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Smeal’s Tsai co-authors paper evaluating career prospects of NFL coaches

September 29, 2015

A paper recently co-authored by Wenpin Tsai, the John Arnold Professor of Management at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, evaluates the career prospects of NFL coaches.

“Magnification and Correction of the Acolyte Effect: Initial Benefits and Ex Post Settling up in NFL Coaching Careers,” appeared on the Academy of Management Journal website in September.

According to the research, working with a highly reputable NFL head coach helps even little-known assistant coaches get promoted to senior positions in the short term. In the long run, however, those promoted coaches fare worse in their new positions than peers who did not previously work with high-profile coaches.

“Acolytes initially benefited from a loose-linkage between their unobservable quality and signals offered by their industry-leader ties, but they also suffered as the unreliability of social network signals became evident. The results suggest that a competitive job market may exhibit self-correction over time,” the study said.

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