November 2009 Archives

Presentations - Day 2

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I thought it was interesting the variety of organizations people chose to do. It is easy to tell what people's interests are. It is also interesting to see the differences in the structures of the organizations based on purpose, whether it be profit-oriented or a not for profit organization. The presentations make it easier to compare the different organizations when they are lined up next to each other. I also think it's interesting to know how each organization dictates who the executives will be.

Vancouver Olympics

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2010 Winter Olympic Games

 

The start of chapter 13 on page 257 in our text begins with a closer look at the Vancouver-Whistler Olympic bid now typically called the Vancouver Olympics.  This bit of text was only meant to give a very brief summer of the events that went into deciding how Vancouver was chosen to host the games.  According to the text, this bid was backed by 70 public and private organizations putting up the 34 million dollars to complete the bid.   This summary also talks about how the City of Vancouver did a public vote to see if residents supported the city making a costly bid to host the Winter Olympic Games.  The text also states that the city's residents approved the bid with 64 percent of voters voting in favor of continuing the bid.  Vancouver and two other cities being consider, then hosted delegates from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help sell their city as being the correct choice for these games. 

This whole situation is full of various groups making strategic alliances to accomplish their own specific set of goals.  The Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation is clearly a strategic alliance.  This alliance was created with the idea of bringing the games to the Vancouver area.  One of this alliance's main goals was to persuade the IOC to vote in favor of Vancouver.  According to the text on page 258 the IOC voters have created a, "Voting allegiance (members are known to vote in cliques)."  The situation has one strategic alliance, the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation, trying to persuade another strategic alliance, the IOC voters, to vote in one particular way.  I find in fascinating that despite the amount of formalization in the Olympic bid process that the process basically comes down to a couple of strategic alliances all vying for a very limited number of votes, and even those voters rely on alliances (cliques) to help determine how they will vote.

According to http://www.vancouver2010.com/ Just before the Olympic games where awarded to Vancouver the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Bid Corporation was dissolved and was evolved into the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation, which is another strategic alliance to complete the 2010 Olympic Bid.  Upon the awarding of the games this alliance was charged with organizing the building venues and other preparations for the games.

With all these strategic alliances trying to persuade each other and the very lucrative nature of the games, it is not a surprise to me that this process has at times run amok.  As an example, look at the bribery allegations that some individuals faced after the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.  All these strategic alliances make it to simple for unethical actions to be hidden from the general public.  Clearly I have only scratched the surface on Olympic strategic alliances, but it is my opinion that the IOC and its related alliances need to be held more accountable.

 

Questions

1.     What is your opinion of how the IOC voting works?  Do you have a suggestion on how to prevent voting cliques?

2.     Do you know of any other sport organizations that work in a similar manner?  How could they improve their process?

Day 2 Presentations

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I have to say I was very impressed with all of the presentations I have seen so far.  Some parts that I found helpful as an audience, was Kristen's second slide that included the overview of how her presentation was going to go.  While this slide had nothing to do with her information about Nike and the Jordan Brand it was very helpful to have a layout of how the presentation was going to take place.  I also enjoyed Erica's recommendations for the future of Gopher Hockey.  Again, while this was not a vital piece of her presentation, it did cause me to pause and think about ways of solving problems within my own organizational analysis.

Pop Warner Organization

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In this blog I will discuss the Pop Warner Little Scholar's organization, its effectiveness as an organization, and some recommendations that I believe will make the organization more effective. I studied Pop Warner for my organizational analysis paper and I had no real prior knowledge of the organization, except for that I knew that it existed. Pop Warner is one of the most prestigious and well known youth sports organizations in the United States, because they pride themselves not only on their athletic values, but on the academics of their athletes. Academics is a major part of Pop Warner, because the root goal of the program was to keep kids of the streets and get them into something productive that could benefit them in the future, to follow the roots of the program Pop Warner does not reward for athletic excellence on the field, but they reward academic achievement that is earned off the field. The organization has three sports including football, cheerleading, and dance, and these sports cater to more than 400,000 young athletes in the United States, Japan, Germany, and Mexico combined. One of the main things that drew me to the Pop Warner organization is that they do not believe in cutting rosters or tryouts. I think that these are good values to instill in a youth sport organization, because it makes sure that every child has a chance to do what they want to do; especially since children can become enrolled in Pop Warner as young as five years old, ensuring that they are going to participate is a huge deal not only to the child, but to the parents paying for their child to participate. As an organization I think that Pop Warner is very effective because they value academics over excellence, they ensure that every child participates, and they have root goals to better the lives of children by keeping them out of trouble and into something productive. A recommendation that I would give Pop Warner would be to become more available in the United States. Some states do not have the Pop Warner organization, or they only have one place in the entire state for young athletes to participate at. I think that Pop Warner is a wonderful organization and that every young athlete should have the opportunity to participate in such an organization. To complete this recommendation I would recommend that Pop Warner coexist with athletic programs that already exist, such as club organizations or city recreation programs. They might not be called "Pop Warner Little Scholars" but they could become a sub organization that runs through Pop Warner.

MLB Substance Policy

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In this blog I will discuss what my group talked about in the MLB substance abuse case given to us in class. The given objective was to rid the MLB of performance enhancing substance while education current and future players about the effects these drugs have. I took that statement straight from the group blog we did. I think that this is a large goal to try to strive for but it is a good one. The most realistic part of the objective to is educate the current and future players about the effects they have and why they should not take them but to say that we will rid the game of all the drug abuse is not realistic. This ties right into the current culture of the MLB, the MLB is more focused on pushing the problem aside then dealing with it straight on. They seem to look away when a player has a history of drug use or is using. In most cases, if the player is a high profile player it looks like the MLB is trying to help the player push the issue aside. The MLB would not want to see more of its players getting ripped by the media and fans for the drug abuse. It looks bad on the resume for the player and the league. The culture is trying to change to be more willing to bring the heat on players about the abuse and they are trying to become more preventative in nature then just dealing with it when it comes around. To help create an answer for the issues here are some of the ideas that we gave as a group where to bring more rules to the clubhouse for the teams. A great example of the rules in the clubhouse would be like the NBA. In the NBA there are rules on the dress code, technology use like Twitter, what people can say to the media and generally just good conduct rules while in the clubhouse and in the team grounds. As for the actual drug policy, the MLB should have testing like they do for the World Anti Doping Agency. Those rules and policies are much better than those used by the MLB today. Another potential fix would be to create a plus minus system with the players, managers and owners, where a significant financial reward is at stack. The players, who do not have issues with the drug policy, failing a test, test issues, or use, will receive a bonus to their salary. This could be in proportion to the salary they make so the bonus would be large enough for even the biggest names. For the managers and owners, the system would reward them for having the least number of players on the team in all aspects of the organization not using drugs. By adding systems like this one to the stricture drug policies, this could help the MLB become more respected in the sporting community for the accomplishments that the athletes make.

Today's presentations were very informative I thought. Kristin's presentation on the Nike Brand was of special interest to me because I wear a lot of Nike, Jordan, apparel and because it was nice to learn about the structure of a larger organization. Everyone so far has done local college or professional sport teams or national sport organizations so it was a nice change of pace to hear about a global product manufacturer. For a company so large, with so much information and organization structure and culture, Kristin did a very good job of summing it up into a ten-minute presentation so the class could get a good sense of how Nike operates. Seeing as I am the last person to go I have not completely put together my presentation yet and watching everyone else's presentations each day is giving me many ideas on what exactly I want to include in my presentation to give the class the best feel as to how the organization I chose operates.

The organizational structure of the tournament that my team and I attended in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break was rather simplistic but very effective. The name of the tournament is the Junkanoo Jam. This tournament was run by the basketball federation of the Bahamas and the organization that assisted in planning our trip is called Basketball Travelers Inc. The staff that was hired to help run the tournament was managed by the Basketball Travelers and they were at every destination directing us to where we needed to go. They were extremely accommodating and informative, which enabled our trip to run smoothly. They wore shirts with the Junkanoo Jam insignia on it and also had lanyards around their neck so that they were easily identifiable. When we arrived at the Bahamas we were given teal colored wristbands which we were required to where for all of the tournament related activities. It was our "pass" for many different things like breakfast at the hotel, entry into the gym for our game, use of jet skis at our beach party, etc. Basically, if you didn't have your wristband on, you were not allowed to participate. I thought it was a very effective way to differentiate between people who were part of the tournament and those who were not. As for the structure of the actual tournament, there were different divisions that teams were divided up into. To back up just a bit, your school has to be invited to the tournament so it is a privilege to be a part of a high caliber Thanksgiving tournament. Anyway, the division that we were entered into was called the Freeport division which is a town in the Bahamas. The other divisions were called the Reef division and the Lucaya division. The participants in this tournament include: South Dakota State, Indiana, Michigan State, Xavier, Texas Christian University, Kansas, Charlotte, Marist, Oklahoma State, and Virginia. Some of the sponsorships/partners for the Junkanoo Jam are the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Our Lucaya (which is the hotel we stayed at), and the Island of the Bahamas.  On a more random note, Basketball Travelers arranged a beach party for all of the teams and it had to fit in with every team's schedule. We had an hour to drive jet skis, ride on a banana tube, and jump on a trampoline out on the ocean. It was a really fun activity and was a nice break in the action. Overall, our experience at the Junkanoo Jam was a very positive one and I would definitely return to Grand Bahama Island if given the opportunity again.

 -Kristen Dockery

The organizational structure of the tournament that my team and I attended in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving break was rather simplistic but very effective. The name of the tournament is the Junkanoo Jam. This tournament was run by the basketball federation of the Bahamas and the organization that assisted in planning our trip is called Basketball Travelers Inc. The staff that was hired to help run the tournament was managed by the Basketball Travelers and they were at every destination directing us to where we needed to go. They were extremely accommodating and informative, which enabled our trip to run smoothly. They wore shirts with the Junkanoo Jam insignia on it and also had lanyards around their neck so that they were easily identifiable. When we arrived at the Bahamas we were given teal colored wristbands which we were required to where for all of the tournament related activities. It was our "pass" for many different things like breakfast at the hotel, entry into the gym for our game, use of jet skis at our beach party, etc. Basically, if you didn't have your wristband on, you were not allowed to participate. I thought it was a very effective way to differentiate between people who were part of the tournament and those who were not. As for the structure of the actual tournament, there were different divisions that teams were divided up into. To back up just a bit, your school has to be invited to the tournament so it is a privilege to be a part of a high caliber Thanksgiving tournament. Anyway, the division that we were entered into was called the Freeport division which is a town in the Bahamas. The other divisions were called the Reef division and the Lucaya division. The participants in this tournament include: South Dakota State, Indiana, Michigan State, Xavier, Texas Christian University, Kansas, Charlotte, Marist, Oklahoma State, and Virginia. Some of the sponsorships/partners for the Junkanoo Jam are the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Our Lucaya (which is the hotel we stayed at), and the Island of the Bahamas.  On a more random note, Basketball Travelers arranged a beach party for all of the teams and it had to fit in with every team's schedule. We had an hour to drive jet skis, ride on a banana tube, and jump on a trampoline out on the ocean. It was a really fun activity and was a nice break in the action. Overall, our experience at the Junkanoo Jam was a very positive one and I would definitely return to Grand Bahama Island if given the opportunity again.

 -Kristen Dockery

BAHAMAS TOURNAMENT!

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The past weekend, the Gopher Women's basketball team went on a trip to the Bahamas for a basketball tournament, the Junkanoo Jam. Being a manager, I had the chance to go on the trip as well. This tournament was a three day long event that held 12 Division 1 basketball teams in three separate brackets. It was held over the Thanksgiving holiday. The tournament was completely professional and every aspect of the tournament was designed extremely efficiently. The organizational structure of the whole process was formalized. At every checkpoint in our trip, there was a Junkanoo employee that helped us on our way to make sure everything went perfectly. Our team was met at the Bahamas airport to ensure that our group went through customs efficiently and made it to our hotel as fast as possible without any problems. The entire staff was extremely helpful in every aspect. The only conflict that occurred the entire weekend was that because 12 teams were staying at a hotel, the only option for laundry was to make a laundry reservation schedule. This huge hotel only had one washer and one dryer for the entire guest population. Being a manager and understanding the laundry situation of the players, was bad news for me. I was a little upset about the situation because most teams had already signed up for times before we got to the hotel, so our time to use the laundry facilities was not a prime time. This was the only problem with the structure of this tournament. With 12 teams doing game laundry and practice laundry for 3 days, means that they should have prepared more and rented more facilities, so that a schedule would not even have to be needed. As a manager, I was worried that people were going to take my time and that I would be absolutely screwed. Luckily, my time was safe and I was able to do laundry as scheduled. However, I also know some ways of getting around the system because of my past experiences. The other manager that was on the trip and I decided to walk over to the neighboring hotel and asked if we could use their laundry facility. They only had one set as well, but it worked for some time because other teams had not thought about that yet. The culture that surrounded the tournament was amazing. This is a tournament that has been around for quite some time and most of the staff have worked it in the past. They were used to the amount of people being brought to their island and they knew how to run the tournament effectively. When we first arrived to the hotel late after being delayed at the airport, one of the Junkanoo staff drove me and the other manager to the grocery store to get snacks for our team. We did not have to take a taxi and pay more money. They genuinely cared about the importance of the tournament and our happiness. I really enjoyed my stay there and the tournament went perfectly. We did not win the championship, but the overall experience was amazing. The people that I met became familiar and I liked that. How hard would it be to run a tournament in another country hosting a dozen teams? How long would it take to plan this event out and how many times would it take to run it effectively and efficiently?

Last week during the organizational analysis presentations, one of the presentations sparked my interest; the presentation was about the Minnesota Twins. The student who was presenting said he didn't really have any recommendations for change for the Minnesota Twins organization. While I agree that the Twins have a very legitimate and reputable organization, I don't think they are perfect. As brought up by Dr. Kihl after the presentation was finished, the Twins are currently working to diversify the organization.

According to their website, "the Minnesota Twins have made great strides this year in ensuring the diversity of Twins baseball in our community. Throughout the 2009 baseball season, the Twins have participated in many events and programs to promote diversity on the field, in the stands, in the front office and in our community." Some of the events and programs the Twins have participated in include the Asian Media Access Annual Gala, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Native American Heritage Day, Celebrate our Diversity Day, the 13th Annual Hispanic Marketing Midwest Conference, the "Home Runs for Hope" event, a formal meeting with the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, placing three teams representing the Native American Indian communities in the Reviving Baseball Inner Cities (RBI) program, and holding the Twins Summer Reading Program at the Academia César Chávez Charter School.

I believe diversification is something the Twins need to continue to work toward, especially in the front office and in the community. Whether intentional or not, I think the players themselves are fairly diverse. We have players from many different backgrounds and upbringings - all just as talented as the next guy. Moving on to the fans in the stands, I think the Twins could do a little better in this area. There are fans from all different backgrounds, but the very dominant group of people is middle class, white folks. This is not representative of the surrounding Minneapolis and St. Paul communities. To address this problem, I think the Twins organization could do some research as to what is preventing other groups of people from attending games. If they can understand what is preventing them from coming, they can find better ways to overcome those obstacles. Beyond the community of fans are communities of potential partners and vendors. From what I learned talking to Dr. Kihl, the Twins are working to get more food vendors from within the surrounding communities; vendors with food that will meet the demands of fans from all different backgrounds. Also, I believe the Twins are trying to diversify their front office; I'm not sure how they are going about it, but I would guess it begins with hiring practices.

According to their website, "The Twins are committed to providing equal opportunity for all cultures, including -- but not limited to -- areas of employment, vendor utilization, philanthropic giving and community relations. This commitment will allow us to grow as an organization in a manner consistent with the values and traditions of our community." This type of change is exactly what we talked about during Chapter 12: Organizational Change. Although I have no insider expert opinion, I would venture to guess there are employees trying to lead the charge for diversity. I would also guess they are facing some conflict as a result of trying to make this change.

 

Who do you think is leading the organization toward this change?
What kind of conflict do you think has already come up or will come up in the future?
How do you think this change will affect the culture of the organization?

