September 2009 Archives

1) I think in intercollegiate athletic programs, athletic directors should determine which expectations have priority. When I think back to my high school days, I interviewed the athletic director and I was amazed at all of the duties and expectations that he had as an athletic director for a large high school. I remember seeing him at all the sporting events, not just as a spectator but more like a director and supervisor, to make sure everything was running smoothly. The athletic director should have a set of expectations within the department and should be able to prioritize the expectations. To go with that, each member within the athletic department should have their own personal expectations that are associated with the overall expectations of the department. I think an example of this is when say a player of the basketball team gets an underage drinking violation (minor) and the school and the athletic department will suspend them for a certain amount of games. Also the team may have their rules and consequences that could be like extra games they had to sit out in addition to the school's consequence. 2) External profile- honor, pride, sportsmanship and competiveness. Resource management- respect, kindness, awareness, and sportsmanship. Performance on the field- competiveness, teamwork, strive for success, work ethic. Ethics- honesty, dependable, and passion. Education- dedication, consistent, committed, and focused. Institutional enthusiasm- spirit, respect, and pride. 3) If performance on the field influences the other six determinants of success, then you must build a team of winners. This doesn't necessarily mean recruiting or persuading the best rated athletes. It means to build a team of players that will coincide with each other and they have different skills that once put together will produce a consistently successful team. I think that it is very important your athletes also to be successful in the classroom so they will be able to earn a degree. That should be a school's top priority for their student athletes. MSU should aim to have the nation's top student athletes and should have high expectations for these athletes. Also understand that a winning athletic department helps the organization in endless ways. 4) After reviewing MSU's mission statement it appears that not many of Wolf et al.'s expectations were implemented into their mission. I think they should talk about resource management, I feel that will help elevate their organization. This is one of the expectations that need to be covered by MSU. 5) There are many ways in maintaining a solid financial structure. I think they should concentrate on getting their alumni more involved to help make donations and to get more involved with the organization. 6) I think the Internal Process approach would be useful in measuring MSU's effectiveness. They should work on developing their lower level management and expanding their pyramid horizontally. I think it is important for all the employees to respect each other, stay dedicated, and to be open to other's thoughts and decisions. People want a comfortable atmosphere to work in and this will give the organization a good image. If all the employees are dedicated, the organization will overcome challenges and problems they discover.

Simply put, Amis et al. detailed the issues that sport organizations across the U.S. and internationally deal with. And furthermore, Amis et al. demonstrated that sport organizations operate in nearly parallel ways to non-sport organizations throughout the world. When discussing organizational power and the ability to implement change in an organization in response to change it shouldn't be surprising to see the trends that were described in the work. Power is almost always a political term that describes the amount of influence that one or a few individuals have to affect the mind-set of an organization. Rarely does power actually refer to the concrete ability of one person to control an organization. On page 3 of the work, Amis et al. cites Ranson et al. in describing organizations as political systems in which power and conflict are more crucial than rules and authority. In what situation is this idea not the case in terms of a sport organization?

To address the idea of what role power plays in influencing the strategy of an organization takes a deeper understanding of the politics involved in that particular organization. In a smaller organization or an organization where there is a more "concentrated" power structure, as described on page 5 of the work, power will be more concretely controlled by a select few individuals and therefore the organization will be more responsive to change. When there is a concentration of power and the internal political process of an organization the organization will be more responsive to the needs and recommendations by those who control the political process.

Actors in an organization are secondary in terms of importance when considering the influence that they'll have in terms of the organizational strategy. There can be effective actors in an organization but if they lack the political power required to get their ideas and goals in motion then these actors will be ineffective. Is it possible for an actor to be effective in an organization if they lack the control of processes required to gain influence throughout the organization? I would argue that it is not possible. That being said, an organization can benefit from these individual actors but they will be unable to implement changes to the organization's strategy if/when they deem organizational adaptations appropriate for the organization.

Now capacity may rest between power and actors in terms of importance for organizational strategy and adaptations to such strategies. It's entirely possible that effective and well placed actors who control the political process behind an organization may be in place and yet alterations to an organization's strategy would still fail. For example, several years ago the Minnesota Twins attempted to launch Victory Sports, a media company owned and operated by the team that would hold all the broadcasting rights for the team's television games. During the acquisition of these rights the team had effective actors in place with control of the political processes behind the organization but the implementation of this change in organizational strategy was generally unsuccessful because there was a lack of capacity to understand the impending difficulties of owning and operating a team's media rights. Victory Sports wasn't able to reach the audience it was intended to reach and the costs of the operation turned out to be more cumbersome than allowing the organization to outsource the rights to a third party such as Fox Sports. This example does have a second chapter, the arrival of the Twins Radio Network. Since the Twins re-acquired the rights to their radio broadcasts prior to the 2007 season they have built one of the largest radio networks in Major League Baseball and the acquisition of the radio network was able to adapt to the difficulties that the organization had encountered with Victory Sports and was tremendously successful at transitioning such a large project. Are there other examples throughout professional sports that exhibit similarities with the Twins efforts to acquire certain media rights? When considering capacity, are the most capable organizations the ones that are able to adapt to both success and failure or simply the ones who don't meet with failure?

Organizational Strategy

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The strategy of a sport organization is very important and needs to be adjusted in accordance to many different factors. Some of these factors are power, capacity, and actors. All of these play important roles when considering the strategy of an organization. When initially looking at the power of an organization it is easy to see how it would affect its strategy. When an organization has more power it is typically a result of it having more resources and producing more income. This enables the organization to continue to hold its power because it has many options about how it wants to continue doing business. For example, let's think about a company that makes track shoes, which we will call 'Fast shoes'. 'Fast shoes' has the most power over any other track shoe organization, but wants to expand its market to track apparel. They could deal with this expansion internally or they could buy out another company and combine the two organizations. The power and the resources that 'Fast shoes' has allows them to do this. If the company had less power and resources then it would limit their options in expanding their company.

Capacity is another important factor to consider. Every organization has its limits. It is important that a company knows its limits when making decisions based on the organizational strategy. Let's continue with our 'Fast shoes' organization for this illustration. Now that 'Fast shoes' is producing track shoes and track apparel, they want to continue to expand by making dress shoes. This may not be a wise decision for 'Fast shoes' because they may not have the proper personnel and experience to successfully market and sell dress shoes. If 'Fast shoes' is aware of its capacity and limitations in this scenario then it will save them large amounts of time and money knowing that they should not enter into the dress shoe market.

When looking at the actors in the organization it is important to consider them when thinking about the organizational strategy. All of the actors of the organization need to be thought of in order to utilize the full potential of the organization. With the 'Fast shoes' organization it would be hard for them to find success in their business if they were not using the actors within the organization to plan their strategy effectively. Say 'Fast shoes' wanted to enter the market for football cleats. If they did not utilize the actors within their organization and did not have the personnel in place, they may end up making a football cleat that is cheap and inferior in comparison to the rest of what the market is offering. When thinking about organizational strategy it is important to consider power, capacity, and the actors of the organization.

What do you believe to be important when thinking about organizational strategy? How have you experienced specific strategies in your workplace?



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There are many ways that an organization could be influenced by strategy. Power can influence the organizational strategy in different ways. But to have an efficient organization there must be a level of trust and beliefs by the organizational members so that leadership is able to guide the organization through conflicts. If a company is centralized than power with affect the decision making process. Because most of the decisions will be made in a centralized organization by the most powerful people, then the strategy for that organization will be made the same way. There will be only limited power within that organization since most of the decisions are made by the people who are at the top.  However, if a company that is decentralized might incorporate different organizational strategies. Because a decentralized company will have the power dispersed among more people, the decision making process will have more input, and therefore may have a different strategy than a centralized organization. From the article it states that "power transforms individual interests into coordinated activities that accomplish valuable ends...Change tends to occur when either a new set of actors gains power or when it is in the interest of those in power to alter the direction of the organization" (161). This is why I think decentralizing the organization will work better than centralizing. The organization will be able to gain more power by hearing different perspectives from the members of the organization. In my opinion capacity plays a big role in making the impact to the organization's strategy. As well as having a supportive power structure in the organization, there is also a need for an organization intent on carrying out a transformation to have the capacity to bring the change. From the article Pettigrew suggested that "the transformational leader is able to unite organization members 'in pursuit of higher goals, the realization of which is tested by the achievement of significant change" (189). We all need to have the commitment of trust and respect among different members how the change process should be managed. Power and capacity can have a big influence to the organizational strategy. The more individuals become more powerful, so does the organization. As the organization becomes more powerful so does the each individual. To become powerful people we will need to have the leadership to make changes in the organization.

Power, capacity, and actor's interest all have a different influence on an organization's strategy. Power determines a lot about an organization's strategy because the more power it has, the more effectively it can accomplish its goals. Power gives an organization the opportunity to grow and expand especially in a business setting. Depending upon how power is distributed within a program it has a profound impact on the effectiveness of the organizations strategy and how decisions get made. To provide an example, if one person had too much power in the women's basketball program nobody would want to work for the one person who was making all the decisions because what would be left for them to do? Although our head coach makes a lot of decisions, she relies heavily on her staff for input and even gives them the authority to make certain decisions in a particular capacity.

The next component that has an influence on an organization strategy is its capacity for change, in other words, it ability to adjust to change. If an organization does not have a certain amount of flexibility, it is not going to survive in an ever changing marketplace. Organizations need to grow and learn to be able to make needed changes so that they are meeting the changing wants and needs of consumers. To relate this concept to our women's basketball program, if our coaches did the same thing every year, we wouldn't be growing and getting better every year. Also, in the capacity of recruiting, much has changed since I was being recruited. Coaches recruit players at an even younger age and have changed their recruiting strategies over the years as they learn what players like and want from a program.

The third component that influences an organization's strategy is how much outside actors influence an organization's goals. I think that for the most part outsiders have a profound impact because knowing who you're targeting would help determine what strategy should be used within an organization. Organizations have particular target markets and knowing what those are and how to meet their needs whether it's producing a product or providing a service, it's important to know what they want. This also ties in with capacity to change, because for an organization to develop a firm and effective strategy to accomplish its goals, it needs to be able to identify its target market and be able to change as the market changes.

-Kristen Dockery

Canadian Schools in NCAA

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This would be very tuff to add the Canadian schools into the NCAA division 1 program because there would be so much that would need to be changed according to the rules and guidelines of the NCAA. It would almost have to be totally revamped in order for it to work. There becomes a lot of issues when this is brought up because it trying to fit two different countries into a collegiate organization that is totally based on the United States. You have to look at how many Canadian schools there are also because that becomes a factor when you are trying to put the schools in different conferences. How would you determine which school went into which conference if its a totally different country. There would be great trouble i believe in making this happen because some parts of Canada are very far away from places in the lower states of the U.S. This leads to people not being able to attend the game and possibly not being able to play on there own ice. With that there would have to be a neutral location that is in the middle of the two places. That being said I believe they should just make a organization like the NCAA in Canada and have exhibition games at the beginning of the season like some of the programs at the U of M do. I know the hockey team plays British Columbia every year and that is most defiantly reaching out and getting places like that involved. It takes a lot of strategy to make a merger like this and sometimes when you try to make something as big as this happen there comes many flaws and kinks that need to be worked out. With that I don't think he NCAA can have those kinks happen to them at this point when they are just getting there feet back on the ground. According to Slack & Parent, the structure of an organization can determine the strategy (125). I think if this could happen it would really be great for the two different countries to come together and play some different teams but right now I really don't believe this is humanly possible to make happen. Its just to big of a deal and would need to much reforming of the NCAA for it to happen.The three core values of strategy are power, capacity for change, and interest. Who has the power to make this happen? Would you get everyone in the NCAA to agree that its ok to have Canadian schools added to the organization or would that upset a lot of people? Also the capacity for a change, can this really happen or would there be many more bad then goods? I think these three things are very good things to ask yourself when your looking at doing something of the magnitude and also they need to be looked at very closely. What would make it easier to involve the Canadian Schools into the NCAA without officially bring them in? What do you think the athletes would think about something like this?

Power in Organzations

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Power influences organizations a great deal. Any organization with a centralized approach will see the people with the most power have the most influence a direction an organization will take. Whatever they decide is the ultimate and makes them the ultimate decision maker. That is a huge amount of power for any individual or small group to have. It leaves other people of an organization feeling they have little say over many issues. Any form of government is typically a centralized approached. I can speak for that directly here at the University of Minnesota. Large decisions are often left undiscussed to many and lead to some unhappiness with some employees. Sometimes smaller organizations that have the opportunity to have a decentralized formation will see positive outcomes and see more satisfied employees because in this set-up the power is distributed among a larger group of people rather than one or a select few individuals. A decentralized approach can yield more conversation and successful brainstorming that might otherwise not take place. This is an approach I strongly prefer. I just think you get better ideas, better outcomes, and employees that really value their job. I try and create this in my work environment. The sense of ownership and pride an employee feels is really special. Organizational strategy though often times are structured around long-term goals so sometimes central approaches needs to be privy to that. Three modes to strategy assistance according to Mintzberg (the planning mode, the entreprenutial mode, and the adaptive mode) are all ways to assist a good strategy. Strategy and structure work hand in foot complimenting each other. Any organization however needs a good balance. A complex organization will only find challenges with employees and its structure and will waste valuable time. Empowering employees and unleashing their true potential is what needs to happen. Trusting your employees allows you to see their potential. If you don't do that, you aren't challenging them as an employer and you are not maximizing the resource you have. Personally, I find less complex organizations where employees are challenged to their maximum will yield the best results. In this day in age, you want employees who put in 110%. The more equally you can distribute power, the more happy employees will be and this will make them more productive overall. I've had the ability to see this first hand and find it to be the most successful for all parties.

Organizational Strategy

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The process of incorporating Canadian schools into Division I athletic membership is one that would take a very well thought out short and long term strategy. First of all, the NCAA could find schools, probably in the Midwest for less travel, which would play a few Canadian schools at the beginning of a season similar to playing Division II or III schools before conference play. As the Canadian schools gained reputation in the states, more athletes that might not get into the top tier Division I schools may think about going to Canadian schools to play sports. This process would take time and results may not be seen immediately, but eventually a few Canadian schools could build their program to a level that could give them a chance to become a part of a major conference such as the Pac-10 or the Big Ten. These conferences make sense on a purely geographical basis, because travel for conference games would be easier. There would obviously be problems with an entire team traveling to Canada, but during the first few years of play between American and Canadian teams, home and home games could be played to try and get used to what would be expected on future trips. Non-conference games could be a problem, but also a game in Canada may be a marketing strategy for a school. I am not sure if Canadian schools play by the same format as NCAA schools do, but that could also be something that the Canadian schools would have to adapt to. They would follow the rules and regulations of recruiting and practice, but also during actual game play. I am sure that I am missing some important details that would cause major problems for incorporating Canadian schools into Division I athletics, and obviously the process would not be quick or simple. However, if the right strategy was put in place along with a successful and efficient structure, the goal could be achieved over time. Dustin Permann

Organizational strategy

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Many different factors go into implementing an effective organizational strategy for any sports organization. Three very important factors that cannot be left out of the organizational strategy are power, capacity for change, and interest for change. Each of these plays a separate role in creating an effective organizational strategy. In the world of sport organizations these three components are extremely evident. The first of the three, power, can be a difficult idea within an organization. Too much power can counteract the organizations intention and make it unorganized. If one person makes all the decisions because they feel they have all the power then the organization has the potential to fall apart. In the Amis et al reading, power is described as a mobilizer for implementing decisions. Power can help an organization if it is used and distributed the correct way. If a few people take on a leadership role and use power to establish, maintain and sometimes transform rules and objectives within an organization the organization will run effectively (Amis). The second component, the capacity for change, can be used to guide an organization from one organizational design to another (Amis). This component is very similar to making strategic organizational goals. According to the Amis et al reading "there must be an ability to mobilize a commitment to change by creating excitement about the anticipated endpoint and convincing other organization members that they will be better off as a result of the change. In other words, there must be a clear vision of the future to guide the organization through the transition process." The third component, interest for change, can also be a little tricky, but necessary nonetheless. If an individual that has all the power has an interest for change that no one else in the organization has the organization might self-destruct. According to our Amis et al reading change tends to occur when either a new set of actors gains power or when it is in the interest of those in power to alter the direction of the organization. This component to organizational strategy can be very helpful if the direction of an organization isn't headed the right way. If actors within the structure have the desire to change the organization there is a good chance the organization will prosper and benefit from it.

There are many things that go into making an organization's strategy efficient. Strategy can be formed at two different levels, the corporate level or the business level. The corporate level mainly focuses on growth, stability, or defensive strategies, where as the business level strategies mainly focus on gaining a competitive advantage. Both levels of strategies incorporate both long term and short term goal into their strategy. They use these goals to accomplish their organizations mission statement. 

When looking at Arizona State's Athletic department I was thinking about how and why they would want to incorporate men's soccer into their athletic department. As a fan of men's soccer I believe that it would be a good fit for them to add it to the list of varsity sports offered and sponsored by the University. There are many things that influence whether a sport gets added to a university's athletic department. Power is one of the main influences in whether it gets added or not. The people with the power are people like athletic directors and presidents of universities. The one that has the most say in the athletic department at ASU is Lisa Love.  If men's soccer were to be added it would have to help them work towards their mission statement in some way. You can not just add something to add it. It has to have a purpose and fit into the organization and its strategies.

Another thing that ASU would look before adding another sport would be capacity. If the school has the facilities and resources, such as extra money in the budget, to add a sport it will more than likely look into the cost benefit analysis of going through with that decision. In the case of ASU and if they were to add the men's soccer team they would also have to add another women's team to the university to keep it in compliance with title IX.

One of the last things the ASU athletic department would look at before adding another sport to the department would be if it is in the best interest of the stake holders. These are the people who support the department and the university both morally and financially. They tend to volunteer a lot of their time to the university and are often alumni of the university. If they don't like the addition it is most likely going to affect the financial gifts that they give, which intern will affect the budget of the athletic department. So it would not be a good organizational strategy to add the team if the stake holders don't approve.


1.       Would adding these teams help the Arizona State's Athletic Department gain a competitive advantage on the schools in their conference, PAC 10?

2.       Would adding the teams help the diversification of ASU and the PAC 10?

Organizational Strategy

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An organization's strategy is vital to the design of the organizational structure. According to the research done on organizational strategy by Alfred Chandler, "strategy can be defined as the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals." Many things can influence organizational strategy. I am going to look into power, capacity for change, and outside interest and how they influence organizational strategy. Power influences the way an organization goes about finding the means to achieve its goals. The more power and money an organization has the more diversified they can become. Diversification allows a powerful organization to acquire another organization in a different market to help the powerful organization stay powerful. A powerful organization may in fact have a growth strategy on the corporate level. If you have little power your organizational structure will be a little different. Odds are you may be the organization that gets taken over or purchased by a powerful organization. On the other an organization with little power may also just delve into one particular market instead of many different ones, but still be successful. An organization that is not very powerful may use a stability strategy on the corporate level. In an environment that is constantly changing, the capacity for change is crucial to the effectiveness of an organization. The influence that the environment plays on organizations makes the capacity for change the difference between living and dying. In my opinion the business-level strategy must make an attempt to recognize a particular market to minimize risk and maximize profit. Using the focus strategy on the business-level will allow the organization to focus on the needs of a particular market, then allowing them to choose either the cost leadership or differentiation strategy. The outside interest of the consumer also plays a key role in how to determine what organizational strategy to use. Many products created by organizations are suited towards a particular market because they believe they can maximize their profits. Nike makes a certain amount of each product because they know that the demand for each product is different. The season of the year may determine that or the location of where they are selling their product may also determine how much the outside interest has an influence on their organizational strategy. When choosing a strategy start with the organization's mission statement. It will show the goals and objectives for the company. Analyze the external and internal operations of the organization. The organizational strategy will go hand in hand with the way organization is structured.
The development of an organizations competitive strategy is directly influenced by the power and capacity for change of the actors involved in the organization. How the power to affect decisions is spread and to which groups or individuals it is given to influences what type of a strategy is formed. As stated in the reading, an organization forms different subunits and each subunit has different roles and responsibilities, because of this each group develops different norms and expectations. The satisfaction of these subunits and the members within them will directly affect their capacity for change in strategy. For example when the Canadian National Sport Organizations radically transformed their programs the NSOs that were the most successful had the proper leadership to push for change, and the right balance of power distributed to volunteer and professional staff. Within these organizations the volunteers were enthusiastic about the change and supported the upper managements decisions. Also, most of the volunteers felt that the professional staff valued their opinions and made them feel like they had a significant amount of power and that their donation of time and energy was not being wasted or taken for granted. This kind of satisfaction directly affects the capacity of the organization to establish an effective change that will positively contribute to the organization. The NSOs later on had to deal with a significant drop in funding and therefore had to develop different strategies to market their organization and acquire sponsorships to make up the difference. The value of the volunteer members increased significantly during this time because their time did not require the loss of an of the organization's now more valuable resources. Because of this the power of the volunteers within the organization went up and there was a stronger capacity for change because the volunteers highly valued the change. How power is distributed to different actors, or members, of an organization will always affect the organizations capacity for success because it affects its capacity for change. The more willing the organization is to change and be flexible within a given environment will theoretically affect the organization's strategy in a positive way. However, clearly defined goals and a well-balanced division of power does not always guarantee success of an organization's strategy. A weakness of the Amis, Slack, and Hinings article is that the only measure of success was based on the strategy and structure of the organization.

Blog #2

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            Organizational strategy is essentially what an organization does in order to produce the outcome they wish to achieve. Upon reading the article for class I have discovered three main subjects put together make-up a organization's strategy and the successes that come with it. These three main subjects are power, capacity, and actors interests. "Power is a mobilizer for implementing decisions" along with this power "is defined as a capacity to determine outcomes (Amis et. al, 2004)." "An organization's capacity for change can be broken down into behavioral and technical components (Hinings & Greenwood, 1988)." "Actors interests in this sense, use their power to protect valued interests over time by establishing, maintaining, and sometimes transforming the rules by which the organization operates (DiMaggio, 1988)." Throughout this blog I will explain how these three subjects work together to form an organizational strategy from a high school basketball coaches perspective.

            Obviously for a high school basketball coach the majority of the power resides within himself while sacrificing some it to the athletic director, assistant coaches, and in some cases the players. However, an authoritative stance must be taken in most stances with power so that everyone understands who is in charge of making the final decisions. With that said I believe it is essential for all coaches to be involved in their players lives and accept their inputs. This is because "those subunits that feel that their interests will be enhanced tend to support proposed changes; those that feel that they might be disadvantaged will likely oppose them (Amis et. al, 2004)." This is especially important as a basketball coach because of the impact you can have on every players' life and you need them to do what you say in order to successfully perform in practice as well as games.

It is a direct translation especially because most coaches would like to believe that their team is an extension of themselves when playing. This is where long-term and short-term goals come into play and using these throughout the season will pay dividends for any team. This is where capacity comes into play especially the behavioral component, getting players organized, prepared, and focused to play at least twice a week for nearly five months takes a lot of discipline from a head coach and his staff. Therefore, when losing or winning it is on the coach have "an ability to mobilize a commitment to change by creating excitement about the anticipated endpoint and convincing other organization members that they will be better off as a result of the change (Amis et. al, 2004)." For most teams these days it takes a year-round commitment to win at the highest level possible and in the offseason some players lose track of why working hard then is important. However, from the technical perspective of capacity a high school basketball team, staff and players included, "must have a clear vision of the future to guide the organization through the transition process (Child & Smith, 1987)." This is why coaches put up team quotes and other motivating factors so that they never lose focus or the vision of what can be achieved.

            Overall "these three dynamics are so closely intertwined that alteration in any one affects the other two." That is why power, capacity, and actors' interests are so important to any organization's strategy for success. Also, I think it is important to continue to develop all three areas and make them better on a consistent basis.


What are the weaknesses of this example?

What changes would you make to this theory?

-Andre Phillips  

Zadek's article, "The Path to Corporate Responsibility," detailed five stages organizations go through when faced with the challenge of altering a component of their organization's structure or procedures. Often times it is not initially strategic change; in the case of Nike, the organization did not intend to change its structure and approach to business, but as a result of consumers' and stakeholders' concern, the issue of labor standards was raised and Nike had to deal with the issue.


            The first stage Nike went through was the defensive stage. This is when the initial criticisms of their labor conditions were raised. As an attempt to diffuse the allegations, Nike questioned why they were the only organization being targeted. Once the organization realized people would not be silent about the issue, Nike moved on to the compliance stage. They changed their policies to foster proper and accepted working conditions, but there was little done to be sure all factories complied with the newly changed policies. The next step was the managerial stage in which Nike embedded compliance into managerial procedures. They hired people to conduct audits, but these auditors were often inexperienced and unreliable. As a result, Nike moved into the Strategic stage in which they made social responsibility a part of their business strategy. To make this happen, Nike created a Corporate Responsibility Department that performed reliable audits and ensured labor conditions were in line with societal expectations. The final stage was the civil stage. The civil stage is when the organization that has already adapted encourages other organizations to do the same. Nike continues to remain at this stage. Since they have adopted society's standards for labor conditions, they are encouraging other organizations to follow in their footsteps. This is good for organization accountability, and it is also a good for Nike because it showcases the progress they have made.


            Through the five stages Nike has gone through were summarized in some 200 words, that isn't to undermine the many years and immeasurable hard work that it took to adjust the organization's policies and procedures. In order to progress through the five stages, Nike had to effectively utilize the three internal dynamics that affect an organization's ability to "successfully negotiate a program of radical change" (according to The Roles of Interest, Power & Organizational Capacity in Strategic Change by Slack & Hinings). Slack & Hinings pinpoint the three internal dynamics as the interests of different sub-units, the distribution of power, and the capacity for change.


            Interests of different subunits encompass the desires of different groups in the organization structure; groups are typically a result of the hierarchy in an organization. Examples of subunits within Nike would include factory workers, factory management, and corporate management. When the subunits had different interests, Nike had troubles reaching their labor standard goals; once the interests aligned, the goals were reached. The second dynamic is the distribution of power. Initially, the commands were coming from the very top of Nike's hierarchy, all the way to the bottom; those at the bottom of the chain did not comply with the commands. Once Nike's Corporate Responsibility Department was designed, the power was distributed in the middle of the organization and the strategic change came much easier. The last component was the organization's capacity for change; the main aspect of this is having one or multiple strong leaders that create the organization's vision and inspires the rest of the organization to strive to achieve that vision. Though I don't know specific names, I would bet we can attribute Nike's eventual success to strong leadership within the organization.



How do you work to align the interests of different subunits of an organization? Whose responsibility is it to make that happen?
Does the leader who creates and inspires the shared vision have to be someone with an official position of authority?

Organizational Strategy

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When assessing the influences on organizational strategy I would argue that power, capacity to change, and actors interest all play a certain role, but that capacity to change and more so power have the greatest influence on strategy.  The strategy of an organization is only as good as the power structure in place to implement it and without the right structure certain strategies; both corporate and business levels are bound to fail. The capacity for change will also have a huge influence on almost all forms of organizational strategy.  If an organization is quite flexible in the business operations it will be more likely to take on aggressive growth strategies. This cannot necessarily be said for organizations that are very structured and might be encouraged to take on a more stable strategy. While actors interest's my influence certain strategies I do not believe they have a big influence on most organizations strategies. I would contend that actors interest's have a much bigger influence on business level strategies as a opposed to corporate level ones. This is because at the corporate level, especially with larger organization it would be difficult to measure and take into account the interest of a large number of actors.  This may be different for specific business level strategies as the actors are more likely directly influenced by a specific strategy. To show how these factors influence organizational strategy it would be beneficial to look at a company such as Under Armor.  To begin with, their power structure has drastically changed as its organizational strategy has evolved.  The power of Under Armor used to be with only its owner and founder.  As the company grew and strategy changed, the power and leadership was dispersed throughout the various divisions of the company making the implementation of both corporate and business level strategies easier to carry out.. In this instance power has a huge influence on strategy and vice versa.  Obviously the capacity for change at Under Armor is a huge factor in how the company chooses its specific strategies. Because they are a very decentralized organization, thus very flexible, it makes it possible to implement very aggressive strategies. While actors interests aren't ignored, I don't see them having a huge influence on Under Armors' corporate strategies.  I don't think Under Armor's decision to create new division took into account the interest of actors in other division but may have with higher-level employees. Clearly, Under Armor's corporate strategies have been highly successful and were influenced in one way or another by the power structure, capacity for change, and actors interest.  

Organizational Strategy

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First, strategy as defined by Alfred Chandler is the determination of the basic long-term goals and objectives of an enterprise and the adoption of courses of action and the allocation of resources necessary for carrying out these goals (Slack and Parent 111). I agree that the main point of an effective strategy should follow the goals and objectives of a company/business. There are many different types of effective strategies and to understand them completely you must know the structure of the company/business. There are three factors of organizational strategy, which are power, capacity for change and interest. Starting with power, it is important to know that the executives of a business or company do not only hold power, but also it is also filtered throughout the rest of the company, along with all of the stakeholders invested in the company. It is not held by a single person, but rather spread throughout the entire company to make the company run smoothly and effectively. An example of showing how power effects an organization is using the U of M, a few years ago they merged the women's and men's athletic departments, so that has changed the amount of power for each person in the department. Next, is the capacity for change for a company, they must be able to adjust to the change as fast or slow as needed. This is a big part of making an effective organizational strategy. For an organization to deal with change, they must have great communication throughout the company, so that everyone is on the same page and they can effectively change their company's objectives and goals to fit the new "trend". This will make sure that every aspect of the company knows about the change and can effectively adjust their department to make the company continue to run smooth and effective. I will also use the U of M athletic department as an example for change, because they merged two large departments into one and they had to make sure everything was covered and that everyone was on the same page. This had to happen so the merger would still be effective and successful. Lastly, interest is very important to organizational strategy because the organization is geared towards their goals and objectives, so they need to keep the interest of their stakeholders, so that they will keep investing in that particular company. If you lose the stakeholders interest to another company or organization, you will lose investing and you will not meet the organizations goals or objectives. For the athletic department at the U of M, they needed to keep the stakeholders interested in all of the sports, so they would continue to donate to the university athletic department, even though they are now together and the money donated goes to both men and women.

Organizational Strategy

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Since strategy is so important to an organizations success, it is often times compared to goals and objectives of an organization, as Slack and Parent point out (11) but it is the way in which those goals and objectives will be accomplished. Any organization needs to have a plan laid out on how they are going to achieve their goals. After reading the case study, I would agree that power, capacity and actors interest are three components with a large amount of influence on the strategy of an organization. Power is defined as "a capacity to determine outcomes" and is typically "linked to the control and/or mobilization of scarce resources" as the case study by John Amis states. Each organization needs to have one person at the top of the organizational structure who makes all the decisions and decides how resources, such as money and material resources are going to be used and what the division of labor is going to be. Whether the organization has the power spread throughout its organization or just one person at the top of the hierarchy, the power has a large weight on what the strategy of the organization is going to be to reach their ultimate goals. Next are the "actors" of an organization. These are those who make up the organization. Each actor has different views and desires in relation to the organization. These differing opinions can cause a problem, especially when the organization is trying to change their strategy. They must try and keep the actors happy in order to keep the organization running, which could prove to be difficult. Those in the position of power need to be able to effectively and persuasively communicate their desire for change in their strategy while taking in to account each actors wishes as well. Lastly, there is the capacity for change or action. An organization must be able to effectively and smoothly change in order to meet the demands of the constantly changing market. This requires great leadership skills as well as making sure all employees and actors are informed on the details of this change to have a large capacity for change. As an example, if the gopher football team were to undergo a large change in their strategy after a losing season, power capacity and actors would have a large influence in this. The outlines for the change would go through President Bruiniks, AD Joel Maturi, and Coach Brewster. Next they would have to inform all the subordinates and actors of the organization, such as large donors to the organization and alumni. Their opinions and desires would need to be taken into account, because without boosters the football team would not be able to survive. Lastly, it is important to make sure the team isn't so set in its ways that they could not successfully make a change in their strategy and goals. This capacity to make the changes will make or break the organization. -Laura Schnell

This research study by Amis et. al outlines how interests, power, and capacity for change effect organizational change, and more specifically radical change. Radical change, according to the study, is change in which large parts of an organization are altered over a short period of time. Radical change is only possible if each dynamic (interests, power, and capacity for change) are all ready for or in need of change.


Allowing Canadian Universities to join American college athletics conferences would be a very radical change, in that many teams would be added to these conferences within a year. In this context, that would be a very large change in a relatively short period of time.


Deciding which teams should go to which conferences would include many key decisions to ensure the most efficient structures within each conference. One of these important decisions, which has already factored into the structure of the current conferences, is the proximity each university has to one another. For example, the Big Ten's universities are housed in eight different states, all bordering one another. Therefore, a Canadian addition to the Big Ten could include a University near Winnipeg (north of MN and ND) or Toronto (north of PA, east of MI). Some other good additions could be a university located in Vancouver or Edmonton to be added to the Pac-10, which includes such schools as Washington, Washington State, Oregon, and Oregon State, etc. Including proximity within each conference preserves geographic rivalries (Minnesota vs. Wisconsin), and helps teams with travel time and costs.


Another key factor in adding schools to American college athletics conferences would be school size and the ability to recruit top-tier athletes. For example, the University of Winnipeg has just under 10,000 undergraduate students, compared to the University of Minnesota's 28,000. A school size difference like this could severely damage the reputation of the conference by decreasing competition within the conference.


It is very important to consider all possible strategies when making a radical change such as this one. If a certain conference does not have the capacity to change, or the power and interests of those involved is not set up correctly for a change, then the change should not occur. However, including Canadian teams into some American conferences would make sense. Division I-AA (FCS) or Division II conferences would be perfect for some Canadian teams, and would allow those schools to be competitive, while also being in geographic proximity.


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Strategic Change


            Amis et al. talk at length about Sport Canada's (SC) want to reorganize all 36 of Canada's Olympic National Sports Organizations (NSOs) to produce Canada's "Best Ever" Olympic efforts.  The research conducted evaluated all 36 of the NSOs; then select 6 specific NSOs and evaluate their failure or success in more depth with the specific purpose of seeing how the organizations structure changed.  While some of the 6 NSO's evaluated performed very well and where able to complete their strategic change others failed terribly and even ended up worse of then when SC started the reorganization process.

            Amis et al. talk to some degree about how, "leadership enable or constrains change" but they seem to only scratch the surface on the issue of leadership.  At one point the paper even states:


"...NSOs that reoriented had leaders that possessed the technical capabilities of understanding what was required to bring about change."


SC should have taken a different approach to the proposed reorganization of the NSOs.  Specifically SC should have chosen a leader more suited to the job or reorganization rather then providing a mandate and funds to reach a goal.

            From the reading it appears that SC took a cookie cutter approach to all 36 NSOs rather then a more individualized look at each one and then proceeding differently with each in a more organized and controlled manner.  SC could have been much more effective if they had appointed one of the many volunteers or current staff at the head of a specific NSO to a more permanent and powerful position within the NSO.  By taking someone from within the NSO it is possible that SC could have given instant credibility and influence within the specific sport to the individual appointed to manage the reorganization.

            Amis' paper talks about how in some organization there was a power struggle between volunteers within the NSO and staff hired to implement the necessary change.  This power struggle was particularly talked about in the organizations that failed to successfully reorganize.  It is possible that some of this power struggle could be avoided if SC had appointed a specific individual tasked with heading up the proposed reorganization.  Amis et al. put it well:


"Only those organizations that possess leaders who are able to... convince other members that they can lead the organization through the change process will have the possibility of changing."


If SC had taken the time to appoint or promote strong leaders within the NSOs it is my feeling more of the NSO if not all could have successfully reorganized.

            If SC had taken the approach of appointing an individual within the NSO to run the reorganization this could have also benefited SC.  SC could have set goals for the reorganization or told the NSO to set goals for the reorganization.  Then SC and the NSO itself would have had a way to measure what was being accomplished within the NSO.   If the reorganization was not happening to SC or the NSO's satisfaction then goals could have been adjusted or priorities shifted to keep the NSO on track towards the reorganization.  This could have been a means to measure success and have a form of accountability with what was happened at each NSO.

            By appointing or hiring a leader to run the reorganization from within the NSO it is my opinion that more of the NSOs would have been effective in accomplishing their reorganization goals.



1)            Amis et al. talk some about the effect leaders had on their NSOs reorganization efforts.  What are some examples of other good and bad leadership in sports that have produced positive and negative outcomes?  Think league office management, national organizations or groups as opposed to teams.

2)            Considering some of the NSOs in our reading failed badly at reorganizing what suggestions or techniques would you give to Sports Canada to make their reorganization plan work more effectively for the NSOs?

In a sports organization, or really any organization, there needs to be a cretin number of constants. These constants help the organization run and run effectively. In the case of sports organization strategy there are three of these constants, power, capacity for change, and interest in change. The reason that I consider these constants is because each one needs to be in place within the organization in order for it to really be successful. These three components to an organization have a great deal of influence on the organization and have the ability to shift the structure of the organization.

            The first component is power. This is a basic concept but sometimes the application of it is not. A good power structure within the organization will have the person or people in power making the decisions in a decisive and timely manner. This role is tied greatly to a leadership role within the organization. So an example would be the decision whether or not to merge two divisions of the organization together such as the Gophers Men's and Women's Athletic departments. The power of the school board to make this decision is an example of who the power might fall to. If the board was not able to make a decision about this issue then the two departments might still be separate and might have some tension about the reasons why they are not joining.

            The second component to a successful organization is the ability to implement their strategies which is listed under the capacity for change component. This is basically saying that the organizations actions speak louder than words. If the organizations makes a strategy for the new year but then doesn't follow through on it the organization will struggle. Most of the struggle with this component in organizations is caused by poor communication. The change in the organization might be implemented at the top but if it can't get down the chain to all the employees then the change is useless. This was apparent in the case of Amis, Slack and Hinings (2004). In this case the communication between all the different areas within the organization was not close enough to really have an effective. If someone needs to express an opinion then they would be out of luck in the structure that is in place in the case.

            The final component is interest in change from the entire organization. This means that if the organization is spilt in the decision for the change then the change will not go over very well. Some people just don't like change because it brings the unknown but for those who welcome it, it brings opportunity. In the example of the merger of athletic departments in the Gopher case if one of the departments didn't want the merger then it would have fallen into the 2/3rds of mergers that don't work. Gratefully since everyone involved wanted to make this change because the pros outweighed the cons the merger was a success. This is where the power and capacity of change steps into the equation. If people did not trust the power of the people in charge of did not communicate the change to the whole organization then the merger would not even given the chance to happen.

            Having a solid base in all of these components in an organization will bring an effective and successful culture to the organization. That is something that some organizations lack.

Organizational Strategy

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If an organization responds to changes in their respective environment with certain strategies that will eventually call for structural change, and organization will be successful. An organization's strategy can be long-term and is put in place to deal with both external and internal challenges. In the sports industry, it is vital for organizations to have a strategy so they can keep a competitive advantage over their competitors in their market. Each organization puts these strategies in place in order to attain their goals and to be successful. The strategies implemented by these sport organizations can be deliberate or emergent. Deliberate strategies are purposeful actions that become noticed. Emergent strategies are also realized, but not intended. I think the New York Yankees is an organization that uses deliberative strategies. Since there is a no salary cap in baseball, this allows MLB owners to spend as much money as they want on free agents. When the Yankees sign free agents, this would be their intended course of action. They are noticed because of all the money they spend and their goal to be the best team in baseball and to win the World Series. Organizational strategy and change can be a long thought out process that may cause confusion at times, but it is very important for the strategy to be well planned, organized, and deliberate. Organizations decide on an appropriate strategy based on their viewpoint from opportunities and threats in the environment. They also take into consideration the strengths and weakness internally within an organization. Their strategy they decide to then implement determines their organizational structure. There are three key aspects that greatly affect an organization's strategy: capacity to change, power, and the influence of the actor's interests. In an organization are "actors," these are subunits that make up an organization. These subunits typically function individually which makes them different from each other because they have dissimilar interests and values. Although these subunits have different they are still associated with each other working towards the organization's goals. Although it is good to have different interests to allow for diversification within an organization, it may backfire when a change is needed structurally. The subunits values clash and may cause disruptions during the process of developing a strategy. The disruptions are caused by the disagreement between the subunits, because some may ultimately benefit from the proposed change and some will not. Obviously the level of power varies between subunits in an organization; those who have greater power are able to maintain their individual interests and will not be affected by the strategy change. When an organization is developing a strategy it is obvious there are many factors that must be analyzed and discussed. Strategies are vital for an organization to maintain or change their structure, attain their goals, and to succeed.
There are three core values when thinking about strategy.  Power, Capacity for change, and interest are the core functions.  When thinking about this I am using the example of the Canadian schools being incorporated in the NCAA Division I program.  Attempting to incorporate Canadian schools into the Division I membership would be a lot of work. There would need to be a whole new design in the NCAA organization. The regulations and guidelines of the NCAA structure would need to be modified to include the Canadian schools. There are many Canadian schools, so the organization of which schools would go in which conferences would also be a factor to consider when incorporating them into the program. Would every Division I Canadian school have to join the same conference, or could they be split up across the nation? Strategy would have to be considered to functionally perform a task like this. The three core values of strategy are power, capacity for change, and interest. Who decides power in a change like this? Each stakeholder, whether the athletic directors, or the commissioner of the NCAA, down to the fans have a say in what should happen with a huge decision like this. This would need to be a full proof plan because if it failed, it would be a huge loss and could hold huge inconveniences for the NCAA and its purpose. There would be multiple deliberate strategies put in place to ensure success with this developing change. This would be an incredibly huge merger between Canada and the United States. Which is why there would need to be a capacity for change. Would the NCAA be strong enough to adapt to this change? The organization would have to be flexible to accommodate this change, but at the same time be rigid enough to not let any mistakes happen. This would need to be a change that could feasibly be possible.  As for the interest factor, would the United States be behind a merger like this? Some people are not huge fans of Canada. If this merger occurred, some crucial stakeholders may not be supportive of this idea. One of the biggest issues involved with this merger would be the travel time for teams to compete. Some parts of Canada are incredibly far from the United States. Almost all U.S. conference regions are close together, so travel time is not as big of an issue, but if Canada was involved, there may have to be middle ground games played which would eliminate the "home court" advantage in some situations. This would then eliminate fan incorporation because many fans are not willing to travel that far for games. If this merger were to happen, the Canadian teams would be split among all the conferences. It would not make sense to have all Canadian teams join one conference. They would be split among regions, just as they are in the United States. The regions would just have to expand further north. According to Slack & Parent, the structure of an organization can determine the strategy (125). With a large organization like the NCAA, come large strategies that need to be executed by all components involved with this process. There would be many questions that would arise from this decision. Is it really worth the NCAA's time to incorporate the Canadian teams into our conferences? Would it be fiscally responsible? Would the competition weaken or gain strength? Should things be kept separate? What is the best interest of the athletes? Would things just be easier if the conferences stayed the same? What would the benefits of this merger be? With a huge merger like this, the questions are endless. With a big risk like this, there is a larger chance for failure. This merger could be successful, but all outlooks need to be investigated. This merger would be good to incorporate different regions and include more people. This would be a good way to connect countries, but it could also be a bad idea because of the situations that could go wrong. If this merger failed, the connection with the country could end.  With an even distribution of power, a willingness and ability to change, and a strong interest in the matter, then the merger should be successful.

Organizational Strategy

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Power, the capacity to change, and interest are three influences on how an organizational strategy is implemented and how well it is carried out. Without being strong in each of these key areas an organization is not going to be at the top in its industry. Every organization must have some point of power. If it is a very centralized organization the power is at the top, and the people at the top greatly influence how everyone else in the company is to function. For instance let's say an enormous organization like the Minnesota Vikings, in this case a very centralized organization, are trying to put a proposal together for a new stadium and the people at the top are failing to put together an effective proposal. In this situation the power being allotted to the people highest up on the totem pole is very important because they have huge decisions to make and plans to execute. The people with the power influence the strategy in the sense that they are deciding on what exactly the strategy is going to be. If the power of an organization is put into the wrong hands, or is not allotted correctly, an organization could have huge downfalls and potentially not live up to all that it could be. The question here is who determines who gets the power? Once it is decided who has the power how do you decide the extent to which that person, or group of people, gets to make decisions without anyone else's input? Along with power, the capacity for an organization to change greatly influences the organizations strategy. Most organizations cannot run the same exact way year in and year out and be successful, especially sport organizations. Trends are constantly changing, along with team records, and the condition of the economy, or in other words the amount of money people are willing and able to spend. The ability to adapt to these changes and then have your company work as a whole to change is very essential. In the readings from Amis, Slack, and Hinnings (2004) it is apparent that the capacity for an organization to change is key to the organizations strategy. The communication lines were bad and volunteers were skeptical for quite some time about the changes and that, therefore made the changes even harder to execute. With honest communication throughout an organization the capacity for an organization to change is greatly increased, making the strategy just that much better. One thing to be talked about here is how should an organization implement change? Should the top management simply tell the lower levels what to do and how to do it or should they obtain input before setting any plan into action? The question after that becomes, how are they going to effectively and efficiently communicate to everyone in the company so that everyone is on the same page? Once a company has reached the point of having the capacity to change, the next essential step is getting the employees of a company to be interested in change. After working in an organization for a while employees may want to adhere to the normal way of doing things and may not be thinking of changing and new ideas. It is up to the leader to determine an effective way to keep everyone motivated yet excited about change. Perhaps keeping things a little more on the decentralized side would help to keep ideas flowing and people energized about change because they will have more of a say in it. For example if you are working for a company where you are constantly being told new ways of doing things and changes are being implemented month in and month out and you never have any say as to how the new strategies should be devised or implemented you are probably going to grow old of the company quickly. However, if management were to ask you and your fellow employees every couple of months what you think is effective or ideas you may have you are probably going to be more willing to adhere to what the company decides on because you know you had a say in it, you know they are listening to you and your opinion. The question is where does the top management draw the line on letting lower levels of management and employees help on making decisions? How does the company decide just how decentralized they are willing, or would like, to be?

Organizational Strategy

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There are three factors that can influence organizational strategy; these factors are power, capacity for change, and interest. The first factor in influencing organizational strategy is power. The most important thing to know about power is that it is not just held by the elite members of the organization, meaning that the owners and investors are not the only people that hold the power in the organization. Every stakeholder in the organization holds some kind of power. In a sports organization you might say that the customers or fans that attend your sporting events hold the most power, because if it was not for their interest in the sport they would not attend. You could say the same for every stakeholder in the organization, if it wasn't for the players there would not be a game, if it wasn't for the coaches the game would not be organized, if it wasn't for the team owners the team would not be properly funded, etc. Thus power is not held by one single person or entity, but instead it is spread across all the vast groups that make up the organization, and if you pulled the power away from one group the organization's strategy would be compromised. The second factor that can influence organizational strategy is the organization's capacity for change. Organizational change can be either incremental (slow) or radical (fast/instant), and the way that an organization deals with that change is crucial. For an organization to handle change properly they have to make sure that every member of the organization is on the same page that everyone else is at. Meaning that they know the goals and missions of the organization, so that they can handle the change properly while still being effective and fulfilling their set goals and missions, and all members of the organization need to be aware of any plans that are implemented for certain changes. In the sports team example you would want certain plans already arranged in case a player strike is initiated, certain stakeholders do not agree on something, or if something drastic happened to the team as a business. Change can either make or break your organization's strategy, so to be an effective organization you need to know how to handle the problematic situations that your organization may or may not face. The final factor that can influence organizational strategy is interest. Interest is important in organizational strategy because as an organization you are working toward one common goal and mission, if members or stakeholders in your organization seek different interests that can harm your organization, your strategy will be compromised, because the common goal or interest is not going to be 100 percent fulfilled. In conclusion the three most influential factors on organizational strategy are power, capacity for change, and interests. All of these components influence the organization in a different way, but if not fully understood they will affect your organization's strategy.

Organizational Strategy

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Organizational structure is another aspect that leads to organizational effectiveness and success. Strategy can be defined as the goals and objectives of an organization and also the ways in which those goals can be achieved. Three important factors that contribute to organizational strategy are power, capacity, and actors' interest.

            Power is the capacity to determine outcomes, according to John Amis. Depending on if the organization is centralized or decentralized, power will effect the strategy differently. If the organization is decentralized, the power will be spread out across the entire organization. This will create a tougher environment to induce change in. If the organization is centralized, the power will be held by a small group of elites within the organization. This creates an easier environment to induce change in. The group will most likely accept the plan for change more easily if centralized.

            Capacity of change is another important factor of organizational strategy. As stated in the article, it is important for members of the organization to be able to transition from one state to another. The degree of change that the organization wishes to achieve must be realistic. Capacity of change involves a great deal with leadership within the organization. During a major transformation, the members of the organization need someone to look to in order to guide them and provide reassurance.

            The actors' interests are the last influential aspect in organizational strategy. Actors are the subunits or departments within an organization. The role of actors' interests in strategy directly relates to the power in the organization and each subunit. Each subunit generally strives to protect their valued interests. Regarding the change in the organization, there are going to be some subunits that favor the change, and some that oppose. These decisions are based on whether or not the proposed strategy would damage or support each individual subunits interest.

            The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers of the Northwoods Baseball League is an organization that could easily undergo change in structure when considering the three factors previously discussed. Since the organization is small, and centralized the power within the organization is kept between a small group of elites. The group of elites in this organization display strong leadership traits, creating a quality capacity for change. If the organization were to undergo strategy change, the members would be reassured that their goals are achievable and the strategy change is realistic. Each subunit within the organization has similar goals and values, creating common actors interests. This will help contribute to a successful organizational strategy change. 

NESCAC Case Study

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1. The common goals of the NESCAC are to keep the athletic programs in harmony with the academic purpose of the college, that the athletes are representative of the student body, and that "the academic authority in each college was to control intercollegiate athletic policy" (81). 2. By making that decision they are avoiding the conflicts that would occur within the NCAA championship conflicting with the college's academic excellence. 3. Coaches wanted a chance to coach a team in the NCAA championships; it would also be a good opportunity for the student athletes by opening them up to new experiences and competition outside of NESCAC. 4. Reward for one team that gets to attend NCAA championships. Not interfering with academics across the conference/exceptions only need to be made for one school. 5. Not as many teams are going to get into championships, and teams that are qualifying for tournaments are being turned down because of the rules set in place by the conference. Not as many teams in the conference would get the NCAA experience that would help them to improve. 6. People within the authority positions need to be changed, the goals and missions within the organization need to be reevaluated. It's not a structure problem; it is more of a design problem. 7. Banning post season play and NCAA tournaments: more time at campus and at classes, but the schools would lose exposure and recruiting would be harder; the general outlook on the school's reputation; the school would succeed academically, but the athletics would drop. The plan that they chose: students that are academically eligible would chose different schools to play at, because they would be allowed more freedom in where and when they are allowed to play. 8. Stakeholders and student athletes matter the most-every decision that was made in the final plan was not good enough for the stakeholders.

Organizational Strategy

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     Organizational strategy is a major part of the way an organization operates. Many things can influence how an organization implements a strategy and how effective that strategy can be to the organization. Some influences include power, capacity for change, and interest. These three influences are interrelated but can be looked at separately.

     Power can be described in this situation as the person or the group of people who have the power to make organizational change happen. To implement a new strategy the people in power must be able effectively manage all aspects of the transformation. Suppose company A has a growth strategy and is buying out company B and company A is now going to change from a more vertical structure to a more horizontal, departmentalized structure. Company A's person in power would be gaining more power over the growing company and would need to implement a strategy of effectively merging the two companies. A big part of having the power and being effective is also to show a great deal of leadership. A person in power who is not a great leader could pose some problems for an effective merger.

     The capacity for change refers to how internal resources affect an organizations ability to implement their strategy. This could range from the amount of people in the organization and their ability to communicate with each other. The capacity for change in an organization can be greatly increased by effective communication before the change has started to happen. If everyone gets on the same page before the strategy change process starts there will be less complications providing a smooth transition to the new strategy. In case three of Amis, Slack, and Hinings (2004) we saw that communication about the change was not strong and volunteers where suspicious of the changes for most of the twelve years of the study making it very difficult to implement their changes. 

     Interest in change from the entire organization may be the most influential on the success of implementing the change. Humans have a natural resistance to change and overcoming this is a key to success. To do this, it is essential to have a great leader at the head of the organizational change, someone who can communicate effectively and motivate people to support the change. Getting people to conform and go along with change could hinge on whether the employees can trust the people in power to do the right thing. 

     Having all three of these components greatly helps an organization to effectively undergo a strategy and structure change. Leadership, communication, and trust can also go a long way to aide in accomplishing having good power, capacity for change, and interests.
An organization that remains stable and consistent in their operations and structure for a long period of time is not very common, especially in the sports industry. In order to maintain a competitive advantage in their respective markets, sport organizations must implement organizational strategies in order to induce change, hopefully resulting in increased success and attainment of goals. Organizational strategy and change is a complicated process, and there are many things to consider when developing a strategy for the bettering of the organization as a whole. Three key aspects that directly affect an organization's strategy are power, capacity to change, and the influence of the organization's actor's interests. Within most sport organizations, there are subunits or "actors" who comprise the makeup of the entire organization. These subunits function somewhat separately within the organization, and therefore have different interests and values. In most organizations, you will find subunits with varying interests, and it is a priority of these subunits to keep their interests fulfilled and as a priority for the organization as a whole. The varying interests of these actors can cause a problem with an organization who wants to develop a strategy to change. The subunits that will benefit from the proposed change will favor the strategy, while the subunits that will not benefit or will be damaged by the strategy and resulting change will be indifferent or oppose the proposal. These actors have varying levels of power, which I will discuss later, and the more power they have in the organization the easier it is for them to protect their valued interests within the organization so that they are not damaged by the change strategy. Conversely, actors that are dissatisfied with the current organizational structure can pressure for a change to better suit their interests if they have the necessary power within the organization to do so. As we can see, organizational strategy is influenced by the interests and level of power of the various subunits within the organization. Secondly, organizational strategy is influenced by the capacity for change of an organization. In order for an organization to bring about successful change, it must be capable of doing so. The key to being successful in an organizational transformation is having strong leadership skills possessed by the organization's elite members. These elite members must be able to create a strong level of trust and belief of the potential of the change for all members and subunits of the organization. Effective leaders who can help to bring about change are motivational, exciting, prospective, and encouraging. Poor leadership within the organization can result in a separated organization in which some support the change and others oppose it and therefore making change a very difficult task. When developing a strategy for organizational change, one must consider whether the organization has sufficient leadership, means, and resources to actually go through with their strategy. Lastly, an organizational strategy is influenced tremendously by power. Power, according to Slack and Hinings (2004), is the ability to control scarce resources. In the sense of an organization attempting to produce change, these scarce resources are the employees and subunits within the organization. The more people you have direct control of and in support of the strategy, the easier the process will be. Without power, organizational change is not possible. Relatively decentralized organizations can sometimes have a tough time implementing a strategy for change because the power is distributed widely, and therefore the interests of the organization's members are varied and a small group cannot control the entire organization's beliefs and actions. Centralized organizations, on the flip side, are controlled by a small group of elites who can usually use their power to easily gain support for the proposed strategy and change for the organization. Clearly, these three factors are necessary considerations for a sport manager to assess when attempting to develop strategy within his or her sport organization. For example, if the Green Bay Packers were considering developing a strategy to bring about change, they must take actor's interest, capacity for change, and power into consideration. The Packers are one of few professional teams which are publicly owned, and therefore have a relatively decentralized organizational structure. Elites within the Packers organization must recognize that the power within the Packers organization is spread throughout the shareholders, so organizational change will be tougher to bring about, and more importantly strategy will be extremely difficult to agree upon. The Packers must also consider the interests of their subunits, which in this case, are various. Since the Packers are publicly owned, there are many shareholders and subunits within the organization. Although it may seem as though this would make it difficult to agree upon a strategy, I believe that the Packers are in a unique situation in which the subunits are in a relatively strong consensus of unified organizational interests. Packer football in Wisconsin is like no other, it's a huge part of the state's culture and therefore the majority of shareholders and subunits recognize this and do their best to maintain their interests and preserve the "Packer tradition". Lastly, the Packers must consider the leadership skills of the elite employees within the organization. The general manager, Ted Thompson, for instance, would need to have excellent leadership skills and motivational qualities in order for an effective strategy and resultant organizational change to be successful.

Organization Strategy

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Power, capacity and interest are three things that greatly underpin the internal workings of an organization and as such, influence the organization's strategy. It may be thought that power comes from the higher-level corporate leaders of the organization but who says it can't come from the workers themselves? By banding together and believing in a common purpose, workers can hold more power than anyone else in an organization. Take union workers for example. These are people who work in a common place who have decided to organize themselves into a group with specific expectations and requirements to be met by their bosses. If these are not satisfied, a very common occurrence is a union strike. These people put a halt to their production and rally to earn better wages, working conditions, healthcare benefits, etc. With all of the power lying at the head of the organization, disputes would be solved in the manner that they see fit rather than what is best for the rest of the workforce. Is this really the best solution? The interests of the employees may be different depending on what subunit they work in. Obviously everyone is working to create and efficient and successful organization. However, the means by which success is attained may require different needs from each subunit. Workers at the bottom level may require more break times, ultimately extending the workday. However, people in conservation areas of the company may deem those break times to be detrimental to the efficiency of the organization since nothing will be produced during those periods and yet all of the lights and equipment will still be running, causing an excess of wasted energy. So, do you adhere to the requests of your much-needed employees and grant them their wishes in order to continue to put out your product? Or do you put your foot down and say no at the expense of a negative reaction? During tough economic times, a company might be losing money at an accelerating rate. The heads might come to the conclusion that the only way to save it is to lay off a large chunk of its lower-workforce thus reducing the amount of money being allocated to salaries. Though this puts a large amount of people out of a job and personally in a dangerous position given standards of living, it is in the best interest for the organization and its attempt to return to its previously good standing. Hand in hand with these changes comes capacity or capacity for change. When an organization is faced with a tough decision such as the one described above, it may need to dig deep and discover new solutions to its problems. They will recognize all of the areas that need to be altered in some way in order for the company to better operate. The ability for a company to look at its power structure and the interests of the people who work there will show them where they are capable of making dramatic changes to its structure.

Strategy is an important component of organizational success, and is often closely linked to its structure and success according to Slack and Parent (111). I agree with Mintzberg when he stated that strategy can be seen as more than just goals and objectives, it is also the way in which those goals are to be achieved (111). Power, capacity and actors interest are factors that do have quite a significant influence on the specific strategy of an organization.

Power is described in the article we read by John Amis as a capacity to determine outcomes. In any type of organizational structure, a form of power needs to be recognized and understood. For example, in a very formal and centralized organization it is understood that there is essentially one person at the top of the hierarchy who makes the crucial decisions. In a decentralized organization power and decision-making is spread throughout. Power heavily influences the strategy of an organization regardless of its specific structure. A decentralized organization will have many different subunits, each with their own specific goals and strategies. This becomes an issue when these subunits put more of an emphasis on their own strategy instead of the organization's "big picture" strategy. However, if these different sections of an organization can get their strategic views on plain with the organizational strategy, this diversified type of power can be extremely effective.

Capacity for change or action is another important component of organizational strategy. As Greenwood and Hinings stated, "radical change cannot occur without the organization having sufficient understanding of the new conceptual destination, having the skills and competencies required to function in that new destination, and having the ability to manage how to get to that new destination" (1996, pp. 1039-1040). Everyone within the organization needs to be prepared and on the same page in order for a major strategic transformation to be successful. In the case study by Amis we saw the exact opposite of this idea. The actors never really understood the specifics of the changes that were going to take place, and therefore this made it difficult to implement the changes that upper management wanted done.

In any organization, actors within different departments or subunits are not only interested in the organization as a whole but also in their self-interests. This means that there is always going to be a struggle between groups in an organization to protect their own interests. The key to maintaining or creating an effective strategy for every stakeholder of an organization is to find out what is important to each group. Change isn't going to happen if the group doesn't see a benefit for themselves. People in positions of power need to find ways to effectively communicate their goals and strategy to each subunit in hopes of creating a strategy that has something in it for everyone.

When you look at companies that have undergone major transformations to their strategy it seems apparent how important it is to understand how power, capacity, and actors interest influence strategy transformation in the organization. The example of Adidas reinventing itself from the text is an excellent example of how important all of these components are to a major strategic transformation. Adidas developed numerous specific strategies to try and boost its marketability. Things such as associating itself with famous athletes and marketing in foreign markets all were important steps for the company. Each of these projects had a different person who was in a position to determine outcomes, or in a position of power. Each specific project coordinator had a specific agenda, but at the end of the day all of the executives at Adidas understood that in order to completely transform their strategy they needed to cooperate. By working together and doing a good job of communicating to their employees in the many different subunits of the organization, Adidas successfully transformed its strategy.

Power can be very influential on organizational strategy, depending on whether the company is centralized or decentralized. Also, the ability to adapt to change, or the capacity of the company can have an effect on the organizational strategy. If a company has adopted a centralized organization, most of the power is installed with the highest workers in the company to make the decisions for the rest of the company. Trust has to be very strong among these types of structures because, especially if the company is very large with many levels where some of the workers cannot get to the higher-ups without going through a couple different people first, all of the company has to trust that their opinions are being heard through the grapevine, and that their opinions are affecting the decisions being made by the highest employees with the most power. When an organization adopts a decentralized structure, the power is usually spread throughout the organization. This majorly affects the strategy because there is a completely different way about going about making decisions in an organization with this type of structure. When the power is spread out more people will be heard and have their ideas put into the decision making process and the strategy used to run the company. Actors hold a very important role in the organizational strategy because they are essentially the ones that make the decisions in the best interest of the company. They affect the rules by which the organization operates by protecting the interests of the company. The article states that the power of the organization can change when a new set of actors gains power, and they may affect by altering the direction of the organization (161). Capacity in an organization determines how well the company is able to adapt to change in different ways. The article states that capacity can be broken down into behavioral and technical components (162). In the behavioral aspect, capacity refers to the ability to organize a commitment to change, and it helps to motivate the rest of the employees to be on the same page. The technical aspect is enforcing the necessary means to make the changes in the company to ultimately reach the goal. To be able to successfully mobilize the capacity for change, trust the actors of the company, and to define how the power of the company should be distributed the company can be very successful. They must however, all work well together to also be successful. Each dynamic affects the other depending on the organization. -Bria Stifter


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Power has a major impact on every organization in sports. Every organization in sports is pretty much in front of the public eye. It is very easy for fans to make a judgment on whether a team is successful or not based on their on field performance. Fans play a huge part in the decisions made in all sports organizations. Fans call into local talk shows to voice their opinions about the team and if the team is not performing well on the field, fans will get angry and try to tell the organization what they need to change in order to be better. A recent case of this getting out of hand happened when Detroit Lions fans were fed up with the team's losing ways and they organized a walkout during one of the team's games as a protest. There have also been cases of fans raising money to buy billboards in order to get a certain message across to ownership. I would argue that fans have a lot more power within an organization than most people think. If a team is not producing up to the fans' expectations for a long period of time, and the fans get fed up, they can organize and cause change within the organization. I would also argue that the people with the most money in the sports world play a major influence in the sporting industry. For fans to get power, they need to have large numbers and they have to organize. It is a lot easier for a person with a lot of money to make major changes in an organization. The athletes that make the most money on a team can go to the front office people of the organization and tell them what changes they think should be made and they usually get what they want. One example of this is Lebron James. Lebron James is the big free agent in the NBA after this season. Many people have been anticipating the upcoming free agent class and teams have been saving money so they can sign some of the big name free agents. Lebron James told the Cleveland Cavaliers that he would be willing to stay with the team as long as they brought in good players to make the team more competitive. Last off season, the Cavaliers traded for Shaquille O'neal to try and strengthen their front line. Because the team's star athlete told the team to bring in good players, the Cavaliers went out of their way to bring in another superstar. It is much easier for star players to change things within an organization than for fans to because the organization has invested so much money in the star players that they want to keep them happy at all times. Fans base so many of their opinions on emotions and they're thoughts on the team change on a weekly basis that they need a lot of support to make any major changes.

Organizatioanl strategy

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Power can influence the organizational strategy in different ways. But to have an efficient organization there must be a level of trust and beliefs by the organizational members so that leadership is able to guide the organization through conflicts. If a company is centralized than power with affect the decision making process. Because most of the decisions will be made in a centralized organization by the most powerful people, then the strategy for that organization will be made the same way. There will be only limited power within that organization since most of the decisions are made by the people who are at the top.  However, if a company that is decentralized might incorporate different organizational strategies. Because a decentralized company will have the power dispersed among more people, the decision making process will have more input, and therefore may have a different strategy than a centralized organization. From the article it states that "power transforms individual interests into coordinated activities that accomplish valuable ends...Change tends to occur when either a new set of actors gains power or when it is in the interest of those in power to alter the direction of the organization" (161). This is why I think decentralizing the organization will work better than centralizing. The organization will be able to gain more power by hearing different perspectives from the members of the organization. In my opinion capacity plays a big role in making the impact to the organization's strategy. As well as having a supportive power structure in the organization, there is also a need for an organization intent on carrying out a transformation to have the capacity to bring the change. From the article Pettigrew suggested that "the transformational leader is able to unite organization members 'in pursuit of higher goals, the realization of which is tested by the achievement of significant change" (189). We all need to have the commitment of trust and respect among different members how the change process should be managed. Power and capacity can have a big influence to the organizational strategy. The more individuals become more powerful, so does the organization. As the organization becomes more powerful so does the each individual. To become powerful people we will need to have the leadership to make changes in the organization. To make changes in the organization it is important to remember that power can influence the organization to become more efficient and have a better organizational strategy.

