Managerial Decisions and Team Performance: Evidence from Professional Elite Soccer
Using detailed tournament data from four sources on 76 distinct managers coaching 34 teams in 1,580 matches covering ten seasons of the Italian male soccer premier league (“Serie A”), we provide field evidence on the impact of managerial decisions on team performance. We document that managers’ perseverance in playing style is positively related to team outcomes. Our core findings are robust to a battery of checks. By shedding light on key features of decision-making in a high-powered incentives industry where managers receive frequent feedback, our results corroborate and help qualify the “managers matter” view advanced in prior research.