My job

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I had to write one more blog so I thought it would be fun to write about what I have learned so far this semester in the class and kind of put that toward what goes on in my job as the student manager. I guess this is kind of a quick and small version of our final project. I am the student manager of the gopher boys hockey team and a lot of the things we have talked about have really hit home when you deal with this type of a job and the the exposure of it being such a popular sport here on campus. You really get to feel what goes on behind the scenes and the thing it takes to get a game ready. I am there about 12 to 13 hours a day on game days and usually 5 to 6 hours a day during the week with practice and getting ready for either a home or away series. Before I had my job I would always go to the games and not think about how the game is being showed to me and all the work they put in during the day to make that happen. You see a lot of leadership between the captains of the team when they are in a game and losing or winning and even in practice helping the younger guys out. The media has been a huge factor in that I never really knew what went on with the media. They have media days every wed before a series no matter if its home or away and the media people are there almost all day long getting everything ready so you and me can watch the game. We had to deal with some issues when our defensemen Sam Lofquist left and people spreading rumors about other top players on the team leaving. When your a team and maybe on a slump with people getting hurt the media can really pull a team apart by saying different thing like that. Overall I love what I do and I would not trade it for the world but It really made me understand how much hard work these players, coaches, and staff put in to make a good show go off with nothing bad happening and if something bad does happen they deal with it in the manner that you would never even no something happened unless you work around it.

Decision Making

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In slack and parent they give the definition of decision making is that a decision is a judgment or a choice between alternatives. Decision making is a huge deal when it comes to any organization because if you do not have somebody making decisions then nothing will get accomplished with in the sub groups of that organization and it will eventually crumble. It is also one thing to be the person making the decisions but if you cannot make the right decisions that are best for the organization then you will have many difficulties in the future within the organization. People that do not work in the sport industry may see decision making as a very easy aspect and to be honest its something that I am sure never really even gets thought about. When I first started this class I would of never thought about some of these little areas that are such a big deal. Until you work in a sport organization which I just recently have you start to understand how important the little thins like decision making is. Decision making does not always come right off the tip of the tongue sometimes it takes time and planning on how you want certain things to go. This is something that slack and parent describe is that decision making takes time and planning. Before you make that decision you need to be 100% positive in your mind that you made the right decision because its one thing to make the decision but if you start second guessing yourself then you usually did not think the outcome and different scenarios out. Thats another thing that the books covers, is that you need to see your alternatives and the possible outcomes you might have with the different decisions you can make. In all reality there is usually one or more decision you can make on a certain topic. Q1: What is one of the hardest decisions someone has had to make in a sport organization. Q2: What was the outcome of the decision you made and was it successful or no and if no why not?

Day 2 Presentations

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I thought that the presentations overall on day two were pretty good. I particularly like the two presentations, Nike and Adidas. They were both informational and it was nice to see the differences in companies that are in the same industry. I also enjoyed the presentation on the Minnesota State High School League because it was very in depth and descriptive of the organizational goals and how they review whether or not they are actually effective as an organization. This interests me the most out of the presentations because I played baseball at the high school level in Minnesota, so I was under the Minnesota State High School Leagues program and it was nice to see exactly how they ran their program. Furthermore, I am coaching a baseball team in the Fridley youth league and hopefully will be working up towards the High School level and could possibly be a coach under the Minnesota State High School league. Overall the presentations were good and I would like to know more information about all of the organizations discussed so far.

Day 2 Presentations

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Overall I thought the second day of presentations went well. There was a very wide range of organizations, ranging from very large such as Adidas and Nike, to relatively smaller such as the Minnesota State High School League. I found particular interest in the Nike and Adidas presentations and the differences that exist between the two organizations. It was clear to me that the two organizations put forth different strategies and structures to meet their goals. It was also interesting that Adam noted that Adidas is trying to exploit the Latin American market. I feel like Nike has done a great job of reaching to all areas of the world and making their brand globally recognized, but Adidas is a bit behind on this. In today's American sports we are beginning to see more and more Latin American athletes come to the US to play professionally or collegiately, so I believe getting these Latin American athletes and sporting communities attached to a brand is crucial for the sustained success of an organization such as Nike or Adidas. In addition, I found the presentation on Minnesota State High School League to be very interesting. I have participated in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association before, and was able to see how a state high school athletics organization is structured and operates. After hearing about the MSHSL, I could see clearly that each state's governing body is structured very uniquely and strategically based upon the individual state's most popular sports and participation rates.

Day Two Presentations

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Day two presentations went well today. I presented as well and thought it was pretty good. I really enjoyed the hockey presentation because it is something I could relate to being a student athlete. It was interesting to see how the hockey team applies the Universities mission statement and values. I was able to compare the information she provided to how I think my team applies the schools values and such. It got me thinking about how well we actually adhere to the mission statement and values set by our athletic department. Anyway, I also enjoyed the Adidas presentation because I really don't know much about that sport organization at all. What I do know, however, is that I absolutely love Adidas apparel and basketball shoes so that is another reason why I was interested in the presentation. It was also cool to learn about a smaller sport organization in Minnesota as well. It was a refreshing change from the typical Nike, Adidas type presentations even though I was the one that did Nike/Jordan Brand. Overall, I thought everyone did pretty well.

-Kristen Dockery

Presentations 11/24

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                The presentations today were good. They were very informational for the audience. One of the things that I liked about all the presentations is the fact that they wrote out all the facts and put them on the power points. It made it easier for the audience to follow along with what the presenters were talking about.  Even though the presentations were full of information they were a little dry. They could have used more pictures to help capture and maintain the audience's attention. As far as the organizations that were presented today the ones that I was most interested in were Nike with an emphasis on Jordan brand and the University of Minnesota Men's Hockey. I found the Nike presentation interesting because I wear a lot of Nike brand athletic clothes and I wore the Jordan brand basketball shoes when I played back in high school. The University of Minnesota Men's Hockey team presentation was interesting to me because I am currently a season ticket holder.

Day 2 Presentations

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The presentations that were given today were very well done.  I was very impressed with the overall delivery of everyone that presented today.  I was unable to see the first presentations given, so I was really excited to see what each person was doing and their take on the assignment.  I really learned a lot about different organizations that I would have never thought of before.   The one part that I would change would be that the presentations were lacking complementary pictures.  Most of them were really text oriented.  It was hard to listen to some because the speaker was saying everything that was already on the slide.  Complementary visual aids are necessary.  I was really interested in the hockey presentation because I know very little about hockey and would never go out and learn the organizational structure on my own.  I really learned a lot about the Nike brand from Kristen and learned about the Jordan sub-unit of Nike.  I had no idea that Nike was in a slump when they decided to create the Jordan brand.  I really enjoyed seeing these presentations and getting an idea of what I need to bring to the table when it comes my turn to present.  I know what will be expected as a presenter.

Day 2 of presentations

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I thought that it was very interesting to see an evaluation of nike and adidas today. These are the two major companies in the sporting goods industry so it was interesting to see how they do things differently and what they both do the same. I think Nike is ahead of Adidas currently and I think that is in part due to the fact that Nike has been getting most of the big star athletes to sign with them. Adidas does not do as much marketing with athletes and I think most people recognize Nike commercials but I don't think Adidas has been doing a very good marketing lately.

11/24 Presentations

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The presentation that stuck with me the most today was Kristen's presentation on Nike. As a student-athlete, I receive a lot of Nike apparel since the University is sponsored by them. Being a relatively large organization, Nike had several differences from the smaller organizations that have been discussed previously. It was interesting to hear all of the similarities and differences in the two types of organizations. Kristen did a great job of presenting her information clearly to the class. Seeing as this was the second day of presentations I think people are doing very well. It will be good for people who present later on, such as myself, to be able to see what our classmates are putting in their presentations and how they are going about distributing information. It is very helpful to see presentations from all different perspectives and in various styles.

Day 2 Presentations

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I think all the power points went very well today and everyone had something different from Day 1 of the presentations which is also very nice because you get to learn about the background of many different sport organizations. I really took the Hockey presentation in a little more because I am the student manager of the hockey team so It kinda hits home a little more when the talked of getting rid of coach Lucia gets brought up but in general I thought she really hit the main points and you could tell because she in most ways is around the organization a lot. Like everyone else I really enjoyed kristin presentation on Nike and how she talked about the jordan brand. The jordan brand really gave nike another branch and spark to their organization. It was interesting to hear about some other sport organizations away from actual sport teams.

2nd day presentations

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I thought today's presentations went very well. I thought it was interesting when Adidas was analyzed after the Nike presentation to see how the large corporations differed and how they were similar. Nike and Adidas are the biggest competitors in the sporting goods industry. It was a mixture of organizations with the large organizations being Nike and Adidas and the smaller organizations MN Gopher Hockey and Minnesota State High School League. I also think Nike has established themselves as a global power, they have expanded their fan base throughout the world and they are one of the most recognizable brands. I think Adidas is behind Nike in a sense of brand identity, I still think they need to expand their clothing line and add some variety. It was also interesting to see how the MN hockey team tied in with the whole athletic department's goals and how they contribute to the department as a team. I think the hockey team is young and they need a couple years to develop in order to get back to the championship caliber level we are used to seeing them on.

Day 2 presentations

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All of the presentations that were given today were good but one stuck out to me the most. Kristen Dockery's presentation about Nike and the Jordan brand was very impressive. She seemed to research the topic very well and was very well informed on all of the information. She was one of the very few presenters that followed the instructions and used the power point just as an outline. All of the other presenters that have gone have just read straight from the slides. It seemed to me that Kristen researched the organization very well and the history about her organization was very informative. I enjoyed her presentation and the format that she used in order to get her information across.

Day 2 presentations

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All of the presentations that were given today were good but one stuck out to me the most. Kristen Dockery's presentation about Nike and the Jordan brand was very impressive. She seemed to research the topic very well and was very well informed on all of the information. She was one of the very few presenters that followed the instructions and used the power point just as an outline. All of the other presenters that have gone have just read straight from the slides. It seemed to me that Kristen researched the organization very well and the history about her organization was very informative. I enjoyed her presentation and the format that she used in order to get her information across.

Presentations 11/24

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The presentations today were pretty good and nice to listen to. I thought the presentation on the University of Minnesota's hockey program was well done and honest. It was easy to see that the presenter was a fan of the program, but would be the first to admit they have been struggling. I also go the impression that she felt changes could and maybe should be made. I think all the presentations that are done with programs within the University are interesting because we all experience them first hand as students, staff or employees. I think the presentations are improving as we all take into consideration the other presentations. I feel like each one is unique in offering some different knowlege to their organization, that can in turn be used to learn about other organizations.

Day 2 Presentations

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The majority of the presentations today were really good and provided a lot of information that I did not know prior to today. Kristen's presentation was my favorite, because she did a really good job presenting her subject and she presented herself very professionally. I think that she could have mentioned the Jordan brand a little bit more, because I found that to be very captivating and I think that it would have helped her to narrow down her presentation. The last presentation I found to be quite boring, as he was reading off of his slides entirely and it seemed like he did not spend as much time rehearsing as the rest of the presenters did. One thing that I noticed about all of the presentations was that they were all very wordy, and could have included more pictures rather than completely text in their presentations. By doing this they could have kept the class more awake, and given them some visual stimulant. Again I thought that the majority of the presentations were good, with Kristen's ranked at the highest, and the Adidas group presentation ranked at the lowest for the day.

Presentations 11/24

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Today's presentations were a little bit "text heavy" in terms of the technical delivery but there were some interesting notes contained in each of the presentations. I thought that the presentation on the University of Minnesota Gophers Hockey team was a very honest critique of how the team has regressed over the last 5 years of so. Considering the University's Athletic Department's organizational structure it would appear that the issues surrounding the hockey team and coach Don Lucia are very similar to the issues facing the football team and coach Tim Brewster. Joel Maturi admitted that he is by nature not overly confrontational and I think the issues with both football and hockey can be traced to Mr. Maturi's desk. That being said, I don't mean that as a bad thing or as a slight on Mr. Maturi's sterling reputation. However, this may be an opportunity for Mr. Maturi to redefine the leadership of both of these teams. Considering the success of many other University sports the mediocrity that has plagued football and hockey over the last five years becomes even more prominent and I would urge Mr. Maturi to consider a coaching change with both sports in order for the University to gain positive momentum for the future.

Presentations 11/24

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Today we had four new sport organization presentations; they were on the Minnesota Gopher Men's Hockey Team, Nike Incorporated, Adidas Group and the Minnesota State High School League. The presentation I enjoyed the most was Kristin Dockery's on Nike Incorporated and their connection to the Jordan Brand.

Kristin reported that Nike's mission statement is "to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete."  I had never heard or read Nike's mission statement before, but when I heard it today, I felt like it fit right in with how Nike runs their organization. Their main slogan is "Just Do It." This slogan implies that it doesn't matter what excuses you could make, you just need to get out there and do it. When Kristin made that point, I was reminded of Matt Scott's Nike Commercial (Can be viewed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obdd31Q9PqA). One other thing Kristin pointed out was the creation of the Jordan Brand and how it allowed Nike to capture a new market. This new brand exemplified Nike's innovation for every type of athlete.

Overall, I think she did a great job presenting information that is relevant to Nike's effectiveness, and she presented it in a well organized manner.

11/24/09

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The presentations today were very well done. The Minnesota Hockey presentation had some great points and background because she has worked at Mariucci. Same goes for the Minnesota high school organization where he was an athlete and now coaches. I also thought that the Nike and Adidas presentations played well off of each other because they are competitive organizations. It seemed like Nike was the leader and Adidas was following and try to catch up. While Nike may have been move effective from a revenue standpoint, Adidas seemed to have a better public image as far as labor and mistreatment of employees was concerned. The presenters did a good job of presenting the goals of each organization and how the organization worked to achieve those goals. It seemed like this was how each of them determined effectiveness. Each presenter also did well in other areas such as presenting the culture, power, politics, and structure of each organization. They also were all very professional in their presentation and kept the power points moving fluently. Dustin Permann
The presentations today included large-scale organizations such as Nike and Adidas, but also included smaller corporations such as the Gopher hockey program and the Minnesota State High School League. I thought it was interesting to hear a brief analysis of Nike and Adidas, two of arguably the most important sport-apparel organizations in the world. I felt that after hearing the information presented for each organization, Nike seems to have a more established and well-positioned brand identity. While Adam mentioned that Adidas is looking to expand in Latin America, it seems like Nike is already virtually everywhere they want to be. I believe Kristen mentioned that Nike has 6 areas where they have a strong brand identity, and they ranged from North America all the way to the Far East and other expanding countries. The information on the MSHSL was also interesting to me, because I am not from Minnesota and it was interesting to see similarities and differences between the structure of the MSHSL and the North Dakota High School Activities Association.

Overall I thought today's presentations went pretty well.  They were very informative about the organizations; the University of Minnesota Men's Hockey program, Nike and their Air Jordan brand, Adidas, and the Minnesota State High School League.  What I thought was really interesting today was to have the Nike and Adidas presentations back to back as these are companies that are competing with each other.  With the Adidas discussion at the end when we were talking about reasons why Latin America would be an opportunity for Adidas you were talking about how there is less representation their than in the United States and this surprised me.  With Latin American countries so prominent in soccer culture I would have thought that Latin America would be a dominant area for Adidas because of their traditions in soccer shoes.

Presentations: 11/24/09

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I thought Kristin Dockery did a wonderful job presenting today. Her powerpoint was very organized and concise. She was very good with her words and explaining the parts of her powerpoint that she thought were important in the outline of the organization's effectiveness. In the presentation she hit all of the key points that were required of the analysis. After seeing the presentations today, I feel that they have most definitely set the bar high for the presentations for the rest of the semester. It was also interesting that right after the Nike presentation, Adam Vargas had an analysis of the Adias corporation. It ended up being a perfect random order to have them both in consecutive order. Also, after viewing these presentations I believe that it will help me in preparing for my presentation and how I should organize and present my information about my organization. There were many key points that each of the presenters touched on and explained well that will help me in explaining different aspects of my presentation.

Presentation Day #2

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Today's presentations were all very nicely done. The one in particular I thought really covered the material was the presentation on Nike. She was able to cover most of the material in the slides while staying in the 10 minute range. This is something that I am finding difficult because there are so many things which need explaining. She also created a PowerPoint which was easy to follow. It was not filled with text which was just read off the slide. She spoke directly to the group, showing us she knows what she is talking about. Within the presentation there were some facts I did not know. One interesting fact was the agent for Jordan came up with "Air Jordan" not the marketig team from Nike. Another was the short mission statement which is direct and to the point. I thought it would be a lot longer and more involved. Overall the presentation was well done and well put together.

Presentation Day #2

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Today's presentations were all very nicely done. The one in particular I thought really covered the material was the presentation on Nike. She was able to cover most of the material in the slides while staying in the 10 minute range. This is something that I am finding difficult because there are so many things which need explaining. She also created a PowerPoint which was easy to follow. It was not filled with text which was just read off the slide. She spoke directly to the group, showing us she knows what she is talking about. Within the presentation there were some facts I did not know. One interesting fact was the agent for Jordan came up with "Air Jordan" not the marketig team from Nike. Another was the short mission statement which is direct and to the point. I thought it would be a lot longer and more involved. Overall the presentation was well done and well put together.

Day 2 Prsentations

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Kristen's explanation of Nike was a very informative analysis of the situations and organizational structure that Nike has. I thought all terms were used correctly when it came to class discussions. There were plenty of good points in the presentation and I like the fact that she did not go into great depth about the sweatshop scandals because I believe that has been overdramatized enough in other classes. Erika's breakdown of the Gopher hockey program and the reasons why they are struggling now are very interesting and how there is a coach in Nebraska that has a specific option in his contract to leave and go coach at the University of Minnesota or Wisconsin. I think the MSHSL and the ADIDAS presentations had good substance with information on the organizations that challenge Nike. Nike is trying to compete with ADIDAS and they also would like to get more sponsorships with high school leagues in different states as well.

 

I think it would be important to note the guest speakers we had in class, with Joel Maturi being highlighted, as my philosphy would be very similar to what they spoke to in their guest presentations. They were very helpful and provided a lot of information that has been discussed and talked about this semester. A few of the things I would like to mention from the guest speakers is the importance of communication, sticking to your morals and values, and organizational culture.

Starting with communication, I think it is important to mention a story that was shared by Coach Wilson. When Coach Wilson saw a man walking out of Regina Sullivan's office and could tell he was angry, he wanted to make sure to communicate with him. In this case, Coach Wilson's desire to communicate was a way of fighting for unity amongst the employees that were a part of the athletic department while it was transitioning through an athletic merger of the men's and women's athletic department. This is something that is very important for sport managers to be aware of when leading an organization. It is employees such as Coach Wilson that makes sport managers jobs that much easier. When a sport manager can lead by example in the way that he or she communicates, it will encourage others within the organization to do so as well. It is important to me that these characteristics are considered in my philosophy.

Sticking to your morals and values was another important point to take from the guest speakers. The values and morals of a sport organization are often evident when reading the mission statement. But, other ways it is reflected is through the decisions that are made within the sport organization. The mission statement is usually presented online or somewhere on the wall inside of the sport organization. The mission statement is seen more evidently by the way that a sport organization carries out its everyday practices. There are some sport organizations that may sacrifice their values and morals to try and get ahead of their competition or to become more effective. This may mean that they need to question their immoral practices or to change their mission's statement to better fit their organizational goals. It depends on the type of sport organization that is trying to be created by the sport manager. For me I would not want to sacrifice the morals and values of the company to try and become "more" effective.

Lastly, organizational culture is a very important aspect of a sport organization for sport managers to understand. This is something that Joel Maturi was unaware of when he came to the University of Minnesota. He may have been aware of the idea of organizational culture, but he had to learn more specifically what the culture was of the Minnesota athletic department. As he learned what the culture was, he was able to move forward more effectively in molding the culture that he believed would be most effective. Obviously these aspects have helped Minnesota deal with the merging of athletic departments, so why would it not work well to incorporate these aspects in your philosophy. Due to the similarity in my desires for my philosophy and the aspects mentioned by the guest speakers I find it fitting to use them as an illustration. I believe that this best illustrates the internal processes because of the communication and involvement of each person in the sport organization (Slack and Parent, 2006).

What have you learned from the guest speakers this semester? Is there anything that you noticed they did poorly or greatly that has enabled them to be more or less effective?

 

Throughout this course I was able to learn what an effective organization is and how organizations are formatted. I have learned new concepts, theories, and ideas that could change the organization's effectiveness. Also I was able to have more interest in how sports organizations are structured to be efficient.
 Starting of the semester organizational effectiveness was the matter of how the team performs in the field. However, there was more to call if an organization is effective or not. To have an effective organization it need to have great communication, great leadership, and a strong understanding of the organization's goals and many other concepts we learned in class. Having a great communication among the organization it will have a less chance create conflict between subunits and within the organization. Also to be an effective organization it is importance to have strong leader who is able to take risks for the organization. Lastly, the organization will need to have clear stated organization goals so the employees are able to strive and work towards the goals. I believe that the best way to measure organizational effectiveness is by looking at their goals and how the organization faces change and conflict. The organization should be working toward the same goals to say it is an effective organization. Also the goal has to be measurable, because we will not be able to see the progress of the direction where the organization is trying to accomplish. The other way to measure organizational effectiveness is by how the organization faces change and conflict. In a sports organization it is constantly changing by the internal and external environment. It could be effective if they are able to accept change and face conflicts in the organization to become more efficient and be successful. By the organization ignores the conflict among the organization they will not be able to move forward to make changes and try out new ideas and make necessary changes to the organization.
Overall, from this course I have realized the importance of all aspects of effectiveness in the organization and what works and what doesn't. From learning all about the effectiveness, organizational structure, strategies, power, conflict, organizational change and conflict, and decision making now it is my time to start using these concepts and theories into my leadership style so I can be successful for myself and for my future.  

                Through everything we have studied in this course, I have gained a solid foundation of the different components that make up and organization and ultimately determine if the organization is effective. These components include an organization's goals, structure, environment, power distribution, conflict, change strategies, decision making strategies, culture, leadership, and their approach to politics within. As I referenced in my original effectiveness blog entry, Slack and Parent point out that, "Effectiveness is...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, pg 55). I still hold strong to the fact that there are so many variables that factor in to organizational effectiveness, and there are innumerable combinations of those variables that can result in successful organizations. It is difficult to pinpoint one formula for success.

                Based on what I have learned this semester, I still think the strategic constituencies approach described in the textbook is the best approach to evaluate effectiveness. "The extent to which the [organization] is able to satisfy the criteria used by each group to evaluate it will determine its effectiveness" (Slack & Parent, pg 47). Constituency groups, or stakeholders, can include owners, employees, players, fans, the community, media, leagues, and sponsors. These stakeholders are the individuals and businesses that invest time, talent and money in the organization.

                In my original discussion of effectiveness, I left it up to leaders within the organization to determine what constituents were most important and deserved to have their goals met first and foremost. I think I may have assumed these leaders needed to be employees or owners within the organization, but now I believe they can come from any group of stakeholders. Any stakeholder group can have a heavy influence on the different components of an organization and can therefore determine effectiveness. For example, the owner of an organization may put an emphasis on achieving the goal of making a profit. This would cause the organization to strive toward achieving that goal and whether they did or not would determine their effectiveness. The fans of a sports team may emphasize creating a culture of superstition and tradition. The organization may then focus on creating that culture through all the little things that they do, and their effectiveness will be based upon their success in creating that type of culture.

                As I mentioned, I began by thinking only paid employees of the organization could determine structure, goals, conflict and other components of an organization. I think that is the easiest and most well traveled route, but demands from other stakeholders like fans, media and sponsors can influence those factors; it is usually just a little more difficult.

                In summary, my basic philosophy on organizational effectiveness hasn't gone through any radical change throughout the semester, but I have gained insight into all of the different elements that play into effectiveness and who has the power to affect those elements. All stakeholders to an organization have some power in determining how the organization is run, and therefore determine if the organization is effective. Stakeholders are the ones that invest time, talent and money into the organization. If they approve of how the organization is being run and what they are accomplishing, they will continue to support the organization and the cycle of approval and support will continue.

Questions for the class:
1. Can you think of a specific instance when the media directly affected the way an organization operated?
2. Which do you think has more influence on the culture of an organization: the internal environment (owners, employees) or the external environment (fans, media, sponsors)? Why?

Looking back at my initial evaluation of organizational effectiveness and comparing it to how I view organizational effectiveness after weeks of classes on organizational theory my views have changed slightly but not significantly.  I would still say that organizational effectiveness is still a very subjective concept and different people might have different opinions on whether an organization is being effective or was effective. 

In my first post I discussed issues about the goal attainment theory to judging organizational effectiveness and said that it was a decent way to decide on effectiveness.  After studying theories for the past couple of months, this theory is too focused on goals to decide anything for sure.  Just looking at an organization's goals is not a good way to make a decision.  Other factors must be considered.  For example, an organization may meet all or most of their goals but what if the structure of the organization is completely dysfunctional?  If the organization restructured they could potentially become even more efficient. 

Organizational efficiency is an ongoing process and should be examined frequently in an organization.  An organizations environment must constantly be evaluated in order to remain an effective organization.  By this I mean an organization must constantly monitor its competitors and keep tabs on them.  If your direct competition is looking at or actually implementing a change into developing a new consumer market or product you must evaluate if their change could increase your effectiveness as an organization.  Organizations must also realize changes in consumer preferences and perceptions of the organization in order to stay effective.  Using an organization in the sporting goods industry that focuses on downhill skis and is located in Minnesota we can apply these.  In Minnesota a downhill ski shop will be very effective in the fall and winter months throughout the year but when consumer's preferences are changing when the summer months come the downhill ski shop will have to adapt if it wants to survive and be effective throughout the summer.  One option could possible for the ski shop to also develop into maybe a skateboard shop in the summer and also add snowboards in the winter as those two sports are becoming more and more popular.

In conclusion, throughout this course I have realized the importance of all aspects of an organization in determining the effectiveness of the organization.  All of the aspects can work together to create an overall effectiveness.  In theory an organization can be considered effective but could improve things inside their organization to become even more effective like adopting a structure that would be a better fit or bringing in a great leader if one is not currently present.  Organizational effectiveness is something that is ever changing within an organization.

Blog #5 Revised Philosophy

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There are many concepts that I have learned in this class that that have evolved my perception on not only organizational effectiveness but about the sport industry as a whole.  There are so many different aspects of the sport world that we have touched base on, and I feel like I have become much more knowledgeable about how different parts of the sport industry operate.  

My original organizational effectiveness philosophy discussed how effectiveness is measured by how well goals are attained (goal attainment approach) and to the extent that your organization carries out of of its priorities both internally and externally.  I gave the example of my retail working experience and I stand by what i said about that organization as not being effective because even though they were "reaching" their goals and missions, they were not supplying their employees with adequate respect and opportunities that we would have received from other companies.  
I believe that the best way to measure organizational effectiveness is by looking at the goals of the organization and assessing whether or not those goals are good/fit for what that organization does and where they are at as far as reputation and current effectiveness.  Another important aspect to creating goals is to make them measurable, this way you can measure your organization's effectiveness and success easier and then show off that success in a way that will come across as professional and accurate.  Then take those goals and see whether or not they are being reached and the way/style that they are being reached in.  Such as are the goals being rushed, are they being completed to their fullest potential, and are they satisfying to both your employees and the people that you are marketing.
Overall I have not changed my philosophy on organizational effectiveness a whole lot, but I have broadened my perspective on how I look at it. 

November 23rd Presentations

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I enjoyed how Kirsten's presntation on Nike was quickly followed by Adam's presentation on Adidas. Nike obviously holds the majority of the market share in the sports aparrel industry, which is a very stable, unchanging industry. Both are affected by the poor economy, and the larger of the two (Nike) seems to handling the change better, as expected. I thought the two organizations were structured in a very similar fashion, which makes sense. Nike's size may benefit them more within the industry as they are able to expand farther and reach more customers. However, this large size could lead to inefficiency and therefore lower effectiveness in reaching organizational goals. Both presentations were very well organized and presented and I enjoyed making comparisons between the two companies from and organizational aspect.

Throughout this course, I believe that my idea of organizational effectiveness has remained fairly constant. I have learned a lot throughout this course, but I still believe a lot of the things that I stated in my first blog about organizational effectiveness.  I know that the basic concept of any sports organization is to have some sort of a mission statement, as well as an official goal.  These goals are meant to develop the effectiveness of an organization to reach its peak.  When short term goals are met, the effectiveness of an organization continues to grow.  I have also learned that sometimes a general goal that is not really measurable is a good thing to have because that means the organization is continually working on effectiveness and development. There may be other, shorter goals, but the official goal keeps an organization in check to remember what their main goal is to achieve.  I wrote that in my first blog and I still believe it to be true.

Environment is one of the biggest factors in creating an effective organization.  An organization must maintain a pleasurable and desirable environment to maintain strong effectiveness.  If any sports team does not maintain a desirable environment, their fans that once supported the team, may not be inclined to support a team that does not bring the fans happiness.  The environment needs to be acceptable and open to new people.

Another huge aspect of organizational effectiveness that I have learned was that that a goal or purpose is not the only basis for effectiveness.  Some organizations utilize pieces of their organization that create effectiveness.  Utilizing surrounding resources for an organization can be deemed as development, which is translated to effectiveness.  I have learned a lot about power and politics and how those two pieces can create effectiveness or diminish an organization.  If power is used effectively, it can really bring good things to the organization.  If power is used for negative purposes, the effectiveness of the organization will be deterred or even eliminated altogether.  Along with power comes conflict.  If power is used negatively or wrongly, conflict is inevitable.  Conflict is something that can deter effectiveness, so it needs to be handled professionally and in a timely manner in hopes of not affecting the organization.

In conclusion, my organizational effectiveness philosophy has remained pretty similar.  However, I have learned a lot of different pieces that put the effectiveness puzzle together.  An organization must be resilient, enjoyable to work in, and a connected environment.  There also needs to be something for the employees to work towards, such as a goal or purpose, including a mission statement.  There needs to be positive power in place within an organization to create effective order.  Conflict needs to be dealt with immediately and efficiently to create effectiveness.  If all of these things are managed, the organization is most likely going to be successful.

Through the concepts learned in class and research of the organizational structure of an actual sport organization, I've learned several concepts and methods that will help a sport organization operate effectively. Initially, I believed an organization with a fun environment for its guests and employees, a high-quality training program for new and old employees, a goal setting criteria in which all employees strived towards their goals, and an organization that puts its customers in the #1 spot in all employees eyes, success will be reached. 
Now, I'm realizing that many more traits of the organization will help lead to effectiveness. The organization must maintain a strong 'goal-driven' atmosphere for its employees. Without goals, there is nothing for employees to work toward, which could turn into laziness and inefficient practices. It may be necessary for each department of the organization to discuss goals prior to the beginning season, and continue to achieve those goals.
In regards to the structure of an organization, it completely depends on how many people work for this organization and how many 'lead staff' people there are on board. For a small organization, a more centralized structure may be necessary. This way, all communication is basically all of it. For larger corporations, I find it necessary to have less people in charge, and a more decentralized structure. This may mean that each department has its own leader, and they each have a leader and only their leader may report to the head of the company. This may cause confusion in the long run, but this way may be effective in the long run also because each department is able to speak directly to the head of the organization. 
An organization that is capable of creating a desirable, competitive environment that is capable of pleasing its guests will contribute towards effectiveness a great amount. If a baseball park/team is not capable of prodviding a desirable environment, what is going to keep bringing their fans to the ballpark? 
Within its management board, and its employees, Power must be dispersed properly. I find that an effective organization will have a head leader that will make all final, large decisions for the organization. Each department also needs to have a 'leader' who will make the proper decisions for that department. Each employee must hold some power in order to take confidence in their role in the organization. There can not be one person that holds all the power in the organization, this will lead to chaos and conflict. 
Overall, my philosophy on organizational effectiveness is that if the organization has a strong, fun, and appropriate environment, a goal setting system in which employees always have something to work towards, a hierarchy in which power is not abused and is properly dispersed to each employee, conflict is handled in a professional way in which employment uncertainty is kept to a minimum, and leaders that are willing to take charge in critical situations in order to better the organization, the organization will be effective and will strive for success!
I think the biggest thing that remains in my estimation in terms of organizational effectiveness is the success on the field. Perhaps I didn't fully analyze organizations that don't involve on-field competition but I think that the understanding that on-field success breeds financial success is important. The issues of financial resources become even more important when these resources are mismanaged or when resources are short. In this case I think organizations that are effective are the organizations that can be effective at managing limited financial resources. The Minnesota Twins are a pretty good example of this idea considering that they operate in a moderately sized market within Major League Baseball. The Twins have to operate with limited financial resources and they have managed to be competitive with teams like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston despite the fact that they can not compete with the resources that these teams have.

Organizational effectiveness can also be accomplished by successfully implementing leadership positions and filling them with leaders who are capable of managing the responsibilities of their position. After reading the Slack and Parent chapter on leadership I believe the most important part of developing important leaders is by utilizing the trait leadership model detailed by Slack and Parent. I think effective leaders are people who are well educated, well spoken, demonstrate superior judgment, and are above all responsible. I think Slack and Parent's description of traits that are exemplified by trait leaders really missed the mark when the text said that a trait leader is someone who is of "above average height." I refuse to believe that a good leader is defined by any physical attributes. However, the trait leadership approach is one of the most effective ways to identify leaders. I think another key attribute to see in the leadership of an effective organization is the Instrumental leadership theory or the Supportive leadership theory. I think the instrumental leader is the most important of these two styles to have because instrumental leaders place priorities on planning, coordination, and directing according to Slack and Parent. I think the idea of communication that is carried by supportive leaders is also important for effective organizations. I don't think that I truly understood the importance of leaders within an organization before reading the Slack and Parent chapter on the topic. When you consider the volume of people who apply to work in a sport setting there are a lot of people who may not have the qualifications to be part of the organizations and therefore placing leaders in critical positions becomes even more important for developing an effective organizations.

I think effective sport organizations also take advantage of the culture that an organization possesses. I think rituals, symbols, and slogans can play a vital role in how an organization shapes it's culture and how an organization can become a stable entity. The Minnesota Wild are a great example of how to effectively create a culture that is thick and stable. The Wild are a relatively young organization yet the organization has taken incredible advantage of the culture that they were able to create. The slogan "The Team of 18,000" demonstrated to the Wild fan base that the organization valued their commitment to the team and that the team considered the fans to be so important that they were actually as much a part of the organization as the team is. The Wild hockey song also demonstrates that everyone in Minnesota is part of the Wild family and that hockey is in every Minnesotan's blood.

I think an organization is effective if it can manage financial resources, develop and cultivate leaders, and take advantage of organizational culture. These are all things that I think I have come to appreciate more throughout the path of the course and I think these items are three things that each effective organization demonstrates when they are being effective. Obviously, these three things don't all go hand in hand but they do seem to interact within an effective organization quite often. For that reason I believe these three aspects need to be considered extremely important for any organization to be considered effective.
My philosophy about organizational effectiveness at the beginning of the semester was very vague. After reading over it again I still feel that everything I said at the beginning of the semester, such as setting challenging yet attainable goals, setting departmental goals, and using the internal processes approach, are ways that organizational effectiveness should be accomplished. One thing that I still agree with, but even more so than before, is the importance of an organization being goal oriented. I do not feel that an organization should judge its effectiveness based solely upon the achievement of their goals, however, setting challenging goals is instrumental for an organizational. Without setting those goals there is not much hope of moving forward with the organization and every organization constantly needs to be thinking into the future or they will get left behind the competition. Goals that are challenging, yet attainable help a company to stride towards bigger, better things. Although setting challenging goals is important to an organization, I feel that this alone does not accomplish organizational effectiveness. After going through this entire course I have decided that top-notch leadership is one of the most important factors to organizational effectiveness. Good leaders have the ability to motivate employees and turn a failing company around. They set the pace and culture for an organization. Without a good leader goals will likely not be attained and a company will not have someone to follow. Having someone you trust and can rely on is very important because it helps to guide your company and keep everyone going in the same direction and keep everyone on the same page. There are many different factors that affect leadership, such as actors, processes, culture, structure, and environment, and the leader must know the proper ways to handle these different organizational contexts and how to use them to their advantage. Another key factor to organizational effectiveness I have come to realize through out this course is the importance of having the power spread through the organization. As I discussed in the last paragraph is it important to have great leadership, but that does not have to be limited to one person. If a complex organization only has one leader it is likely that the organization will fall behind because it will be slow in getting things accomplished. By having leadership spread throughout the organization and having great leaders for employees to look up to and follow and go to if they have questions or concerns the organization will run much more effectively and efficiently. Lastly, I feel that the culture of an organization is of great significance when considering organizational effectiveness. I feel that it is very essential that each and every employee, from the top men to the bottom men on the totem pole, understands and works by the organizational culture. By having a great organizational culture in tact and having your company make decisions and work based on that culture any company will be running smoothly and effectively.

Leadership Blog

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Leadership Blog: Leadership can be affected in many different ways, in many different companies and organizations. Leadership in businesses and/or organizations can make you or break you as a company. Leadership has many different aspects in organizations and they consist of the executives (CEO's, President, GM) and middle management staff and some lower level management can make up the leadership of an organization or business. How they act and make decisions can affect what they do in their specific area of their organization and this has a large affect on how the employees will react and how they will work for you. If you include your employees/staff in the decision making and in other aspects of the organization and actually listen to their opinions on what should and should not be done, they will be much more likely to produce for you. Also, giving them recognition and encouragement will help to balance the company and make them more likely to be involved in the company/organization and produce for you in the long run. I personally think that this is a much better way to express leadership than just having one person commanding everyone to work. You can be born into leadership or you will have to work your way up into the front office, by hard work and long hours. The structure of leadership within an organization can be vital in making leadership decisions. In sports organizations there are many aspects of leadership and structure. The structure is very complex because there are many aspects of a sport organization to run. For example, I will use the Minnesota Twins, they need to run the team as a whole, each department, MLB operations, baseball communications, the team, the organization and the clubhouse. All of these aspects much have great leadership structure and decision making so that the organization can run smoothly and succeed. Without all of these departments and people being on the same page along with great leadership the organization will fail because they will not be striving towards the same goals and will all be going in different directions.

Decision Making Blog Garvin

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Decision Making Blog: This article was discussing the fact of whether or not this company made a bad decision about their product. After reading this article I think that they made a terrible decision to remove their product off the market right away for many reasons. First of all, decisions were taking way too long to be made, the executives were very indecisive and so far they decision to remove the product from the market was a decision that was made too quickly, but all their other decision were very lengthy in time. They did not test the drug for all of these possible side effects and since all of the reports of the side effects were in the same area they should have tried to figure out why in those area things were going badly and not just remove the product immediately. There had to be some outside force that was causing the effects in that area if there were no other side effects in other people in other areas taking the same product. The conditions that they recalled the ChargeUp product was because they were uncertain about the product and whether it was actually causing those side effects, but they should have done some research before actually pulling the product off the shelves. Another condition that it was recalled for was because of the risk condition because if it was really causing all of those side effects and they kept the product on the shelf that could cause much panic and uproar if more and more people continue to have those side effects. This article was good in describing how this company was making all the wrong decisions for their company because they were too quick to pull this product off the shelves and all of their other decisions were not made in a timely fashion, which caused many other issues. All the people in the company had too much say it what was going to happen and by everyone having an opinion the executives could not make fast and smart decision. In the end the main problem of the organization was the decision making process that the executives had and that they needed to put more information into the decision to recall the ChargeUp product and also they needed to have more timely decision in the rest of them.
I thought that the first days presentations went very well. Watching their presentations gave me some great ideas on what exactly to include in my presentation. Watching them also made me realize how important it is going to be to practice my presentation a couple of times and get the timing down right. Overall I thought that Andre's presentation on the Gopher Men's Basketball Team and RJ's presentation on USA Track and Field were the two most prepared presentations. They both really gave me an understanding of how those organizations were structured and how they ran. I felt that these two presentations had all of the necessary information, such as structure, environment, leadership, culture, politics, and suggestions for improvement, to give the class a good feel on just how each organizations organization went about its business. In general I feel that the presentations that provided the class with the most useful information, rather than history and irrelevant facts, were the presentations that came across as the best.
Guest Speakers: University of Minnesota Athletic Board This was a great panel for the leadership aspect of the sport organization. Having all of these employees, in all different levels of the sport organization of the University of Minnesota Athletics was very helpful in understanding their roles. It also helped in showing where the power was located in the organization and how the merger of the two separate athletic departments affected the university. Joel Maturi was hired as the Athletic Director to help merge the two programs and from what I have heard and my own personal understanding of the merger is that he has done a great job, even with all the doubts from both sides (the women's and men's athletic programs). Now all you hear about is the great job he has done in completing the merger and also about his leadership style. The first thing that was great about what he did was that in the first year he kept all the staff from both athletic departments and guaranteed that they would not be let go for this first year, but could not promise about years that follow. He noticed people leaving on their own, which lead to him being able to appoint heads of departments without the struggle of power. Also having a base goal to stride for helped in this transition heavily because everyone knew what he wanted and what the university wanted to be shown and known as. They were there to make sure that athletes got their education and were able to participate in their sport as well. They made the priority in education rather than athletics, which is the way it should be. I thought by having Gary Wilson a coach that has been there for many years was very helpful because he was a coach before the merger, during and now after the merger, so it was great to get his point of view on the merger. He did a great job explaining how Joel Maturi's style helped the organization greatly and that it was easy to follow. Even though the media and everyone seemed to talk about how Maturi was not making the decisions fast enough or on his own. This is where it was nice to hear from Coach Wilson because he clearly stated that Maturi took the input from the coaches, but he had final say and would let them know exactly what he thought of the situation and would let you know if you were doing something wrong. Coach Wilson's aspect was great because he discussed how he helped in a way during the merger by trying to get other coaches in the men's sports to understand that they were not priority and that the had to follow the rules as well. The other coaches were in a power struggle mainly because of the money aspect, the revenue generating sports thought they should get more money than ones that did not generate any revenue for the university. He specifically discussed an event/conversation that he had with Maturi about international recruiting funds for Cross Country, the sport he coached. Joel would hear him out every time, but he always put his foot down because it was not something that they were going to fund or even think about doing.

Kenny Mauer Guest Speaker

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Guest Speaker Kenny Mauer, NBA Referee This was a great guest speaker for talking about the legal side of the contracts, as well as the conflict and leadership aspects of the NBA officials. It was helpful to hear the side of the officials, to see exactly what was going on, since the NBA side is always biased towards their own league. Also, Kenny was explaining the contracts in a way that was very easy to follow. I liked how he told us every little detail about their contracts that the NBA did not ever disclose or mention during the negotiations. For one, that the NBA officials have strict guidelines they have to follow as well as that they have a strict itinerary to follow for every game they ref. Furthermore the explanation of how the NBA tried to separate them and when they would turn down a specific contract the NBA would just go back for a little while and bring them the exact same contract. It was helpful for Kenny to explain this process and how it affected the younger and inexperienced NBA officials because they would think that they were doing something wrong by not signing the contract, since the NBA continuously brought back the same contract. Kenny showed and talked about great leadership him and many of the other veteran officials that would take the rookie/new officials under their wing, so that they would understand that they needed to be united. Continuing on, Kenny also discussed how the betting scandal from Tin Donaghy and how there was a lot of conflict between the league and other officials during that time. Kenny said that the scandal with Donaghy really hurt the image of the NBA and the NBA officials as a whole and that the officials still have not fully recovered from that issue and he does not see them overcoming that event anytime soon. He also discussed some of the guidelines that the NBA has in place now for the officials to try and prevent this from happening again. He discussed the NBA's itinerary for the officials each game. They have to be on a certain flight, have to be in the city of the game at a certain time, check into the hotel at a certain time, be at the game a certain amount of hours before the game and they have to keep them up to date on what they are doing, pretty much at all times. Overall, I thought that this was a great guest speaker at a great time in the class for discussing conflict in a sport organizations.
After looking back at my philosophy of organizational effectiveness that I stated at the beginning of the course, I think a few of my ideas have definitely changed. One thing that has changed is my beliefs on the Goal Attainment Approach. Originally I thought it was a bad theory simply because I figured that setting a goal and being judged based on whether or not you reach that goal was not fair. However, I have come to understand that goals can in fact be good and that they are a necessary part of creating an effective organization. While I can see the importance of goals, I still would not say that I believe a person should be judged solely on whether or not they reached a specific goal. Individuals and organizations can do many positive things that increase the effectiveness of an organization without necessarily reaching a specific goal. My main philosophy of organizational effectiveness originally was based off the internal approach, with the idea that an effective organization is made up of people who genuinely care about and trust each other. I still believe in this idea, but based on what we've studied in this course there are a few other components that are important to organizational effectiveness.

The first component I have found to be important is a clear organizational structure. It is important that stakeholders understand the complexity, formalization, and centralization of an organization. By understanding how complex an organization is individuals can understand their role much better. For example, the University of Minnesota athletic department has a very complex structure, with many different vertical hierarchies. People within each subunit understand their role and work together with other subunits to create an effective organization. Formalization is also an important component of organizational structure. A highly formalized organization has nearly every rule and procedure written out, while some organizations do not need this much formalization. Understanding that organizations are all different, I feel that in order to be effective an organization should be somewhat formalized and decentralized to a certain extent. Everyone within the organization should be able to have an opinion, and at least have a say in decisions. At the end of the though process however an upper management group should probably be in charge of the final decision.

Leadership in my opinion is one of the key components of creating an effective organization. Throughout the readings and class discussions I have learned that there are many different ways in which one can be a leader. Some people just have that "it" factor and perform as a very outspoken, charismatic leader. Others tend to lead by example, and some simply are not leaders. As a leader, especially in the sport industry, people look at you as a reflection of the organization as a whole. Everyone within an organization can be a leader in some way, shape, or form. Having been a part of sport organizations with both good and bad leaders, I have seen characteristics of good leaders that help an organization become more effective. Communication, trustworthiness, organization, and knowledge are characteristics that I strive for as a leader because of the leaders who I have personally been influenced by.

As I look back on what I have gained, as far as knowledge of organization effectiveness this semester, I have begun to understand that there is not one set path to becoming an effective organization. Rather, it is a combination of components such as leadership, structure, power and politics, etc. that create a foundations to succeed and become effective. What makes one organization effective may completely fail within another organization. I still feel that if the people within your organization are happy, trust each other, and have excellent communication the sky is the limit for organizational effectiveness and success.

Presentation Blog

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Today I thought the presentations were well conducted for the most part and everyone covered similar topics from the textbook while incorporating it with their organization. Specifically I thought Kristen's presentation on Nike was particularly interesting. This was because she gave additional information about the organization that I did not know about even after the class did a case study. Also, she did a good job breaking down the organization with the SWOT analysis. However, I saw weaknesses in some other peoples' presentations in that they did not seem prepared. It became especially difficult to listen to people who were reading specifically off of their note card. Others were listing too much information in their individual slides and then reading off of these slides to the point where I found it difficult to concentrate on listening. Overall though everyone is doing a solid job of not showing any nervous signs and speaking clearly.

At the beginning of the class, I really did not have a great understanding of what it takes to be an effective organization. This is in part due to not knowing the meaning of what an effective organization is. In my first blog post I acknowledged that to have an effective organization it will need to have attainable goals, a structured activity system, and having an identifiable boundary. I have since learned in class that there are more than just those three things which make an organization effective. The structure of the organization is the starting point for making an effective organization. The structure of any sport organization must fit with the environment in which it is in. If the environment is constantly changing, it is important for the structure to be more organic than it is mechanistic. Ideally, the organization should be comprised of both organic and mechanistic properties. The organizations that are most effective can easily and quickly be able to adapt to any change in their environment. The structure of the organization allows those changes to take place. Power and politics also play an integral role in the organization's ability to be effective. The political power within an organization determines who makes big decisions. It is important for those employees in power to use their power wisely and for the good of the organization, not for the good of themselves. The persons in power should also utilize their subordinates in the decision-making process. The more input that the subordinates are allowed to have in an organization the harder they will work for the persons in power. The leadership roles within an organization are also very important in making a sport organization effective. The communication between a leader and their subordinates is probably more important than motivating the subordinates. Good leaders can avoid conflict and when it is present can determine the problem and resolve it. If a leader makes an honest effort to communicate to their subordinates and show them respect, the leader has done his part in creating a successful culture. The culture within an organization will allow the employees to feel comfortable in their position, which gives them the confidence to be effective in their roles. The organization is only as strong as its weakest link. Obviously, there are many moving parts in an effective organization. It is difficult to pinpoint every little quality and trait that is involved. My keys to an effective organization include: communication from those in power and in leadership roles to the subordinates, a structure that can adapt when needed, and setting and reaching attainable goals.

Personal Philosophy - Blog 10

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Since the beginning of the semester when I developed my organizational effectiveness theory, I have learned many new concepts, theories, and ideas that have slightly changed my philosophy. My previous philosophy was based strongly on both the goal attainment approach as well as the internal processes approach. More specifically, I felt that the most crucial factor determining whether an organization is effective or not was its ability to maintain a high level of happiness and dedication throughout the entire organization. While I do still firmly believe that this is crucial to an effective organization, there are some more aspects of an organization that I feel have a strong impact on determining effectiveness as well.

The first of these impacts is leadership. Through our readings and discussion about leadership, I have realized the importance of strong leadership in an organization. An organization with poorly guided and negative leadership is a recipe for disaster. Learning about the research and theories of leadership styles has helped me reach the conclusion that leadership is one of the strongest contributors to organizational effectiveness. The reason I feel this way is based strongly on my past involvement in sport organizations. I have been involved with organizations that are lead by people I would classify as "good" leaders and as "bad" leaders. Not surprisingly, the organizations that have had great leadership have been extremely successful, and the organizations that had not so good leadership have either been very average or downright unsuccessful. Having a leader who is organized, influential, understanding, and knowledgeable is a key ingredient to organizational effectiveness.

The second thing I have realized is the importance of managing power and politics within an organization. To say one can manage a sport organization and not have to deal with power and politics is not realistic. Power and politics are prevalent in each and every sport organization, and they greatly influence an organization's ability to achieve their goals. Knowing this, I have realized that it is crucial to handle power and politics effectively within an organization in order to maintain organizational effectiveness. More specifically, I have come to realize that reducing individual sources of power and increasing organizational power is an effective combination. By reducing individual power, it will create a more strongly knit organization in which all members feel like they play a key role in, which results in increased motivation and attainment of goals. Increasing organizational power through building coalitions, making your product irreplaceable, or controlling information can give your sport organization a competitive advantage to remain organizationally effective.

In summary, I have learned many things in this course that have reinforced my original philosophy of organizational effectiveness, as well as a few things that have encouraged me to tweak my philosophy. I still am a firm believer of the importance of focusing on goal attainment and encouraging the happiness and wellbeing of all employees, but I also feel that two of the most important factors that need to be taken into account when building, changing, or managing a sport organization are the quality of leadership and the organization's ability to manage power and politics. The ability to successfully develop these two components into one's organizational strategies is what I consider a great start to an organization that will achieve sustained organizational effectiveness.

Re-Reading My Philosphophy

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Re-Reading My Philosophy

 

            In my initial effective organization philosophy I talked about how the most important aspect of an organization is the balance between the individual and the organization.  I used a specific example from the readings to make my thoughts clearer.  I also used my own original ideas to talk about how that lack of balance could negatively effect a sport organization.  Near the end of my initial thoughts I concluded that while the book had not yet talked about a balanced approach, I expected at some point it would.  Looking back through the textbook, lecture notes, other readings and recalling what I learned, I cannot remember any of the sources making any mention of the ideas that I talked about.  While the book does talk about balance between some ideas, such as on page 41 in our Slack and Parent book, it discusses a balance between effectiveness and efficiency, and on page 217 they begin a discussion about the balance between differing types of conflict.  While I do not recall the book ever specifically talking about a balance between an individuals needs and an organizations needs, it is my opinion that in a round about way it does talk about this idea. 

Much of this book is dedicated to talking about how to deal with individuals or small groups within an organization.  Some of the ideas behind leadership or the decision making process clearly are trying to talk about a balance between individuals and the organization.  While the book chooses several different ways of going about this (such as talking about types of conflict and effectiveness versus efficiency) it still gets the same basic ideas across, with much more specific language. 

            After re-reading my initial ideas and thinking critically about them I do not think they my ideas were incorrect.  I do think that my ideas ended up being a bit superficial but I think that is perfectly acceptable.  I have never learned about information like this or taken a course with similar content to this one before. The closest thing I have taken is a human resources course that was mostly about training of employees, but that is considerably different.  If I had known at the time how to articulate my ideas in a way that was relevant to an sports organization or sport organization class, then what could I have possibly learned from this class.  

            In retrospect that is probably the biggest single thing I have learned in the class.  The thing that will stick with me most is the specific language to clearly talk about a sport organization and if necessary evaluate it in several different ways and from multiple points of view.

 

Questions:

1.     After reevaluating your own initial thoughts on what makes an effective organization did you come up with anything or a small number of things that you will take away from this course?

2.     What do you think of my idea that I was not incorrect with my initial ideas about what makes an effective organization, but what I really lacked was the language and ability to articulate those ideas well?

AHA Effectiveness

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Effectiveness:

 

I have decided to talk about the effectiveness of an organization I am involved with.  The organization is the Adult Hockey Association or AHA for short.  I have been playing hockey in this organization for about 4 years and have recently realized that the top teams are always the top teams and the bottom teams are always the bottom teams.  The AHA's mission according to their own website at ahahockey.com is:            

 

"We are a Twin Cities based amateur adult hockey association. Our mission is two fold 1) To provide instruction to adults who want to learn to play the Coolest Game and 2) To foster safe, fun competition for adults who want to play no-check hockey."

 

To me this mission clearly states that they want a competitive league but then why do that same teams always finish in the top of the league and the bottom of the league. To me this is clearly not effective and does not accomplish the mission statement they have published.  The AHA has implemented things to combat this from happening.   When new players sign-up for the league they are required to go through an evaluation and are rated and placed in the appropriate level according to their hockey skills and speed. There are 8 levels that are possible, with 6 to 25 teams at each level.  From this separation the individuals can be drafted similar to professional leagues, but simplified.  The bottom finishing team gets the first pick and the top finishing team gets the last pick.  If your team has enough returning players from the year before you are not required to draft any players.  On the surface, this system seems like it should work well but it has just not worked out the way it was intended.

            While this formalized process has proved very efficient at placing players in an appropriate level for their skills, it has not helped the bottom teams in those levels become more competitive.  It seems that part of this problem is the drafting system itself. While each team can receive players, the players are so evenly matched that it makes little difference if you receive the 1st pick, the 25th pick or a pick someplace in between.  The AHA has worked out their evaluation system so well that all players that are placed in a particular level are extremely evenly matched.  Due to this fact adding more players to your roster does not guarantee that the overall skill of your team will improve or that your level of competitiveness will improve.

            My recommendations to improve this situation are to have the top team or teams in a level move up or down to the next level.  This system does not have to happen on a yearly basis but perhaps if a particular teams finishes in the top 12% or bottom 12% for two consecutive years or 3 out of 4 years, the AHA should require that team to move up to the next level or down to the next level.  I say 12% because if a level that has only 6 teams then you are only have one team (6 x .12 = .72 rounded to 1) that will be moving up and one down.  If a level has 25 teams that total will be 3 teams moving up and 3 teams down, with the other levels falling someplace in between 1 and 3.  By using 12%, this process can be formalized throughout the league rather then different rules for each level.  It is unlikely that all these teams will move up or down on the same year because of the requirement to have 2 years in a row or 3 out of 4 years in the top or bottom 12%.

            It is my opinion that this would help to make each level more competitive and would also help the AHA's mission to "foster...fun competition."

 

Questions:

1.     Do you think this plan is formalized enough and will it be effective?

2.     If a plan like this were implemented in would clearly create an environment of change.  How do you get teams and players to buy into making this change work?

Organizational Philosophy

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At the beginning of this course, when I thought of Organizational Effectiveness all I thought that mattered was how a team performed on the field. If a team was winning games and championships, I thought that the team should be considered effective. I don't think I realized at the time how much more goes into deciding whether a team is effective or not. I think one thing that I didn't really think about is how organizations deal with constant change. Within any sports organization, there is constant change taking place. I think it is very important to look at how an organization deals with change to tell whether they are a truly effective organization. When dealing with major change I think an organization must stay patient and really plan out how to make a change. All good organizations should start making change by having an evaluation period first in which they go through all levels of the company and decide if each department is doing its job well and to decide if they could possibly merge certain departments. If an organization is looking for a new head coach I think the evaluation process of individual candidates should be very thorough and they need to really get a feel for each candidate. Then when choosing a coach I think the decision should be made by a few people near the top of the organization. I think that all organizations should bring in input from people throughout the company. With the information they gather, the few people at the top of the organization need to make the best decision for the organization's future. If their are too many people involved in the decision making process it can lead to a lot of bickering and that may lead to panic and a rush to judgment. I believe that a truly effective organization is able to handle change with very few issues because all organizations can operate well when things are cruising along but when an organization is faced with adversity, the best organizations deal with it in stride. Also at the beginning of this course I don't think that I ever really considered how much of a role the environment can play on an organization. The economic environment has a major impact on every organization and I think it wasn't as obvious until our recent economic downturn. Now more than ever we can see the impact of the economy as organizations are losing money because people have less money to spend and therefore ticket sales to all events are dropping. We have seen teams try to increase their ticket sales by offering special packages to college students or by offering family deals and I think it is very important to create certain ticket deals otherwise I think fans get fed up and just decide that it would not be worth it to see their team play in person. Organizations that can get creative with their ticket programs can be a lot more effective than organizations that just keep standard ticket prices even though their ticket sales are steadily decreasing.

When reviewing my philosophy on organizational effectiveness I agree with everything I wrote but after some of the things I have learned in class I can apply a deeper knowledge and understanding to how to overall determine the effectiveness of the entire organization. First, the most important step is to determine the mission and the vision of the organization. The goals have to be clear, concise, and attainable. When the mission and vision are set, it is very important to communicate these goals clearly to the whole staff.  Next, the communication aspect of the organization is very important. It is important to have a structure that allows all employees to have their voice heard, and be able to communicate concerns or problems in the interior of the organization. An organization that can adapt well and overcome problems is very likely to succeed. The strategy the organization uses to achieve their goals is important because it can determine the success or failure for the company in that the wrong strategy can weigh the business down and create more problems which then cause conflict within different departments and subgroups of the organization. The environment also affects the effectiveness of the organization. The environment in which an organization survives is important to its success, and decision making process. For instance, the environment now is affecting every single organization. However, I think that non-profit organizations are affected more dramatically by the economy because they survive by the money they make off of their clients, and if their clients are not spending money on them they struggle. Being a non-profit organization they do not receive money from the government to stay effective. How a company can adapt to this change is important. Effective organizations can adapt internally and externally to change. Leadership and power is very important in the effectiveness of the organization because they can supply role modeling and guidance for all of the employees under them. Having a good leader that can motivate the workers and produce efficient and effective work by the company through the employees helps the company to be very effective. They are for the most part involved in the decision making processes that an organization undergoes, and help make and influence some of the most important decisions an organization may make. I think as far as picking the best approach for analyzing the effectiveness of an organization it really depends on the mission of the organization or the goals of the organization for that specific time. If the mission of the organization is to produce the best quality, and most spectators watching their team I would say apply the goal-attainment approach. The strategic constituencies approach could be used if determining whether all of the stakeholders in the company were satisfied with the outcome of the organization.  

Presentations-Day 1

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I really enjoyed all of the presentations on Thursday. I found Andre's presentation of Gopher Basketball to be especially interesting. He conducted his speech in a way that kept my attention the whole time, and he shared a lot of interesting facts about the organization. It was easy to tell he was well-informed of the organization and takes great pride in working for them. I enjoyed listening to his analysis of Tubby Smith's leadership style and qualities. With Tubby having such a strong reputation in the basketball world, it was cool to hear what an employee thinks of him, and sees in his leadership style everyday. I also found RJ and Yuri's presentations interesting because they were about National Organizations. They are both organizations that mostly everyone has heard of, but would never know/understand how they are run. They both broke their organizations down in ways that make it easier to grasp how national organizations are run and how they can be successful, which they both are. The organizations are similar in that both are really only in nation-wide public eye during Olympic years. It's interesting to think about how an organization keeps themselves successful when it's not in the public eye. The leadership needed to run a national organization needs to be top-notch, and as explained in each presentation, both organizations have this trait.
The first day's presentations were all well done and fairly informative. My two favorite presentations were RJ's presentation on USA Track & Field and Andre's presentation on Gopher basketball. I thought it was interesting to hear of the specific organization aspects of USA Track & Field, simply because we don't hear much about it until it's an Olympic year. It seems like such a well-structured organization, so for recommendations I maybe would have liked to hear something about what, if anything, they plan on doing to continue to make drug-testing a priority. It seems like we hear a lot about track's biggest stars testing positive, and I would've liked to know a bit more about what the organization has to do with the whole situation.

Andre's presentation was of specific interest to me because I am also a student-manager within Gopher sports, for the baseball program. It seems like the basketball program has a solid organization foundation, and I think Coach Smith has done an excellent job of instituting a culture in which players and staff are held accountable for all of their actions. I also know that the basketball program strives to create a family atmosphere, which is similar to what we do with the baseball program here. When everyone within the organization feels comfortable with each other, and can communicate effectively, I think you begin to see the success on and off the court. Overall I really enjoyed the presentations and gained quite a bit of inside information from the presenters.

Presentation Day 1 - try 2

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There were three presentations for today's classes which dealt with as organization which the individual worked for or was involved in, Gopher Basketball, Minnesota Timberwolves, and USA Gymnastics. I think were great choices for the people involved because it gave real insight to the organization which other might have missed. Since it was the first day I was also able to get some good ideas on how to tweak my personal presentation about my organization. I will not be able to incorporate the same personal connection with the organization but the formatting and flow of the presentation is something I can take into account. One specific thing that I liked in the formatting sense was Andre's bullet point structure presentation. He listed the topics and just talked about them. This gave his presentation a nice flow and gave him great credibility to the things he was saying since he wasn't just reading it off his paper. Overall the presentations for the first day were great.

Since starting back with college this fall and taking this course, my personal philosophy of organizational effectiveness has changed significantly. How you organize your company and sport organization can make all the difference in the world when it comes to productivity and opportunity for growth. Handling the challenging situations with care and concern can help create a positive environment in which employees see your passion for the organization. My philosophy on organizational effectiveness has evolved in the sense that a simple decision at times can not just be easy, and at times a difficult decision can sometimes be less complicated than it actually looks. Looking at this from a hypothetical stand point, a dream job of mine would be to work at the facilities manager of TCF Bank Stadium. Numerous situations have arose since football began on campus and I have had a chance to hear about a lot of those situations through my boss at Mariucci and Ridder Arena. He is very active within the stadium operations and explains some of the challenges to solving the issues at hand. I have listened and watched how they have effectively ensured for the safety of over 50,000 fans for each of the seven home games. Now as I watch them prepare for their first live outdoor concert with U2 coming on June 27th, 2010, I see what it takes to run an effective stadium. All the detail and preparation they will have to go through in regards to the security, dressing rooms, rehearsals and overall stadium operations, I get a chance to see what it takes to be a facilities manager. With the 2010 Woman's Frozen Four coming to Ridder Arena, I will have the chance to see how a National Championship event is run, since I will be performing a lot of the behind the scenes work as an intern. The best philosophy I have to date when it comes to working in facilities and an organization in general is to always work hard when everyone is watching and when no one is watching. Never deviate from the standard and always try to exceed your expectations. With a struggling economy and fans not so inclined to come out and pay top dollar for games anymore, you have to understand that when they do come to a game and take part in what you are providing them, you as the manager have to ensure they have a good time and give them everything possible to keep them coming back. In the end you have to continue to update your ideas and goals to meet the demands of the organization. You also have to look at what is working and what is not while maintaining a flexible balance within the organization to keep things fresh.
The blogs this morning I felt where very good. Everyone did a really good job with providing why they think that there organization was successful. One thing that I really liked was the presentation on Gopher Basketball. I am a big basketball fan but because the end of the football season interferes with the beginning of the Basketball season I really don't get into it until mid way through the season. The thing that I really enjoy about his presentation was the part about the way it is structures is. It is completely different from the way lets say a football team would structure there's. They kind of do it in a three tier system. The coaches deal with coaches, the players deal with players and the support staff deals with the support staff. With an organization like football there is one person that is on the top usually the AD or head coach, then it kind of trees down. One thing I really like about the three tier system is that there isn't that many layers between the top and the bottom. You could be an equipment manager and not feel awkward about talking to the head coach. In football there are so many layers between you and the head coach that you feel like he is way out of you league to talk to. Basketball feels more like a family atmosphere.

