Power and Politics

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Power and politics play a major role in the sports industry and affect every sport organization. I think it is vital for a sport organization to have a well built power structure in order for them to operate efficiently and effectively. There are many times when power and politics can have a positive effect on an organization and there are also many times when power and politics can prevent an organization from fulfilling out their duties and keep them from achieving their goals. Strategic choice is a concept that is analyzed when talking about problems of organizational power and politics. According to Slack and Parent, strategic choice typically includes not only the establishment of structural forms but also the manipulation of environmental features and the choice of relevant performance standards. This is saying that an organization must adapt their standards according to how environmental factors are affecting them. Not only do environmental features influence an organization and how `they operate but power and authority is one of the most complex concepts in the organizational theory literature. Power is not something that is directly visible within a sport organization, but the effects of power are evident. Maintaining a certain level of power in an organization is important in order to keep the structure and management intact. Upper levels of the management must have power in order to lead their organization in a market. There are several types of power that affect an organization. One form of power is authority, which is the power that it is formally sanctioned by a sport organization, the power that accrues to a person because of his or her role within the organization (Slack and Parent, 2006). I think in the video we watched about how Nike has their workers in India working for dirt cheap money is a way to show how power and authority can affect a lot of people. Because Nike is the leading company for sport apparel, they have a lot of power and authority and it is being used to direct controversial action. Power can be used negatively or positively it depends on the situation at hand. Although an organization can have their own power and authority, the book talks about sources of individual power. These types of power are legitimate, coercive, referent, and expert power. Legitimate power is the same as authority (Slack and Parent, 2006). People acquire this power depending on their certain position within an organization. Coercive power is power that is used in disciplinary actions. Referent power is based on individuals respect for another person. The individuals within a sport organization support and value the management above. Lastly expert power happens because of an individual's skill or certain knowledge about a particular idea.