Organizational strategy is a major part of the way an organization operates. Many things can influence how an organization implements a strategy and how effective that strategy can be to the organization. Some influences include power, capacity for change, and interest. These three influences are interrelated but can be looked at separately.

Power can be described in this situation as the person or the group of people who have the power to make organizational change happen. To implement a new strategy the people in power must be able effectively manage all aspects of the transformation. Suppose company A has a growth strategy and is buying out company B and company A is now going to change from a more vertical structure to a more horizontal, departmentalized structure. Company A's person in power would be gaining more power over the growing company and would need to implement a strategy of effectively merging the two companies. A big part of having the power and being effective is also to show a great deal of leadership. A person in power who is not a great leader could pose some problems for an effective merger.

The capacity for change refers to how internal resources affect an organizations ability to implement their strategy. This could range from the amount of people in the organization and their ability to communicate with each other. The capacity for change in an organization can be greatly increased by effective communication before the change has started to happen. If everyone gets on the same page before the strategy change process starts there will be less complications providing a smooth transition to the new strategy. In case three of Amis, Slack, and Hinings (2004) we saw that communication about the change was not strong and volunteers where suspicious of the changes for most of the twelve years of the study making it very difficult to implement their changes.

Interest in change from the entire organization may be the most influential on the success of implementing the change. Humans have a natural resistance to change and overcoming this is a key to success. To do this, it is essential to have a great leader at the head of the organizational change, someone who can communicate effectively and motivate people to support the change. Getting people to conform and go along with change could hinge on whether the employees can trust the people in power to do the right thing.

Having all three of these components greatly helps an organization to effectively undergo a strategy and structure change. Leadership, communication, and trust can also go a long way to aide in accomplishing having good power, capacity for change, and interests.

Blog #2

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Power can influence organizational strategy in many different ways. If a company has a centralized approach, than power with affect the decision making process. The strategy in a centralized organization will have all the decisions within the organizations by the people at the top. The couple people or one person that makes all the decisions and has all the power, then the company is determined by those select people. Having a company that is more decentralized might help to make more creative and open flows of ideas. Because a decentralized company has the power dispersed among more people, the decision making process has much more input, and many more decisions that a centralized organization. An example of a centralized company would be the military. All decisions and commands come from a few people at the top such as the President and the top U.S. Commander. Being a part of an organization like this I can tell you with firsthand experience that people do not feel as if their opinions matter and all decisions come from the top. Therefore that is why there are so many unhappy workers and there is a high turn-over rate of the middle to lower management personnel. There is no chance for promotions until you are a seasoned veteran, and that leads to people quitting or leaving the organization. I am not sure how you would decentralize the military in such a way that more people could have more decisions? One possible way would be to delegate more of the decisions and authority to the people that are under you and trust their decision making responsibilities. A different example would be a small company that has a few employees, might not be able to work with a prospective strategy, as they stick to a focus strategy because they may be low on people or money to try a different strategy. The actors' interest can be on a wide range when it comes to their influence on the organizational strategy. It all depends on the type of organization that the actor influences. When a company has stakeholders, especially ones that want to have a lot of pull because they have so much money involved, then the organization will be heavily leaned on to listen to their decisions and ideas about how to run the organization. With a business that is independently owned, the owner can make all the decisions and then it is completely on him whether the business fails or not? The employees have nothing put into the company and therefore have nothing to lose other than their jobs in things go south. From Chapter Six I have learned that organizational structure can be influenced in numerous different ways and approaches. I feel that companies need to use what they have and play the hand that they are dealt. Power and actors interest can be a huge influence on the strategy of the organization. Whatever a business may choose that effectively works in the competitive business world will have to be the decision that the company goes with.

Blog #2

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If Canadian schools tried to be implemented into Division I athletic membership, it would take a lot of time in order to come up with a short and long term strategy. I think the first thing that NCAA would have to consider is what schools in the U.S. would play the Canadian teams. Obviously it would be difficult and expensive for teams in the lower part of the U.S. to travel up to Canada to play or vice versa. That's why the schools in the Midwest, Northeast, and Northwest would probably be the teams to play against the Canadian schools. The games could be played at the beginning of the season, similar to when big Division I (D I) schools play smaller D I or a D II schools. This typically happens during a teams "preseason". Expanding the competition into Canada would allow for athletes who didn't make their Division I choice of school the chance to play at the same level of competition. However if this were to happen it would cause a ripple effect and would take away some of the talent in D II schools. This would require precise planning and organizing, and would take a long time to plan in order to consider all the possibilities and options available. Also it would take a long time for the Canadian schools to get on the same level of competition as major D I schools. Teams would most likely have to commit to home and home games; it would make it easier for teams to adjust to the environment. These games would be considered non-conference games until there was a possible conference evolution between the US and Canadian schools. Although this would increase the teams' travel expenses, it could also be used as a marketing strategy to bring in revenue. Since there would be a lot of time and planning spent on designing the schedule structure, the NCAA and the Canadian schools would have to be almost positive that both sides would benefit from these games. Also in order to incorporate Canadian schools with the NCAA Division I the rules and regulations would have to be the same, whether it was rules for the game, recruiting, signing of players, and other regulations. In conclusion, I think if the NCAA and the Canadian schools had the leadership tools to organize this and to pull it off effectively it would be a success. However it might take some time in order for this to be successful and beneficial for these schools.

Organizational strategy

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I believe that power influences organizational strategy in a variety of ways. If a company is centralized than power with affect the decision making process very much. Because most of the decisions will be made in a centralized organization by the most powerful people, then the strategy for that organization will be made the same way. With all of the power coming from a very small group of people, I believe that the organizational strategy will be determined by those select few people with all of the power. On the other hand, a company that is decentralized might incorporate different organizational strategies. Because a decentralized company will have the power dispersed among more people, the decision making process will have more input, and therefore may have a different strategy than a centralized organization. In my opinion, capacity has the biggest impact on an organization's strategy. No matter what strategy a company may prefer to incorporate, there may be a few things preventing them from accomplishing their goals. They may be hindered by money constraints and therefore may not be capable of trying to use a certain organizational strategy. For example, a very small company that only has a few employees may not be able to use the prospective strategy. They will most likely stick to a focus strategy because they may be low on funds or personnel to try a different approach. The actors' interest can be on a varying scale when it comes to their influence on the organizational strategy. I believe that it depends on the type of organization that the actors are influencing. If the company is funded by many different sources, maybe boosters or other support resources, then the company will have to consider what those sources have to say in deciding what organizational strategy they will use. If a company has many different stakeholders, and especially stockholders, they will definitely be persuaded to incorporate their input into the decision making process. On the other hand, a business that may be independently owned and funded will not be under much pressure to listen to the employees about organizational strategies. The employees have nothing put into the company and therefore have nothing to lose if the organizational strategy does not succeed. From the readings I have learned that organizational structure can be influenced in many different ways. Power, capacity, and actors' interest are a few that I have listed that I believe have a very substantial influence on which strategy the organization will use. I think that a company must use the resources that are handed to them in order to survive in the competitive business world.


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1. Effort to organize a playoff system similar to more mainstream, large collegiate conferences. 2. The goal of becoming more like mainstream conferences began as an experiment to determine the feasibility of implementing a more mainstream post season format. 3. Each individual from the institutions, along with members of each sports team. All the presidents and the conference committee. 4. Each institution is a stakeholder that will showcase their efforts of becoming an ideal inter-collegiate athletic program, increase national exposure. Gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills on a larger stage, and opportunity for better competition and recognition. Schools and conference gain more publicity for performance on and off the field and in the class room. Teachers need to adjust their schedules accordingly. 5. Post season play could possibly interfere with academic schedules. Increased travel costs for the university. Schools in the conference put more focus on academics more so than athletics. Few people are involved and there might be an unbalance between university presidents and programs based on decisions being made. 6. No, willingness to work towards a compromise shows progress and allows flexibility. If interests in athletics grow in the future the importance of athletic directors will grow and they will carry a larger responsibility within the organization. 7. Some new options could include no post season playoff, conference championship game or possibly send on institution to an NCAA event. 8. No immediate change for structure because its balanced. Communication is effective because it is small and informal, allowing for compromise and understanding. Alex Maschoff, Brian Grant

NESCAC Case Study

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1.What are the common goals of the NESCAC -Academic Success -Student Personal Growth -Competing players are to be representatives of the student body. -Academic authority to control intercollegiate academic policy -Largest # of participants in a wide variety of sports coached by quality people. 2.How is the presidents compromised decision in line with the common goals. -They decided to only allow the conference champion to pursue post season play in one venue deemed appropriate normally. This allowed less strain on the academic scheduled there was more room for academic success. -If the team goes to the championship, they are more than likely to bring in the bigger recruits. -When students have a better academic success it gives the institution a better image. 3.Major Stakeholders -Alumni, Main Stream Media, Faculty, Athletic Staff, Conference Officials, Trustees, Athletic Director 4. -Athletes have potential to go to postseason play. -The school could bring in better sport programs and resources to help out. 5. - For coaches and players it would limit there success on a national level. -From the NESCAC cutting the teams down that make it to conference play. The main stream media is missing out on all those other games that they could of been a part of and interviewed people. 6. - With the presidents decision it is more of a centralized decision. So you would decentralize the organization so there would be more power to the other stake holders to make decisions throughout the organization. It would thus spread the power out instead of just having one person make all the decisions like what is happening now. We believe the divisionalized one would work the best in this case because it brings the power more to a middle line instead of a high power. 7. Yes there should be a playoff system so you could keep the players involved and if you did not have a playoff system the league would be pointless and there would be no end goal. Like we talked about in earlier chapters goals are a very important part to a successful system. This way it does not take away to much from the school and its academic accomplishments and academics could still be the main focus of the organization with a successful sports system. It allows the players that want to get recognized the chance to and also the chance to strive for something. If your team wins its only going to help you out in the long run! It also takes away from the universities ultimate goal from strictly sticking wit academics and not athletics. 8. As we indicated in #6 the best structure to deal with conference playoff structure and future policy issues would be the divisionalized form which is the middle line part of the organization.

NESCAC Questions

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1.     The basic principles as stated in the reading on page 81 are:

·      Intercollegiate athletic programs were to be kept in harmony with the essential academic purpose of member institutions.

·      Competing players were to be representatives of the student body.

·      The academic authority in each college was to control intercollegiate athletic policy.

2.     The presidents' compromise is inline with these principles in some ways and not in others.  It is in some ways because winter and fall sports do not have a scheduling issue with school requirements and it is only the spring sports that are in conflict.  With regard to spring sports the compromise clearly does not fit the conferences principles.

3.     There are almost countless stakeholders in the situation but the one major one that stands out is the current and future student athlete.  They are the individuals most affected by the policies set by the NESCAC presidents.

4.     Positive affects on current and future student athlete:

·      Fundraising would increase to support athletics.

·      Recruiting would be positively affected do to the chance to play in post-season games.

·      School spirit and pride would be improved.

·      The compromise does allow a chance for a post-season NCAA tournament that was not possible before.

·      Could have a positive image nationally for the school(s).

5.     Negative affects on current and future student athlete:

·      Increased risk for injury with more games played.

·      Possibility of grades becoming an issue due to more games and less time to complete school requirements.

·      School spirit and pride could be damaged if teams consistently perform poorly.

·      Recruiting could be hurt because only one team can make an NCAA post-season tournament rather then multiple teams.

6.     The decision making process seems to centralized in the current system.  It also just seems odd that the person that should be focused on providing a quality education is using his valuable time to make decision on athletics.  We felt that athletic director (AD) should be provided more decision making power because this would allow for a bit more specialization in the presidents and AD positions.  In this case the specialization seems necessary and like it could be more productive for both positions.  Also, the NESCAC could use the "conference office" referenced in the article to help coordinated the AD's into a system that could produce quality athletics and enough time for the student athlete to perform well in classes.  This system would likely resemble and division 1 program in many ways but with a larger emphasis on the students requirements.

7.     Way came up with 3 possibilities all of which exclude football much like the article did:

·      Selections system similar to the current BCS style.   We rejected this idea because of the hierarchy of authority issues.  Simply who decides?

·      Round Robin similar to the World Cup Soccer qualifications.  We rejected this system because too often when a top team and bottom team play each other the contest ends up being a pointless one with little value for the teams involved.  It can also be time consuming and difficult to schedule.

·      Bracket style playoffs similar to many NCAA end of season tournaments.  We decided on that was the most effective system largely because it is so simple to implement (why reinvent the wheel).  This system is already used almost exclusively in the NCAA and seems like the NESCAC schools could follow examples for other university conferences.

8.     We would encourage a simple structured playoff.  Similar to the compromise that the Presidents' worked out but with a formal process of team selection (what happens with a regular season tie?) and a clear plan for the tournament structure (location? number of teams? single elimination?).  With a bit of a formalized plan and department specialization within school we feel the compromise plan could work well. 

NESCAC Case Study

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Kristen Dockery Dustin Permann Laura Schnell Team Org. Man The common goals of the NESCAC include: Intercollegiate athletic programs were to be kept in harmony with the essential academic purpose of member institutions, competing players were to be representatives of the student body, and the academic authority in each college was to control intercollegiate athletic policy. The president's decision kept the academic purpose of the institutions intact since the ruling lessened conflicts with academic scheduling. Students, faculty, and trustees were some of the important stake holders that were affected. The compromise gave one team a chance to compete in the postseason for the students to participate in which gave them a goal to work for competitively. Faculty did not have to worry about a long postseason that conflicted with academics, but with that trustees were given a competitive structure that kept academic integrity. The decision did however create a structure that could drive potential student athletes to schools that had a structure that included a standard post-season. The team and the institution would lack national exposure that could persuade student athletes to the conference. The faculty could be disproven by the claim that athletes that have competed in post-season play have had no evidence of reduced academic achievement. We believe the structure should become more decentralized from the centralized structure that gives the president all the power. Trustees, AD, faculty, and a student board should all have a representative that meets for a vote on key issues. One person cannot make a decision while taking everyone's priorities into question. We believe a small bracketed playoff would be the best solution to the problem. While the regular season may have to be shortened which would mean a few teams would lose a few games, the best teams could compete for a true champion while still not conflicting with finals. We decided that the divisional model would be best to decide future policy issues. While the presidents could oversee major policy changes, the athletic directors and possible a board made up of the important stake holders could come up with policies and decide on them. The presidents would be in charge of making sure the policies hold serve with the goals of the NESCAC.

Division 3 Case Study

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1. Intercollegiate athletic programs were to be kept in harmony with the essential academic purpose of member institutions, competing players were to be representatives of the student body, academic authority in each college was to control intercollegiate athletic policy.
2. The compromise would fail in allowing players to represent the student body because they were not allowed to compete in the team did not finish first. The compromise did follow the academic policies because it promoted studying for finals over post-season play.
3. Major stakeholders- university, student athletes, coaches, boosters/alumni.
4. University- emphasis based on academics. Student athletes- less stress during finals week for studying if the team didn't make the tournament. Alumni- If the team is the only team that makes the tournament, the boosters will support the winning program. Coaches- It forces more focus on the academics
5. University- loss of recognition if the program didn't make the tournament. Student athletes- compromised plan limits chance at post-season competition. Alumni- possibly reduce donations to the university Coaches- Puts pressure on winning if only one team is allowed to make the tournament.
6. We believe that structure should be revised to include more people in the decision making process. The AD should be included with the presidents. We believe more people should be involved because the president is involved in the decisions that affect different departments. Involving the AD in sport decision making makes the most sense.
7. Allow all qualifying teams to compete in post-season play. Advantages-national recognition for qualifying teams, increasing application rates. Allowing athletes to compete to potential if they earned it. Disadvantages- it takes away from traditional academic first way of thinking. Allow no teams to make the post-season. Advantages- it shows commitment to academics. Disadvantages- there would be angry stakeholders. Decrease in enrollment, increase transfer rates.
8. If only temporary, the organization should switch to an adhocracy. Emphasizing decentralization to allow more people to be involved in the decision making process.

-(Christopher Dirkes, Yuri Nagai, John Bosman, Matt Macer)

1. The common goal of NESCAC is that academics are first and athletics come second. 2. The president's decision was in line with the common goals of NESCAC in that it still placed academics first but still promoted good athletics. 3. The major stakeholders compromised by the president's plan would be the boosters and alumni and the student athletes. 4. The positive results for the boosters and alumni would be that they potentially would not have to provide as much money if their team does not make the playoffs, while still being involved. Positive results for the student athletes would be that they are getting more time to study and focus on academics, they do not have the distraction of sport anymore. The positive results for the alumni are that they may have gotten a better education out of being forced to study rather than compete more. 5. The negative results for the boosters and alumni would be that they put all the time and money into a team and let's say they finish second, the team does not even get a shot to upset anyone in a tournament, they are automatically done for the season and all the money is in a sense lost, they are getting a bad return on investment. The negative results for the student athletes would be that you motivation plummets in the later of the season if you already know that you are not going to make the playoffs. 6. We feel that the authority structure of the conference should be altered to include the all of the athletic directors in the conference and the head of the conference could perhaps be the deciding person. With letting everyone have their say you are letting everyone have their opportunity at casting a vote, get the grassroots level perspective, and in the end it's the athletic directors job, let them do their job, let them decide what is best for their athletic department. 7. The design options for changing the structure of the conference would be to decentralize the decision making so that the athletic directors of each team would also have a say in how the season ends. Changing to a professional design seems most appropriate. The advantages of this would be that the athletic directors would be able to have more of a say and that the conference is less centralized. The disadvantages of this would be that the environment is complex and stable, and even though it is stable there is definitely more room for it to become unstable because it is so complex. 8. An example would be to change it so that each team makes the playoffs and then you play it out until you have a true champion. With this you are extending your season and bringing in more money and more fans and excitement. The athletes are also more motivated to work hard to the end of the season and not just quit half way through when they realize they will not make the playoffs. If time is an issue you could cut the season short either on the front end or the back end to make time for the playoffs. The advantages of this would be that people are done before finals and have time to study. The disadvantages would be that the competition level might be that some of the play off games may not be so competitive and may seem pointless. Also, incentive may be down during the season a bit if you know that you are already going to make the playoffs regardless of how you play during the regular season. We recommend giving the athletic directors from each school more freedom in deciding how the play offs should be run. In doing this you will allow the people, AD's, who are at the grassroots level and know the most about what is going on, to decide what is best for the conference and teams.

Team names: Tony Crowell, Jamie Prescott, Ashley Deisting, and Paul Lehrer


  1. The common goals of the BCS are to create a playoff type setting that will not interfere with the academics of the athletes.
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  3. The major stakeholders of the BCS are the conference commissioners and the different committees and boards of the BCS.
  4. Potential positive results would be easier, hopefully better, communication which leads to an effective organization.
  5. Potential negative results would be difference of opinions between the committees which may lead to inability to compromise to come up with an effective solution to a situation.
  6. Yes the authority structure of the BCS should be changed because the organizational structure is too horizontal when it should be more vertical (more specialized). It should be more decentralized as a whole so that everyone's opinion is taken into account however within the divisions it should be more centralized.
  7. For the BCS, it would be better to keep the playoff structure the way it is because it does not interrupt the academic schedule of the athletes as much as a bracket-type structure would. Also, the bowl games are making more money because they are historical and more meaningful then a bracket-style structure. Changing the structure would also create more physical stress for the athletes because their season would contain up to 16-18 games which is too many without a rest or bye-week like professionals get. A disadvantage is that there is not a crowning of a "true champion" for college football. Also, the way they determine the opponents for bowl games is not necessarily fair, it should be based on win-loss records and not fan base or historical background.
  8. Right now there isn't a clear structure and as a big-time college football organization, they should have a strong, solid one. We recommend a smaller form of the divisional form because it needs to have high vertical structure, formalization, and centralization within the divisions but it does not need that many employees.
We found that there were many common goals of the NESCAC. They wanted the students to strive for academic and athletic excellence. They wanted academics and athletics to be in harmony with each other, or on the same level. These competing students were supposed to be representative of the student body. We also felt as though there wasn't any conference commissioner to manage and run things, each college had their own academic authority that would enforce the intercollegiate athletic policy. There were many stakeholders affected by the president's compromise plan such as: student-athletes, teachers, coaches, officials, booster, sponsors, alumni and the athletic director. The president's decision allowed one team the chance to earn a playoff spot. This playoff spot was important because it would give one team in the conference a chance not only to participate in the postseason, but also to give them national exposure. This would force competiveness within the student body both academically and athletically. The national exposure would also be a good way to lure recruits to their institution. The possible negative results from the president's decision would be they could get so caught up with the success of their athletics and lose focus on academics. They could also lose scholarship money. However ultimately, the decision created a building block for future students that they knew there was going to be a standard post-season at their college. We think the authority structure of the conference and the respective educational institutions should be revised. The athletic directors should be given more authority to assist in managing and organizing the institutions. We feel as though the athletic director is being ignored throughout this whole ordeal. The athletic director, directs athletics, so let him do his job. Also the stakeholders need to have more of a say in the whole decision making process. We feel it would be more beneficial for each institute to take into consideration all the ideas and thoughts from the stakeholders in order to come up with a consensus. At this point the president could then have the final word. I think everyone would agree that if you have one person making the decisions for a large group of people, that person will not fully understand all the aspects of the challenges that institute faces. We think that they should be more centralized and need to have a better "middle line." The "middle line" represents the stakeholders and the athletic director. We feel as though the structure of the conference playoffs needs to be simpler that way it will be easier to manage. Even if that meant they had to shorten the regular season, it would just make the regular season that more competitive. In conclusion, in order for the NESCAC presidents to deal with conference structure we would recommend they have a smaller apex and a larger "middle line," this would allow the athletic directors and a board of several stakeholders to make most of the decisions and the President would make sure these decisions and ideas were based on the goals and values of the NESCAC.

Covell Case Study: Group 2

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1. In 1998, the Presidents of the NESCAC agreed to "evolve into a qualified playing conference." Basically, this included giving the conference the right to determine a conference championship in all sports, except football, and allow all NESCAC schools to be eligible for NCAA Championships. However, the conference also wanted to preserve in-season competition and academic success, and did not want athletics (especially post-season play) to interfere with either of those two goals.


2. The conference's goals were to preserve in-season competition and academic success, and they mentioned that having an NESCAC school making an NCAA Championship would show that both athletics and academics could succeed hand-in-hand, even with post-season play.


3. Student-athletes, Mainstream Media, Parents & Alumni, Athletic Directors

4. Student-athletes: Opportunity to participate in post season play, a clear-cut goal at the end of the season, more motivation, increase school spirit, higher exposure of athletes, ability to preform at a higher level.

Mainstream Media: More media opportunities (more stories to report) on a larger scale

Parents & Alumni: More school spirit, more donations to schools 

Athletic Directors: More revenue/higher budget to work with, recruiting becomes easier, their role becomes more prominent with a higher focus on athletics

5. Student-Athletes: Decline in academics, could lead to compliance/career development issues

Mainstream Media: There a very few negative effects for adding post-season play for the media

Parents & Alumni: Asked to contribute more financially

Athletic Director: Possible compliance issues, graduation rate of student-athlete declines, job security declines because of more prominent role  

6.   Yes, it should change, becuase it is a new system. There will be a higher governing body with more control over the conference. Academics will still need to be a priority, even while post-season play is occuring. Therefore, there should be a specific authority figure overseeing student-athlete academics.

7. The design option described in the case study was in-season competition followed by one champion being selected to participate in post-season play. This could lead to conflicts between schools. Our suggestion would be to divide the conference into two divisions, and have the two division winners play for the championship. There would also be tie-breakers for division winners, to avoid conflict. 

8. The deisgn of the conference should be highly formalized and centralized. Authority figures should be somewhat specialized in their specific departments, but departments should overlap to allow information to flow freely, especially between academics and athletics. Because the conference's decision making is centralized, the hierarchy should be very top-to-bottom, and not flat. This way decisions can be made in an organized and standardized fashion. 

Organizational Structure

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As we've learned over the last few chapters, there are a lot of features that contribute to effectiveness in a sport organization. One major aspect that can contribute to effectiveness is the structure of the organization. A well-balanced structure will be constructed around and focus on complexity, formalization, and centralization in order to assist an organization in reaching goals. I believe an organization must keep the complexity of its structure minimal, because too many employees with narrow routine tasks would create chaos in an organization. This would lead to task differentiation. This would mean that each manager would have more employees to follow, and more jobs to manage. Departmentalization is an effective solution to manage complexity of an organization. It breaks up each department into subunits, which are more easily managed. Regarding vertical differentiation in an organization, the greater number of levels, the less effective. Communication is key in an effective organization and the more levels there are, the long the communication chain. With so many people working under the president of the organization, the employees at the bottom of the chain likely never speak to their Head Manager. This could potentially lead to the employees not being on the same page, and miscommunications could happen more easily. A smaller hierarchy, with all employees reporting to just a few people would make it easier for everyone to not only understand the goals of the organization easier, but also achieve these goals as a team easier. The next step to creating an effective structure would the formalization of the organization. A company with too much formalization (rules, regulations, policies, etc.) would not be desirable to work for, as there would be too much opportunity for error, and too much structure. That said, an organization with too little formalization would create too much freedom in the workplace. It is necessary to find a happy, medium in formalization in order to be effective. This could happen through simple things like a good training program for the employees, a set of easily understood policies and procedures, as well as job descriptions that are not completely set in stone, and provide some leeway for creativity. The last dimension of structural effectiveness is Centralization. A centralized organization would be one in which all employees report to the top. The CEO is in charge of all decision making for the company. This could not only be overwhelming for the CEO, but also for the employees. Some issues need to be acted upon right away, and if only one person can be in charge of decision-making for an entire organization, some of these important issues may be overlooked. To me, a decentralized organization would create more effectiveness. In an average size corporation there could be 4-7 Managers working under the CEO, whom the employees can report to and if necessary, those Managers can report to the CEO. For smaller organizations, a centralized structure may be more effective because there are not as many employees to report to that one CEO. Obviously the effectiveness created from these three dimensions depends on the size of the organization, but if all dimensions are managed well, a balanced structure will be created, and therefore the organization will be effective.

Organizational Structure

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This week's main reading surrounded the topic of organizational structures within sport organizations. According the book, there are three main dimensions of organizational structure: complexity, formalization, and centralization. Complexity encompasses the specialization of a company (departmentalization) and the hierarchy of authority we see by looking at an organizational structure chart. Formalization addresses the formal rules and regulations that are in place to create job descriptions, enforce policies and stick to procedures. Centralization refers to where the decisions are made in an organization. If the decisions are made at the top of the organization (by a CEO, for example), it is a centralized organization. If the decisions are entrusted to lower levels of the organization, it is classified as a decentralized organization.

Sport organizations have varying structures depending on many of their contextual features: size, environment, and goals to name a few. The biggest factor in my mind that determines the structure of an organization is its size. The goal of the case study we read about the NCAA was to determine what organizational structure is the most effective since according to the article, "structure directly affects an organization's effectiveness." There may be a structure that can be determined as the most effective for an NCAA Divison 1 athletic department, but speaking about sports in general, there is no one set structure that will be the most effective for all organizations. With that being said, there are some general guidelines for effective organizations depending on their size and their goals.

For the first dimension of an organizational structure, complexity is determined by horizontal and vertical differentiation. The more differentiation in an organization, the more complex it is. The Vertical differentiation refers to the levels of an organization, or the hierarchy of authority. The horizontal differentiation refers to specialization: dividing the work up into narrow and specific tasks for employees to focus on. The more horizontally and vertically differentiated an organization is, the more important communication and supervision become. No matter the size of the organization, you need to be careful not to create too wide of a structure that will result in a supervisor being responsible for more than about five people. Additionally, you should not create a structure that is too tall because communication will be nearly impossible from the bottom to the top of your hierarchy, unless of course that is one of your goals.

In relation to the second dimension of an organizational structure, the most important factor to consider is the environment you hope to achieve. Formalization is basically how formal you want the organization to be. In most cases, large organizations (i.e. Minnesota Twins, NCAA, etc) are very formalized. What this means is that everything is standardized and written down. Contracts are written up for players, job descriptions are provided for employees, formal performance evaluations are conducted, as well as other things of that nature. Smaller organizations tend to be less formalized, allowing employees to work with fewer restrictions on how they complete their work. Although this is how organization's typical formalization levels play out according to size, it is not to say that this is the only way to do it; this way has just been found to be effective in the past.

The last item is centralization: who makes the decisions. In large organizations with tall hierarchical structures, decisions are centrally made at the top of the organization. In smaller organizations, decisions tend to be decentralized therefore empowering the employees. Again, the importance of communication arises no matter who makes the decision; that choice will have to be communicated to all levels of the hierarchy.

Questions for class discussion: The entire goal of studying organizational structures is to find the most effective structure for an organization. If you find an organization to be ineffective, how do you change the structure to make it more effective? Is the transition from centralized to decentralized, formalized to not formalized, or complex to simple an easy one? How do you go about restructuring what many look at as an organizational chart (hierarchy)?

Organizational Structure

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Organizational structure appears to be a simple task but has a very illusive complexity at the same time. Many organizations are most likely operating through a structure that could be revised to enable them to be more effective as a whole. A lot of this may depend on the size of the organization. If the organization is very large it may be helpful to try and flatten out the structure of the organization in hopes that it would allow for better communication amongst the employees of the organization. If the company is smaller it may be able to get by with a structure that is taller because of the fewer amounts of people that make up the organization. There are many different factors that go into deciding what structure would be appropriate for an organization. Some of these include: the environment, goals and strategy, size and technology. The environment is important to consider because of the need to be able to adapt to the context of the organization. This is a must to consider if you desire to operate effectively. The goals and strategy of the organization are important in understanding if the structure of the organization will help or hurt the chances of your goals being reached. Size was mentioned earlier but it can't be overlooked. When the employees increase then it becomes harder to organize the large amounts of people that it may take to run large organizations. Technology is another important aspect to consider when creating or redesigning the structure of an organization. If the organization is behind on technology it may need a larger staff to keep up with other companies who may be more advanced.

Organizational Structure

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Organizational structure is a concept that can be referred to as departments within an organization and the connection they share. Organizations form different structures based on factors such as size and regulations placed on them. Complexity is a key to organizational structure because it is always one of the first things we notice. Job titles and departments are important to an organization because it allows for more specialization. For example, the MLB office writes rules and regulations for teams, umpires, and owners to follow. Specialization can contribute to the overall effectiveness of an organization because it allows each department to perform specific tasks that increase how successful the organization can be. The hierarchy of authority can vary from organization to organization. Communication between employees is vital to an effective organization, and I believe each sport organization should have a clear leader. Someone who people can count on, and have confidence in to make the right decision. A manager should have a large span of control so that he can see progress being made. However, I think if the span of control is too large, some negatives might be missed. Centralization is a term that also can depend on the organization. How centralilzed a team is, can depend on who makes what decisions and what control people have. For example with the Timberwolves, the basketball operations department has its own people to make basketball specific decisions. They normally don't interfere with the work of those in marketing, or game operations. It also goes to say that those in ticket sales or marketing, have no say in basketball decisions such as who plays and who the team trades. Professionalism is key in the sport industry. Education is required, but so is previous work experience in order to climb the ranks withing organizations. Each organization has personnel ratios that can change based on the size and effectiveness of the organization. -Alex Maschoff
A good, solid structure within an organization is a sure way to attain success. In every organization there will be levels, or a hierarchy, of the individuals who work there from the owner or president all the way down to minimum wage employees. The organization can also be broken down into other components such as the horizontal span of levels, the specific functions and tasks performed, regions or territories where operations are carried out, and the type of product being manufactured or provided. Along with these complexities, organizations are formalized and centralized to differing extents. The more policies and procedures that are implemented, the more formalized a company is. Similarly, when decisions are made from a single point, the organization is considered to be more centralized. During high school I worked at my club gymnastics training facility. I was a recreational coach for children ages 2-10. I started out as a minimum wage employee at the very bottom of the totem pole. The goal of our organization was to provide exceptional gymnastics instruction for abilities of all ages. The ultimate goal was to "create life's champions." We had many policies and rules that we were keep in mind when we coached our athletes as well as strict lesson plans to follow for each class. We were evaluated biannually which provided us with detailed feedback on our performance and what we could do to improve. All of the training and communication came primarily from the more experienced coaches; almost no information came directly from the owner (past the hiring process). Obviously the organization was very formalized with clear expectations and ways to attain our goals. Along with being formalized, our club was also highly centralized. All of the decisions were made by the owner and were carried out by us, the coaching staff. Whatever the owner said stood without any of our opinions. She never took our ideas into consideration or even asked for our input. One would think that since we are the people directly involved in providing our services to the customers that we would be more highly valued in the organization. After some time, the owner fired one of the assistant coaches of the girls' competitive team who also happened to be my coach of nine years. She never gave us a legitimate reason for her abrupt action, which caused a huge amount of turmoil and anger within the coaching staff and the girls' team. I along with several of my teammates who also worked as recreational coaches at the club drafted a letter to the owner with our two weeks notice for resignation. Our reasoning was that we did not feel empowered or included in any way in terms of making decisions for the organization, we did not feel valued for the hard work we put in, and we were frightened and upset by what had happened to my coach because the same fate might befall us as well. Being team members as well, that same group of girls and I organized a walk-out at the start of our scheduled practice to show how strongly we felt about what had happened. We conducted our own training session beyond the property and had dinner with our previously employed coach after. She was touched by our loyalty to her and our courage for standing up to our unfair boss. This just shows that too much formalization and centralization within an organization in addition to levels that are spread so far apart that some are not attainable by lower-level employees will cause dissention and unease in an organization.
The chapter titled Dimensions of Organizational Structure, in our book focuses on the three most commonly used organizational dimensions. These three dimensions consist of complexity, formalization, and centralization. The first of these dimensions, complexity, is described in the book as one of the most readily apparent characteristics of any sport organization. When looking at most sport organizations it is difficult to look past how many different areas of responsibility there are. These areas are usually departmentalized and then a chain of command forms within each of them. The book explains that this complexity comes from the act of dividing up of work into narrow routine tasks. This is known as task differentiation. Another way organizational complexity increases, according to our book, is known as social specialization, which is the specialization of individuals rather than their work. The book also mentions the act of departmentalization. This is a form of horizontal differentiation that refers to the way which management groups differentiate activities divisions, work groups, etc in order to achieve the organization's goals in the most effective manner. Vertical differentiation is another form of differentiation within an organizational structure. It refers to the number of levels in an organization. The book states that the pattern of vertical differentiation is often assumed to represent the hierarchy of authority. Within these organizations there are a few different types of specific structures. The first being a flat structure. This consists of a small number of managers, but a large number of "first-level" employees. Another structure is a tall structure. A tall structure consists of many different levels of managers and quite a bit of separation of power and task differentiation. The second dimension used in organizational structures is formalization, which our book refers to as the extent to which mechanisms such as rules and regulations, job descriptions, and policies and procedures govern the operation of a sport organization. A few reasons for formalization are that it can help monitor the behavior of employees, replace direct supervision, which can prove to be very costly, and creating a sense of consistency and clarity within the entire organization. The last of the three dimensions that the book describes is centralization. The book explains that a centralized organization generally gets its decision making from the top, whereas decentralized organizations make decisions at lower levels. Centralization can be a useful tool or combat the organizations attempt to achieve its goals. The book gives a few advantages and disadvantages of both. Overall, the chapter describes the three dimensions of an organization, which allows sport managers to look deeper into the structure of their organizations.

            The only real way that you can really look at the effectiveness of a sports organization is by looking at the structure that they use. If the structure of the organization is not clear or is not in an organized manner then that can hurt the effectiveness of an organization. Some problems that could occur with the organization structure that I would consider unclear or unorganized would be having a structure that is to far spread out, having the organization which is to stack on top of each other, and not having a secure structure were people don't really know where they stand. If the structure is to far spread out then the people will not have the necessary communication between each other that is needed to be effective. People might be completing the same job and not even know that they did. This just creates extra work that doesn't need to happen. On the other hand, if the organization is stacked to much where people are stacked on each other and reporting to each level just to complete a simple task this will create problems with the time it takes to complete a task. If a worker needs to send their work up a level of an organization when it doesn't need to it just adds more steps for the person to do which would also add more time needed to complete the task. Finally, if the structure is not clear enough for the people in the organization to understand where they stand then people won't know who to work with on the tasks at hand. The steps need to be clear and focused on being the most effective.

            The most effective system is one that has a manager focused on each area. This will allow the workers under each manager to converse through this person on the tasks in each division. For example, the coaching system used in many football programs is to have a coach designated for the offense, defense, and special teams. These could be used as the managers of the division. Each one of these works with the head coach as well in getting the team ready but each one is responsible for the performance of the players in their division. Many teams also employ coaches under these coaching coordinators. For example, there is a quarterbacks coach under the offensive coordinator to run the quarterbacks. This designates more time for the offensive coordinator to focus on the plays going to be run during the game and leaves the workouts for the quarterbacks to the quarterbacks coach. This structure that is used in the football operations department of many football organizations is pretty structured and organized. It is also very vertical in nature because of the specialization within the sport of football. There isn't going to be multiple coaches on one level because the coaches need to have certain expertise in a field. This is all geared toward getting an edge on the competition with the best coaching in every aspect of the game.

            This structure is effective for football operations but I don't think it would be for the marketing department of a sports team. In the marketing setting there are positions that can have multiple people on the same level and in many cases that is the better option. Still the structure of having a stable hierarchy and a balanced organization will lead to great communication and working conditions. These conditions along with the importance of communication between employees are two major keys to an effective, successful organization within sports.

Organizational structure is a very big thing in an organization when it comes to making sure everything runs smoothly in every different field and level. There are 3 main things that you focus on when your talking about organizational structure. They are complexity, formalization, and centralization, these 3 things need to occur at the highest standing to make sure you have a well structured organization. Complexity is the naming of job titles all the way from the owner to a regular staff member. This is important because you need to have people with certain roles and higher powers then others. This is something that needs to be taken in consideration so when you grant someone a job title that person does not go overboard with the title they just received because that can lead to a very non structured organization. In the book complexity is described as one of the most readily apparent features of any sport organization. It goes on to say that any time you look at a sport organization, you are always looking at the job titles and the way it is sorted out between hierarchy and positions. Formalization is defined as the extent to which mechanisms such as rules and regulations, job descriptions, and policies and procedures govern the operation of a sport organization. What this means is that the more formalized a organization is the more detailed it is throughout the organization especially dividing down into sub units between the different levels in the organization. An organization does not necessarily have to be very formalized to be a well structured organization. Like one of my examples I brought into class monday was a organizational chart of the Canadian Hockey League. This was a very formalized organization with all kinds of different sub units and lines going everywhere. With that it is very easy to loose communication within the organization and even though it is very strongly formalized it may not be such a greatly structured organization because it got to formalized. Centralization is defined in the book as if decisions are being taken place at the top of the organization then it is centralized and if they are not then its considered to be decentralized. This can be a good thing or in other cases it can be a bad thing. It is great when you have a smaller organization that is not very formalized but still is very structured because of the small size. In this case I like that the owner or the president of the organization is the one that is making decisions. On the other hand if you have a very formalized organization with several sub units in each different level then to have the highest man on the pole make the decision all the time is pointless to me. They should report to there leader of the subunit and that leader or manager should make the decision and should not have to go all the way to the owner. I still believe you can be a very structured organization with out doing these three tasks very well but you will struggle internally between units if you don't. After reading this section it really sums everything up and makes ties to last chapter about how an organization is effective. After reading the chapter and then finding examples of an organizational chart for sport team it gave me that picture or example of all these terms that I was looking for. Can an organization be all these 3 terms which lead to a structured organization and not be an effective organization like we talked about in the last chapter?
This passed spring I volunteer coached at my hometown high school. I was an assistant for the varsity team. This allowed me to view an organization's structure that was very simple. The head coach took direction from the athletic director who worked very closely with the principal. The hierarchy of command from there was very blurred and was very flat. This organization had very few well defined policies or procedures and the lines of communication between coaches of JV or the 7-9th grade teams and the athletic director was minimal at best. The head varsity coach served as a lone middle line for the all the different sub-groups. This structural design is not the most effective or successful, however, it still allows the organization to function and serve the students of the high school. If I were to create an ideal structure for this athletic department I would create a more formalized system that would allow for direct supervision over each sub-group, or in this case each team. This person would have the highly specialized task of over-seeing the effectiveness and successions of each coach and report back to the administrators concerning any issues including any academic problems with students and from there a quality team could be set up to mediate any problems that could arise. Formalization, while there are advantages and disadvantages can make even the smallest organization run effectively and smoothly. Contingency theory states that in the environment that this high school athletic department is functioning in there should be one ideal structure that will perform higher than any other, I disagree with this theory because organizations are living things run by people who are in a constant state of change and flexibility. If an organization becomes overly formalized and overly centralized the structure limits the people working within it and can paralyze an organization by not allowing it to adapt to its ever changing environment. Specialization usually turns to generalization in these kinds of organizations because there are simply not enough people or resources for each person to perform only one task. Rigidity is not ideal for a small organization working in any environment and centralization is not necessary, however, it is important for an organization to remain flexible to handle all of its complexities. While sport organizations are all unique in their goals, structures, and ways of communicating but all show similarities that allow theorists to classify them as typologies or taxonomies, or as something based on concepts or empirical evidence. These classifications help managers to identify the most successful and efficient organizational structures and therefore which would work the best in their particular situation and environment.
Each organization has a different organizational structure and I attribute this mostly to the size of the organization. Identifying what exactly the organizational structure is for a corporation or franchise is very important for many reasons. Employees need to know who to report to when facing a question or problem. It also will put together those within the same department and make it clear who goes where. It is ultimately very important for means of clear and easy communication between all departments and branches of the organization. A more complex organizational structure may run into problems with communication due to a dual-reporting system or employees are not sure what issues to take to whom. In addition, it may be that with a larger structure tasks that need to be done will not get done due to confusion of division if labor between departments and employees. It would be very frustrating for employees to work at an organization where it is impossible to talk to the boss. There are three major ways of setting up an organizational structure: formalization, centralization and specialization. For larger organizations I think it is important to have a mixture of all three to ensure the organization is run smoothly. There must be things such as job descriptions, policies, procedures, etc in a large organization, where as in a smaller one the jobs and positions may be more flexible. Centralization is also important because although there may be many different people in charge, it is good to have a main person in charge of all the big decisions. Finally, in an organization such as the NCAA specialization is also important to make sure all the different details are being attended to. -Laura Schnell

Canadian Division I

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I think the idea of a Canadian school being incorporated into Division I of the NCAA is a very feasible idea that would take a little bit of time to iron out. As stated in the Wahl and Dohrmann article, there are a few requirements that a potential school would have to meet in order to become eligible for the transfer. The pending school must have at least 14 sports teams to compete in Division I, which is a requirement that a few of the major Canadian Universities would meet (602). The major obstacles that these schools would face would be finding a conference, getting teams to play in Canada and other expenses involved in becoming a Division I school. I believe that if a Canadian school was successful in entering Division I of the NCAA they would have to be similar to Notre Dame's football team, in that they would not be in a conference. I do not believe that they would just be placed into a specific conference because many of the original teams would not want to deal with traveling and expenses. By not being tied to one conference they would have the flexibility to play teams that were interested. Secondly, I think it would be tough getting teams outside of a certain geographical radius to travel Canada. They would have to develop some incentive that would encourage teams to make the trip. Many of the smaller Division I schools may not have extra money to spend on traveling and a lot of the big name schools are not going to want to travel that far to play a team that will not have a significant impact on their schedule. Until traveling arrangements were figured out they would have to play a majority of their games on the road. Finally, a long list of expenses would be required to successfully transfer into Division I of the NCAA. They would have to invest in sports facilities that were sufficient to get teams to travel. They would also have spend more on traveling than a majority of schools as they would most likely have a majority of their games on the road. A Canadian University is not going to want to make a huge investment unless they see potential success. Currently Canadian Universities are not allowed to give full-ride scholarships based on athletics (McCormack 28). To be successful they would have to remain competitive, which would most likely force them to change their scholarship policy. The lack of talent on the team could be the ultimate demise of the program. If they are not able to put a competitive team together they will not last long. Although there are numerous uphill battles for a Canadian University to become a member of the NCAA and more specifically Division I, I do believe they may have a better chance of achieving success than American Universities who do not have the size and fan base that these Canadian Universities would have. In my opinion it will not happen in the near future, but in time it is feasible.

When looking at a lot of different sports organizations you can often see how effective they are by the structure with in the organization.  You need to have the right balance of steps and levels with in your organization to become successful.  If there are too many steps you can't be effective because there is a long process through the chain of command that has to be passed through to get stuff done.  You also can't be short on steps because then you often overlook some of the small things that make an organization top notch.

What I see as a perfect balance of structure, leading to effectiveness would be the USC Trojans Football team.  I college football you have to have the right people to be effective.  Everyone has to know there role and they have to do it well in order to be effective.  With in the program, this is excluding athletic directors and assistant athletic directors; everything starts off with the head coach.  For the past 8 years with an almost 90% winning percentage Pete Carroll has run the program at the University of Sothern Cal.  A main factor into what makes this team so successful is his coaching style and how he deals with the coaches.  It is widely know around college football that Carroll is a players coach.  He concerns himself more about what he can do to make the players happier and play better rather then the X's and O's of the game.  He leaves that for the coordinators that he trust will do the right thing and come to him if need be.  As for all the different position coaches they report to there respective coordinators.

A lot of college football teams are starting to model after the way that Carroll has been doing things at SC.  The reason why is because it gives the people that are at the bottom of the hierarchy, in this case the players, a voice within the system.  Although at the end of the day Coach Carroll still has the last word about what goes on.  He just figures that the best way to get the best performance out of the players is to ask them what they think they need to become better.

This method has obviously shown its effectiveness within college football.  Over the past 8 years that Coach Carroll has been there they are the winningest team in college football.  So even though it might seem a little unorthodox to have the players bypass or be on the same level as the other coaches, Pete Carroll has proven many times over that the system works.



This past summer I had the opportunity to work as the head coach of Hudson, WI American Legion varsity baseball. After working with the program for an entire summer, I have come to realize that the organization has a very vertical, tall structure, is relatively specialized, unformalized and decentralized. It is easy to understand why Hudson Legion Baseball possesses these qualities by examining the organizational hierarchy, which I have attached. First of all, we can see that the organization is a very vertical organization, at least near the top. The "boss" is the chairman of Hudson Legion Post 50, and he supervises just one person: the head of Hudson Legion Baseball. Under the head of Hudson Legion Baseball again is just one person, this time the head coach of the Hudson Legion Baseball squad. These first three levels of the organizational hierarchy represent a nearly completely vertical structural organization because the span of control or number of people that are directly supervised by a manager is limited to just one person. After the head coach is where the organizational structure begins to become a bit more horizontal and therefore, specialized. The head coach supervises three assistant coaches: the pitching coach, bench coach, and field coach. The span of control of the head coach is 3 people instead of just one like higher up in the organizational hierarchy; therefore we can determine that the organization is a bit more horizontally structured towards the bottom. Underneath each assistant coach is a group of 4-6 players on the team in which the coach is responsible to supervise. Once again this demonstrates the organization's horizontal structure towards the bottom of the hierarchy. As a result of this structure, we can determine that Hudson Baseball is a relatively specialized organization. According to our textbook, specialization refers to the division of an organization's work into simple and repetitive tasks, or employing trained specialists to perform a range of organizational activities (p. 60). At the top of the organization, we can see that it is unspecialized because the chairman and head of the organization supervise just one person, and their job responsibilities are wide-ranging and not very repetitive. Conversely, we can see that at the bottom of the organization, the head coach and assistant coach's responsibilities are a bit more specialized. These coach's responsibilities are very specific, pertaining to a specific skill position or aspect of coaching baseball and managing a team, which results in relatively repetitive job tasks and knowledge requirements. Reflecting upon my summer as the head coach, I have realized that Hudson Legion Baseball is a much unformalized sport organization. The textbook defines formalization as the amount of discretion individuals or groups are allowed to exercise when performing their jobs (p. 67). I personally had a lot of discretion and decision-making ability while serving as the head coach. My supervisor, the head of Hudson Legion baseball, did not control every decision I made, but rather gave me lots of freedom to organize and manage the team in ways that I deemed effective. Additionally, I gave the assistant coaches this same freedom to do what they felt was necessary and ultimately successful for the organization as a whole. The top half of the organization was also much unformalized. The chairman of Hudson Legion did not exert very much control over the Head of Hudson Legion Baseball, therefore allowing the Head of Legion Baseball to make decisions regarding the structure and procedures of the lower organization freely. Going off of this, it is easy to see that Hudson Legion Baseball is very decentralized. According to our textbook, an organization which is decentralized is demonstrated through an organization in which the decisions are delegated to lower levels of the organizations, and not all made by the top manager of the organization (p.74). As I explained, in each level of the organization the managers are given nearly free reign to make decisions that they feel are necessary and effective in order for the organization to reach its goals. Knowing this organizational structure, I believe that this specific sport organization is effective. To reach my conclusion, I used the Goals Attainment Approach outlined in Chapter 3 and identified the extent to which the organization realized, planned, and satisfied their goals. Questions: 1.) What are the pro's and con's of a sport organization like Hudson Legion Baseball in which it is very unformalized and decentralized? 2.) Do you think that this specific organizational structure can be effective in all sport organizations, or is it dependent upon the structural and contextual features of the organization? If so, which of these features do you believe are most important? 3.) When evaluating an organization such as Hudson Legion Baseball, which method outlined in Chapter 3 do you believe is the best way to measure the organization's effectiveness? Why?

The way in which an organization is structured tells quite a bit about how efficient that organization will work and attempt to achieve its goals. Large organizations such as the NCAA need to have a structure that includes the three primary dimensions our text discusses; complexity, formalization, and centralization. These different dimensions need to somehow be blended together and work together to ensure the organization can work as efficiently as possible.

Complexity is the first dimension discussed in the text. When you look at any organizational chart it is usually easy to see what the division of labor is defined as in that specific organization. There are three ways in which this differentiation occurs in organizations: horizontally, vertically, or spatially. Horizontal differentiation can be extremely effective because people with similar interests and abilities can communicate and interact in a close setting. However, it can also be a problem when the members of each different department in an organization lose sight of the organization's goals as a whole and are only concerned with their department's goals. Vertical differentiation refers essentially to the hierarchy of authority in an organization. A flat structure has only 1-2 levels, while a tall structure has multiple levels of authority (i.e. U of M athletic department is a tall structure). Spatial differentiation can be either vertical or horizontal, as either can be separated geographically. For example, the USOC has regionally offices with administrators responsible for those regions across the United States.

Formalization is the second dimension discussed in Chapter 4. As Slack and Parent describe in our book on pages 67-68, formalization is the extent to which rules, regulations, and employee behavior govern the operation of an organization. An institution such as the NCAA is highly formalized, with handbooks and regulations around every turn. For example, football student managers at LSU have to read and abide by an 87 page-long handbook describing their job description and duties. Less formalized institutions such as sport clubs or local recreational leagues have fewer constraints on how their employees go about their daily business. It definitely makes sense that in larger organizations a highly formalized and standardized culture is necessary. The NCAA is such a large organization with so many stakeholders that is absolutely has to be highly formalized, almost to a ridiculous degree. It helps when the NCAA has to deal with reoccurring problems, they can do it in a consistent manner.

Centralization is last dimension mentioned in this chapter. It simply is the degree in which decision-making is concentrated at a single point within an organization. Decentralization is essentially when decision-making is made at all levels of an organization, not solely at the top or one particular point. As a future employee in the sports world I think that this dimension is one that I will need to look at particularly carefully to see where I fit in best. There are definitely pros and cons to each view of centralization. Sure it makes sense to have top managers control decision-making because they usually have the most experience, and in this way you also have the best way of gaining coordination and control within an organization. However, wouldn't it also be a good idea to allocate some power to people who specialize in a certain area and may deal with these specific issues on a day-to-day basis?

After looking at these three different dimensions of organizational structure I have come to understand the importance of each and how they all need to interact with each other in order to truly have the most successful and efficient organization you can. It's important to understand these components of organization structures because I feel that the structure of a sports organization is going to help me determine if that's really somewhere I want to work. To me it seems like I would want to work in an organization that is formalized and also decentralized to some extent. I believe that employees should all have an input in organizational decisions, especially since many employees move up in an organization hierarchy quickly. If they never got to make decisions when they were at the lower levels of the organization it may be hard for them to feel comfortable doing that as they gain power in that same organization. As I stated in an earlier post, communication is one of the true keys to organizations becoming successful. An organization can have whatever structures suits its' specific and unique culture, but in order for it to truly maximize its' potential great communication is a must.

-How does the structure of an organization correlate to the efficiency of that same organization as we discussed in Chapter 3?

Structure & Design

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How an organization is structured depends on a few different things, like the size and goals of the organization.  If an organization is smaller and has fewer employees, it would make sense to be less formalized, horizontal and decentralized.  For a larger organization, it would likely be better to be more vertical so that there is a certain level of authority within the organization, preventing chaos.  It's along the same lines that they would want to me more formalized as well, having lower departments reporting to a higher single entity, delegating tasks.  It keeps everyone on the same page and working towards the same goals.  Other wise you could have one department striving solely towards making as much money as possible, and another working towards being environmentally friendly.  Means of attaining these goals may be conflicting.  Basically, structuring an organization is dependent on the size and organizational goals.     

Organizational Structure Post

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In looking at a variety of professional sport organizations I feel that the prevailing trend within the successful sport organizations is to create a highly vertical and formal organization. I think that the good organizations find themselves with only a few key individuals making key organizational decisions. I would add that it seems that the successful organizations do a good job at functional specialization.

The biggest key for an effective organization is that there is a clearly delineated lines of communication and command. I think that the successful organizations will have managers and directors who are well trained and capable of directing their sub-level employees in directions that make each department successful.

To incorporate the ideas of what a successful organization is, I think that organizations who set different goals and objectives for each individual department are the most successful and in this case I think that when an organization looks at its structure that it should look to operate out of a structure that differentiates specific departments and allows them to operate independently as the key individuals responsible for those departments report up the organizational structure to a decreasing amount of managers until the organizations key decision makers are reached.

The idea of spatial differentiation seems to be a dangerous idea for sport organizations, particularly with respect to professional sport organizations. Now in certain cases, there are extenuating circumstances that don't allow all the members of an organization to operate out of the same location. However, as discussed in the post regarding organizational effectiveness, the most successful organizations use good communication to be effective and organizations that are dispersed geographically are more prone to disruptive or ineffective communication. So with that in mind, it's dangerous for especially professional sport organizations to expand to far spatially.

In terms of formalization, effective and successful sport organizations can be really successful from balancing an appropriate level of formalization with a modicum of freedom of movement. This success all starts with hiring the right employees. If you hire the right employees, an organization won't have to be too concerned with difficulties in training or policies and procedures. Hiring the right employees is a key to an effective organization because effective, motivated, and educated employees will best serve the successful sports organization.

NESCAC Athletics

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            The NESCAC athletic conference seems to be an organization that uses a combination of multiple constituency and goal attainment approaches to measure their effectiveness.  The problem is they have not really taken the time to decide which constituency or goals they are most attempting to serve.  The article by Dan Covell is written mostly from the views of the NESCAC university's presidents and while I think it is commendable that most of the presidents in the NESCAC conference would rather not participate in post-season athletics, if the presidents are not clear on which constituent and goals they are trying to please their approach (whatever it is) will never be successful.

            In the article several constituents are mentioned including players, coaches, parents, alumni, NCAA, NESCAC member schools and university presidents but they never mention who among all those groups they are most trying to severe.  Each group has different goals and if the presidents knew which group or goal was most important they could more effectively serve. 

            For example if the presidents wanted to promote their school through the use of sport then they would want to have a goal of making it to NCAA post-season tournaments.  If the players where in school for a chance to compete in as many contests a possible then the presidents could serve them best encourage success in athletics allowing for more post-season competitions.  If the goal of the players were to receive the highest quality of education while in college, then the presidents would best serve them by not allowing the NESCAC conference to participate in post-season NCAA tournaments.

            Rather then having a clear goal or group in mind the presidents take the middle road attempting to please everyone by only allowing only one school to participate in each sport's NCAA tournament.  By taking this middle road the presidents admit they are hurting the academic reputation of their school while promoting the athletic achievements in its place.  While the main president talked about it the article Hank Payne did not support his school participation in the post-season NCAA tournaments he agreed to the compromise of allowing one school to participate because he felt that if he did not agree he would lose his job. 

            All of this could very simply be solved if the schools in the NESCAC conference knew exactly what was expected of them from their many constituents and what goals the constituents wanted meet in order for the schools to be considered effective.  By lacking this clear objective of what would be considered effective the school's presidents end up waffling and making compromises in order to save their own jobs rather then working to be considered truly effective. 

case study blog-alexa smith

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1. In determining which expectation should take priority all stakeholders, within reason should be considered. Athletic directors and coaches should not be the lone dictators of what will make the program the most successful because their eyes are not the only ones watching the University and the Athletic Department. More stakeholders such as faculty, students, student-athletes, and alumni should be considered when determining priority because they bring a rich diversity of opinions and point of views. 2. External profile would be based on the value of creating a reputation for the Universtiy that will command respect from the community and other Universities. Resource management is based on making money or receiving donations so that the University can continue to function effectively. Performance on the field is a value of competitiveness, the drive to win which then attracts more attention to the team and therefore the University. Ethics is based on moral soundness, following rules and working within the laws that govern the land. Education is based on the value that student-athletes are students first and that college in not just a stepping stone to professional leagues. Institutional enthusiasm is based on pride for ones university, community, and peers. The more enthusiasm there is the more attention the University receives. 3. Performance on the field does greatly influence the attention a University gets and pride from students and alumni but it is not the only way to do these things. Wins are not the only way to make people care about the team or come to games it is just the easiest way to do it. Winning should be a high priority but not in a way that it is the only priority for the department, other factors must not be sacrificed for the sake of winning, such as academic success or ethics. 4. The mission of the athletic department focus on creating a space where student-athletes can succeed academically and on the field in order to leave the University as productive citizens in whatever career they may choose. If the department put appropriate priority in the six expectations it would help them to achieve their goals. The six expectations would allow them to put priority on educational opportunities, providing funding to keep facilities in a condition for success, and also to create more institutional enthusiasm within the community surrounding the college. I would add an aspect of community involvement to help create a deeper sense of pride in the athletes as well as the community. 5. a.) To sell at least 300 full-season tickets to football and basketball games. b.) Build a new athletic facility on campus (football stadium or basketball arena) to attract more applicants to the University and bring in more donations from alumni. c.) Have monthly meetings on the budget and how effective it is and whether it is being followed or not to make adjustments for the following year. d.) For the football team to make it to the Rose bowl. 6. Goal attainment because the missions and objectives are clearly mapped out, operational goals would need to be defined but after doing that the effectiveness could be measured by how well the department reached its ends. If the ends are not met then the department heads will have to go through each other the six expectations to determine in which area they went wrong since they are all related and relevant to one another.
Our textbook states that the three primary dimensions of organizational structure are: complexity, formalization, and centralization; however within these three dimensions there are other aspects that also help to develop organizational structure. Complexity is a primary dimension of organizational structure because complexity determines how formalized and centralized your structure is going to be. For example a professional sports team is going to be much more complex than a youth sports team; not only because the organization is going to be bigger in size, but because it is more specialized. Specialized meaning that there are more jobs and aspects that go into the organization. With the professional sports team you will have a variety of different coaches for every type of player there is, you will also have other various departments that are part of what makes up a professional sports team. Whereas the youth sport team will have one coach, possibly an assistant coach, but they will not have the specialization that the professional sports team has. Formalization according to our textbook is, "the extent to which mechanisms such as rules and regulations, job descriptions, and policies and procedures govern the operation of a sport organization" (p.67). There are both highly formalized lowly formalized organization structures. Highly formalized organizational structures are tightly wound, and only allow their employees to work a certain way, under certain people. Lowly formalized organizational structures allow their employees to have more freedom with the way that they work. The complexity of the organizational structure will usually show you how formalized it is. For example professional sports teams and organizations will have a more highly formalized structure because of the complexity within the organization; whereas a youth sports team will be more flexible and more lowly formalized because of its lower complexity. Centralization and decentralization are primary dimensions within organizational structure because they are the mean by which an organization makes its decisions. Our textbook states, "It is generally accepted that if decision making takes place at the top of the organization, it is centralized; when decisions are delegated to lower levels, the organization is decentralized" (p. 74). In short if you have to go through a chain of command to make a final decision then that organization is centralized, because all decisions are ultimately controlled by one central person; in the professional sports example this person would be the owner of the team or athletic director. If your organization delegates tasks and there is no chain of command that you have to follow to have decisions approved, then your organization is decentralized. The youth sports team example might fit in the decentralized category because it is smaller and less formalized; however complexity and formalization are not always factors on if a structure is centralized. Centralization in an organizational structure can always change; it is just a matter of how the "head" of the organization wants to run things. In conclusion the structure of an organization is important because it helps the organization to run smoothly. If you know what type of structure you are working in, then it should be very easy to fulfill your tasks as an employee of that organization. Organizational structure is also important because it helps the organization to reach its full effectiveness and ultimately their goals, by mapping out the organization as a whole.

Organizational Structure

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An effective organization has three main functions, as described by the book: complexity, formalization, and centralization. I will describe these more in detail later when I use an overall example to demonstrate these functions. Complexityis defined as being the different levels of a hierarchy(or non-hierarchy) system in an organization. The three different types of differentiation: horizontal, vertical, and spatial. Formalization is the extent to which the organization has specific rules and regulations encircling its structure. Centralization is the more complex of the three functions as it involves who makes the main decisions in the organization. I agree with Hage and Aiken's definition saying, to sum up, an organization is more centralized when the employees at the highest levels make the decisions.

It's easier to understand the concepts when they are seen in a real-life scenario such as the Boston Red Sox MLB organization. I would say the Red Sox have a vertical differentiation with a tall structure but also departmentalized by function within that structure. They have the different departments including: Front Office, Baseball Operations, Marketing, Legal, and Public Relations to name a few. However, these departments report to the Officers who include the CEO, Director, and Owner. The Red Sox are also very formalized since they are a branch of the Major League Baseball organization. They follow the rules set forth by the MLB which are specific to each department. It's hard to measure the centralization of the Red Sox because of it's many levels and departments but I would say that all-in-all it is more of a group effort to create an effective organization meaning it is less centralized.

I said in my last post that communication is the overall key to having an effective organization however now I would add to that and say that the organizational structure is also very important. We had a lot of examples in class and in the book of successful organizations that have very strong structures that prove how important that is. Brunswick, for example, increased their revenue by $2 billion in only five years after they were restructured to better fit their goals.

Red Sox information found at 

Twins Blog #2

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1.) We believe that WWE is not a sport because there is a pre-determined outcome. The people involved know what is going to happen next. 2.) We believe that WWE is part of the entertainment industry and not the sport industry. 3.) Why we need to know this maybe because of tax purposes or the fact that we need to understand different types of organizations. Contextual affects structural on the U of M campus because of how the university is run as a college sports organization. The U of M has uo to date technology with a large number of employees. The environment on campus is social economical and the goals of the university are student orientated. The culture is to provide a good, clean, safe porduct for the fans. The structural aspect deals with formalization which has the code of conduct as well as specialization for higher up learning and knowledge. The heirarchy of athornity deals with the athletic director and university president. The professionalism has a variety of educational opportunities as well as a personal ratio of 3 to 1. (Sam Hadley, Bryan Pederson, Kristin Furukawa, Nicholas Donofrio)

Twins Blog #1

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1.) The coaches should determine which expectations have priority as they are the team managers. Administrators that work directly with the boosters should also have some say as well as the players, but the coach needs to make the final decisions as it's his team. 2.) Integrity deals with all six of the themes that are put in place for success as it can make or break your team with rules violations and immoral decisions. Leadership comes into play because most college athletic programs represent their university as the first thing people see when they visit the school. 3.) Intangibles and focusing on winning should not be placed as the highest priority when it comes to decision making. Decision making should be made based on getting people excited, but academics still come first. They need to uphold the values and traditions of the university. 4.) We feel the six expectations go above and beyond meeting the goals set objectives set forth by MSU athletics. The rules do a very good job of overlapping. To advance athletes and employees throughout the athletic department and for their careers. Coaching would be an example of this. 5.) A.) To raise $50,000 dollars through community boosters. B.) To maintain or grow last year's budget by less than $2,000 dollars. C.) Our goal is to sell 80% of the tickets to every home game to every sport. D.) To achieve 3-4 new business for sponsorship opportunities. 6.) The internal systems approach process could be used because the management of funds all comes from internal resources. The university makes recruiting, coaching, and managing all from within, the internal systems approach works the best we believe.
The book states that for an organization to be effective, it must assess what it considers to be effective. For an organization to be effective it should develop a mission statement that can be followed by all its members as a strict procedure that allows for complete success. Every organization should have benchmarks. This is critical because they need to have a way to self access themselves, just as students have tests. This will allow for the organization to see how and when they can improve to better manage their people. A classic example of setting goals and creating benchmarks within an organization is the U. S. Army. Throughout my two deployments to Iraq I watched the leadership set-up clear objectives in the first month that we were in country. From there the leadership is able to evaluate and critique what is working and why it is working. On the same note they can determine what is not working, unnecessary, and just does not fit the objects of the organization. Organizations need to have a clear responsible image. This will help create sponsorships that can effectively help you attain the mission statement that you set forth. Having a clean image along with a positive attitude will help create a positive atmosphere. Have the right attitude amongst your employees will create a great work environment. If you are a positive boss, you can influence your workers or soldiers to work with a positive attitude. Organization and management of personnel can be an effective way to make a positive impact on your organizations direct output. This will intern create the atmosphere you need to have a success full business.

Organizational Structure

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The book has stated the 3 most common elements to organizational structure: complexity, centralization, and formalization. I believe that looking at how an organization is structured can be a good inclination as to the organizational effectiveness of that company. The most prominent issue when dealing with complexity is that of specialization. To me, the size of the company is the most important aspect in determining the specialization capabilities that the employees may have. If the company does not have that many employees and they have to perform many different tasks, then they will not be able to become very specialized in one particular field. If a company has many employees, however, the employees will be able to work on one certain job task and become very good at it. In my opinion, the more money a company has, the more capable they are of acquiring specialty experts. The second dimension of structure is formalization. As the book states, formalization is the extent to which employees have a certain amount of control while performing their job duties. To go along with the specialization aspect, I believe that a company that has many employees that are not extremely specialized in a certain field would be a company that would be formalized. That company would need to have many rules for its employees to follow because they might have multiple job tasks to perform and to make sure they are doing each different task correctly, the rules will be able to guide them. On the other hand, a company that has many employees with specializations in the field that they are working would benefit from a less formalized environment. Because they might already know the subject matter for their job, they would be best suited being able to perform their job tasks in the matter that they would feel to be most efficient and effective. The last element to organizational structure is centralization. Centralization is defined by the book as to what extent the decisions are made by one person. If the decisions must pass through one boss, then the company is very centralized. A company that will allow the lower level employees to be able to make decisions would be considered decentralized. To go along with the formalization aspect, I believe that a company that has many specialized employees would benefit from have a decentralized structure. Allowing the people that are experts in their field to be able to make decisions would make a lot of sense. On the other hand, a smaller company with employees that have may not have the expertise as the boss, would benefit from a centralized structure. Also, I believe that a company that a complex structure would also benefit from decentralization. Because there are so many different departments in a complex company, the decisions should be able to be spread out throughout the company. From this chapter I have taken away that the size of a company is a key component as to the structure of that company. Generally speaking, a company that has non-expert employees should have a structure that is centralized, formalized, and not complex. A large company with many experts would be the opposite. Of course there are exceptions, but this would be a building block approach for me.

Case Study: Group 2

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1. The Athletic Director should determine the expectations of the department in collaboration with the sub-departments of the institution. This should also include boosters and large constituencies.
2-3. External Profile: Satisfying constituencies, boosters, supporting outside image
Institutional Enthusiasm: Pride, Marketing, success

Performance on the Field: Sport as the priority, recruiting, hard work, practice

Resource Management: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Inputs-->Outputs

Education: Graduation rate, student-athlete atmosphere

Ethics: Following rules of the institution and league(s), making fair decisions

4. As long as you do not jeopardize education or ethics, which are somewhat loosely related to on-field performance, then the institution can put all of its resources towards the athletics themselves.

5.  They lack statements about resources management and institutional enthusiasm, while focusing more on ethics, external profile, and education. We would add statements regarding stakeholders and utilizing all resources, as well as something about increasing school pride through marketing initiatives.

6. 1. Keep the athletic department profitable

    2. Increase booster fundraising and participation

    3. Consistent allocation of funds

    4. Increase number of streams of revenue

7. Because their mission statement fails to mention much about resource allocation and internal processes, the Systems Resource approach and Internal Processes approach probably wouldn't fit. Therefore, the Competing Values approach should be the best. It would allow MSU to gather all of the goals in its mission statement together and base its effectiveness as a whole, rather than in one specific area.


Group Members: Andrew Myers, Emily Oberlander, Adam Vargas, R.J. McGinnis


Kristen Dockery

Dustin Permann

Laura Schnell

Ryan Prochaska


Group Case Study Analysis


1.      The people that we determined that should decide what expectations have priority in an intercollegiate athletic program are; the head coach, then the rest of the coaching staff, and the athletic director. We also thought that it is good for programs to have some autonomy so that that athletic director isn't trying to tell every program exactly what to do and how to do it.

2.      The values that we came up with that underpin each of the six determinants of success are as follows:

Performance on the field- Predominantly values winning and perhaps promoting good sportsmanship during competition.

Education- Values high graduation rates, a solid G.P.A., regular attendance in class, and involvement in both class and perhaps volunteer opportunities.

Ethics- Respecting and adhering to the institutions mission statement, rules, and expectations as much as possible.

External Profile- Values marketing a positive image of the university for example having a reputation of honesty and being well-respected.

Institutional enthusiasm- Bringing the community together and creating a family-like atmosphere.

Resource Management- Values having successful programs to stimulate booster support and, with that, being efficient financially.

3.      MSU should place the highest priority on recruiting great players that also excel in the classroom to ensure a successful program both on and off the field. They should also be willing to go out and find a well-respected and previously successful coach to ensure winning.

4.      Additional expectations that MSU could add to help achieve the athletic departments objectives is set goals for winning their conference. Also we thought that they could really promote the importance of life after athletics which emphasizes the importance of succeeding academically.

5.      Four operational goals that would help the athletic department meet objective number four are selling out games, sponsorships, allocating scholarships efficiently, and winning to ensure continued booster support.

6.      A model that could help MSU assess effectiveness is the competing values model. I mentioned earlier that we felt it was important that there is no single-best criterion for an organization's effectiveness and that is exactly what this model is based on. Effectiveness is a subjective concept and, as it says in our book, the criterion used to assess a program depends on the evaluator's values. We felt that many of these models could apply but decided predominantly on the competing values model.

Organizizational Structure

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The textbook has stated the three most common dimensions of organizational structures: complexity, formalization, and centralization. By having the three organizational structures we could tell how the organization will be effective and successful.  It is a good thing to have a large organization because it can bring many ideas to the table but there will be consequences by how the organization is structured. There are three ways differentiation occurs in an organization and they could be structured: Horizontally, vertically, or spatially. Horizontal differentiation separates into two interconnected ways, specialization and departmentalization. The textbook states specialization occurs in sport organization through the division of an organization's work into simple and repetitive tasks, and through employing training specialists to perform a range of organizational activities (62). By specializing it could increase the organizational complexity since they are specialize for individuals so they may have different ideology and goals for the organization. However, by each specializing it can create more chances to develop and improve and be more efficient to the organization. The other form is departmentalization. The textbook refers departmentalization as the way in which management groups differentiate activities into subunits in order to achieve the organization's goals most effectively (62).  I believe this will be more efficient than the specialization because there is a group of people who has the same ideology and goals for the organization than individuals have their own. The other structure is vertical differentiation; the textbook refers to the number of levels in a sport organization. The more levels there are the greater the problems of communication, coordination, and supervision, hence the more complex the sport organization (64). In this structure it is assumed to represent the hierarchy of authority in the organization. This means the lower the level you are in the organization your opinions will be harder to be out on the table to be used. Also it will be harder to get the word up to the higher level.  I believe each organization has its own specific structure that works in that organization but in my opinion departmentalizing will be the most efficient for the organization. Each group can have their own ideology and goals so the whole organization can be effective and motivated and be successful in their organization.

Developing Goals

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On page 117 in chapter 4 of the book it reads; Purpose: "To provide athletic participation opportunities to boys and girls up to and in high school." That statement right there says a lot. The goal of sports in the school system is just that, to provide athletics to students while they attend school. In no way does that statement say that athletics should be held above the importance of a good education. In no way does it state that student's sole purpose of going to school is to prepare for entrance into college athletics. On page 121 it discusses high schools in which students spend little to no time in the classroom and the grades and credits that they receive are a resemblance of how good they are on the court. Sports growth from the great depression is led to Little League, the CYO, and Pop Warner football. The goal was simple; youth in America needed a chance to set goals for themselves through physical participation. I believe that goals are important to set for youth in sports because it gives them the chance attain them and feel a sense of pride. As the book states the biggest problems with goals is measurability, stress, too many goals, and too narrow of focus. The youth in American these days prove this to be quite accurate as many students quit when the odds are going against them and simply give up because they are too lazy. It is proven that when creating goals as a team you have better results because students don't want to let the team down. Managing the youth of America today is very important because most coaches can decide how to run a program in such a way to promote goals and participation. Having a coach that sets attainable goals can lead to more participation from the athletes. It is important to understand as the manager that you can make or break the youth of American today.
Group notes: 1. Athletic Director and Boosters Coaches and Student Athletes 2. performance on the field -winning/goals for the season -player/coaches integrity (team personnel) -pride education -maintaining eligibility -team GPA -graduation rate ethics -balancing right and wrong -win at all cost and attitude external profile -staff expectations -PR -Athletes and coaches performance on the field and off the field institutional enthusiasm -building excitement about the program -team branding to make the institute desirable -rivals Resource Management -utilize resources effectively -knowing what all your resources are and applying them effectively -marketing 3. Winning should be a very high priority. We believe it enhances everything else. For example, the team will receive better resources, have a better external profile and MSU as a whole would be excited about the team. 4. Team Wellness -Health of athletes is important to the program 5. Raise x amount of dollars from boosters, raise x amount of dollars from alumni. Divide funding for sports proportionally. Make facilities more efficient (cut down on wasted electricity) 6. Goal Attainment -lays out goals for not only a program as a whole but the entire department. This is more measurable because you can either reach a goal or not. Everyone can understand the goals. It would boost your morale if you reach your goals.

Organizational Structure

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The three most common dimensions of organizational structure are complexity, formalization, and centralization. Complexity describes the way in which an organization is differentiated. The three types of differentiation in sports are horizontal, vertical, and spatial. Sport Organizations are horizontally differentiated when work is very specific and when the organization is departmentalized. Vertical differentiation refers to the number of levels in the organizational hierarchy.A flat structure refers to an organization that is not very vertical. It usually consists of one level with a "manager" watching over one other level of employees. A tall structure is very vertical and refers to an organization that has many levels and many employees. A big factor in the vertical structure is the span of control. The span of control refers to the number of employees directly supervised by a manager. A sport organization is spatially differentiated when tasks are separated geographically. Spatial differentiation occurs vertically when different levels of the organization are dispersed geographically and horizontally when the functions of the organization take place in different locations. The greater the horizontal, vertical and spatial differentiation, the more complex the sport organization. Formalization is one of the ways used to manage complexity. Formalization refers to the existence of mechanisms, such as rules and procedures, that govern the operation of a sport organization. Formalization's purpose is to regulate employee behavior. It happens in two ways. Through the existence of written documentation such as job descriptions, and through professional training. Deciding which approach to use is usually dependent on how specified the work is. Centralization, the last dimension of structure and the most problematic of the three, is concerned with who makes decisions within the organization. The higher up the decisions are made, the more centralized it is considered. The lower down the decisions are made, the more decentralized it is considered. These three things allow people to describe and compare organizations. They show how the work of the sport organization is broken down and the means used to integrate the different tasks. To manage a sport organization effectively and efficiently. It is essential that sport managers understand the various elements of structure and their interrelationships.

                There are many different ways to set up and organize an organization. The two ways that the book described were horizontal and vertical structures. Horizontal structures divide work into narrow routine tasks. Social specialization is high in horizontal structure unlike vertical structure. Vertical structures have many levels of management. When I think of vertical structures I think of the International Olympic Committee or of the National Basketball League. These are both very large organizations with several levels of management and are highly formalized. Both structures have their pros and cons. For example when an organization is highly specialized in the horizontal dimension it makes it more difficult for employees to relate their work to other employees in the company (p.64). This can be seen as a potential problem if the different subdivisions of a company need to work together to accomplish one goal.

                An organization whether it would be horizontal or vertical can either be seen as a highly formalized structure or an informal structure. There are many different ways to define formalization. According to Slack and Parent the methods of formalization consist of hiring the right employee, on the job training, policies, procedures, rules, job descriptions and committee terms of reference (p. 70-72). An example of a highly formalized organization is the NCAA. There are many policies, rules, and procedures that colleges must follow to be NCAA compliant. The NCAA is similar to a monopoly, in the way that there is no other organization out there to compete against or influence the NCAA. Along with being highly formalized this organization is also very complex. Complexity is measured in the way an organization is departmentalized.  I believe that the less complex an organization is the more efficient it is, especially in making major decisions in a decent amount of time. If the organization is less complex, more informal, and does not have a huge vertical structure tasks get carried out quicker.

                The last element of organizational structure is centralization vs. decentralization. Centralization is when decision making takes place at the top of the organization, by the president or CEO.  Decentralization takes place when the management at the top of the organization delegates tasks and decisions onto lower management. If I was the CEO of a large sports organization I would chose to have a decentralized structure, because I wouldn't have enough time in the day to make all the decisions for every department.  Also the managers in those departments would know more about the decision at hand than I would because they work with the same types of things everyday, where as I would have a general idea of what to base the decision on. Of course I would still like to know what is happening in my organization so I would have them report a summary of their major decisions to me. Centralization usually works out better with organizations that are smaller in scale and have a smaller number of employees.  In the end how would you choose to run your organization now that you know more about the different elements that go into the structure?


If you were running a business which element would be most important to you?

How many rules and procedures are too many for an organization to function properly?

Organizational Structure

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Complexity is the first dimension to organizational structure discussed in chapter four. Complexity can be viewed in three different ways, horizontally, vertically, or spatially. I feel that horizontal differentiation, which occurs in two separate yet interrelated ways, specialization and departmentalization (60), is very important in the sporting industry. You need horizontal differentiation so that everyone has something to work on, for instance you do not want everyone on the Minnesota Vikings Staff to be working on the new marketing campaign, you need the coaches focusing on bettering the team. In smaller organizations such as High School Athletic Departments, you may not need as much horizontal differentiation because there are less people and fewer areas to be concerned with. Vertical differentiation is important as well, with a more vertical structure employees feel more able to receive help from a manger and therefore the lines of communication are clearer. However, when it comes to determining just how tall the vertical structure should be the question to be asked is how closely do you wish to monitor your employees, or how close of supervision does your organization require? Formalization is the second dimension discussed in the book. It is defined as "the extent to which mechanisms such as rules and regulations, jobs descriptions, and policies and procedures govern the operation of a sport organization" (67). Without a great level of formalization any organization is ineffective in my eyes. Not only does formalization define job requirements, and gives procedures as to how problems should be dealt with so that a company is staying consistent, but it also gives employees job identity and goals to reach for. Let's use the NFL as an example; this is an enormous organization that has conflicts with everyone from the public to the teams to the players to the sponsors so they need to have formalization to deal with all of these conflicts as they arise and to deal with them all in the same way. You cannot allow one athlete to use illegal substances and another to get suspended for three games, there need to be guidelines as to what is acceptable. Another example would be the hiring of coaches at the U of M. If there were no standard procedures or requirements, we would not have top of the line, value oriented coaches. Perhaps we would have coaches that were here to simply to build on their resumes, not here because they are committed to the program or not here to better the program and its athletes. The question that needs to be asked when discussing formalization is how strict and uniform do you want the organization to be? The last dimension of organizational structure discussed is centralization; this describes the ways in which organizations allot their decision-making. Decision-making can either be centralized, decisions made at the top of the organization, or decentralized, decisions are allocated to the lower levels of an organization. I feel that a good combination of the two is important in having an effective organization. The decision making should definitely be centralized when it comes to important decisions about the company as a whole, or deals that require large amounts of money or decisions that are going to change the company entirely. When decisions are smaller, or are going to affect employees or the way things are run within, however, I feel that the decision making process needs to be decentralized. I feel that whoever the changes are going to be affecting need to be in on the decision making process, it is only fair and right. The people that the decisions are going to be affecting probably know the most about whatever it is the problem is and can probably give the most input and advice on how to fix it. The question that needs to be asked is how important is the decision and who will it be affecting?

            Organizational structure is a topic for organizations that may not be talked about a lot within the organization formally but it is an important factor within the organization.  Every organization has some time of organizational structure from Google right on down to a small local organization.  There are three dimensions of organizational structures and they are given the terms of complexity, formalization, and centralization.

            Complexity deals with differentiation and this can be seen through departments of an organization, job titles, and the presence of a hierarchy.  This can be seen in the University of Minnesota.  There is a dean for the entire university and the university is also split up (departments) into many different colleges which also each have their own dean.  There is faculty in each college and farther below the faculty there are teacher's assistants and students.  The U of M is a very complex institution.  Differentiation can be classified into three categories; horizontal, vertical, and spatial.

            Formalization is the procedures and rules that depict how an employee acts within the organization.  This dimension is part of the structure of an organization because it influences how an individual is able to try and implement their ideas upon the organization.  A low level employee with an idea may have to go through many levels of people to get their idea implemented whereas if the idea came from an upper level management employee there would be much less procedures and people to go through to attempt to have the idea implemented.

            Centralization has to do with where the decision making of an organization generally comes from.  If lower level managers are able to implement decisions and ideas without consulting anyone the organization would be thought to as decentralized.

            Organizational structures can influence how effective an organization can be.  When thought about this makes a lot of sense.  For example, if someone in an organization has a great idea that would definitely improve sales or anything to make the organization more effective but the structure is set up in such a way that this person with the idea has no effective way of getting the idea to the people that need to hear it is a potential problem.  This could happen in an organization that has a taller structure than which is needed.  Working to flatten the structure of the organization will help improve idea flow from lower level employees.  The decreasing of organizational structure also proved to be effective for Brunswick as is shown it the start of chapter four of our book.  Brunswick reduced the levels of management between Reichert and the lowest-paid employee to five and then in five years increased sales from one billion to three billion dollars.

            Some possible questions for discussion include, is a tall structure or a flat structure better for every organization or does it depend on the size of the organization?  Discuss how goal displacement could affect an organization such as the NCAA?  What are the benefits and disadvantages of having a centralized organization versus a decentralized organization?

            This link is a pretty cool website I found to look at organizational structures.

Organizational Structure

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I used the example of the Minnesota Vikings to provide an organizational structure to analyze. The coaching organization is what I focused on, and a lot of the information from this week applies to this sport organization. The structure is both centralized and decentralized in certain ways. The centralized decisions are made when it comes to personnel and facility decisions. The owner, Zygi Wilf, has the final say on who plays for the team, and where they play and practice. When it comes to coaching players on the field, the tasks are more decentralized. While everything may run through the head coach, ultimately the offensive and defensive coordinators are making the calls for how the team operates. The lower-level staff is actively participating in the decision making. When I say lower-level staff, I mean the coaches for each specific position that are very specialized in their area. Usually these coaches have experience playing the position, and a number of them are needed because there is a large difference between each position. Each position needs someone to guide them without going to the top of the decision making tree, which on game day is the head coach. Going back to our last blog, I believe this is an effective organization because while there are many lower-level staff members and the structure seems to be non-efficient, each member is highly specialized and leads to a smooth running decentralized structure on game day. So when it comes to those decentralized decisions, it still starts with the head coach, who through the week manages the practices with the help of his staff. The offensive, defensive, and special teams coordinators specialize in preparing their area for what the coach tells them to, while making decisions on the best way to do that themselves from time to time. The positional coaches specialize in preparing each player for how the coordinators are expecting each of them to perform on game day. On game day, the formula is similar, except instead of preparing, each coach helps the players to execute by following the organizational structure. Dustin Permann

There are different ways to manage an organization.  There are horizontal organization and vertical organizations.  When I think about vertical organizations, I think about huge sport organizations such as a Division I athletics or the NCAA.  With a vertical organization, the chances of conflict are high because there is such a huge discrepancy between specialization and differentiation.  There are so many different jobs that are involved in organizations this big that conflict is easily reached.  Specialization occurs in huge organizations because so many different jobs require different knowledge and training.  This is different from a high school athletic organization.  This is more of a flat structure because there are much less people associated with a high school program.  In many cases, there are a few people that organize the team and all can do same functions.  A coach may run practice, organize social events, run volunteer opportunities, and organize booster meetings.  A coach may play the roles of many people at a high school level compared to a Division I college level.

Formalization is also an issue between the different organization styles.  A high school program is automatically going to be less formalized than a college program or even the NCAA.  This is because a high school program does not feel the need to be as formalized and they have much less people to appease than the NCAA does.  This is not to say that a high school program is messy and unorganized.  They may be a very professional program that achieves great things, but the NCAA constantly needs to be on top of its game.  The NCAA is an enormous program that has an extensive list of people to please.  There is no way that everyone is going to be happy with the NCAA, so they are always constantly dealing with conflict.  They must be formalized to try and maintain as much peace as possible. 

Another structure that occurs in organizations is the centralization aspect.  Using the same example of a high school program versus a college athletic program, centralization can be seen.  Through a college athletic program, the players have little say in what is happening with the program.  The decisions are made from high up on the ladder.  This is usually the coach of the team, or even the athletic director or president of the university.  Having the decisions made from the top of the ladder would mean that the organization is centralized.  Using the high school organization example, the players may have more of a say in what is happening.  The players may initiate volunteer work, or social team events.  They are more in control of what they want out of their experience.  This would mean that if a majority of decisions are made from the bottom of the structure, it would be more decentralized.  

It is vital for the employees of a sport organization to be aware of these structures to help decide what type of organization he or she may work for to better enhance the work experience.


Group 5: Case Study

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1. Athletic Director

2. An External Profile we found was a positive public image, Resource management-efficient use of available resources, Performing on the field- sportsmanship, winning, effort, Ethics-the golden rule, doing the right thing all the time, Education-maintaining eligibility and graduation rates, Institutional Enthusiasm-school pride.

4. Place a high emphasis on performance on the field which includes winning, however there are other aspects related to performance on the field such as sportsmanship and effort. Thus, enhancing the other three areas involved.

5. MSU includes a source of pride along with high levels of performance within their mission statement. However, upon reviewing their nine objectives they did not include goals for institutional enthusiasm and performance on the field.

6. Operation Goals: Hire qualified accountant, develop an alumni association to produce booster funds, create a board to approve appropriate spending of funds, develop a marketing plan to encourage ticket and merchandising sales.

7. The goal attainment approach also works because it uses rational objectives and is measurable.

By: David Dahlstrom, Becca Picha, Ryan Hooser, and Andre Phillips 

Kristen Dockery Dustin Permann Laura Schnell Ryan Prochaska Group Case Study Analysis 1. The people that we determined that should decide what expectations have priority in an intercollegiate athletic program are; the head coach, then the rest of the coaching staff, and the athletic director. We also thought that it is good for programs to have some autonomy so that that athletic director isn't trying to tell every program exactly what to do and how to do it. 2. The values that we came up with that underpin each of the six determinants of success are as follows: Performance on the field- Predominantly values winning and perhaps promoting good sportsmanship during competition. Education- Values high graduation rates, a solid G.P.A., regular attendance in class, and involvement in both class and perhaps volunteer opportunities. Ethics- Respecting and adhering to the institutions mission statement, rules, and expectations as much as possible. External Profile- Values marketing a positive image of the university for example having a reputation of honesty and being well-respected. Institutional enthusiasm- Bringing the community together and creating a family-like atmosphere. Resource Management- Values having successful programs to stimulate booster support and, with that, being efficient financially. 3. MSU should place the highest priority on recruiting great players that also excel in the classroom to ensure a successful program both on and off the field. They should also be willing to go out and find a well-respected and previously successful coach to ensure winning. 4. Additional expectations that MSU could add to help achieve the athletic departments objectives is set goals for winning their conference. Also we thought that they could really promote the importance of life after athletics which emphasizes the importance of succeeding academically. 5. Four operational goals that would help the athletic department meet objective number four are selling out games, sponsorships, allocating scholarships efficiently, and winning to ensure continued booster support. 6. A model that could help MSU assess effectiveness is the competing values model. I mentioned earlier that we felt it was important that there is no single-best criterion for an organization's effectiveness and that is exactly what this model is based on. Effectiveness is a subjective concept and, as it says in our book, the criterion used to assess a program depends on the evaluator's values. We felt that many of these models could apply but decided predominantly on the competing values model.
Group Members: Ashley Deisting, Jamie Prescott, Anthony Crowell 1. The athletic director should determine which expectations have priority because he/she is the liaison to the media, president of the University, and the coaches. He/she has control of all the athletic teams at the university and has the proper authority to make all the decisions. 2. external profile: strong image/reputation, strong marketing department resource management: cost/benefit analysis performance on the field: success (players, coaches, staff), winning (scoring and sportsmanship) ethics: University values (athletics vs. academics), personal values (academics vs. socializing) education: graduation rates, GPA, volunteering institutional enthusiasm: football games (being on campus), more wins = bigger morale for the school 3. Highest priority should be placed on external profile first, then resource management, and lastly institutional enthusiasm. Winning on the field seems to affect the external profile first, and having a great external profile draws in some better recruits that can help the university continue to win games. Resource management would then come into play. If you can be efficient in spending money than you are on the right track in being and effective organization. Institutional enthusiasm seems to come in last because it is not overemphasized in performance on the field. Winning games featuring external profile and resource management will help make institutional enthusiasm greater for the university. 4. By defining the expectations Wolf et al.'s article, it gives MSU's goals a purpose. Goals have to be realistically made and rational because it is important to reach them if you want an effective organization. Other expectations you could add to help achieve the listed goals and objectives include: caliber of the board, internal procedures, and sport science support. 5. A. Spend X amount of dollars in the Department of Athletics. B. Raise X amount of dollars through fundraising events. C. Run a cost-benefit analysis on each sport the MSU competes in. D. Run a quarterly analysis of revenues and expenditures and adjust revenues and expenditures accordingly depending on the analysis and findings. 6. The systems resources approach would also be useful for assessing MSU's effectiveness. This approach takes into account the organization's relationship to its environment. MSU seems most focused on performance on the field and external profile. This approach makes use of acquiring needed resources which winning games on the field can get the organization.
1. Sponsors, General Athletic staff excluding players and coaches, University President, People that set out and define the university's overall standards 2/3. External Profile: player integrity, team success, leadership, all around sportsmanship (team, coaches, fans) Resource Management: efficient use of resources ($, sponsorships), performance (leads to more resources) Performance on the field: professionalism, sportsmanship, leadership (players, coaches) Ethics: respecting the ICA mission statement Education: graduation rates, team GPA, academic goals Institutional enthusiasm: proud to wear university colors and symbol, unify university to one cause (the game) 4.Set a high standard to winning while respecting all other values because the success of the team helps build and external profile for the university. Winning increases resources in the way that sponsors and donors give increase money, more people want to come to games of winning teams. With institutional enthusiasm if makes people want to be par of the tradition, connected to the university and attend games. 5. As far as the values we connected to the 6 determinants, we believe that all the values are intertwined into their mission statement and objectives. Expectations to add would be something slong the lines of leadership from the program to reach out to the community. 6. 1.) winning to increase donations to the university 2.) increase tickets sales 3.) seek out boosters 4.) produce more available scholarships through meeting academic standards 7. Goal attainment approach because MSU has many goals they hope to achieve. This approach identifies and evaluates how well the program is reaching and maintaining these goals.
1.)Athletic directors should have the main responsibility of prioritizing expectations of each individual department or program within the athletic department. Athletic directors should also establish an organization-wide expectation and prioritize those expectations. Along with this, each individual team or department within athletic department should set their own expectations. For example, an athletic department's required GPA for an athlete to be eligible to compete is 1.9. However, the women's basketball team expects their players to earn a 2.5 GPA in order to be eligible to compete. 2.)External profile- pride, competitiveness, loyalty, sportsmanship Resource management- integrity, sportsmanship, respect, pride Performance on the field- competitiveness, strong work ethic, determination Ethics- honesty, trustworthiness, passion Education- dedication, strong work ethic, commitment Institutional enthusiasm- pride, spirit, sportsmanship 3.)If performance on the field influences the other six determinants of success, then you must focus on fielding a team that will consistently be successful on the field. Understand that within any athletic department getting your student athletes a degree that they can be proud of should be a top priority. At the major intercollegiate level you have a better chance of being successful as an organization if your athletic teams are successful on the field. MSU should strive to have some of the nations' top student-athletes, but at the same time understand that putting together a winning product on the field helps the organization in every aspect. 4.)After looking at MSU's mission statement it seems apparent that many if not all of Wolf et al.'s expectations were incorporated into the mission. The only thing we could see that wasn't covered as well in the mission statement was resource management. We thought that it was smart of MSU to not talk much about resource management in the mission statement, because in all reality it is more of an operative goal. 5.)There are a number of ways that MSU can continue to maintain a sound financial base. Things such as sponsorship attainment, getting local businesses more involved, having a strong booster club, and making sure scholarship money is appropriated correctly. 6.)Internal Process Approach--the program wants to develop internally and develop their staff in all aspects of their lives (i.e. career, wellness, athletic success, professional success, etc.). Developing the employees, athletes, and support staff's relationships with one another and creating an atmosphere of kindness, happiness, and dedication results in the other priorities of the athletic department fulfilled. When the internal component of an organization is working as one collective unit, external relationships and factors take care of themselves. Things such as tickets sales and public perceptions are examples of external factors that an organization cannot even begin to worry about without first making sure that the primary stakeholders are working effectively.

Group 10: Mike Dale, Brian Grant, Alex Maschoff

1) Athletic Director and Associate Athletic Directors who have better organizational understanding of individual programs

2) Performance on the Field: Sports are successful in winning games, advancing to conference tournaments, bowl games, and other championship games on a consistent basis.

Education: Student athletes are maintaining a focus on academic growth and career exploration that will benefit them beyond their university experience.

Ethics: Institution and it's member athletes are committed to following the rules and guidelines outlined by the university, conference, and NCAA in a manner that emphasizes responsible decision making beyond the letter of the applicable rules and regulations.

External Profile: The athletic department is committed to expanding the university's community impact by positively representing the university in a manner that those members of the community that the university affects are encouraged and proud to be associated with the university and athletic department as a cooperative.

Resource Management: The athletic department is determined to be fiscally responsible both in terms of financial outputs and staffing inputs in addition to exploring methods that will expand the revenue streams and make the athletic department more financially solvent.

Institutional Enthusiasm: The athletic department and its employees will represent the university in a manner that promotes a sense of pride and honor to the university.

3) MSU should place paramount importance on developing a highly recognizable and highly regarded external profile in order to better effect the performance on the field in terms of competitive success. In this case, a high external profile would also allow MSU to attract additional resources because a highly regarded external profile will allow MSU to attract the best coaches and staff members thus generating interest from athletes and creating a program that is self-sufficient and self-sustaining in terms of athletic competition. Additionally, the relationship between performance on the field and external profile appear to exist in a symbiotic relationship such that performance on the field is directly proportional to the external profile of the athletic department and the university and the external profile can also be directly proportional to the success of the athletic teams on the field as outlined above.

4) The nine objectives of MSU all, either individually or as a collection of ideas, express the theories and processes behind the six characteristics identified in Wolfe et al. (2002). Recruiting student-athletes of high moral and academic fiber relates to the organizations external profile. The objective of maintaining sound financial base refers to the resource management outlined in Wolfe et al. (2002). Operating in compliance with the rules of the university, conference, and NCAA refers to the ethics of the athletic department. Encouraging student-athletes, coaches, and staff to participate in community programs refers to the institutional enthusiasm and such. We feel that the nine stated objectives are more than satisfactory in terms of addressing the entirety of the concepts outlined in Wolfe et al. (2002).

5) Goals for MSU          

-          Hire the best possible coaches whenever possible

-          No over-spending but spend enough to remain competitive in the market

-          Set reasonable but challenging goals for ticket sales for various large profile sporting events

-          Attract the best talent to represent the department and focus on maintaining and advancing the facilities of the university

6) Goal Attainment would work well with the goals of MSU in that it would allow the university and the athletic department to set goals and essentially determine the organizations success or efficiency based on its own criteria. It also provides an opportunity for a more straight forward assessment of the organizations success.

1.) Collaboration between the president of the university and the athletic director with inputs from coaches and boosters.

2.) External Profile: Public image
     Resource Management: Efficiency
     Performance on the Field: Winning
     Ethics: violations
     Education: GPA, graduation rate
     Institutional Enthusiasm: attendance, on-campus store merchandise sales, rally
                                          attendance, school spirit.

3.) Place decision making that relates to winning at the highest priority until it starts to affect ethics and education because if the team is winning it will enhance the external profile by giving them positive attention in the media.  Winning helps out resource management by attracting top talent to your team because you are a winning organization.  By winning current students will demonstrate more school spirit showing high enthusiasm towards the school and teams.

4a.) All nine objectives fit under one or more of the six categories; external profile, resource management, performance on the field, ethics, education and institutional enthusiasm.

4b.) Because all objectives fit in those six categories, we feel that no additional expectations are needed.

5.) Turn a profit every fiscal year.
     Sell out home games.
     Maintain proportional funding between all sporting teams.
     Minimize wasteful spending.

6.) The goal attainment approach could be used to determine effectiveness because the university has its goals and so does other parts of the institution like each individual sport team, marketing goals, financial goals, and administrative goals.

Chris, Yuri, John, Matt
1.) The coaches should determine which expectations have priority as they are the team managers. Administrators that work directly with the boosters should also have some say as well as the players, but the coach needs to make the final decisions as it's his team. 2.) Integrity deals with all six of the themes that are put in place for success as it can make or break your team with rules violations and immoral decisions. Leadership comes into play because most college athletic programs represent their university as the first thing people see when they visit the school. 3.) Intangibles and focusing on winning should not be placed as the highest priority when it comes to decision making. Decision making should be made based on getting people excited, but academics still come first. They need to uphold the values and traditions of the university. 4.) We feel the six expectations go above and beyond meeting the goals set objectives set forth by MSU athletics. The rules do a very good job of overlapping. To advance athletes and employees throughout the athletic department and for their careers. Coaching would be an example of this. 5.) A.) To raise $50,000 dollars through community boosters. B.) To maintain or grow last year's budget by less than $2,000 dollars. C.) Our goal is to sell 80% of the tickets to every home game to every sport. D.) To achieve 3-4 new business for sponsorship opportunities. 6.) The internal systems approach process could be used because the management of funds all comes from internal resources. The university makes recruiting, coaching, and managing all from within, the internal systems approach works the best we believe.

Group 10 - USOC

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*CONTEXTUAL* Size: All various sanctioned Olympic sports governed by the IOC. Employees of all individual sport governing bodies. Sale: Individual sports; apparel; contracts; ticket sales from sponsored events. Technology: Top of the line technology to train athletics to have the greatest edge in competition. Environment: Minimal impact. Economic environment could affect some areas of their organization. Goals/Strategies: Attract, retain, and win with the best athletes that represent the US. Culture: Same competitions year after year, unless new ones are added. Not too much of an overall cultural change. *STRUCTURAL* Formalization: Very formal, as is the governing US body. Specialization: Various individual USOC sport organizations that organize the individual sports. H of A: Committees that set policy. Centralization: Decisions made as a group/committee. ------------------------ Overall, we felt the structural impacts the contextual. Mike Dale, Alex Maschoff

Group 2

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1.) We believe that WWE is not a sport because there is a pre-determined outcome. The people involved know what is going to happen next. 2.) We believe that WWE is part of the entertainment industry and not the sport industry. 3.) Why we need to know this maybe because of tax purposes or the fact that we need to understand different types of organizations. Contextual affects structural on the U of M campus because of how the university is run as a college sports organization. The U of M has uo to date technology with a large number of employees. The environment on campus is social economical and the goals of the university are student orientated. The culture is to provide a good, clean, safe porduct for the fans. The structural aspect deals with formalization which has the code of conduct as well as specialization for higher up learning and knowledge. The heirarchy of athornity deals with the athletic director and university president. The professionalism has a variety of educational opportunities as well as a personal ratio of 3 to 1. (Sam Hadley, Bryan Pederson, Kristin Furukawa, Nicholas Donofrio)
The book states that for an organization to be effective, it must assess what it considers to be effective. For an organization to be effective it should develop a mission statement that can be followed by all its members as a strict procedure that allows for complete success. Every organization should have benchmarks. This is critical because they need to have a way to self access themselves, just as students have tests. This will allow for the organization to see how and when they can improve to better manage their people. A classic example of setting goals and creating benchmarks within an organization is the U. S. Army. Throughout my two deployments to Iraq I watched the leadership set-up clear objectives in the first month that we were in country. From there the leadership is able to evaluate and critique what is working and why it is working. On the same note they can determine what is not working, unnecessary, and just does not fit the objects of the organization. Organizations need to have a clear responsible image. This will help create sponsorships that can effectively help you attain the mission statement that you set forth. Having a clean image along with a positive attitude will help create a positive atmosphere. Have the right attitude amongst your employees will create a great work environment. If you are a positive boss, you can influence your workers or soldiers to work with a positive attitude. Organization and management of personnel can be an effective way to make a positive impact on your organizations direct output. This will intern create the atmosphere you need to have a success full business.
I believe an effective sports organization should utilize a combination of the approaches presented in our textbook, in order to be as effective (and efficient) as possible. However, I don't believe the "Competing Values" approach correctly sums up the "combination" that an effective sports organization should use. There is no single approach sports organizations should use IN GENERAL, but each sports organization, based on its contextual features (size, technology, environment, goals & strategy, culture) does have an approach that fits it correctly. The Goal Attainment approach, the Systems Resource approach, the Internal Process approach, and the Strategic Constituencies approach are all important in their own ways, and should be considered when a sports organization is aiming to be effective. Every organization should have goals for nearly everything it may deal with. Sports organizations, in particular, have an added set of goals pertaining to the team's/player's success. Each of these goals intertwines with one another, and help the organization become effective. Therefore, it is important for sports organizations to attain their goals in this part of their approach towards effectiveness. While looking to be effective, sports organizations should look to be efficient as well (this may be one of their goals). Being efficient will not only help an organization become more effective, more quickly, but also allow them to accomplish more of their goals, in a more effective manner. Sports organizations should look to follow the Systems Resource approach to maintain both their levels of effectiveness and efficiency. Organizations with bad communication or slow processes of accomplishing tasks will be very ineffective. The Internal Process approach states that organizations, whose employees are in sync with one another and communicate well, will be more effective. (Slack & Parent 45) This is important in any organization. The final approach, I feel is the most important. The Strategic Constituencies approach states that people outside the organization should be seen as the most important because they "provide the organization with resources and support." The textbook identifies these people as "fans, the media, sponsors, and owners." (Slack & Parent 47) Fans, media, and sponsors are the financial driving force of every sports organization because they supply purchases, exposure, and awareness to the sports franchise. Therefore, these groups outside the organization work as sales/marketing representatives, even though they may not see it that way. There is no perfectly right or wrong way to accomplish effectiveness in general, but sports organization, they must look at the context of the situation and set their goals for effectiveness.

This is not an easy task after reading Chapter 3 from the course textbook. The definition of an "effective" sport organization will vary among people, which makes it hard to determine whether or not an organization is effective. With this being said, I believe that it is important to consider many different variables and people groups to accomplish a sound philosophy for the framework of an effective sport organization. Very generally, I think the leaders of the organization need to communicate amongst each other to formulate a mission statement that can be viewed by leaders, employees, other sport organizations, the media, important constituents, customers, and the rest of the public. It will be available for all to see not only on a website or on paper, but through its fruition in the operation of the sport organization. A large part of the mission statement will be comprised of making it clear that communication is a top priority. Often time's organizations get distracted from simple communication. There will be no hidden agendas and the leaders of the organization, employees, media, public, etc. will all need to be in effective communication with one another to move forward in accomplishing the organizational goals. The book mentions a lot about making goals for the organization.

It would be important to have the umbrella goals as the book mentions and subunit goals as well. These goals would not be restricted from anybody and will allow many of the people mentioned above to know the goals of the organization. This will create an atmosphere of teamwork and efficiency because of the increased capability of working together to reach the organizational goals through clear communication. If I were to pick a strategy from the book that I believe would best serve as a means to an effective organization I would chose the strategic constituencies approach, in addition to the internal process approach. I think it is very important to consider all the people involved in the operation and success of a sport organization. I believe that this approach tries to acknowledge those who are making the sport organization a possibility and prioritizes them with hopes of serving them all. Involving the constituents and focusing on efficient and effective communication within the organization is very important. I believe to effectively managing a sport organization this aspects need to be considered very heavily and on a daily basis.

What is your philosophy? Where do you agree or disagree with my philosophy?


What makes an effective organization? That is a difficult question to answer considering the paradoxical nature of effectiveness. In our book, Understanding Sport Organizations, they state, "Effectiveness is therefore paradoxical in nature. As such, one of the best ways to summarize the various approaches that have been presented may be to suggest that each is useful under different circumstances" (Slack & Parent, 55). After reading all of the different approaches to evaluating effectiveness, I would agree with Slack & Parent, the ways in which we measure an organization's effectiveness depends on so many variables. Since evaluating effectiveness is inconsistent, I think that in turn, what makes an effective organization is also inconsistent. There are so many variables that factor in, and there are innumerable combinations of variables that have resulted in successful organizations. I think it is safe to say that almost every organization runs on their unique combination of structure, goals, environment, processes and values. It is difficult to pinpoint one formula for success. In my personal opinion, I think the approach that had the most validity and least amount of flaws was the strategic constituencies approach. The approach factored in the stakeholders of the organization. Stakeholders are what make the organization successful; they are the individuals and businesses that invest time, talents, and money in the organization. Working to please the stakeholders is one key to maintaining a successful and effective organization (assuming you are aiming for longevity). Where the difficulty comes in is in determining which stakeholder's approval or happiness is the most important. That is where I looked to something that wasn't described too much in the book. No matter what approach your organization finds valuable for evaluating effectiveness, somebody has to decide which approach you will take and they must also inspire the rest of the organization to follow that approach. What an organization needs to be effective is a leader. The leader can be placed in the leadership role by their job title, or they can earn the leadership role through gaining respect from others in the organization. Often times a leader is a coach or a manager - at the top of the hierarchy of the organization. You do not typically see an organization fire all of their employees and keep the manager; it is usually the other way around. It takes strong leadership skills to unite an organization and inspire them all to share the same vision for the organization. But when a leader (or leaders) of an organization is/are successful in getting the entire organization on the same page, that is when effectiveness can be achieved; when goals are clearly defined and known to all, achieving them is a much smoother process. What is also important is keeping in mind that since effectiveness is paradoxical, or inconsistent, leaders must be willing to constantly reevaluate the organization's goals and its view on how they will determine if they are effective in achieving those goals. Two things I would like to talk about in class: 1. The book talks about being effective by either adhering to the means the organization set, or by achieving the ends (the results) the organization is striving for. The book alludes that you can really only do one or the other. Do you think it is possible to adhere to the means AND achieve the desired end result? 2. Who do you think should decide what is important to the organization? In order to be effective, according to the book's definition, an organization must achieve its goals. Who should determine these goals? Someone at the top of the hierarchy or people from all levels of the organization?

Organizational Effectiveness

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Effective sport organizations operate with a strategic plan that meets and exceeds the goals that have been set. Goal oriented organizations provide the opportunity for successful growth and allows them to compete with others in the industry. Communication is vital and can factor into how effective an organization becomes. Communication from the top to bottom will contribute to the overall performance. If everyone is on the same page, day to day operations will flow much smoother. Both short and long term goals are important because society wants a team to compete now, and be strong a couple years down the road. Although everyone likes winning, it is only one of many factors that contributes to how effective the organization actually is. I think creating a strong fan base can lead to success because the organization will form an image that people and other businesses want to be associated with. The business side of sports is so complex, that many don't understand the true value it carries. A simple way to define an organization is by creating value. If there is no value, there is no organization. I believe the larger the organization, the more effective it will become. When each employee is specialized to one duty, they can put all their focus and energy into their job creating a better situation for the organization as a whole. If each department sets goals and carries them out, the organization will compete and perform at the highest level. -Alex Maschoff
Group Members: Andrew Myers, Emily Oberlander, Adam Vargas, R.J. McGinnis Sport Organization: U of M Athletic Department Contextual Features: Size: Large, hundreds of employees Technology: Highly advanced. All communication is done electronically, and new technology is being purchased/installed into facilities on a regular basis. Environment: University-centered, competitive (against other Minneapolis/St. Paul organizations), supportive (U of M students/alumni/fans/etc.) Goals & Strategy: Profit, Winning, Education Culture: Supportive, critical Structural Features: Formalization: The deparment is very formalized, in that it uses very upscale business practices and tries to produce a product that is highly desired. Specialization: Each employee is very specialized. Each employee has very specific tasks to accomplish during each project, and there is little overlap between any two departments. Hierarchy: The hierarchy is clearly defined and followed in all departments. The AD Joel Maturi oversees all functions of the athletic department, while his associate AD's oversee more specific areas of the department. Centralization: The U's athletic department is centralized evenly between the highest and lowest levels. There are a high number of interns, who are managed by almost as many managers and directors. Professionalism: Employees must be highly educated to work with the organization and succeed. The organization maintains a high level of professionalism, and does a good job of displaying it. Personnel Ratios: There are a high number of lower level interns, who are managed by almost as many managers and directors. We believe that the contextual features of the U's Athletic Department effect it's structural features because the entire organization must adapt to outside contextual forces, such as the available technology, the environment it is surrounded by, and the culture of the people who support it.
We picked the Gopher Football organization to analyze the Contextual vs structural aspects. =CONTEXTUAL= Size: The size of Gopher Football is very large in terms of college athletics and in comparison to the other programs on campus. There is a very large staff base, high sales of football tickets and merchandise, and a large budget for the organization. Technology: The technology within gopher football is moderate, there is a video staff that works with the team during practices and games, a website for the football team and many other networks that cover the football games. Environment: The environment surrounding the gopher football team is ok. Many think there is academic dishonesty that goes on, but the new stadium has definitely gotten people excited about the gopher football organization. The team participates in many community service activities and reach out to the community in many ways. Goals and Strategy: Obviously, the goal is to win as many games as possible as well as create revenue for the university. The Gopher Football organization also strives to further the lives of the players by helping shape them academically and socially outside football. Culture: The culture of the gopher football team is one of unity and working as a unit to achieve the common goal of winning games. =STRUCTURAL= Formalization: Every job within the gopher football organization has a job description and each person knows the procedures they are to complete. Specialization: I would say there is a high degree of specialization. There is a recruitment department, marketing, compliance, equipment, coaching staff ( multiple coaches for each position), athletic training staff, video staff, all the way down to custodial staff. Each of these departments have subdivision of labor as well. Hierarchy of Authority: There is a definite hierarchy within the Gopher Football organization. Starting at the AD, Joel Maturi, to Tim Brewster, and going down the line to the student workers. Centralization: Many of the large decisions are made by Tim Brewster of Joel Maturi, but there are many decisions that coaches and other administration will make that I have noticed don't go through higher authority. Professionalism: Every employee at Gopher Football that is not a student worker has some sort of degree that I have met. But, as I have learned in the sport world, its not what you know, but who you know. So some people aren't as highly educated as others. Personnel Ratio: There is a smaller ratio of administration than there is to clerical workers and student workers. As a result of this analysis we decided it is the contextual that determines the structural. Group members: Laura Schnell, Dustin Permann, Ryan Prochaska, Kristen Dockery
We determined that the WWE is not a sport because it did not fulfill one of the requirements of a sport. While the WWE does require skill/movement and it is institutionalized, it has a predetermined outcome. The fans may not know who will win, but the results are determined behinds the scenes and each action is already planned. Although we did not consider it to be a sport, we do think the WWE is a part of the sport industry. We assimilated its involvement with companies such as Nike; regardless of the predetermined outcome, the WWE still produces goods (such as apparel) and services (i.e. entertainment) relating to physical activity. You could think of the WWE as more of a product than a team or a league. We struggled to come up with a definite reason why we need to know if it is a part of the sport industry, but the best we came up with is for tax reasons and for making an estimate on exactly how valuable the sport industry is to our local, national and international economies. For the second part of our assignment, we chose to analyze the Minnesota Wild organization. In size, we estimated that the Minnesota Wild would directly employ about 150 people and in terms of the "Wild Community," we figured it was towards the top of list of NHL teams. The technology that is necessary for the Wild to operate includes an intricate website, media boards, and online ticket sales, amongst other things. We thought the environments of the organization were all pretty positive environments. As far as the social atmosphere goes, the Wild have a very positive image and reputation with surrounding communities. The political environment also seems to be positive; we concluded this because legislature supported the construction of the Xcel Energy Center. We also think the economic environment of the Wild is very good. We live in the state of hockey and the Wild have no problem selling out their games. We determined that the goals of the Minnesota Wild would include winning games, getting the Minnesota Wild brand out there, having a positive image in the community, and making money. We think the overall culture of the Wild values good sportsmanship and highly regard good community relations. In contrast to another professional sports team in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Wild have done a great job of keeping players and the team away from scandalous stories that would shine a negative light on the organization. Structural features of the Minnesota Wild organization are as follows: Formalization of the Wild organization is characterized by written job descriptions, lists of tasks and deadlines to accomplish those by, schedules and player contracts. Specialization is evident by the coaches, equipment, players, trainers, marketing and sales. The hierarchy of authority is typical of other professional sport organizations; the hierarchy starts with the owner and the front office, working its way down through coaches, players, trainers, down to the ticket sellers. With this hierarchy, the centralization/decision making of the organization comes from the top. Those at the top of the hierarchy make the decisions and the effects of such decisions trickle down the food chain. The Minnesota Wild is a very professional organization. As part of maintaining a good public image, employees of the Wild dress and act professionally while at work and in the public eye. As far as the personnel ratio goes, it is difficult to know exact numbers without doing research, but we thought a diagram of the personnel ratio would probably look something like a pyramid. Starting at the top of the hierarchy, one person would supervise a small number of employees, maybe a handful. And as you work your way down the hierarchy, the more people someone is in charge of supervising. We all agreed that the contextual factors determined the structure of the Wild organization. If the someday the contextual features changed, the structure would have to adapt accordingly.
Organization: NCAA

Size: nation wide, larger group of employees
Technology: Internet, people Environment: Intercollegiate athletes
Goals & strategy: maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the education program and the student body
Culture: maintaining the highest standards of quality and professionalism by working together in an environment that promotes respect, communication and teamwork; by encouraging professional growth and training; by supporting creativity and vision; by seeking out diversity; and by fostering individual empowerment and personal well-being. (From

Formalization: NCAA playing rule book
Specialization: have experience in intercollegiate athletics
Hierarchy or authority: Centralization: individual empowerment and personal well-being
Professionalism: respect, communication, and teamwork
Personal Ratios: there are different departments of various sizes dealing with things like advertising, student athlete relationship, and administrative

In general we feel that the contextual controls the structural for most organizations.  Changes in the environment and technology will change the structural aspects of an organization.  In this case with the NCAA however, we feel that the NCAA has been around for a long time and have been resistant to changes.

Group 1: Christopher Dirkes, Yuri Nagai, John Bosman, and Matt Macer 
In order to have an effective organization, a mission statement needs to be created to determine what is going to be measured to determine how an organized can be evaluated. The mission statement helps the organization create a purpose. Without it, an organization and its people would be lost and would not know what to do or why they are doing it. A mission statement also helps an organization define who their stakeholders are which is just as essential. It is important to know who you are serving. A mission statement also creates the image of an organization and what they strive to be known for. Their purpose is extremely important. A strong and clear organizational chart is also essential. It creates a clear chain of command that eliminates overlap and confusion. Without it, distractions would be coming from all different directions. An organization chart also creates effective communication. You do not want conflicting roles and duplicated work. You want to know who to go to and know when you need to. An organization also needs goals just like an individual. Short term and long term goals for the company and their individuals units are effective. It allows smaller units to strive for goals they can accomplish and then can have their work applied to the greater goal of the organization. It creates a sense of pride and ownership and is a great tool to motivate employees. Creating teamwork is also essential. You want people working together to reach a goal rather than several individuals going at it on their own. Teams work better and offer different perspectives that otherwise perhaps may not be discovered if it weren't for the team working together and discussing. From the organization stand point, rewarding and retaining employees is critical. You need to reward people increasing the good of organization and want to do everything you can to retain them. It's healthy for the organization to do so. Rewarding employees gives them motivation to increase their productivity which will in turn raise the productivity of the organization. While in these tough times financial incentives are difficult to find, there are other ways to reward people and organizations need to get creative. The most important thing is having happy employees. Without them, it hurts business and organizations need to strive to make sure the people who represent them are happy in order to create happy customers.

Organizational Effectiveness

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I think the key to any successful organization is having a good leader. A leader sets an example for the rest of the organization. The people underneath the leaders take all of their cues from the people above them because they respect the people above them and hope to work along side them eventually. Another thing I find is a key part of a successful organization is marketing. If an organization has a strong marketing plan, people will want what they have to offer. If a sport organization has a strong marketing plan, they are able to bring in new fans everyday. The more fans a team has, the more money the organization will make. If you can continue to bring in new fans everyday, your organization will become very sustainable. Sustainability is very hard to come by and it is the most important thing for an organization because it means that you will be around for a while. If athletes know that your organization is sustainable, they are more likely to sign with your team, and they may be willing to sign at a discount because they respect your organization. This is why players are more likely to sign contracts with a team like the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. because they know the tradition of the organization and they know that they will be treated well and that they don't have anything to worry about when it comes to how they are taken care of by the organization.

Group Work

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WWE : -We concluded that WWE is not a sport because there is a predetermined outcome to the activity, which negates the sense of competition. -We determined that the WWE is still a sport organization despite the fact that it is not a sport. Although the actual activity is not a sport, WWE is still part of the sports industry. There is an organizational structure within WWE that constitutes an organization. WWE also has a large fan base and opportunities for stakeholders. All of these allow us to consider WWE a sport organization within the sport industry. University of Minnesota, Gopher Athletics: Contextual dimensions 1. Size - very large, about an $80 million annual budget, one event could cost more than $100,000, large even at the collegiate level, large number of students impacts the size of organization. 2. Technology - Website, multiple facilities, new stadium with state of the art technology, social networking 3. Environment - New stadium, large on campus and metro area following, "Big Ten" atmosphere, $280 million stadium still affordable in hard economic times, political and community input. 4. Goals and strategy - To serve as a window to the university. Recruit, retain, and reward. Make money to keep up with similar organizations. 5. Culture - Very diverse culture. Consists much of die hard fans that were are proud to have always been a fan, but also encompasses the student body, which is made up if hundreds of different people and their own cultures. Structural dimensions 1. Formalization - Many jobs positions that athletics create and there are descriptions for each. Also, many involved with the organization must sign detailed contracts. 2. Specialization -Each sport is its own department with a budget. 3. Hierarchy of authority - The Hierarchy of authority is very evident. University President to Athletic Director all the way down to facility managers and student employees and hundreds of positions in between. 4. Centralization - Many decisions and rules come from ruling organization, NCAA. All universities within division 1 status receive command in many areas from governing body. 5. Professionalism - Extreme professionalism. Many full-time staff must have specific experience to attain certain positions. All upper management has proper education, training, and experience. 6. Personnel Ratios: Many more lower wage employees than top paid officials. Contextual vs. Structural: The contextual dimensions of gopher athletics influence the structural. The contextual dimensions also differ from the structural, but they still have a great influence on them. Many of the structural dimensions would not even be in place if it were not for the contextual dimensions.

 One of the most important factors in running a successful organization is having a successful organizational design in place. All managers of organizations seek to produce a design that will enhance their ability to achieve the short term and long term goals of their organizations. According to Miller (1981) organizations must be constructed to ensure that there is complementary alignment or fit among their structural variables (page 6). The structural variables that he was referring to are formalization, specialization, hierarchy of authority, centralization, professionalism, and personal ratios. Formalization is where organizations use written documentation of job descriptions and procedures. Specialization is the degree of which the organization is broken up into subdivisions, for example separate jobs. Hierarchy of authority is the number of different levels and the span of control within an organization. Centralization is the extent of where decisions are made, whether it would be at the top or the bottom of the organization.  Professionalism is the level of training and formal education that the employees of an organization have. Personal ratios are the percents of different kinds of personal within an organization. I believe that in order to have a successful organization you need to have a high amount of professionalism amongst the employees. There must also be communication from the top of the organization all the way down to the bottom. If the top of the organization does not communicate the goals or visions it has for the future of the organization to the bottom level employees the goals will never workout. All working parts of an organization have to be in communication with each other to perform at a high level. I have found that the organizations with the greatest sense of goals and strategy are also the ones with the highest profit, and the highest satisfaction rate amongst its employees. If the employees all work together as one team towards a common goal, that goal will most likely be accomplished. All organizations exist for a purpose, be it for making a profit, encouraging participation in a given sport, or winning Olympic medals (page 5). Goals of sports organizations are not easily obtainable by individuals but rather by all individuals working together as one team. Being a part of a sports team myself I realize that there are strength in numbers, and the more we work together and help each other out the faster we reach our goals. This is why I believe that goals and communication are the two largest components in creating an successful sports organization. 

A effective organization has to start from the the top of the ladder and work its way down. The manager of the organization is a huge part in how effective and organization will be. That is why you see some many managers being fired or dropped down because if they are not making things effective then you need to get someone in there that can. This starts by working with every different level in the organization and making sure that they have set goals of what they want to see achieved. Communication is a huge role in an effective organization simply for the fact that if you have no communication between the different fields in the organization, the status of these set goals and other important things will for one never get achieved and two will apply for a very in effective organization. The book by Slack and Parent says that effectiveness refers to the extent to which an organization achieves its goals. With what was just said I believe that communication has a huge deal of how effective a organization is. If you cant communicate there will be no goals set and there in turn will equal to a less effective organization. There are many ways an organization can be very effective its just how you want to take on the phrase of "what is an Effective organization"? Cameron points out that organizations lacking a competitive advantage in their choose market or unsuccessful in acquiring the best resources can still be very effective (Slack and Parent 45)." Like the book explains the Seattle Supersonics were a very "no-name" team who in 1977 an 1978 were unable to obtain any super stars for their team, thereby the lost a competitive advantage. Yet with all that and lower quality resources they still made it to the NBA finals and went on to win it all (Slack and Parent 45). To have an effective organization I believe you need to start with a solid and very spoken communication based organization which therefor leads you to goal setting at the very high level as overall organization goals, but also goals in each field that surrounds the organization. When you make these goals they need to be very structured of what you want to accomplished. At the same time make them where you feel like if you go out of your way they can be accomplished. With these goals being set it gives the employees something that they can work for to better than organization besides the team try to win or lose. There not to easy and there not to extreme like "Swimming Nation Canada". As a result you can see that with to high or expectations you tend to not succeed. It comes down to you don't have to win the gold medal or go undefeated as a team to be an effective organization you just need communication and everyone working together from the top down with the manager piecing everything together. To sum it all up the book says that "effective organizations are those with absence of internal strain, whose members are highly integrated into the system, whose internal function is smooth and typified by trust and benevolence towards individuals, where information flows smoothly both vertically and horizontally (Slack and Parent)." There are so many ways to go about what is and is not an effective organization, but these are some of the things that I believe are in any effective organization. 1). Can you be an effective organization without winning an 2). What approach out of the book do you think works best in an effective organization?
According to the book, a sport organization "is a social entity involved in the sport industry; it is goal-directed, with a consciously structured activity system and a relatively identifiable boundary." So in turn, a broader definition of an organization would be the above definition without necessarily being involved in the sport industry. To my estimation starting an effective organization will involve, having attainable goals, having a structured activity system, and an having identifiable boundary. The goals of an organization must be able to be recognized by every member involved. The most important key to reaching your goals as an organization is to have everyone involved be working as a team and not as individuals. There is an I in organization in fact there are two but one person will not carry the "team" and if you try it your "team" will not reach their goals. An effective organization would be structured in such a way that aligns with the goal or goals they have set up for themselves. Mintzberg (1979) "proposed five design configurations: the simple structure, the machine bureaucracy, the divisionalized form, the professional bureaucracy, and the adhocracy." Each of these styles has advantages and disadvantages and work better in some cases than in others. Like I said above, the way an organization is structured should be determined by what the goals are in place. This will help in making an organization effective. Every effective organization needs an identifiable boundary no matter how identifiable it actually may be. The way that an organization can set up an identifiable boundary is in the way their titles are given out to the workers. People hired into organizations can use different titles to create identifiable boundaries to distinguish themselves from other organizations that may be trying to emulate their style in some way. Basically, anyway an organization can tell their members apart from non-members is crucial in an effective organization. Once these three key aspects of an effective organization are setup, the behind the scenes work towards achieving goals can take place. Every manager must know how to get the most out of his personnel. The managers within the different areas of the organization will need work together in collaboration to make the organization a successful and effective one. The organization needs to account for environmental factors because they play a key role in reaching your goals. A sport organization that revolves around selling clothing and merchandise that may start up in the southern United States probably will not want to have winter clothing as readily available as shorts and t-shirts because of the warmer climate. 1. In what ways can an organization be involved in sport but still not actually be called a sport organization? 2. Down the road, will cybernetics become more widely used when trying to improve the control and information systems of sport organizations? 3. How important of a role does culture play on the effectiveness of sport organizations?

Organization & Management

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The book states that for an organization to be effective, it must assess what it considers to be effective. For an organization to be effective it should develop a mission statement that can be followed by all its members as a strict procedure that allows for complete success. Every organization should have benchmarks. This is critical because they need to have a way to self access themselves, just as students have tests. This will allow for the organization to see how and when they can improve to better manage their people. A classic example of setting goals and creating benchmarks within an organization is the U. S. Army. Throughout my two deployments to Iraq I watched the leadership set-up clear objectives in the first month that we were in country. From there the leadership is able to evaluate and critique what is working and why it is working. On the same note they can determine what is not working, unnecessary, and just does not fit the objects of the organization. Organizations need to have a clear responsible image. This will help create sponsorships that can effectively help you attain the mission statement that you set forth. Having a clean image along with a positive attitude will help create a positive atmosphere. Have the right attitude amongst your employees will create a great work environment. If you are a positive boss, you can influence your workers or soldiers to work with a positive attitude. Organization and management of personnel can be an effective way to make a positive impact on your organizations direct output. This will intern create the atmosphere you need to have a success full business.
An effective organization has many different factors to take into account. The organization needs to be well structured, goal-oriented and have great communication. For the organization to be successful it needs to have a set hierarchy of power, so everyone knows where they stand and what control they have in the organization. This is one of the key factors for delegation and organizational roles for the organization. Everyone needs to know what their specific responsibility is for their particular organization and if they do not then that could cause lots of conflict between people in the organization. There needs to be a clear-cut delegation of power throughout the organization to keep it running smoothly. The organization also needs to be very goal oriented, so that the people/employees in the organization know exactly what they are working towards. By having a clear goal it will make it easier for the organization to come up with effective strategies to make their organization grow and succeed continuously. The goal focused on by the organization must be clearly shown throughout the structure of the organization. This is sometimes difficult to do, since organizations generally tend to have more than one goal. The book stated two reasons as to why goals are important in running an organization. They are that it exists for a purpose and that it provides the framework to the people managing that particular organization. By an organization clearly defining their goals it helps in decision-making, reduce uncertainty and will give employees something to follow closely. Finally, I believe that communication plays a huge part in running an effective organization because if you have poor communication nothing will get done and there will be much confusion throughout. Without communication there will be no contact between the upper management and the employees, thus resulting in an ineffective organization. If there is no communication, the organizations goals will not filter down throughout the organization. From my experiences in many sports teams and groups, if communication does not exist then the team or group will fail. I have been coaching baseball for the past three years and if the team does not talk to each other and discuss strategy or adapt to the way someone else is playing then they will not be successful. Every organization needs a game plan and needs to stick to it and adapt in order to be a successful organization. Something needs to be changed they need to communicate throughout the organization. Everyone needs to be on the same page and have the same feelings towards their specific organization to make it run smoothly and effectively. Nicholas Donofrio
The make-up of an effective organization stems from a few key ideas and concepts. Our textbook, Understanding Sport Organizations, written by Trevor Slack and Milena M. Parent, provides vital ideas to help understand and create effective organizations. The book stresses the importance of organizational goals and their relation to effectiveness. Our book states that all sport organizations exist for a purpose. (38) Without organizational goals the purpose for sport organizations, or any organization for that matter, would be extremely unclear. These goals allow managers of organizations to comprehend what needs to be done to achieve success and define that purpose. For example, most, if not all, sport organizations create a "mission statement" that lays out a specific set of goals to help them effectively convey to everyone involved in the organization what they are attempting to achieve. Furthermore, there are key types of organizational goals that each contributes to specific areas within an organization. The six different types of organizational goals that our book provides are official goals, operative goals, operational goals, nonoperational goals, long-term goals, short-term goals, and department or subunit goals. Official goals tend to convey the values of an organization. (39) Operative goals are indicators of the actual objective of an organization despite the official goals. Operational goals are a way for managers to organize their tasks and actually understand what they specifically need to be doing. (40) Nonoperational goals are subjective, such as a mission statement. (41) Long-term goals in my opinion are the most important in an organization. These allow managers to set out over an extended period of time to work towards a future goal. Whether that goal is at the end of one season or 5 years down the road, organizations always have an idea of what they need to do presently to accomplish something long-term. Short-term goals are obviously set for a shorter length of time than long-term, but many times these short-term goals allow organizations to take business one step at a time and eventually reach a larger long-term goal. Lastly, department or subunit goals are established in order to assist in achieving desired organizational goals without combating them. Each of these goals add a new element to the effectiveness of an organization by directing managers and employees to how they should be working together to achieve a common goal. By setting these goals, and attempting to achieve them, organizations can measure how effective their organization actually is. Through all of these goals and effectiveness that comes with them an organization can operate to its full potential.
I believe organization effectiveness must begin at the top and work its way down to every other employee within the organization. Even if owners do not play a huge role in the day to day operations of that organization it is crucial that they have hired people who are fit to do the job. People appointed to these positions must be goal oriented, excellent communicators and team motivators. One requirement needed for a successful organization is a set of long and short term goals that employees are working together to obtain. Within the organization's goals there should be both subjective and objective goals they strive to obtain. Subjective goals, which aren't as easily measurable, are just as important as meeting financial goals. An effective organization need not achieve every single goal that they made, but they should make progress in a positive direction. Another necessity for an effective organization is communication. Every employee should have input and should have an open line of communication with any other employee. High level positions need to communicate to the lower levels what they need to do and when it should be done by. Horizontal communication is also necessary in that peers need to communicate with each other to improve what they are doing and possibly make necessary changes. "Effective organizations are those with an absence of internal strain, whose members are highly integrated into the system whose internal functioning is smooth and typified by trust and benevolence toward individuals, where information flows smoothly both vertically and horizontally and so on" (Slack and Parent 45). If everyone works as an individual and communication is low, nothing is going to be accomplished nor will it be near its potential. Team motivation is also necessary for organizational effectiveness. People need to be motivated and feel that what they're doing is helping the organization. People working just to make money are not what an organization needs. An effective organization must make people feel important and have their employees excited to be there. Employees who enjoy their job and who are challenged and motivated are far more productive than employees who see their jobs as pointless. Giving employees the power to voice their opinion is also helpful in that it makes them feel more attached to the organization. Lastly, an organization must be based upon a strong set of morals and values. All employees must conform and agree to these values so the organization can act in a uniform matter. If there are organizational values that clash with employee values it is likely problems will arise.

Effective Organizations

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An effective organization starts with a successful manager. A successful manager understands organizations, and in particular sport organizations. As we discussed in class, a sport organizations is defined by five key elements. The first, a social entity, is the people who actually run the organization and are responsible for carrying out the responsibilities that make an organization effective. A social entity in a sport organization is important since there are usually different levels of employment and everyone must work as a team. Next is the organization's involvement in the sport industry. To be considered a sport organization, an organization cannot just be a sponsor of or involved with a sport, they must be directly integrated with some aspect of the sport. A goal-directed focus is important for a sport organization because it gives its social entity something to work for. They must work toward certain goals or for one central goal together to have success. A consciously structured activity system is important in obtaining these goals that are set. In sport, there must be a structured development of different areas where the social entity works together to manage these developments. The last element is an identifiable boundary that gives the social entity, and anyone else associated with the sport organization an identity. The identity creates a bond between members of the sport organization that helps them work together and utilize the other elements that make the organization a sport organization. All of these elements define an organization as a sport organization, but to be effective, the sport organization must be structured in a way that these elements are utilized and lead to success. The people that make up an organization must have an interest in the organization to reach their potential within it. The organization's involvement in the sport industry is a part of it being a sport organization, so if the people who make up the organization have a vested interest in sport, it is easier for the organization to have a goal-directed focus which is something to strive for. A consciously structured activity system with these interested employees is also easier because they have an energetic interest that spreads as they branch out through the structured developmental areas that improve the organization. The identifiable boundary is also especially important for these people because of their passion for sport, and it gives them a sense of being which can only lead to their roles in an effective sport organization. Dustin Permann
What makes a sport organization effective? A recurring theme that I've seen throughout the chapter is that it is essential for sport organizations to be goal oriented. That is the first step that I see that makes organizations effective. It is important for all the different constituents of a sport organization to be on the same page and to frequently revisit these goals and/or mission statements. To be able to effectively manage a sport organization, the goals need to be made clear as do the relationships amongst these goals. The chapter highlighted two main reasons as to why goals are crucial in running a sports organization. The first being all sport organizations exist for a purpose. Second, goals provide a framework for those managing an organization that is consistent throughout different departments. This helps managers in decision making, in performance appraisal, it helps to reduce uncertainty, assists in directing and motivating employees, etc. As for effectiveness, the book defines it as "the extent to which an organization achieves its goals" (41). An organization that I have been a part of for three years now is the University of Minnesota basketball team and I have been able to observe how our coaches run and manage different things. For example, every year at the beginning of the year our team meets and we go over our team manual for the year. In it, is our programs mission statement and we read it, out loud, as a group every year. Throughout our season, we frequently revisit our mission statement along with our team and individual goals because sometimes we need to be reminded. A more specific example as to why it is important for sport organizations to revisit their goals, like on my team, is when players and/or coaches get caught up in themselves they often forget what our ultimate goal is. It's easy to get caught up in your own problems and since our season is so long, sometimes we need a reminder of what we are really striving for in the end. Our coaches, at the end of the year don't solely judge our success and progress on wins and losses, although it's a big part, it isn't the only aspect of our program that defines our effectiveness. They will look at the progress we made from one year to the next, for example. One last key ingredient to any sports organization is communication. It is so essential for things to run smoothly and effectively. Our coaches are in constant communication with one another, as are we with our coaches. -Kristen Dockery

Ashley Deisting, Jamie Prscott, Anthony Crowell, Paul Lehrer

WWE evaluation

·          No it is not a sport. There is a pre-determined outcome. It is more for entertainment purposes and is a live production.

·         No it is not a sports organization because it is not an pre entity in the sports industry. It qualifies with all other parameters. It has a focus on entertainment rather than sports. Not governed like a sports are with things such as steroids.

Special Olympics

Contextual dimensions

1. Size - The assets are sponsorships from businesses. There a number of employees both at the corporate offices and local offices. Special Olympics also heavily rely on volunteers to ensure that the events can be put on. They also have fairly large sales with merchandise.

2. Technology - They has a website

3. Environment - They have a lot of people working for them and a large attendance at events. There are several different large corporate sponsors that have a large economic and social impact at the games. There are also political debates as to what qualifies as a disability.

4. Goals and strategy - The main goal is high participation at events. Competitions don't emphasize the competitive side of sports.

5. Culture - Emphasizes unity amongst participants and fans.

Structural dimensions

1. Formalization - There are several different jobs in the Special Olympics organization. Each job has a formal written description of the tasks and expectations of that position. This also holds true for the volunteers of the organization.

2. Specialization - Special Olympics is an organization that has offices and ties world wide, and because of this large area that is covered by them there are several subdivisions of jobs. It is broken down from the board of directors to the world leadership team to a specialist to donor response. The tasks of running this organization are broken down into categories and then subdivided into other jobs within that category.

3. Hierarchy of authority - The Hierarchy of authority is very top-heavy in the Special Olympics organization. The Chairman and CEO is at the top of the Hierarchy. There are three vice chairs within the Special Olympics organization and one treasurer. The Special Olympics Board of Directors are directly below those 5 and are next on Hierarchy of authority. The Board of Directors include 35 individuals and of them at least one person is from each of the seven geographic Regions of the world (Africa, Asia Pacific, East Asia, Europe/Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, and North America).

                There are other various positions held within each individual geographic regional headquarters that takes direction from the Board of Directors. Then there are the coaches of the athletes that participate in various events held around the world. Most of them if not all of them are volunteering their time towards giving the athletes a great experience. Then there are the volunteers that work the many events making sure they run smoothly and making sure that everyone involved in the event has an enjoyable time.

4. Centralization - The Board of Directors led by the Chairman and CEO for the Special Olympics organization makes all of the important organizational decisions throughout year. All of the little things that go on within the Special Olympics organization that usually go unrecognized are made mostly by the individuals on the second rung of the Hierarchy of authority. The coaches and volunteers really do not have much of a say in the decision-making process but I am sure if they have some good ideas they will be taken to heart and will be used towards improving future events.

5. Professionalism - The professionalism found in the Special Olympics is found in every aspect of its structure. It follows the same professional structure any pro sports organizations would: there are specific rules and regulations the participants must follow, there is a hierarchy in the operations department, and there are schedules of events.
6. Personnel Ratios - Personnel ratios are large since the Special Olympics covers the whole Nation with a couple sectors in each state.

Contextual vs. Structural

The Special Olympics contextual dimension definitely influences the structural aspect of the organization. Because the Special Olympics is so focused on its participants its employees must believe in the culture and goals of the organization. Another reason is because it's a nonprofit organization it can truly be driven by these aspects and build the structure of the organization around these goals. To be successful the Special Olympics must have the right employees and volunteers, ones who are as motivated and caring for the participants as possible. 



An effective organization has many different components to it that one must take into account. First of all, I think it is important to look at the way the organization is structured and organized. It is necessary to have rules and guidelines in place that are clear to all affiliated with the organization. If these rules and guidelines are in place and enforced, the tasks that need to be done in order to run a smooth business will get done quickly and efficiently without confusion. For example, one summer I worked at Wendigo Golf Course and Resort. This was an example of a highly ineffective and inefficient organization. The communication between the management and employees was never clear, ending up in losses in revenue daily. The way they had organized management made it a very unpleasant atmosphere to work in, so as a result it was not a very pleasant place to go to for the customers and eventually went out of business. This experience taught me that along with clear lines of communication, an organization needs to keep employees informed and happy in order to run a successful business. This part of my philosophy goes along closely with the internal process approach discussed in the textbook. Next, it is essential to have short term and long term goals in place for the organization. These goals will make sure that the organization is constantly striving to improve and excel to the best of their ability. If an organization has short term goals of production of revenue to be made per week, for example, it will also hopefully coincide with their long term goal. These goals give employees something to work toward and understand what they are working for. Thirdly, an organization must be on good terms with their environment and work to create good relationships with others outside their organization. This will create more business for them as well as a better outlook on the organization itself from the public. Our textbook states that "an organization can only secure inputs from its environment on a continuous basis if its outputs are perceived as acceptable by actors in the environment" (Parent and Slack, pg 44). If the Vikings were to have a large scandal that the public did not approve of, their sales would go down as a result. In summary, I believe it is important for an organization to value its employees, create a strong organizational structure from the start, have short and long term goals for motivation and keep the organization on good terms with the environment it effects in order to have an effective organization. Questions: Can the systems resource approach and goal attainment approach be used together effectively? Although each approach listed in the textbook has weaknesses, which is the most effective for a sport organization?

The foundation of an effective organization is embedded in the organizations clarity of goal-direction, a consciously structured activity system and a relatively identifiable boundary.   Within the foundation, the groups and individuals, who comprise the organization interact with each other to perform functions must complete with efficiency.  The goal-directed focus of the organization must clearly be displayed throughout the organizational structure, top to bottom.  The means by obtaining the focus could be a difficult one; so, in many cases organization have more than one goal.  Developing a consciously structured activity system to work towards the organizations goals is pivotal.  Having a complex organization with many employees in many different segments may cause overwhelming work environment issues.  That is why, it is essential to devise a structure to keep functions of marketing separate from financial management.  Last, the importance of defining an identifiable boundary for the organization.  The purpose of defining a boundary is for the continued focus of the organizations goals.  "For some sport organizations, particularly those in the voluntary or nonprofit sector, the boundaries may not be as easily identifiable (Parent & Slack, 2006)."

The other element of organizational effectiveness in the organization is the design of the organization.  Although, there are many design configurations: the simple structure, the machine bureaucracy, the divisionalized form, the professional bureaucracy and the adhocracy.  Some of the organizations ability to be effective relies heavily on the design.  Looking at the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the organization is heavily bureaucratic and very complex.  This causes the organization to become slow in implementing new policies for the sports that it governs.

The last element of an effective organization is through the organizations structure.   The structure is defined by "the manner in which the tasks of a sport organization are broken down and allocated to employees and volunteers (Parent & Slack, 2006). "  This is extremely important because the effectiveness of moving towards the organizations goal is dictated by the structure.  The ability of information to be exchanged between the departments is vital.  If one department is falling behind and causes another to fall behind, a look at the department's structure is something that needs to be dealt with.   Miller suggests, it "importantly influences the flow of interaction and the context and nature of human interactions.  It channels collaboration, specifies modes of coordination, allocates power and responsibility, and prescribes levels of formality and complexity (Parent & Slack, 2006)."  The ability of the organization to rely messages and information is crucial to the effectiveness.

Questions: Is having an identifiable boundary essential to the effectiveness of a sport organization? Why?

Do individual member goals affect the effectiveness of an organizations primary goal?

The question at hand, what makes a successful sports organization, is a very complicated question and could have many different answers.  But when people explain what they think makes a successful organization they often think of the five contextual components that we talked about in class.  Size, Goal & Strategy, culture, technology and Environment are all good concepts but I don't think that they are the right components that make a successful organization.


I think that the structural components are what ultimately makes the organization strive.  The first concept under structure, formalization is very important because it help avoid a lot of confusion.  If things in an organization is formalized and written down you avoid the confusion of losing things in translation from person to person.  If it is written down most of the time it is set in stone and there is no confusion of what is meant.  The next step in what I think make a very successful organization would have to be the hierarchy of authority.  The hierarchy is very important because if you have to any people in power you never get anything done.  People in the organization making the decision have to be able to report to someone about there decision so that they are not stepping on or in other peoples departments.  Tying into the hierarchy is Centralization.  With centralization you get the higher ups inside the organization to make the decisions.  Otherwise they are passing the responsibility onto lower people that might be under qualified to make the decision, and when you are trying to run a top organization why would you want people that are under qualified to make a decision when you are paying some people a lot of money to make the same call.

Even though there are 3 more point under the structural dimensions I really only feel that there are two, Professionalism and Specialization, which are needed to build that successful organization. Specialization allows for the organization to create certain jobs so that everything gets done.  You could always out source it to a different department within the organization but you will never know if it would get done correctly or even done at all.  This way if you break down departments within the organization and specialize them to a specific job you will always know that the things that need to be done will be getting done. 

Professionalism might be the most self explanatory but, I think, this is the most important.  In order to run a successful organization you have to act professional.  You have to know how to manage people and events.  Fans and investors are not going to come back if things are run poorly.  The concept that I felt out was the personnel ratio, even though it is very important to have the right numbers at each position inside the organization.  I have seen different organizations flourish with smaller numbers.  (ex. St. Paul Saints, LA galaxy)


Even though the contextual dimensions do have a great impact on the organization the Structural components with in the organization effect the contextual making them, in my opinion a little more important. 


An effective organization is highly attainable, however can take a lot time to reach success. I think that to begin to have an effective organization, the managers need to clearly state and practice what the important direction of the organization is. Also, to make sure everyone else understands what the most important goal is. To begin the process, the organization needs to sit down and figure out what the goals are. The book states that this is extremely important for the communication of all parties involved with the organization. There can be many different types of goals for an organization, such as wins, ability to provide for its participants, or numbers of participants. Next, it is important to determine whether these goals are attainable. The organization and its individuals of all types need to have the capability to achieve the goals set in front of them to help the organization become effective. It is said that without competence, the workers who may be highly motivated, and well directed with the resources they need, but can ruin the company. So having workers with competence ensures that they know what the goals are and that with what they are given they are to do everything in their power to achieve those goals for the company. I believe that the strategic constituencies approach would be the best here because it includes all parties involved in the organization. It would take into account what each group from say the media, fans, sponsors, and owners are interested in, in the organization performance. To me this is a well rounded organization that gives each group what it wants to a certain extent, and helping to make it a successful business. Third, the opportunity to become successful has to be there. This incorporates adequate resources, and begins the thought process of how to removes any performance obstacles to achieve ultimate success. Without adequate resources the workers for the organization will not have the opportunity to remove barriers for the company because they lack time, tools, and authority. Lastly, I believe motivation is key for the success of a business. You need to have the right people working for you that want to achieve the same goals you set for yourself and for your company. These will be the best of the best to do anything they need to, to become an effective organization, putting in extra hours, or extra effort. And after the success comes, they are still there creating new ideas and thoughts on how to make the company even better yet. If you have the motivation you will have a team of leaders that will contain the drive to become successful. -Bria Stifter
Slack and Parent says that, "organizations were likened to organisms that come in a variety of different forms and rely on their environment in order to survive" (p. 9). Since every organization is different, does that mean that effectiveness means the same things to every organization? Yes and no. Slack and Parent describes organizational effectiveness as, "the extent to which an organization achieves its goals" (p. 41), so even though the end results of effectiveness may be the same (to achieve goals), the road to get to organizational effectiveness varies across the different types of organizations (the set goals of the organization). I can draw from my own personal work experiences that not all organizations have the same idea of effectiveness as others. I at one point worked for a retail clothing store which prided themselves on customer service and the overall shopping experience that you had while inside the store. All though it was a great place to shop as a customer they treated their employees like work horses, paying minimum wage with no opportunities for overtime and no employee benefits. However the organization was considered by upper management to be run quite effectively, because the goals of the organization were not to make sure that the employees were happy, but instead to provide great customer service and in store experience. With that said I think that to have true organizational effectiveness you have focus not only on the outside looks and goals of the operation, but you have to focus on meeting the internal needs and goals as well. I think that a good way to determine an organization's external and internal effectiveness is the "Factor Structure of the Effectiveness Inventory" as modeled in the Papadimitriou and Taylor reading on page 33. I like the factor structure because you can change the factors to fit an organization's certain goals So instead of having a set idea of what effectiveness is and trying to rank each organization's effectiveness off of that, you can mold it to fit what the organization's goals. In summary every organization is different, and not every organization's goal is going to be the same. With that said the way that the effectiveness of an organization is ranked is almost never going to be the same. However to have true effectiveness within an organization you need to have and meet both internal and external goals. The goals that you have set for your organization should include but not be limited to meeting all of your internal needs (employees, structure of the organization, business opportunities, etc.) as well as your external needs (customer service, appeal of the organization, etc.).

In order for an organization to be effective I believe the organization needs one key factor and that is communication. Without it, the organization is off balance and out of touch within its structure. As my experience as a high school coach, if the coaches do not communicate with each other as to what the practice layout is going to be then they each might have planned to work on something different. Even further, if the coach does not communicate with other coaches in the district, schedules could get thrown off or teams could no-show at an event. The ladder gets higher with the referees, athletic directors, principles, school board, and Minnesota State High School Athletics Association. Communication is so important within an organization so everyone is aware of its happenings. I also believe that within the organization not only do the people need to be on the same page by communicating, but also by having the same passion for the organization. If a person wanted to work for a baseball team but had no interest or passion for the sport then I don't feel they would be a good asset to the organization. Similarly, you couldn't be a professional chef if you didn't enjoy cooking. In order to understand your place in the organization you need to have a firm grasp and have passion for it. The textbook talked about Nike and its beginnings where it was one man, Philip Knight who had a passion for starting his business and it was because of his strong passion that made Nike what it is today. Also going back to communication, Nike also showed some communication difficulties when it started to expand. Now it has professional managers to head the departments who are trained to communicate effectively.

Also, as Dr. Kihl mentioned in class, in order to operate effectively, an organization must be able to adapt to structural changes and modifications. For example, Philip Knight was his own marketing, advertising, and manufacturing department at first but after time his company took off with full force and he then was forced to adapt to the new structure. Later on, Nike had to adapt to their new structure when they decided to branch out by producing apparel along with shoes. Their specialization shifted and expanded while their personnel ratios also expanded which meant that their hierarchy of authority added a new sector.

Jamie Prescott

What makes an organization effective? I believe that a person who is able to lead the group to success, able to handle conflict and pressure, and becoming a role model to others. To become an effective leader they will need to have the passion and confidence to make the changes to the organization and make the organization to a better and larger structure. They will need to have the courage to make a difference in an organizations and willing to take risks to lead the group to succession. From my experience as being part of the University of Minnesota Gymnastics team I've learned to have effective team and lead to success is by working together as a team. We all have the same beliefs and we are all training to reach the same goals. However, we each have our individual goals that we want to achieve. What I believe is if we all accomplish our individual goals that will make ourselves improve and feel accomplished but at the same time from the individual accomplishments can lead the team to success. We each have our strong passion of loving the sport and training hard to become the best team ever. From my perspective as being an upper classmate in the gym during practice I will need to become one of the influencing gymnasts by working hard and being very consistent on my skills so the lower classmates could follow how it has to be done in the gym. As an upper classmate I will need to become a role model for them. If I were a new incoming freshman and if I saw the upper classmates working very hard at practice I will feel that I would have to work harder than I am right now. I would also feel I am not contributing to the team. I believe that the strong passion of working hard can influence how the others will follow and try to become better. From that, that will make the team stronger and it will lead us one step closer to success. By having a strong passion into something and influencing other can lead up to great results of succession. We all need to believe in what we believe in and have a strong passion to the organization. From being a strong independent individual in a team, it can contribute many great things to the organization. If the individuals fells to success, it is not only the person who did not accomplish. By being part of the team it means you will be leading the team down as well. So to have an effective organization, we all will have to have the same beliefs and goals and have the strong passion to lead the group to success and work together as a team.
What constitutes an organization as being effective? The book illustrates five different ways as to which the effectiveness of an organization can be judged. I feel that an organization must first and foremost set challenging yet attainable and realistic goals for itself. An official goal is an important goal to start with because it sets the tone for the whole organization and gives not only employees but also fans, stakeholders, and media something to go when analyzing your organization. I also think that it is important for each department to have their own short term goals because not everyone in an organization is always going to be working towards the same goals at a given time. For example, the Tickets and Suites Department for the Minnesota Vikings may have a short term goal of selling so many tickets and filling so many suites for the upcoming game while the Public Relations Department may have a short term goal of getting the players to participate in so many community events over the course of the off season. Although each department is working towards a long term goal; using the last example, both of the short term goals are working towards the long term goal of trying to promote the Vikings and bring more fans to the games or buy more Vikings apparel; without such departmental short term goals the company would not be as efficient in reaching its long term goals. When it comes to organization effectiveness I feel that the Internal Process Approach is one of the more effective ways to best judge an organization. The Internal Process Approach focuses on what is being done internally to further reach goals. Its focal point is really on how smoothly the employees of an organization can work together to function and run as a whole and turn inputs into outputs. Yes it is important to reach goals and such but the Goal Attainment Approach is just a bit over the top in that it only judges based on what goals the organization reaches, not on how they reach them, whether it be ethically or unethically. As long as goals are clear and identifiable and everyone in the company is working efficiently to reach them I do not feel it matters if they are always met. There are always going to be outside variables that come into play and those need to be taken into consideration. Work ethic and teamwork within an organization also need to be taken into account when judging effectiveness. If the Vikings goal was to win two of the first three games of the season would if be okay for them to use illegal substances or play hurt players just to reach that goal? Or is it better for them to work as a team and do their best no matter the outcome? Or perhaps the goal is to sell out the three most popular home games for the 2010 season. Is it better for each sales individual to do their best to sell the most tickets they can? Or would it be better for the department as a whole to come together and come up with a marketing strategy as a whole to get fans out to the games? The Strategic Constituencies Approach also needs to be taken into consideration when determining effectiveness of an organization. Due to the fact that constituencies have such an impact on organizations staying alive organizations need to be aware of which constituencies it really needs and maybe even modify its goals at times to meet these needs (48). The problem that arises here is what constituencies are more important? In the case of the Vikings is it the fans? Sponsors? Media? Once again the organization needs to work together as a whole to find that happy medium to satisfy everyone while still working toward the companies official goal. Although these may only be a few areas that need to be considered when determining the effectiveness of an organization they are very key areas. With the proper goals being set for the company as a whole, short term goals within departments, with smooth internal functioning to turn inputs into outputs, and with taking into consideration just what constituents are most important and how to satisfy their needs any organization has the potential to be as effective as possible. -Samantha Hadley

Effective Organizations

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The effectiveness of an organization is, by definition, determined by the achievement of goals. Therefore, creating a framework to encompass many organizations seems limiting and counter-productive. The framework would have to be flexible and able to mold to each organization. To study the effectiveness of a specific organization the goals must be clearly defined and known to each employee. The Papadimitriou and Taylor article surveyed employees of Hellenic national sports organizations. However, goals and interpretation of company goals may very from department to department and between job titles. For example, it is likely that the coaches did not have the same interpretations as the members of the board of directors. For this reason, even if an adequate framework could be developed, the results would be skewed due to different roles within an organization. That being said I would argue that for an organization to be effective it must have flexible set of goals that is able to adapt to each department and also able to adapt to the various and ever-changing context features. After this is done I would agrue that for an organization to be most effective the structure should be based around this, and not the other way around. From there the effectiveness can be determined by surveying employees and also by analyzing the output of an organization in relation to the goals. Defining what makes an organization effective depends on what kind of organization it is, and then from there specific goals. There are of course, general categories, for example, professional sport organizations largest goal is to make money, as a strategy to do this they most likely need to win games. There are other ways to make money, however, as we have seen in the Timberwolves organization which has developed other ways to sell tickets and merchandise and still make a profit with a team that is less than .500, so success on the field, court, or ice is not an accurate measurement of effectiveness. Therefore, to make an organization effective it must adhere to and surpass its goals, whatever those are. -Alexa Smith
     Determining the effectiveness of an organization is a very difficult task to undertake because of the many variables that can be considered to determine effectiveness. Some of these include things like employee happiness, revenues of the organization, and meeting the goals set by an organization. Several approaches to try and identify the effectiveness of an organization have come forward throughout the years and include goal attainment approach, systems resource approach, internal process approach, strategic constituencies approach and competing values approach.
     The goal attainment approach takes a look strictly at the goals of an organization to determine effectiveness. Although goals should be specific and measurable this approach still has some subjectivity to the ultimate determination. If an organization has four specific and measurable goals and they met three of the four is that considered an effective organization? What if they only met one or two of those four goals? The systems resource approach focuses on the ability of an organization to obtain resources from outside the company. This approach is not a definite answer either. The New York Yankees increased their attendance at games from 2007 to 2008 ( This information points in the direction of having a effective organization but the Yankees also missed the playoffs in 2008. In this case you will get different answers on the effectiveness of the Yankees as a whole depending on who you ask. The internal process approach looks at the inside of an organization and things like employee happiness, communication processes, and loyalty of all employees to the organization. The strategic constituencies approach takes different groups that are related to the organization and analyzes those to consider effectiveness. Slack and Parent (2006, pg 47) identify owners, players, fans, community, media, NBA, and sponsors as possible group segments to use while evaluating a profession basketball team. The competing values approach is described as a compilation of the other four approaches. It views effectiveness from the inside and outside, the goals, and departments of an organization.
     The topic of organizational effectiveness is a tricky topic to study and determine effectiveness. This is due to the fact that effectiveness is a very subjective concept and that there are many ways to look at an organization. The best way used today to judge organizations on effectiveness is the competing values approach because it does look at many of the factors as a whole rather than individually if only one of the other approaches was used. There is still the problem of subjectivity once all the data is collected. One area such as revenue could point in the direction that the organization is being very effective but what if all the employees are unsatisfied with their job and the organization, would this organization still be considered effective? I would say no. So I ask, is there a way in determining effectiveness of an organization that is not subjective?

Organization Effectiveness

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I believe in order for an organization to be successful and effective they must have a leader. A leader is a social entity, they run the organization and they carry out the duties that must be completed by the organization. They oversee everything within the organization including staffing, planning, organizing, and communications. A social entity is vital in an organization because of the different levels of staff within the organization; everyone must be focused on the goals of the organization. The goals of most sport organizations are very important in communicating both its mission and its individuality for their employees and stakeholders. There are many types of goals that sport organizations use. Personally I think goals are vital to an organization in many ways. They give meaning and purpose for what the organization is trying to achieve. I believe that it is important to have the organization's goals written down and they must be well communicated to all levels of employment within the org. Goals also provide guidelines and keep people on track and focused towards their future accomplishments. After reviewing and envisioning myself taking each of Cameron's 4 approaches, I would most likely use the Internal Process Approach. This approach measures effectiveness based on internal functioning. The organization trusts their employees will complete specific tasks and will fulfill their responsibilities. To me, this approach makes an organization sound like a family. Everyone is involved and each level of staff and management is held to the same level of accountability. I believe this approach would reduce uncertainty within an organization. This would allow everyone to give their input on planning, goals, and problems, to ultimately come to a consensus. This approach would also make everyone feel involved, people would actually want to go to work, and everyone would be aware of what the organization is trying to accomplish. If your employees are happy, they are going to be dedicated, respectful, and feel a sense of unity with each other. In my experiences I think effectiveness shouldn't be mainly be based on whether or not the organization completed their goals, but rather more the level of happiness and dedication within the organization's staff. If these two factors are consistently apparent in the organization then this will create a great building block for an organization to be successful in achieving their goals. People will enjoy working for the organization and it will give the organization a great professional image.

Organizational Effectiveness

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When examining organizational effectiveness several key components must be analyzed in order to fully understand which approach is most efficient. First, I would define an organization as a group of people working together in a business setting, attempting to achieve a common goal for future successes. Thus, along with this "effectiveness refers to the extent in which an organization achieves its goals (Parent & Slack, 2006)." Overall, it is these two ideas working together that determine an organizations ability to be successful with their clients, customers, and fellow employees. Assessing which approach is most useful for an organization can depend on the industry and employees involved. However, in my opinion the best approach for a sport organization is the competing values approach which "is based on the premise that there is no single-best criterion of organizational effectiveness; rather, effectiveness is a subjective concept and the criteria used to asses it depend on the evaluator's value preferences (Parent & Slack, 2006)." Basically this is saying no singular concept can be universally effective across all organizations, instead it takes a series of models internalized to create an effective approach. Thus, the competing values approach has four models the human relations, open systems, internal process, and rational goal. Beginning with human relations the goal in this part of the approach is to create "a cohesive workforce where morale is high with an emphasis on training and development of human resources to perform tasks in a proper manner (Parent & Slack, 2006)." In my opinion this best describes an effective workplace with an ideal approach to making sure their employees know how to get their job done consistently. Effective employee training and development is one of the single most important aspects of any successful organization and can be a direct reflection of the image portrayed to the public. Next, the open systems model provides an organization with a "flexible workforce able to respond well to changes in external conditions and demands, with a focus on growth (Parent & Slack, 2006)." The most important portion of this model is that it provides a flexible workforce. This is because many organizations are moving away from having full control of their employees, to a structured format with room for adaptability and change. This ability to adjust makes employees more comfortable within their jobs and will allow them to pursue a vast amount of resources which in turn may create new paths for the organization. Following this is the internal process defined as a focus on "communications and information management with a focus on stability (Parent & Slack, 2006)." The internal processes of an organization are important because this area deals with the small daily operations within an organization. Also, this portion of the competing values approach deals with the variety of ways an organization can communicate with one another whether it is by phone, fax, e-mail etc. Lastly the rational goal model states an "emphasis on planning and setting identifiable goals with high productivity and efficiency (Parent & Slack, 2006)." This model is the ends to all means for the organization and determines whether or not goals set were achieved. Also, it allows the organization to track its successes at each stage of completion. Along with this the focus of having a high productivity and efficiency organization will help with employee relations because everyone will need to work together to achieve this focus. In conclusion, the competing values approach covers every area of an organization in an ideal manner with all four models working together. Essentially it states that no single idea can be useful for all organizations, therefore it requires a number of ideas coexisting to achieve the set goals. Also, this approach shows how the balance of using all four models in different situations provides an organization with the adaptability necessary when dealing with difficult situations.

Questions: What are the weaknesses of the competing values approach? Does this approach work for a sport organization why?