Nov 19 - Presentations

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Today we had five presentations about different sport organizations: USA Gymnastics, Gopher Men's Basketball, the Minnesota Timberwolves, USA Track & Field, and the Minnesota Twins. All of the presentations were informative and well prepared. The two that I would like to comment on are Gopher Basketball and the Minnesota Twins.
I'm sure many others agree, Andre's presentation was very well put together. His experience in the organization helped to give him insight into the inner-workings of the organization and really enhanced his presentation. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the motto of the team is "God, family, academics, basketball." I think that motto sums up what the Gopher Men's Basketball organization is all about. I think this is something we would have missed out on if we didn't have an insider reporting on the organization.
The Minnesota Twins presentation was interesting to me because I considered using the organization for my project. I thought the presentation was overall well done, but it was missing one major recommendation for change that is already being implemented. Dr. Kihl brought it up and I read about it online a few weeks ago. Though the Twins organization operates pretty smoothly, the organization lacks diversity. They are currently working on creating a more diverse team of employees and interns while reaching out to different minority communities in the Twin Cities area. This is a major change for the Twins organization.

My response it to Andre's presentation on the Men's Basketball Program at the U of M. Andre obviously has a lot of insight within the Men's Basketball program as he is involved in all team operations and sees how each aspect of the organization is handled. I thought it was very interesting how he was able to put each organization concept we studied this semester into terms with the Men's Basketball Program here at the U.

One aspect of his presentation I found interesting is that he saw Tubby Smith as the sole leader of the Men's Basketball program. While I agree he does play a large role in leading the team, I would think some decisions may be above him and may have to be handled by Joel Maturi. I can see how all basketball-related decisions would be made by Coach Smith, but I would think the business-related decisions would be handled by a committee of people, which could include Coach Smith.

Overall, I found Andre's presentation very informational, and I am excited to see the long-term goals of the U of M Men's Basketball program come true...especially after the first few games of this season!

presentation 1

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I thought all the presentations today were very well researched and presented.  I learned many different things about the organizations and furthered my understanding of how each organization offers and produces a product efficiently.  I believe Andre's presentation on the University of Minnesota Men's basketball team was very informative and gave plenty of insight on how the U has changed the culture from a losing program to a winning one.  Andre clearly laid out the structure and show how having a centralized organization, especially in team sport organization, is pivotal to keep everyone on the same page and maintain the philosophy that works.  I know that Tubby Smith comes from a good program and understands what it takes to win; I think it is a testament to the leadership qualities that Tubby poses that has turned around this program very quickly.  It just shows how having a stable structure with well delegated roles is essential to run an organization that has time constraints, especially at the collegiate level.

Presentations 11/19

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Overall I thought the presentations today were good. Personally I believe that Andre had a strong presentation. He demonstrated his knowledge of the organization well. He maintained great eye contact with the audience and exuded an air of confidence. I learned a lot about the Gopher's men's basketball organization and what makes it so successful. Another presentation that I thought was informative was given by R.J. During his presentation, R.J. was able to present novel information to the group. I found out the United States of America Track and Field organization extends to long distance running and race walking. I was also unaware of the connection between USATF and the University of Oregon. These ties seem to be very profitable for the University of Oregon, as they are to host the U.S. Olympic Trials for the next three years. These two presentations caught my interest because of my own participation in track and field, but the other presentations were also well executed.

Presentations Day 1

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The presentations today were very interesting. I learned a lot about 5 different organizations I did not have much knowledge for previously, which I find very beneficial. My favorite presentation would have to be Andre's. I thought he did a very good job going through each subject, giving the basic necessities and using his personal experiences to keep it interesting. I found it interesting that he said the only major goals for the organization had to do with winning. This is something I have found true with some sport organizations I have worked for, while others value winning as well as character development. With recent issues in the news about basketball players and football players, I thought it was very respectable of Tubby to suspend his players, while Brewster did nothing to reprimand his players. Tubby and the Minnesota Basketball Team seems to stick to their word and rules better than other sports at the university.

Day 1 of Presentations

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Overall I thought all of the presentations today were very good, especially as examples for everyone else in the class. I especially liked Andre's presentation about the University of Minnesota Basketball team. Being a basketball manager, Andre used this to his advantage by including a lot of information that maybe wouldn't be available to the general public. Andre also seemed very comfortable presenting his information and seemed like a very good public speaker.

Minnesota Basketball

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I think Andre did a very good job with his presentation. Being a student manager, he had a lot of information about the topic and presented it in an efficient manner. I also thought his speaking pace and volume were excellent. A lot of people tend to get nervous and speak too fast, but he did a very good job. I thought it was interesting that most of the team goals tended to be centered on winning Big Ten Championships and the NCAA Championship. I think with the current player behavior issues they have been having they would incorporate that into their team goals. I think in college basketball as Andre mentioned the head coach has to be a dictator for things to work. Through his values and teaching methods, Tubby Smith has achieved success by getting his players to buy into his program. Overall great presentation and interesting organization.

Day 1 Presentations

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I thought today was a great start to the presentations. Everyone was really prepared to discuss their organization and presented them with confidence. I really enjoyed listening to The Minnesota Gopher Basketball presentation. It was really interesting because you could tell that he had a lot of passion for what he was talking about and really know the organization inside and out. I think really being interested and having experience in the organization really helps because you can learn a lot more personal stories and information then just surfing the web on that specific organization. With having passion and really knowing the organization it made his presentation very strong and he did not have to constantly look up at the screen and read exactly what he wrote on his slides. I think this is what really stood out to me from the other presentations was that he knew a lot about what he was talking about from his experience working for the organization. I learned a lot today about many organizations that I never knew existed like USA gymnastics and USA track and field.

Day 1 Presentations

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The one thing that stuck out to me from today's presentations was from the Twins analysis.  I thought it was interesting that the based on the presenters research, he believed that there wasn't really much that the Twins needed to change within their organization, and Dr. Kiel commented that the organization needs to make some major changes internally.  It's nothing against the presenter, it just goes to show that sometimes you really need to dig deep and talk to the right people to be able to completely understand the true state of an organization like that.  On organization like that isn't going to just tell the public they have problems with organizational diversity.

11/19/09 Presentations

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First off, I thought everyone did a great job at covering all of the information needed for the audience to understand the organization. I thought everyone was well prepared and everyone was very informative. I thought Andre's presentation was really interesting especially when all the hoopla is surrounding the team. Also because I am a big Gophers basketball fan. It was interesting to listen to Andre describe the different components of the organization. It was obvious he was very knowledgeable about not only the organization as a whole but the team, players, and coaches. He projected his voice well and maintained eye contact throughout his whole presentation. Since he is a team manager, it was interesting to listen to his experiences with the team and he was able to give everyone a first-hand perspective of the Men's basketball program. Lastly I think he had a good recommendation, which was for the organization to require some feedback from the players and managers about some issues or ideas they have.

Day 1 Presentations

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Overall, I agree that the first day's presentations were well done and very informative. Andre's presentation regarding the Gophers men's basketball team was of specific interest to me. Because of his affiliation with the team, Andre was able to do a great job of providing information regarding the organization that many people would not discover by researching. I feel that this information really added to my overall perception of how the basketball team is organized. Of specific interest to me was the question of measuring whether or not the men's basketball team is effective. I feel that college sports teams all have a different way of measuring their organizational effectiveness. For example, powerhouse football schools like Florida, Alabama, or LSU can finish a season with one loss and earn a bid to a BCS bowl game, but many would consider this to be a lack of achieving their organizational goals. On the flip side, many less prestigous schools such as Northwestern, Ball State, or Eastern Michigan may graduate over 80% of their team members, but fail to even come close to making a bowl game or have a winning record, and they consider their organization as being effective. This is not to say that these schools do not care about winning, but they do place more emphasis on the education of their student athletes. Relating this back to the men's basketball team, I feel that we are fortunate here at the University of Minnesota to have a basketball coach such as Tubby Smith who has understood, developed, and implemented organizational strategies, culture, and processes which have allowed our men's basketball team to be organizationally effective both on the court and off of the court.

11/19 Presentations

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Being the first day of presentations, I thought everyone did very well. Yuri's presentation was the very first one and I thought she did a very good job explaining the structure and functions of the Federation of International Gymnastics. She seemed very well prepared and  made good eye contact with the audience. Andre's presentation on the Men's Basketball team was very informative. I really enjoyed learning about another varsity team and it's innerworkings at Minnesota. It was interesting for me to compare and contrast that team with my own. Alot of the information about setting goals and focusing on team cohesion were things that are emphasized on my team as well. In addition I think they are vitally important to having an effective organization. Some people read directly off the slides and didn't really elaborate on the information as much as they could but I thought these first two did a great job.

11/19/09

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The first day of presentations were very well done, especially considering they were the first group of presenters and did not have a visible example to go by. I felt for the most part that the presenters did a sufficient job of analyzing each organization, and each tried to show how the organization was effective. The Gopher basketball was a tough subject to cover, but I thought Andre did a nice job of using his personal knowledge to educate the class. The other presenters seemed to be very knowledgeable about their respected organizations as well. I did my analysis over the Minnesota Twins as well, so a look at how someone else analyzed the organization will help me with my presentation. I will try to introduce new ideas that were not covered so that the class does not focus on the repetitive information.

Presentations 11/19

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Considering the first day of presentations, there were a lot of great topics discussed today. I was particularly interested by the presentation on the Twins and the comments following the presentation. Due to my affiliation and affinity for the Twins I found the presentation very interesting. To address the discussion following the presentation, the Twins actually rank very high within all of Major League Baseball in terms of the presence of ethnic and gender minorities. I can remember receiving and email to the Twins Front Office back in mid-February that stated that the Twins rank 6th overall in terms of the overall presence of minorities. To delve into this idea further, Major League Baseball has a program designed to place ethnic and gender minorities in prominent and advanced places within Major League Baseball front offices. Several years ago the Twins had one of these individuals, Kevan Graves, who is now a baseball operations assistant with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Considering these facts, I believe that the Twins Front Office is being effective at incorporating ethnic and gender minorities.

Day 1 presentations

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I think that the first day presentations went very well. Going first would be so hard because there is no previous knowledge to base their presentation. I do not feel sympathy however because those students were not in class on the day when we drew for presentations dates and I think that the disadvantage of going first was fair. All of the presenters seemed very knowledgeable about their organization which was very impressive. The only concern I had was that I thought we could not do our analysis on the University of Minnesota. Maybe a specific team was not included though. Overall the presentations were very good and the information was presented very efficiently.

Day 1 presentations

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I think that the first day presentations went very well. Going first would be so hard because there is no previous knowledge to base their presentation. I do not feel sympathy however because those students were not in class on the day when we drew for presentations dates and I think that the disadvantage of going first was fair. All of the presenters seemed very knowledgeable about their organization which was very impressive. The only concern I had was that I thought we could not do our analysis on the University of Minnesota. Maybe a specific team was not included though. Overall the presentations were very good and the information was presented very efficiently.
In general, I thought all of the presenters; Yuri, Andre, Alex, R.J., and Nick, did a very nice job presenting a summary of their analyses. I do have a question for Andre, How has the recent Royce White incident affected the culture along the lines of team rules and trust? Has this situation affected the communication processes at all? Moving on to Alex's presentation on the Timberwolves, he stated that some people are not enthusiastic about the Target Center but the current owner would like to continue the lease there into the future. I guess I am just looking for some people's opinions on what they think of the Target Center. If they didn't play there where would they play? I would say a new stadium is not an option for the Timberwolves because there would be no support for it.

Day 1 Presentations

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The University of MN basketball team presentation had a lot of interesting components to what is wrong with the organization other than the obvious. We all know about the player scandals, but I didn't know about the organization itself. I was impressed by the fact that he did tell us so much and explain what is going on with the team and how Tubby runs things. I am surprised that Tubby takes so much time to ensure everyone is on the same page. For the MN Twins presentation I thought the in depth research within the organization of how the culture is changing and what is to come. I am impressed with the fact that they are looking to diversify within the organization to help bridge any gaps that could be underlying. Overall the presentations were informative and interesting with a good amount of information that is benificial to everyone going into the sports markets.

Nutrorim Case Study

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1. Keeping decisions open and democratic, asking the opinions of as many different people as possible to get the best approach 2. Many people have tried "Charge Up" and had gastrointestinal problems, these issues with the "Charge Up" drink then got out to a radio station that would have leaked the story to the public. If the story would have been leaked by the radio station Nutrorim's reputation would have been devastated, so without thinking it fully through "Charge Up" was recalled. 3. The main problem is the amount of unified stance within the company. Some want to put the product back out on the market, and some want to keep in under wraps and recalled. When asking opinions of everyone it is hard to make a decision, when all opinions are different. The company reacted too quickly, before the findings of the "Charge Up" study were even concluded. 3.a. They already used the science and math model when doing research on the product. We believe that the structuring of the unstructured process would work best because they are currently struggling in that area. The company needs to be more patient, meaning no fast decision making and no panicking. The company also needs to create a unified stance of opinions with the companies.
Decision making is an important aspect in everyone's life. Within an organization decision-making is crucial to the overall effectiveness. Peter Drucker, a management guru once stated, "A decision is a judgment... a choice between alternatives." I think this is a great definition of decision making. When trying to make a decision you have to choose between alternatives, and whoever is making the decision is basing their final decision on past experiences and decisions. The textbook describes the decisions a manager makes can be divided into two categories. One type of decision is programmed decisions, which are repetitive and routine. These decisions are made from past experiences and are based on tight policies and procedures. They are usually made after manager has adequate information available to them and alternatives are easy to implement also. An example of programmed decision is when college coaches can't start recruiting high school players until they are seniors in high school. There is a specific policy that is statewide and possibly nationwide. If a coach violates this policy they would face penalties and might lose the right to recruit that player. Nonprogrammed decisions are innovative and different. There are no procedures to help guide the decision making process. Most of the time an organization has never made decisions similar to the current situation. Alternatives to the situation are unclear. I think an extreme example of this is during the Pacers and Pistons brawl in Auburn Hills, Detroit. A fight between the two teams broke out and it was settled, then somebody from the crowd threw a pop at Ron Artest while he was lying on the scorer's table. He and teammate Stephen Jackson went into the crowd and started fighting fans in the crowd. The coaches and some of the players had to make a nonprogrammed decision. I'm sure many of them hadn't experience a brawl of that magnitude and they had to make quick decisions to stop the fight. Slack and Parent describes the three types of conditions in which decisions are made. One of the conditions is certainty, which is the manager making the decision completely understands the available alternatives and solutions to each decision, with 100 percent certainty. Another condition is risk, although it would be ideal many decisions are made without certainty. With risk, the individual has a basic understanding of the alternatives however the risk vs. reward for each decision is uncertain. The third condition in which decisions are made is uncertainty. With this condition both the alternative and its outcome are uncertain. These decisions are the most difficult because there are no past experiences one can base their decisions on. This can make or break someone's career. Decision making is an important key factor for organizations and members within the organization. It is important for people to gain experience with decisions so they are better prepared for future situations.

