17. Fourth and Ten: Insights into NFL (and Corporate) Decision Making

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said, according to legend. This sentiment may have been true of his Green Bay Packers, but does it describe most corporate behavior today? Does the strategy and track record of corporations show they are trying to do the best they can financially, to “win” at whatever game they are in?

Logically the answer would have to be yes—corporations are there to make money. Milton Friedman saw this as a nonissue, arguing, “Unless the behavior of businessmen in some way or other approximated behavior consistent with the maximization of returns, it seems unlikely that they would remain in business ...

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