “We can learn much more about a society by watching how it plays than how it works.” The focus on sport as an instructive lens for broader societal concerns is one of the hallmarks of this new work. In it, Shropshire blends insightful analysis of recent headline-grabbing incidents with a prescriptive framework to move sport — and society — forward in a more inclusive and respectful direction.

It would be hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of Donald Sterling and Ray Rice, or the controversies surrounding the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins. But the author and director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative shines a new light on these issues, linking them to four key principles of diversity, inclusion, respect, and equality. He argues convincingly that a collective focus on fully adopting and incorporating these principles can help avoid the “potentially dire consequences” of a lack of diversity, inclusion, respect, and equality on the field, in the workplace, and in society.

Shropshire’s prescription is a seven-item framework that can help any organization achieve an environment in which a variety of voices and opinions are heard and encouraged. It includes responding rapidly, decisively, and with due process to negative behavior; seeking to have an impact beyond your enterprise; and addressing these issues not with a single action or policy, but a multiple-pronged approach. It’s a practical, multi-dimensional approach to a very complex issue.

Visit the Wharton Digital Press site to purchase the book.