Nutrorim Case Study

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Nutrorim was accused of producing a product that was supposedly getting people sick. They got investigated because there were 11 cases of gastrointestinal distress among the people who took the ChargeUp supplement with Lipitrene. After they hired hundreds of employees to do some research on the product, they discovered the product was indeed safe. The company then had to make a decision, to keep the possible bad product on the shelf and take the risk of other people getting ill from their product or to conduct a recall, which is pretty expensive. The organization was confused on which action to take. Later that night senior management held a meeting to come to a solution. The meeting was a mess and cause madness and there was no unity within management. There were several arguments about who had the most power and authority in the decision making process. Many people were stating their case and many were not heard in the meeting. There was no leader within the management to control everything and the necessary questions were not answered leaving management with non-confident decision. The company decided to recall the product ChargeUp. They were pretty worried about the issue going public which would exploit how weak they were and would be susceptible to lawsuits. We feel the garbage can model would be most effective to help guide the decision making process required at Nutrorium. Create a position that will do product follow-up to make sure people are enjoying the product and they are not getting sick. The upper management in this case is the people who should be making the overall final decision for the betterment of the organization. People with not much power and of lower status in the organization can still sell their ideas and thoughts to people of hierarchy.

Nutrorim case study

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The decision making issues that were made by Nutrorim's top management makes a pretty long list. First, they did not have a unified stance on what to do. I seems like they did not have the same goals in mind. They panicked after a problem came up which showed that they didn't have a plan for any such problem. The main problem was that there was no centralized leadership role to take care of the problem in the first place. The conditions under which the recall decision was made were mostly cultural. The main condition that was affected by the Nutrorim company was the aspect of Minnesota nice. All of the members of the company let every other person in the group talk. Therefore no work got done because everyone was entitled to their opinion and no work was ever achieved. We recommend that Nutrorim adopt the Carnegie Model of decision making. Their main problem was with a single decision and that was to recall the product or not. The upper management needed to have more leadership and to be more assertive in order to get the problem solved more effeciently. Christopher Dirkes Matt Macer Yuri Nagai John Bosman

Nutrorim case study

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The decision making issues that were made by Nutrorim's top management makes a pretty long list. First, they did not have a unified stance on what to do. I seems like they did not have the same goals in mind. They panicked after a problem came up which showed that they didn't have a plan for any such problem. The main problem was that there was no centralized leadership role to take care of the problem in the first place. The conditions under which the recall decision was made were mostly cultural. The main condition that was affected by the Nutrorim company was the aspect of Minnesota nice. All of the members of the company let every other person in the group talk. Therefore no work got done because everyone was entitled to their opinion and no work was ever achieved. We recommend that Nutrorim adopt the Carnegie Model of decision making. Their main problem was with a single decision and that was to recall the product or not. The upper management needed to have more leadership and to be more assertive in order to get the problem solved more effeciently. Christopher Dirkes Matt Macer Yuri Nagai John Bosman

Decision Making

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When looking at most organizations, decision making is a collective process that incorporates multiple individuals. Unlike most organizations the Oakland Raiders are controlled by one person, Al Davis, who makes almost every decision. Faithful Oakland Raider fans have gone as far as renting a billboard outside the stadium encouraging Al Davis to hire a general manager to make some of the organizational decisions. Slack and Parent discuss the importance of groups making decisions so that multiple viewpoints and ideas are brought into play (262). One issue that the Oakland Raiders have recently had is their drafting process. Many teams have the head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators, general managers and the owner work together to put together a draft board. Al Davis through his senile management style ignores all other inputs and drafts players based upon how he thinks they will help the team. His major area of interest is speed and often time's looks over more important qualities such as leadership and knowledge of the game. By using the management science approach, Al Davis analyzes player's statistics and performances during the NFL combine to make decisions on who he wants to draft (263). One model used to describe decision making is the administrative model. In this model the person making the decisions is limited by their mental capacity to evaluate alternatives. They also have a limited number of criteria and have a simple model for analyzing problems (262). I believe this approach is being used throughout the Raider's organization. Al Davis is making decisions based upon his emotional commitment to the team. One thing an organization must do to remain effective is empower its employees to make their own decisions and handle their environment. The Oakland Raiders have not had a coach for longer than two years in the past decade. With the environment that Al Davis creates, coaches are uncomfortable with the amount of power and flexibility they are given. This hinders their ability to make decisions. It has even been rumored that Al Davis has made phone calls to the sideline to call plays during a game. Coaches and managers are unable to work through the decision making process and choose the best alternative when Al Davis is consistently putting restraints on what they are able to do. Al Davis can be described as a constricted decision maker. He is the organization's owner and CEO and has the final say for all decisions (269). His majority ownership of the Oakland Raiders guarantees his voice will be the only one that manners if he is unwilling to change his ways. The atmosphere created by Al Davis makes it undesirable for coaches and players. Other NFL teams have effectively incorporated decision making in their day to day operations. By allowing numerous people to be a part of the decision making process they keep employees happy and are able to avoid attrition. What can the Oakland Raiders do, if anything to change their decision making process? Is the removal of Al Davis necessary for success in Oakland?

All the wrong moves

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A group of many people made up the central decision making of Nutrorim. The top management was made up of too many impatient people that were not on the same page. Different people had different problems with how decisions were made, and these problems were never formally discussed. The lack of a definitive leader taking charge was definitely a weakness of the organization. This was evident during the recall of their product Charge Up. They were feeling the pressure from the threat of the problem becoming public, which would make them susceptible to lawsuits. Our recommendation was for the CEO to take charge, make tough decisions, and keep the meetings from being too hectic. While he should still give others their opportunity for input, he should be the final decisions maker and any structure for dealing with conflict should run through him. We thought the rationale model would be the most effective way to guide the decision making processes required at Nutrorium. Given the many problems the organization faces with decision making, a basic model that gave roles to specific people would be best to make decisions easier to come up with. It would also speed up the process, and give everyone in the organization their own place and importance for input on decisions.

Decision Making

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1.      Decision making issues included the recall on the drink, lack of structure in chaos control situations or no procedure, and too much participation from too many members of the organization in making the decision.

2.      The conditions in which this decision was made were high pressure and priority and were time constrained do to the urgency and risk involved.

3.      Using the Carnegie model we addressed this as a high uncertainty issue also with high risk and a high possibility of failure. Therefore, in order to take a conservative approach while also being responsible to our company we decided a coalition formation of upper management along with a crisis control team was necessary. The crisis control team would research as much information about the issue at hand and form possible solutions as to why this problem is occurring. From there upper management would make the decision that best suits the situation both from a socially responsible standpoint and keeping the best interest of the company in mind.

1. The company was presented with an accusation that their product was making people sick. After two years of research some employees stood firm that the product was safe. The company's options were to keep the potentially dangerous product on the shelves, which could turn into a law suit, or to accept the costs and do a recall. In meeting of the top managers there were huge disagreements on who should have the most power in the decision-making process and there was little organized discussion and not all the voices were being heard. There was a lack of centralized leadership that was able to weigh all the voices and make an ultimate decision. The committee members were not unified on what should actually be done. Employees in positions of power did not ask the right questions to make a well-informed decision. 2. The decision to recall ChargeUp was made under conditions of risk and uncertainty. The company knew the consequences of recalling or leaving the product on the shelves. This decision was a nonprogrammed decision that should be made by top managers. The company is located in Minnesota and the cultural norms, like "Minnesota Nice" play into the decision-making process. The situation was brought to a local radio station and the company began to panic that the information would go public ruining the company's reputation. 3. There are too many people giving their input and many took the accusations personally which limits objective, productive discussions on what is the best action for the company to take. The company needs to name a person or a small group of people that are able to take charge in times of crisis in order to manage discussions better and make the ultimate decision. This leaderships role should be able to question or conduct research of cases surrounding their dilemma. We would recommend the Carneige model because there was a high level of risk and cost involved. There is a single decision to be made with a lot of variables significantly impacting the decision-making process and almost the outcomes.

Charge Up Recall

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Ashley Deisting, Alex Maschoff, Brian Grant

 

1. The central decision making issue was whether or not ChargeUp was responsible for making people sick or not. The top management of ChargeUp was responsible for determining the causal relationship between sickness and ChargeUp. Nutrorim's top management elected to pull ChargeUp off of the sales floors after concern about the potential link between the product and the illness was raised. Eventually, the product was exonerated as safe and the top management elected to continue with the launch of expanded sales of ChargeUp.

 

2.  The decision to recall ChargeUp was made under extreme stress and time-sensitive pressure. The top management behind ChargeUp was forced to make significant and calculated decisions extremely rapidly and under dynamic and unanticipated change.

 

3. In determine the risks and rewards involved with a recall o f ChargeUp it's most helpful to have scientific and statistical data to represent the potential danger of NOT recalling ChargeUp. The Rationale/Management Science model is the most appropriate choice because under this model the management of Nutrorim would be able to calculate the cost of a recall versus the potentiality of a law suit or continued exposure to adverse reaction to ChargeUp. Based on this data the top management at Nutrorim would be able to determine if the opportunity cost of a recall would be beneficial to the organization or if there is still enough profit to be made by avoiding a recall and defending ChargeUp's history as a safe product.

All the wrong moves

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1.) The central decision making issues where that decisions were not made in a timely fashion. They also didn't test the drug to see that it was going to cause all these health issues. 2.) The type of condition to recall ChargeUp fell under the risk and uncertainty conditions because they didn't know what would happen with the drug and how much risk the clients would be at. 3.) Our group would recommend the structure of unstructured decision processes & garbage can because that allows for multiple people to make multiple decisions on numerous different issues with numerous different drugs and that would best fit this situation. The number of problems and employees makes the situation what it is and the garbage can method will help make the decisions easier.

Decision Making Case Study

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1. The three central decisions that needed to be made in this scenario are:

a. To expand on the ChargeUp product line with a new item called ChargeUp with Lipitrine.

b. To recall ChargeUp with Lipitrine after it is linked with gastrointestinal problems.

c. To decide WHO was to make decisions within the organization.

 

2. The conditions under which this decision is made:

-High Risk

-Stressful

-Uncertain outcomes

-Potentially dangerous if not recalled

-Potential legal action if not recalled

 

3. We would recommend using the Garbage Can model for this decision making process, because this process has a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions and has multiple decisions to make. It also allows the decision makers to focus on how chance plays a role in the decision and instead of one decision made by one person, it focuses on any number of decisions made by multiple people.

 This scenario focuses on a couple of different problems (product recall and the consequences that follow) and there is a large number of employees making decisions.

Andrew Myers, RJ McGinnis, Adam Vargas, Emily Oberlander

 

 

           In the chapter about decision making a lot of it is relative to decision making in every day life.  Even the definition that they give in the book has nothing to do with sports.  The definition in the book states that a decision is a choice between two different alternatives.   Although the chapter is kind of vague it is our job to use the information from the chapter and apply it to sports.  The first aspect that I would relate to sports would be the programmed and non-programmed decision.  The programmed decisions would be the type of decision that are made everyday like what type of promotions that you want to run at the game or what type of food you want to sell in the luxury suits.  These decisions are often being made by people that have important positions, but they are not high up in the organization.  The non-programmed decisions are the decisions that are being made that affect a large part of the team and the achievement of the main goals. Like trading for a new player or building a new stadium.  These are often going to be made by high ranking officials within the organization.

                Some of the most important things that they talk about in the chapter are the three different conditions that decisions are made in.  They talk about certainty, risk and uncertainty.   Just like the name sounds, certainty are the type of the decisions where you know what you have to put in and you know what you are going to get out.  These are common in everyday life of an organization but they are often small task.  The risk condition has to deal with decisions that you know what you have to put in but you don't know what you are going to get out.  But the thing is there is often no reward without some type of risk.  The last type of condition is uncertainty.  This is a very high risk, high reward type of decision making strategy.  You have no idea what you need to put in and you have no idea what the out come is going to be.  But if you make the decision and it works out it often works out really well for you.  These type of decisions are scary for a lot of people so that is why they pass them on to people that are often higher up in the organization.

Decision making is a big part of the organizational process. Slack describes two different types of decision making, programmed and nonprogrammed. Programmed decision making is the everyday decision making that a company makes based and policies and regulations of the company itself. The book says that problems solved by programmed decision making are well structured, and present enough information to clearly solve the problem. Nonprogrammed decision making is when a new problem arrives that the company has never had to face before. There are two different approaches to decision making each having their own several models to follow. The first is the individual decision making having a rational model and an administrative model to follow. The rational model is more a process of how to make the decision with eight steps to follow. The administrative model is a decision making process that is guided by emotions, time constraints, and imperfect information, which is why it is also known as the bounded rationality model. They describe it as this because the rational model is a good model, however most managers do not follow the process thoroughly. In the second approach, organizational decision making, there are five different approaches in it. The first approach being management science where uses mathematics and statistics to make a solution. Next is the Carnegie model where decisions are made by all subunits and managers in an organization. The Carnegie model describes decision making as a political process. The third process is the garbage can model where decisions are rarely systematic and logical. There are many things changing in an organization and many problems, participants, solutions, and choices are placed within the organization. Fourth is a process known as the structuring of unstructured processes which is pretty self explanatory.  Last is the process of the Bradford studies. Bradford studies focus on the actual process rather than the outcome and the implementation. It has five dimensions, surrounding twelve variables. The decision making process of an organization is very important to the effectiveness of the organization because it determines how things are run in the company. The decision making process is also tied in with the power of the company whether the power to make the decision is high up, or spread throughout the company. Organizations may have many problems and face those problems in different ways, they need to implement the right process for the company to become and stay effective.

Decision-making

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Decisions are defined by Slack & Parent simply as "a judgment...a choice between alternatives." Decisions within an organization can range from seemingly trivia, such as brand of printer ink, to major alterations such as the decision to expand internationally or to lay off employees in order to manage the budget better. Decision makers are at all levels of the organization and often require the person to make quick, well-thought out decisions, which is often very difficult to do. Slack and Parent identify three types of conditions in which decisions are often made: certainty, risk, and uncertainty. Of course the most ideal condition in which to make decisions is certain because the decision maker knows the options and the pros and cons of them (p. 259). In situations of risk the decision maker can identify many pros and cons of the different options but it is not clear what the results will be. Decisions in a situation of uncertainty are when there is no precedent for the decision-maker to weigh their options against. However, it is more common that managers and those in power have some idea of the alternatives they are presented with and make well-educated decisions in the best interest of the organization. Slack & Parent then identify two types of decisions: programmed and non-programmed. Programmed decisions relate to those that are routine versus, non-programmed decisions, which are new and unique. These decisions are often differ in who makes these decisions. Non-programmed decisions are usually made by lower management and the programmed decisions are generally made by those in a higher place of power. Slack & Parent argue that decisions made in an atmosphere of risk are the most common for sport managers. An example of this kind of decision-making situation is the decision of Anytime Fitness to open locations internationally. The company researched the kind of market they would have in other countries and made, what they thought is the best decision for the company. They signed revenue contracts to open up over 350 franchises in New Zealand and Australia. While the company has seen many others, especially in the current economy, fail when they attempted to move into international territory, and there were other options, like continuing to saturate the domestic market, the company took the risk and leap into international franchises. This is a perfect example of risk decision-making because their options were weighed, they discussed the pros and cons and made a well-researched decision, which will, hopefully, significantly increase revenues.

Chapter 13 defines organizational decision making, the condition in which decisions are made, and then gives details to some decision making models. Slack and Parent defines decision making through Peter Drucker's definition which is, "a decision is a judgment . . . a choice between alternatives" (258).  Decision making is a large part of whether an organization runs smooth and effective, or if the organization is a "flop".  Slack and Parent gives three conditions in which most organizational decisions are made under, and they are certainty, risk, and uncertainty.  Certainty is the condition that the person in charge knows what all of the alternate decisions are, the costs and benefits of each decision, and all of the alternate outcomes are.  In short certainty is the knowledge that you are making the very best decision for your organization as the person in charge.  Risk occurs when a person is unsure of the benefits and costs that are associated with the decision, such as they do not fully know or understand what they could be gaining or losing.  Uncertainty is when the alternate decisions and their outcomes are both unknown to the decision maker.  There are both individual decision making models and organizational decision making models that are described in this chapter.  The individual decision making models are the rational model and the administrative model.  The organizational decision making models are management science, the Carnegie model, the structuring of unstructured processes, the garbage can model, and Bradford studies. All of the decision making models pertain to different decisions that are made within an organization, meaning that one model would work far better than another model.  The model that I found to be the most interesting is the garbage can model which is an organizational decision making model.  The garbage can model relies on the change that is forever happening within an organization, and that some situations are much more confusing than what they appear to be.  In the garbage can model there are usually four streams of events that have happened or are happening within an organization at the time of decision making.  These streams are a stream of problems, a stream of choice opportunities, a stream of participants, and a stream of solutions.  Slack and Parent says that "the existence of these four streams means that the process of decision making is somewhat random" (267).  All decision making models are important assets to every organization because as I have already stated the decisions that are made within an organization plays a large part in the effectiveness, because if decisions cannot be made appropriately then how can an organization be seen as being effective. 

