Who Creates Value? Insights on Value Theory From the Last Dance
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The Last Dance is a sports documentary miniseries focusing on the 1997-98 NBA champions Chicago Bulls and their star Michael Jordan. Through the lenses of The Last Dance, whose global popularity has been unprecedented for a documentary, we discuss value from a historical, political and cultural perspective. First, this paper provides a concise account of the ambivalent nature of value from a historical perspective. We then discuss the Bulls’ General Manager dispute with Jordan over whether the players or the organization win championships; and the Scottie Pippen “injustice” according to which Pippen, a top Bulls player, was underpaid. By addressing these two issues, we show that all value is collectively produced. We argue that all value approaches are imperfect, temporary and context-specific. We thus highlight the need for scholars and policymakers to critically discuss value and point to the commons sphere for more inclusive understandings of value.