When thinking about what makes an organization effective, several key traits come to mind. Some are fairly basic principles, other more in-depth. Slack and Parent describe several aspects of an effective sport organization, and also 4 approaches to organizational effectiveness. Although I see how all of the approaches lead to organizational effectiveness, I find if taking a few traits from each approach and adding to the mix a few goals based off of company values, an extremely effective organization will result. Over the past two summers, I was fortunate enough to work at what I now realize is an extremely effective golf course. The management team has developed an organizational approach that has created a fun and successful work environment for all employees, in addition to making a financial profit at the end of each season. A key aspect to starting an effective organization is creating a high-quality training program. All employees must begin their employment by being properly educated. It is beneficial if all employees are on the same page when they start. Having knowledge of the equipment used, day-to-day tasks, job duties, and "team" goals are just a few key aspects of a quality-training program. At the beginning of each summer, each department of the golf course meets to discuss individual and team goals for the season. Not everyone always comes to the meeting with the same goals in mind for their summers individually, but through creativity from our Manager, and teamwork we easily conclude on goals we'd like to reach as a team. Chelladurai, Haggerty, Campbell, and Wall identified 11 criteria for effectiveness, and several of these were apparent at the golf course, and I find could be very useful in any organization. Several of the criteria directly relate to other criteria. By having achieved excellence, this creates spectator interest. Having a 5-Star Golf Digest rating comes from having all departments of the golf course achieving excellence, and a 5-Star rating will create great amounts of spectator interest. By being trained to contribute to a 5-Star golf course, there is a high percentage of satisfaction from the athletes. One goal our Manager makes clear each and every day is that the "Customers are always #1, they always come first". Our decision-making process must be completed with this idea in mind. What can be done to please customer, and keep them in an attractive atmosphere? Creating a desirable and fun atmosphere for the guests, or athletes is just one aspect of an effective organization. In addition to these few aspects, a company that values the safety of guests, and employees can make for a high-level of satisfaction. If employees feel as though they are valued and their safety and well-being is important to the organization, they will find their job attractive and want to contribute to the team more. This will also lead to greater recruitment potential. An organization with a great reputation will always be on the top of recruitment. I find an organization that works day-to-day with satisfaction and safety of employees and guests, a goal of achieving excellence, and also value-based goals are just a few aspects that will create extreme effectiveness. An organization with not only the end result in mind, but one that considers all aspects of input that will contribute to making a quality end will be most effective in the end.
We chose to look at the Twins organization. Contextual features: The Twins are a medium size organization within a much larger organization of MLB, they are by no means as large as the Yankees but not as small as Pirates. The technology they employ we thought is outdated, such as the MetroDome, however, with advancing with the new stadium. We also thought the training techniques allow them to remain competitive in the league. The Twins remain an affordable commodity even with the economy being down, they keep a strong fain base within the MN and surrounding states like Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. We thought some of the main goals of the organization would be to stay competitive within the league, hold a strong fan base, all while making a profit. A strategy they use to accomplish this is to keep "high talent" and popular athletes such as Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Within the Twins organization we thought that there would be a strong sense of value in the sport and confidence in their athletes, coaches, and owner. The Twins culture in MN is strong so many of the employees feel as if they are all a team working together to keep the organization going. Structural Features: The Twins are a highly formalized organization, which uses written policies and procedures which ensure each employee knows his/her job and to help develop the most efficient way to carry it out. Contracts are also used considering the athletes and managers and rigidly adhered to. The Twins are also highly specialized as each person has an assigned task and there are subdivisions within each department to complete each task. Along with that there is a defined hierarchy within the organization starting from the owner down to the sub-contracted maintenance and janitorial staff on game-day. Therefore, the organization is also very centralized, meaning the decisions come down from the top. For example, with the trade of Johan Santana, the owner made the decision that his contract was too expensive for the organization and then the details were worked out from there to discuss trade agreements. The Twins employ highly educated people to handle the marketing, administration, HR, and other departments to make it as efficient and effective as possible. The Twins employ hundreds of people and as in many organizations the number of staff at the bottom of the hierarchy will outnumber those at the top. While both categories help shape and define and organization's mission, purpose and procedures but we think the contextual features affect the structural features more significantly. The environment and culture make the shape that the organization must adapt to and from there the formalization process and hierarchy are defined.
What makes an organization effective? Is it one that attains all of its monetary goals? One that obtains the most resources from its environment? Perhaps it is one that focuses on the internal processes of the organization rather than the inputs and outputs. The truth is, an effective organization can be defined by any one of these ideas. Assessment an organization's effectiveness is done by evaluating whether or not it met its predetermined goals. Our textbook states, "The goals of a sport organization are extremely important for communicating its purpose and identity, to both employees and to external constituents." (37) All parties involved in the organization, be they internal or external, need to be aware of what it is trying to accomplish. These goals provide the road for managers and their constituents to follow in their quest for effectiveness. Cameron noted four major approaches to studying organizational effectiveness including: goal attainment approach, systems resource approach, internal process approach, and the strategic constituencies approach. (38) I found the internal process approach to be the most consistent with my beliefs. In my experience, the inner-workings and inside processes of an organization are the glue that holds it together and ultimately, the driving force behind its success. With my experience on the varsity gymnastics team at the University of Minnesota, I have seen first-hand what an organization can accomplish if it believes in loyalty, team spirit, group communication, and teamwork. Everyone in our program, from the head coaches, trainers, and academic counselors down to the volunteer assistant coaches and the athletes themselves, believes in and lives by these ideals. Each individual is treated equally; a freshman athlete's voice will be heard and considered just as much as the head coach's. By involving and respecting every member we create a strong core unity within our "family" that makes us feel comfortable and equal to each other. In turn, this creates a constant flow of information and communication throughout the organization keeping everyone in. With everyone on the same page, it is much easier to attain our goals including both intangibles such as high morale and camaraderie and tangibles like winning competitions. Like any other competitive personality out there, I love to win and hate losing more than anything. Winning can be accomplished by belittling and scaring team members into performing; or, it can be done by making every member feel appreciated and needed in order for the team to succeed. Personally, I would rather enjoy what I am doing and continue to give every bit of my being in striving for perfection instead of being forced into it. Sometimes, organizational success and effectiveness cannot be determined by the number of wins and losses in the record book, but on how the inner-workings of that organization compel its members to strive for excellence everyday. No one definition of effectiveness can be considered to be right or wrong. Effectiveness and success take root in the minds of the individuals involved in the organization and will be depicted in whatever aspect they believe. Attainment of those goals set forward will be the deciding factor on whether or not they were successful.
When examining what makes an effective organization I believe one must first look at the organizational structure. While the contextual features of the company may influence this aspect, I think it's most important for the organization to have a solid foundation, one where tasks are allocated efficiently and effectively. When this is not the case, an organization can waste valuable time and money trying to complete even basic tasks, putting it at a significant disadvantage to it's competitors. For example, you can look at large banks like Citigroup who nearly went bankrupt during this latest economic recession, in one part because of poor organizational structure.  Certain employees had the ability to take unnecessary risks and managers did little to stop it (or were completely unaware), in the long run costing the organization billions of dollars. This poor structure nearly ended many organizations, but this isn't the only aspect that can make or break a company.

I would argue that nearly as important is the culture of an organization.  When the marketplace is crowded with so many competitors one-way to separate yourself from the pack is with a strong and enthusiastic workforce. Obviously, employees are going to be more productive when they enjoy where, and with whom they work for. The best example of great workplace culture as a building block to an effective organization is with Google.  They have consistently been rated as one of the best organization to work for and this is clearly correlated with its quick ascension to the quintessential web 2.0 company (above competitors such as Yahoo).

Lastly, I would like to stress the importance for an organization to be highly flexible and able to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace. This is important in nearly every industry and is why some organizations can last a lifetime and other go by the wayside.  Because society is ever changing it's important for consumer-based organizations to understand these changes and be able to adapt and take advantage of them.  One example of this is the way Best Buy has been able integrate internet based business into their organization.  With the rise of the internet based commerce Best Buy realized they couldn't only be a store based business. With the integration of their website they were able to take advantage of the consumers demand to do more shopping online. This has been a huge success for Best Buy as it now accounts for more then a quarter of all their sales.

So, my three keys to an effective organization are structure, culture and adaptability. While these aren't the only aspects of an effective organization and certainly aren't always the most important I think that generally to have sustained success as an organization these aspects must be at the forefront.
-Paul Lehrer
Every organization, whether it is sports related or not, needs to have some sort of official goal to be the basis of the organization. There are other goals that are incorporated within an organization to keep the development and effectiveness at its peak. When goals are met, the effectiveness continues to strive. An official goal is the best thing to have because it sort of resembles a mission statement of the organization. There may be other, shorter goals, but the official goal keeps an organization in check to remember what their main goal is to achieve. It is easy to see that through the goal attainment approach, an organization that is continuously reaching their goals, means that it is an effective organization. This makes sense. But, I feel like an organization that may fall short on some goals, could still very well be effective and successful. These groups may just set too high of goals that would be impossible to obtain, but still do a tremendous job. Another method to determine effectiveness is through the systems resource approach. This is basically saying that an organization that can use as many outside resources and surroundings from the environment is effective and successful. This can also be true, but I would not use it as a determining factor of effectiveness. Just because an organization uses it surroundings does not necessarily mean that they use the environment effectively. For example, the new TCF bank is so new that the surroundings are still going to affect the new facility. The surrounding businesses will also be affected. In time we will be able to see how the new stadium deals with fans, parking situations, nearby family housing, and surrounding businesses. One of the approaches that I think is a good basis for effectiveness is the internal process approach because it basically says that if the internal mechanisms of an organization run smoothly, the organization is effective. When employees work well together and have a fine tuned sense of dedication to their work, the output is effective. Good communication and work ethic within a structure are very beneficial to the mission of obtaining the official goal. The strategic constituencies approach, I would say, is probably used most often because so many organizations rely on stake-holders, fans, media, and sponsors. The stake-holders put so much money into this particular organization, so their ideas are very important to consider because an organization does not want to lose out on such huge donations. The idea of being an effective organization means a lot of work to please multiple groups of people. Many different methods need to be executed to ensure effectiveness within an organization. For example, Williams Arena is a center point for both men's and women's basketball, and volleyball. This facility is an organization that needs attention to maintain its daily functioning. There is a structure with a hierarchy of authority that helps run it on a regular basis. There needs to be communication among employees and stake-holders that help with the support of the organization. What if an organization does not possess all the necessary parts to maintain structure in the organization? Will it fail if one piece is missing? Who is in charge of maintaining the flow of an organization? Is the organizational structure the most important thing to keep in mind? These are all important questions when thinking about organizational effectiveness. Hopefully, if all pieces work together, the organization will show great effectiveness.-Emily Oberlander
As the text seems to illustrate, organizations have proven to be effective in a number different approaches and methods. One of the first things that is mentioned in the reading is the four major approaches to organizational effectiveness, developed by Cameron (1980). As I learned a bit more about each approach I tried to see where that fit in with my own personal goals and values. For example, the first approach Cameron discusses is the Goal Attainment Approach. The focus of this approach is "based on the identification of these goals, and how well the sport organization attains or makes progress toward them" (p. 42). This idea is something that works well for many, but organizations that I have enjoyed being a part of, and hope to be a part of in the future, have not used this strategy. I do not want to be assessed as an employee only on how close to a goal I came, but rather would want the employer to look at the whole picture. There's much more going on that makes an organization effective that cannot be judged by only looking at if a goal was met. For example, a collegiate football coach wins 5 out of 12 games and is fired because the goal of the program was to reach a bowl game or have a winning season. Well perhaps the person firing this coach failed to look at the 20 Academic All-Americans on the team, which was an improvement of just two the previous year. Or maybe they overlooked the increase in community service hours the team put in. You see, when you look only at the goal (s) other important things that make an organization effective are also missed. After looking at the different approaches Cameron presented, I feel like the internal approach most closely identifies with my values and beliefs. A system that is made up of people who trust and genuinely care about each other has the foundation to be extremely effective. Now also understand that one of the most important things I took from this chapter's reading was the notion that not every component of a specific approach is going to work perfectly. Often times a combination of these different approaches is what will help make an organization most effective. As a future coach I look at the examples set by excellent coaches such as Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University and former pro football coach Tony Dungy. They each have their own unique styles regarding coaching philosophy and components of what makes a successful and effective organization. Yet that doesn't stop them from traveling across the country or phoning colleagues and asking for advice on how they can better their organization. As a coach or any type of professional it seems as if you need to have the flexibility to adapt and make the necessary changes to help make your organization more successful and effective. I believe that while there can be a singular approach that you identify with most, you need to also understand that using components from different philosophies can be a great resource. Even as a student assistant for the University of Minnesota baseball program I see this on a daily basis. Our program is very internally driven and as a result we have had great success and have become very effective organization. As Dan mentioned earlier in his blog, each individual in our organization has great trust in each other which is key in developing an effective organization. People are honest with one another and are sure to talk about a problem or issue with the team so that it doesn't become a bigger problem that leaves the internal team atmosphere. For example, when there is some sort of issue on the team it will usually be brought up to a captain. Then after a practice in the locker-room the issue is brought up and resolved right then and there. I also do see our coaches and staff doing what I feel is essential to becoming and maintaining an effective organization, which is continually learning and gaining knowledge from similar organizations across the country. Our coaches speak often with colleagues about different recruiting techniques, team bonding activities and things of this nature. The coaches also make sure to emphasize the importance of the journey that a collegiate baseball season is and not to worry about the end-product. What I've come to understand is that if you base a season a success on how many championships you win, you may be disappointed more often than not. I hope to someday coach within an organization that promotes and supports my beliefs and values, knowing that many of those beliefs and values I have are a result of being a part of some of the most effective and successful organizations in the nation. -Parker Kruckenberg

An Effective Organization?

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Determining whether an organization is effective may, on the surface, seem to be a relatively simple problem.  Most people would probably look at whether income > expenses, but there are a few more things to consider.  What if the organization is a non-profit?  You first have to determine the criteria for effectiveness in each organization's situation.  For a non-profit, you could first look at the goals of the organization.  Are they meeting those goals?  Is the organization meeting them in the most efficient way possible?  Efficiency is important for every organization.  If one goal is to increase profit, being inefficient won't help reach that goal.  One example would be determining if an organization's staff is under/over utilized.  If an MLB team is trying to increase it's fan base, and there is a large, untapped population in a foreign country, China for example, it would make sense to send people over to try and bring in more fans.  The organization would have to decide, do we transfer current employees from another area, or do we bring in new employees.
Running with that same example, would current employees be happy being sent over?  Would it make more sense for employee morale/attitudes to bring in new employees who would be applying for a position in China?  Organizations have to look at the positives vs. the negatives, and determine which is more important, and which would be more efficient in the long run.  Which most would base on whether hiring more employees would be justified in the books by an increase in profit.  
These are just a few of the many areas to look at when determining organizational effectiveness.  It's such a complicated and difficult question to answer, especially when it's impossible to create a global formula to decide.  Each individual company has it's own individual goals and objectives.  

Due to the number of different methods with which to view, analyze, and categorize organizations described in the text it seems to be that an understanding of organizational effectiveness would depend on the individual organization you're looking at. For lack of a more detailed description, it depends on one's frame of reference. There are certainly a number of different ways to look at an organization as demonstrated by the plethora of options described in the initial chapter of the text. However, while Socrates may not have been the one to coin the phrase "everything in moderation, nothing in excess," the idea behind the ancient Greek adage may still apply to the idea of organizational effectiveness. The ideas detailed in the text provide the perfect opportunity for a lesson in moderation in that each of the different examples exampled in the text provides a portion of the framework with which an effective organization should be judged.

The distinction between organizational theory and organizational behavior provided a nice dichotomy for how an organization should be moderate in order to be effective. In analyzing an organization in terms of effectiveness there should be a balance of thought between effectiveness from the macro perspective and from the micro perspective. The most effective organization is the one that operate in terms of broad organizational goals like the text suggests from an organizational theory perspective but also from the organizational behavior perspective and the ability of individuals and small groups to be effective in their work.

The same thought process should be applied when debating whether to consider and organization like a machine, an organism, a brain, a culture, or a political system. The text describes each of these ideas individually but an effective organization shouldn't be defined by simply one or two of these concepts. An effective organization should blend these ideas in moderation. The most effective organizations are the ones that are built to operate like a streamline machine but are also nimble enough to adapt to changes in their environment and yet still be able to capitalize on the benefits of an efficient organizational political system. The great organizations will be the ones that can operate like machines but be responsive like more organic organisms.

One area that the book describes where moderation is particularly important is behind the idea of organizations as instruments of domination. The skepticism with which Morgan (1986) addresses this idea in the text is especially observant and relevant to situations regarding the flurry of stadium development that the Minneapolis/St. Paul area has seen over the last 5 years. It's important to remember that the entire state of Minnesota has a stake in the cost of stadiums like TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field and to remember that every Minnesota taxpayer is partly responsible for these stadiums and should therefore be included in their use. The concern being, especially with TCF Bank Stadium, that the facility will not benefit those who aren't fortunate enough to have the financial or educational opportunities to enjoy the stadium.

With the multitude of different theories and disciplines with which to analyze a sport organization the understanding that no one method can be completely effective becomes evident. For if there was one universally effective method with which to make an organization effective it would have certainly been mentioned in this chapter. However, since it would appear that no universal method was presented that the best course of action would be to believe that the most effective organization would be the organization that commits more fervently to the idea of moderation and does not allow the organization to fall into one category or another. That being said, perhaps the one thread that's woven through each one of these theories of organizational analysis with respect to what would make an organization effective is communication. Certainly in terms of organizations acting like organisms and brains communication plays a key role in adapting to any situation. Communication can help organizations be more responsive to change no matter what the organizations goals or expectations are. Communication can also allow an individual to be more responsive and therefore more successful when, inevitably, change occurs. So from a macro and micro-organizational standpoint communication becomes vital and perhaps, communication is the only thing that an organization could use a little excess of.



In addition to communication are there any other characteristics of an organization's effectiveness that are interwoven through the 6 different ways to look at an organization outlined in the text?


Does focusing on either macro-organizational effectiveness or micro-organizational effectiveness better predict the overall organizations success/effectiveness?


What does Miller's (1981) comment on page 6 indicate about the relationship between organizational structure and organizational design?

Imagine that you were just hired to be a part of the support staff with your "dream" sports organization. You are extremely excited to begin your new "dream" job, but as soon as you do you find out that this organization is not a dream, but actually a nightmare. Instead of being treated as a valuable, well-appreciated individual, you are seen and treated as just another tool used to improve the organization's ability to gain valuable and scarce resources. You work rigorously long days for a boss who does not even know the first thing about you, and more importantly, for an organization in which you feel unattached. Although mathematically this organization may be considered effective, is it truly the type of organization you want to dedicate your hard work to? According to our text book, organizational effectiveness is "the extent to which an organization achieves its goals" (p. 41). We also learn that there are various ways in which to reach these goals and measure the effectiveness of an organization. When I was reading through Cameron's "four major approaches to evaluating effectiveness" (p. 42-54) I envisioned myself working in organizations that embraced each particular philosophy. As I pictured myself in these different organizations, only one of Cameron's four approaches seemed to be not only effective, but also individually rewarding. The internal process approach, which focuses on the trustworthiness, kindness, and unity of all individuals within the organization not only convinced me of its potential to result in organizational effectiveness, but it also made me realize that the sport organization I am involved with employs this philosophy and is consistently effective. As a student assistant for the U of M baseball team for the past three years, I have realized a lot about the organization, how it is structured, and why it is effective. More specifically, I have realized that the baseball program embraces an internal process approach to achieve organizational effectiveness. From the top to the bottom of the organizational hierarchy, the baseball program is full of employees, student athletes, and volunteers who trust each other, are kind to each other, and most importantly; care about each other. Throughout the year, the baseball program organizes many different activities and team events to build these strong values. Holding these team events result in a very closely-knit, loyal, and cooperative unit which can communicate very efficiently to plan, perform, and reach their goals. In my opinion, the internal process approach used by the baseball program is consistently effective not because they have the best resources (i.e. players, coaches, staff, etc.), but because every individual in the organization knows that they are appreciated, needed, and crucial to the success of the organization. From my personal experience, I have not only felt, but have been told on numerous occasions by players and staff that my work is appreciated and important to the achievement of the organization's goals. As I alluded to earlier, organizations can be considered effective, but that does not necessarily mean that the organization as a whole is happy. From reflecting upon the internal process approach in the text book and in my life experiences, I have come to realize that organizational effectiveness should not be measured solely on the accomplishment of the organization's goals, but also on the level of happiness and dedication of the organization's members. It is good to achieve your goals as an organization, but if the organization's members are not happy and dedicated while doing so, the effectiveness of the organization becomes much harder to maintain because employees will come and go, and will not work as hard because they don't quite see what is in it for them. So instead of working for an organization in which you are just another unhappy "piece of the puzzle" used to increase effectiveness, why not work for an organization in which you are happy, dedicated, and proud to be a part of. Not only will this organization be effective consistently, but you will be pleasantly surprised of how rewarding, stable, and successful your professional life has become.
Group Members: Alyssa W., Tony D., Erica W., Parker K., Dan P. CONTEXTUAL DIMENSIONS Size: Large number of employees working in all facets of running a professional football team. Relatively big season ticket holder base. Technology: Team website used for ticket and merchandise sales. In-game video board and sound systems. Environment: Compete with other NFL teams. Must follow rules, laws, and regulations of the NFL, and federal and state governments. Goals & Strategy: Win an NFL championship, give back to the community, create a large fan base, make a profit Culture: Competitive mentality shared by employees, commitment to winning on and off of the field STRUCTURAL DIMENSIONS Formalization: Employee contracts, facility emergency procedures Specialization: Many different positions (i.e. marketing, ticket/merchandise sales, coaches, players, equipment staff, public relations, etc.) Hierarchy of Authority: Owner has ultimate control of franchise, general manager is directly below the owner. From there, the hierarchy splits into the various specialty positions Centralization: Generally everything has to pass through upper management, but lower level positions still have a say in the operation and decision making of the organization Professionalism: Many people begin as interns, upper management generally is highly educated or experienced, lower level staff generally have at least a 4-year degree Personnel Ratios: In general there is more support staff than administrative staff (i.e. more players than coaches) We believe that the contextual dimensions of a sport organization directly affect and impact the structural dimensions of the organization. We say this because you cannot build a successful organization without taking the surrounding environment, culture, and the organization's goals and strategy into consideration. For example, look at two collegiate baseball programs in two very different parts of the country. The University of Minnesota and Louisiana State University are both very successful programs on and off of the field, however in the southern part of the United States collegiate baseball is a much larger part of the culture and environment. Because of LSU's strong college baseball culture and environment, the professionalism (i.e. level of education and experience) is influenced by the demand for the most knowledgeable and competitive support staff. At the U of M, an example of how the contextual dimensions impact the structural dimensions can be seen through the size of sales and budget of the baseball program. Minnesota's baseball program has a much smaller budget and fan base which affects the specialization of employees. Because the U of M baseball program does not have as much funding, there is not as much of a need or market for so many specialty positions that a school such as LSU has.
The question posed to us in class is what makes an effective organization. To me the only way to know if an organization is effective is to determine how you are going to measure its effectiveness. If you are managing a sport organization or company what is your purpose, your goal. Are you interested in profits or having a larger market share? Are you trying to grow your sport's participation or raise the level of awareness about your sport? Once you know what you want to accomplish then you are able to measure if you are being an effective organization. Our text considers five ways to determine if an organization is effective or not and even highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each in a well laid out table (Table 3.5 A Comparison Among Major Model of Organizational Effectiveness). While this information is very handy and very easy to understand it is lacking an important topic, balance. I think my point is best illustrated by the story starting on page 35 "Swimming Natation Canada: An Effective Organization?" This organization lacked the balanced "delegates" to understand the differences between short-term and long-term success. Swimming Natation Canada went from one extreme goal, "To be number one in the world rankings" to another extreme goal, "To provide an opportunity for every individual involved in the sport of swimming..." If this organization had taken a more balanced approach from the start it's possible they could have attained both goals and been consider a very effective organization on many fronts. For example if Swimming Natation Canada wanted to be the top performer in world rankings in could have been beneficial for them to encourage more individuals to take up swimming, especially competitive swimming. If more individuals had taken up competitive swimming it seems logical that Canada could have had more international success in swimming. While I understand that just because more individuals are swimming it does not guarantee more high performance swimmers will emerge, I would say it seems plausable at least. Even within organizations it seems there is often a lack of balance between what is good for the individuals within a sport organization and what is good for the organization itself. While it may be a good business decision financially, to pay employees a fixed salary and then expect them to work 60 or more hours a week, is this really beneficial to all parties involved? At some point the individuals expected to work this kind of a schedule are going to become burned out or sick of their position, then what does that individual do? More then likely one of two things: 1) they will find a different position that they think will like better, leaving the organization to hire, promote or train someone to fill that void or 2) their work performance or quality will suffer forcing someone else to have to work additional hours to cover or correct the issues caused. Both of these outcomes would not result in an organization that is not as effective as it could be. I do realize that not every individual fits into these two categories but those that do not are usually the exception and not the rule. While the text to this point has not discussed keeping a balance between the organization and individual I think to be as effective as possible that balance needs to be in place. Also, by keeping a more balanced perspective it may be possible for an organization such as Canada Natation Swimming to be an effective organization for a much greater length of time.

There are many different types of organizations and therefore there are different ways to determine organizational effectiveness. I agree with what the book has stated in that for an organization to be effective, it must assess what it considers to be effective. The most important aspect for an organization to be effective, in my opinion, is to develop a mission statement that every person in the organization follows. I think it is extremely important that each person knows what the objectives are so that everyone can be on the same page. There would be no confusion if every person in the organization is striving for the same goal and many problems would be avoided.

Going along with the mission statement is settings goals. I believe it is very important for an organization to set goals so that they may assess how well they are performing. It seems like a good way to measure the organization's effectiveness. The book talked about the goal attainment model and it sounds like an effective way to determine if an organization is progressing in the direction they are striving towards. Every organization should set goals in order to succeed and therefore this model should work for many companies.

As many organizations are settings goals as to how many products they sell, how their stock is doing, or how many wins/losses they have, another important facet to organization effectiveness are the internal personnel. I believe that in order for an organization to succeed, one of the most important features is keeping the employees of the company happy. In order to produce the best product, the people that are behind the scenes must be happy and motivated to work towards the organizations goals.

As well as keeping the employees happy and satisfied with the way the company is moving I believe it is key for the organization to consider all of the people involved. Keeping the shareholders involved and informed in the decisions within the company is a very vital aspect in order to thrive. Sponsors are also extremely important for some organizations. The company needs to make sure that they keep a very good image so they may keep, and attract possible sponsorships.

There are many ways that an organization can be measured for effectiveness. The most important things that a company should keep in mind are to keep everyone informed and working towards the mission statement, settings goals and making sure the organization is going in the right direction to attain those goals, and to manage personnel to maximize potential. If the people involved in making the final product have a satisfying work experience, then company has a much better chance of producing a successful product and becoming an effective organization.

What makes an effective sports organization? The one thing that really sticks out in my mind is the structure of the organization. In order to have a successful and effective sporting organization there needs to be a set structure. The six structure components listed in class are important to have a good basis on each one. The formalization component to the structure is needed to give the employees, in writing, what they need to know. If the organization just does things verbally and never writes things down people are going to miss things. Specialization is the second component which just explains the importance for the organization to have specific jobs for people to have and not just lump people into jobs full of random tasks. Obviously some just are random tasks like some internships but not many. You wouldn't want the financial officer and the janitor sharing in some random tasks. The hierarchy of authority is present and needed in all organizations. Just knowing who to report to and the organization of the positions can help a company communicate at a high level. The fourth component is centralization which ties closely to the hierarchy of authority because it is important to have the upper level decision makers making the decisions. If the decisions are falling to the lower levels in the organization then it means that people at the top are not willing to take responsibility for the decisions presented to them. This hurts the organization because hopefully the people at the top have the most experience and are good decision makers. The fifth is professionalism. Professionalism is not just looks and character of a person but it is also the training they receive. In most growing, successful organizations they strive to have their employees highly educated and trained. This is no different in a sports organization. The final component is personnel ratios. In an organization you don't want to have too many people in one position and then not enough in another. The more effective and efficient organizations have just the number of people needed to complete the task at hand. The structure can be different from organization to organization but the presence of these components is needed. The reason that the structure can be different between organizations is because the culture of the environment or the external components to the organization may be different. The external components are a main contributor to the organizational structure.

            Other then the necessity to have a structure in place, an effective sport organization needs to be able to adapt well to the surrounding features that shape the industry the sport organization is in. For example, in the PGA there is a change in the regulation for grove depths in the clubs the players are allowed to use. For club companies, like Ping and Titleist, this change in the rules of the game not only change the equipment they sell but the way they form the new clubs into the new rules. Some companies where ready for the change but others were not such as Bobby Jones Golf Clubs. An effective sports organization needs to be able to "go with the flow" and grow with the industries they work with in order to be effective. In this example, maybe the decision making aspect (centralization) needs to be looked at for Bobby Jones Golf Clubs because they didn't have any legal wedges for people to purchase. They just continued selling what they had without changes.

Group 2

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1.) We believe that WWE is not a sport because there is a pre-determined outcome. The people involved know what is going to happen next. 2.) We believe that WWE is part of the entertainment industry and not the sport industry. 3.) Why we need to know this maybe because of tax purposes or the fact that we need to understand different types of organizations. Contextual affects structural on the U of M campus because of how the university is run as a college sports organization. The U of M has uo to date technology with a large number of employees. The environment on campus is social economical and the goals of the university are student orientated. The culture is to provide a good, clean, safe porduct for the fans. The structural aspect deals with formalization which has the code of conduct as well as specialization for higher up learning and knowledge. The heirarchy of athornity deals with the athletic director and university president. The professionalism has a variety of educational opportunities as well as a personal ratio of 3 to 1. (Sam Hadley, Bryan Pederson, Kristin Furukawa, Nicholas Donofrio)
Wow. This is fun.


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        A clear definition of organizational culture is difficult to pinpoint. There are several basic principles that are generally agreed upon. These include values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings of the members and stakeholders of an organizations. Some organizational theorists include psychology, attitudes, goals, and experiences in their definitions. Regardless of how culture is defined within an organization, culture always impacts the goals, missions, and values of an organization because these three things should reflect the culture created by the members of an organization. Changing culture can be an extremely difficult obstacle for an organization especially if there are many policies, people, and ideas that have been in place for a long time. The idea that people become "stuck in their ways," can prove to be very true when dealing with change. The panel of administrators and coaches made it clear that the easiest way to promote change in a place where it is not readily accepted is to first get a feel for the culture. For example, when merging the two departments Regina went to meet the coaches and see what it was they needed and how they run their program on a day to day basis in order to know how to better serve them. Joel, who had a unique position of coming into the situation a stranger, first wanted to get to know the staff on both sides of the merger and also how the two departments were structured, what their values and missions were, if they were different and how he could bring a balance to the merger. When Joel stepped in he learned that both departments cared deeply about the athletes and the school, which made an easy launching point to bring the two departments together. While policies and procedures were often very different the basic principles of the same values were present which made unity much easier. Culture is important in this example because Joel did not come in to change the culture of each department, necessarily, but do find a common ground and bring them together. Culture was the first area Joel had to get a solid feeling up before any real effective changes could be made.

         In the reading on anti-doping corporate culture the gloomy prediction is made that "doping is a battle that cannot be won." President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, did not mean that efforts should be given up but was making an observation on the amount of work that is still left to be done. Most sport governing bodies have policies on anti-doping but these are often overlooked or not enforced. Spectators expect a high standard of performance and managers and owners expect a high pay-out. With these two attitudes it is easy to understand why anti-doping has fallen under the radar in so many sports organizations. To change this for the better and for good the culture and attitudes of all stakeholders must be changed. This is an extremely difficult thing to do considering the number of stakeholders, especially in professional sports. The change will be easiest to make from the inside out, starting with owners, managers, athletes and working its way out to the fans and spectators.

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Ashley Deisting,  Anthony Crowell, Alex Maschoff

1. We think that Nike was in the Defensive stage.  Nike, is going for the for the business side trying to make the most profit they can, not caring for their workers.  Throughout the movie, there were examples of the organization defending what they were doing in Indonesia.  Or other times they even flat out ignored questions about the way they treat their employees and the towns in Indonesia.

Now they are coming into the compliance stage.  They have been under scrutiny and cannot sweep the issue under the rug for any longer.  Nike realizes the mistakes they are making when they drive up the overtime of the factory workers because of the demand of the product.  This is exactly what Nike's labor code was trying to prevent.  Nike's reputation took a hit, and the brand shouldered the burden.  The corporate center had the legal and other costs charged to them.  It realized that it had to manage corporate responsibility as a core part of the business.


2.  The organization as a whole will need to be an organic structure because they are involved in so many markets that change greatly because of the environment.  Nike seems to be running a cost-leadership strategy.  It is working well for gaining profits.  However, it is a strategy that neglects the workers that are on the bottom of the structure.  Nike conducted an internal audit of their organization, which in turn allowed them to determine where the problems lie. That was more of a short-term fix to appease critics.  They created a (Corporate Responsibility Team), but just because they made this team it doesn't mean that they are using them efficiently.  They also used an ignorance tactic to try to avoid answering the tough questions.