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Faculty & Research


Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases

Mannarelli T., Baty C. (2003). 
World Wrestling Federation: Vince McMahon vs. Bret the Hitman Hart.
 Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases McGraw-Hill Education.
Book Chapter
What happened when the World Wrestling Federation went head-to-head with an upstart league, World Championship Wrestling, in the 1990s? In this case study, Professor Thomas Mannarelli and Christopher Baty explain who championed inside and outside the ring. Part one traces the history of wrestling in North America, and discusses the phenomenal rise to success of the WWF in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the ever-increasing challenge posed by Ted Turner's nascent WCW. Part two narrates the longstanding tensions between Hart and McMahon, and discloses the astonishing outcome of the 1997 Montreal match between Hart and Shawn Michaels, and its surprising impact on the WWF as whole. Finally, part three looks at what happened next, examining how McMahon manipulated the aftermath of the Hart-Michaels fight and Hart's subsequent departure from the WWF to boost ratings. It also explores Hart's brief career at WCW and the final conclusion of the decade-long WWF and WCW rivalry. The authors ask you to consider the factors of charismatic and transformational leadership as well as management ethics and integrity. The cases also outline the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship, the role of motivation in privately owned family business, and the debate over whether it is management or talent that drives a company’s success.

Senior Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour