You’re Fired: An Empirical Study of the Management and Termination Decisions in Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice”

D. Anthony Miles


Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, is an entertaining and educational tool for teaching business and management principles. While, few studies have been conducted on The Apprentice, there have been no prior empirical studies assessing the program as a study for analyzing management decisions. This research attempts to fill that gap. The purpose of this study is to research management decision behavior on The Apprentice. This research was conducted on management students in undergraduate and graduate courses over a two-year period. A sample of (N = 173) participants were used for the study. The participants viewed various episodes of The Apprentice and then answered a questionnaire based on their observations and decisions. The data was collected following the observations and analyzed. The objectives of the analyses were to: (a) measure the participants’ termination decisions; and (b) compare their termination decisions with Trump’s boardroom termination decisions. Three statistical analyses were used: (a) independent sample t-Test, (b) ANOVA, and (c) Pearson correlation. The results indicated that management students agreed with Trump’s termination decisions nearly 47.4% of the time.


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