Decision making is what keeps an organization running effectively from day to day. There are also important decisions that need to be made for the big picture of the organization. The day to day decisions are programmed decisions that are made by the policies and procedures of the organization and past experiences of the leaders making the decisions. Non programmed decisions are decisions that need to be made on the fly and do not have a guideline to follow. These decisions can make or break an organization. If managers are not proactive in planning for some problems that may come up, these decisions may be difficult or next to impossible to make effectively. They need to evaluate risk and certainty when making decisions as well. Uncertainty is a weakness of leaders making decisions in organizations. Leaders or those making decisions can not show uncertainty because those following the decisions will not follow the plan is they are not confident in the decision made. Some organizations rely on individual decision making by one central leadership figure that may or may not take the ideas of others into consideration. Other organizations rely on group decision making where many people have a say on how a decision is made and what the decision is. This may cause confusion as to who has the most importance in the organization. Sometimes when many people are making a decision they look for someone to step up and be a leader. This will help the decision making process because if everyone has a role and the decision making process is structure, the decisions can be made efficiently and effectively. Major decisions in sport organizations may be scrutinized by the public, and sport managers need to remember that they need to keep the effectiveness of the organization in mind when decisions are being made. There may be pressure from inside or outside the organization to make a certain decision, but ultimately a sport manager needs to stick to the mission of the organization. A manager needs to know who he can trust and who has good judgment when getting help on major decisions. This decision making is one of the most important processes a sport manager will face.

Decision-making is a crucial element to any sport organization. Decisions, whether they are minor or major, are going to need to be made on a daily basis. How everyone from owners, to managers, to security guards at games handles these decisions is going to effect the entire organization. The book describes decisions in two categories, programmed and nonprogrammed. Programmed decisions are those that are made on a regular basis, for example how many items a sporting good manager orders for the next week of business, a coaches decision as to what play to call next during a game, how many security guards to have on staff during an event or game, and so on and so forth. Nonprogrammed decisions are more unique because they do not arise as often or in most cases, it is an issue that has never arisen before. An example of a nonprogrammed decision would be if the Vikings should move their team to Los Angeles when their contract with the Metrodome expires. People with more power usually make these nonprogrammed decisions while middle managers or people with less power usually make the programmed decisions that are more routine. According to Slack and Parent decisions are made under three types of conditions; certainty, risk, and uncertainty. Making decisions under the condition of certainty is the most ideal because the decision maker knows her options and the costs and benefits of them, it is "simply a matter of making the appropriate choice" (p. 259). In a condition of risk the decision maker has an idea of what the alternatives are and a good idea of what the costs and benefits are but is not absolutely certain about everything. This seems as if it is the most common condition under which sports organizations operate. There is hardly a case where you know everything and are certain about every aspect, it is more likely that you know a good majority of the information, if you have done your homework, then it is down to the decision maker to make the call based on their judgment. A good example of a risk decision-making situation would be the Vikings potentially moving to Los Angeles. There may be pros and cons to going and staying but nothing is certain, such as how many fans will follow, or how football will be accepted there, or would it be more profitable to build a new stadium in Minneapolis, the heart of the Vikings franchise? With so many risks the decision is going to be a difficult one to make. The last condition under which decisions are made is the uncertainty condition. In this case there is no history to help base decisions on and there is basically no information about the potential outcomes. This is the hardest type of decision to make because it could be a complete success or it could be an udder failure and could potentially cost that person their job. An example of such an uncertain decision would be health and fitness franchises, such as Snap Fitness, taking their businesses internationally. While they may think that Europe has extra money to spend and they are a very fit society, most people in Europe may not be willing to spend the dollars Americans do to stay fit and maybe people in Europe do not believe in physical fitness as a way of life as we do here in America. To make a good manger you have to be able to make decisions under any circumstance. Managers need to be able to research and analyze data in order to make effective decisions. A manager who is able to make the important decisions under uncertain and risky conditions is the manager that is going to impact and help an organization for the better. A manager who can make the routine decisions under certain conditions is one that is going to be seen as an okay manager just doing their job. The problems with making decisions, as a manger is that there is not always one right decision. Some questions that need to be asked are 1.) Should the managers values and ethics get in the way of their decision making process or do they need to completely abide by the organizations values and ethics? 2.) Should second and third opinions be asked when making big decisions or should upper management do what they think is best?

Sports managers are always under pressure from other people and are handed difficult decisions every single day.  These decisions are made in hopes to positively affect the organization.  Sport managers hold this responsibility to make decisions and execute those decisions effectively.  Slack and Parent describe, "a decision is a judgement...a choice between alternatives."  Decision making becomes a hard and difficult activity when an alternative is added to the picture.  The hard choice is to decide which decision will gain the greatest success.  Slack and Parent describe a couple types of decisions, such as programmed and non-programmed decisions.  A programmed decision is when the sport manager is familiar with this decision and is often times made in any given day.  A non-programmed decision is one that the sport manager has never faced before and does not know what would be the best interest of the organization.

In this chapter, Slack and Parent mention risk in response to decision making.  Any person is going to have doubts about certain decisions.  There is always going to be uncertainty in unknown decisions.  The responsibility of the sport manager is to understand the costs and benefits of each of every option involved with the decision making process.  With this comes that idea that the risk needs to be assessed before any huge decision is made and to understand the acceptance of those risks.  When there is a higher chance of risk, the sport manager is faced with a tougher decision.  There are two different models of decision making.  There is the rational model and the administrative model.  The rational model has various steps, including monitoring the environment where the decision is made, defining the problem, diagnosing the problem, identifying alternatives, analyzing the alternatives, selecting the best alternative, then implementing the alternative, and evaluating the decision.  This is just a way to monitor how decisions should be made, but not how they actually are decided upon.  This is merely an attempt for sport managers to make an attempt at making economically mature decisions that positively affect the organization.  The administrative model means that sport managers make each decision based on their own emotions, limited ability to process certain information, time constraints, and incorrect information.  This means that sport managers are limited in the decisions they can handle based on the information they are given.  This means that the best decisions might be lost because of the limitations caused.

Have you ever experienced making a tough decision through a work experience?  What though processes did you go through to get to that decision?  How can these experiences impact your future career experiences?

Among the many items which influence a sport organization's effectiveness is its decision making ability. Slack & Parent adopt Peter Drucker's definition of decision making for use in sport organizations. According to Drucker, "a decision is a judgment, a choice between alternatives" (p. 258). This basic definition of decision making is applied to many facets of a sport organization such as hiring and firing, adding new programs, trading players, etc. Knowing the definition of decision making, Slack & Parent continue by identifying two different types of decisions: programmed and nonprogrammed. Programmed decisions are repetitive and routine, whereas nonprogrammed decisions are new and unique (p.259). Programmed decisions, given their repetitive nature, are usually handled by lower management, whereas nonprogrammed decisions, which are more innovative and risky, are usually handled by upper management. Slack & Parent continue by identifying three conditions under which decisions are made. The first condition, certainty, refers to decisions that are made when the manager making the decision knows exactly what the available alternatives are, and the costs and benefits associated with each alternative (p. 259). The second condition, risk, which is a relatively common condition, occurs when the manager has a basic understanding of the available alternatives, but the potential costs and benefits that come with these alternatives are somewhat uncertain (p. 259). The last condition, uncertainty, occurs when decisions are made by managers when the potential outcomes and alternatives are unknown (p. 259). Ideally all sport managers would like to only deal with certainty, it is necessary at times for managers to make decisions of uncertainty in order to keep their organization competitive. Decisions in a sport organization can be made at the individual and organizational levels. At the individual level, Slack & Parent identify two models of decision making for use: the rational model and the administrative model. The rational model details a step by step process which managers can use to aid their decision making which includes monitoring the decision environment, defining the problem, diagnosing the problem, identifying decision alternatives, analyzing the alternatives, selecting the best alternative, implementing the alternative, and then evaluating the decision (p.261). The administrative model, relies on the basis that most sport managers do not have the time or cognitive ability to thoroughly follow the rational model, and therefore base their decisions on a limited number of criteria and alternatives (p. 262). At the organizational level, Slack & Parent identify four models of decision making: management science, the Carnegie model, structuring of unstructured processes, and the garbage can model. Of particular interest to me was the management science model. In this model, managers use complex mathematics and statistics to develop a solution to a problem. The book provides a great example of management science during World War II when the military had to calculate trajectories, distances between planes, wind speed, and altitude to aid their decision making (p. 263). Also, the garbage can model was of interest to me. In this model, attention is placed on the role of chance and timing into the decision making process, and multiple decisions are of concern rather than just a single decision (p.267). As a result of this model, decisions are rarely systematic or logical, and sometimes problems are never resolved. Having a firm understanding of the decision making process is of utmost importance to a sport manager. Knowing when to take a calculated risk or to play it safe is a tough thing to handle, but many of the most successful sport managers are able to handle this adversity to keep their sport organizations effective. Questions: 1.) Do you feel that it is necessary for sport managers to make uncertain decisions? Why or why not? 2.) Of the listed organizational decision making models, which model do you feel is most effective to follow for sport organizations? 3.) Do you feel that decision making is a process that needs to be thoroughly considered, or can a sport organization be successful by following their "gut instinct"? Explain.
Decision making is one of the key aspects of any career, within any organization, and even in everyday life. Peter Drucker, a management guru, said that "a decision is a judgment...a choice between alternatives." The text describes two simple ways in which decisions can be categorized; programmed and nonprogrammed decisions. Programmed decisions are repetitive and routine, and are usually based on a set policy and procedure. Use collegiate athletics as an example of this type of decision making process. The University of Minnesota and the NCAA has a specific policy about hours that a coach can be with a team during the offseason (it is 8 hours per week). If the men's basketball coach breaks this rule, the NCAA and the university simply make a programmed decision based off of the policies and procedures set in place. Nonprogrammed decisions are new and unique decisions, where there are no established guidelines or procedures to direct the process. An example of this type of a decision is the scenario when professional and collegiate teams had to decide what to do about their athletes using Twitter during games. A decision had to be made about an issue that had never been deal with before, and therefore the decision was usually made by senior management.

Slack and Parent discuss three types of conditions under which decisions are made. The three conditions are certainty, risk, and uncertainty. Certainty involves the individual understanding completely the available alternatives and outcomes of each decision, with one-hundred percent certainty. While it would be nice to be able to make the majority of decisions with complete certainty, more likely a manager will deal with conditions of risk. Risk involves a basic understanding of available alternatives, but the potential costs and benefits are uncertain for each option. Finally, uncertainty involves the unknown; the decision alternatives and potential outcomes are relatively unknown. Obviously these are some of the toughest decisions to make and often are make or break.

There are a number of different decision making models, both as an individual and as an organization. Slack and Parent describe two individual decision making models; the rational model and the administrative model. The goal of the rational model is that individuals act in an economically rational manner. The steps to the rational model include 1) Monitor the decision environment, 2) Define the problem about which a decision has to be made, 3) Diagnose the problem, 4) Identify decision alternatives, 5) Analyze alternatives, 6) Select the best alternatives, 7) Implement the alternatives, 8) Evaluate the decision. The administrative model differs with the fact that the key decision-maker has a limited perception, and therefore cannot evaluate all the alternatives or outcomes. Therefore, a limited number of alternatives are selected that reflect the decision-makers' personal preference. In the fast-paced world that the sport industry has become, I believe that the administrative model makes more sense simply because there is always a time constraint on decisions and often times you do not get the luxury of plotting out each alternative.

The text then mentions a few different decision making models from an organizational level. The five major approaches are the management science approach, the Carnegie model, the structuring of unstructured processes approach, the garbage can model, and the Bradford studies. In my personal experience with sport organizations I tend to favor a more structured approach to decision making. When I know how the process of making a key decision will go, I seem to feel more at ease with it. Out of the above-mentioned approached, I most closely identify with the Carnegie Model. I like the idea that organizations are made up of subunits, each with their own specific interests. While making a decision it is important to let each subunit voice their opinion, even if their opinion is not going to be the final say. This idea is similar to what Joel Maturi and Gary Wilson discussed during class a few weeks ago. Joel said that he welcomes coaches to come in and voice their opinion, but at the same time they need to understand that just because they have the freedom to voice their opinion does not mean that Maturi's decision will be influenced. Decision making is one of the most important things that we do on a daily basis, and being confident and educated in the decision-making process will go a long way towards helping a sport manager develop into the best they can be.

Questions: 1) Which of the decision-making approaches in the text do you most closely identify with, and why? 2) How does an individual's ethics and values affect their decision-making processes?

Decision making is a skill that all sport managers need to possess. I can guarantee that no person on this earth can make it through a job without making some sort of decision at one point or another. A decision is made when a few different factors are presented and a choice needs to be made between the alternatives. I have been a preschool gymnastics coach since I was fourteen years old. As such, I was in charge of anywhere between four and eight preschool aged children at a time. It was my responsibility to make decisions regarding what skills I would teach them, which area of the training facility I would use, and how to maintain their safety. Most of the time, we were given lesson plans to follow in order to move our students through progressions towards mastering a skill. We were told where to go, what to teach them, and when to rotate to the next event. However, sometimes another instructor was already utilizing the area that I needed to use. I then needed to take a look around the gym, assess what the most appropriate thing would be to do as a substitute, and execute my new plan. I knew what the risks of moving to a different location would be such as being forced to move again by another class, potentially being in the way of a preexisting class, or taking time out of the one hour allotment for my class. In another example, when I become a head coach for a collegiate Division I gymnastics team I will be faced with all sorts of decisions. I will need to decide who I want as my assistant coaches as well as what girls I would like to pursue in recruiting. When recruiting starts I will need to consider not only the skill level of the athletes but also their school transcripts. An athlete with immense talent but no desire to further educate herself will not be compatible with my programs goals. Therefore I would decide not to recruit her any further unless she decided to make some necessary changes. There will always be choices to make regarding my training plan. I have to decide how hard I will be able to push them and how long they will be able to train that way. It is a delicate balance between pushing your athletes and giving them a break because you have deadlines to meet in order to be ready for competition season but you also cannot wear your team out before you get to that point. Another important aspect will be choosing which six girls to put in the line-up for each meet. Some weeks, certain girls might be hurting from injuries more than others and I will have to decide whether it would be better to let them push through it or give them a break and put someone less experienced in. I run the risk of further aggravating my athlete's injury but I also run the risk of losing the meet by putting in a less reliable substitute. No matter what I do, I will always face decisions and make choices based on what I believe to be the best bet.

Organizational Decision Making

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In life we all make decisions. In an organization decision making is important to the overall effectiveness. Peter Drucker suggested in his book The Effective Executive management guru stated, "a decision is a judgment...a choice between alternatives." All managers use their judgment to see if the decision will be effective to the organization or not and they all find alternatives. In this chapter Simon suggests that the decisions a manager makes can be categorized into two types: programmed and nonprogrammed. Programmed decisions are made on the basis of clearly defined policies and procedures and a manager's past experience. This type of decision making is well structured, have adequate information available, and present clear alternatives. From all of these characteristics the decisions are generally made by the lower-level managers and operators. In comparison, nonprogrammed decisions there are no established guidelines or procedures to direct the way this type of decision should be handled. Also there are no clear alternatives to select from.  From all the characteristics of nonprogrammed decision making they are more likely to be handled by senior managers or highly trained professional staffs. Most managers will prefer programmed decisions because from all the characteristics I have stated and they are more predictable. In a sports organization the environment and the structure of the organization can change constantly, so the sport managers will have to face the consequences of any decisions they make. There are three conditions of how the decisions are made and to the outcome of a decision alternative is predictable. The three conditions are: certainty, risk, and uncertainty. Certainty is when the manager knows exactly what the available alternatives are, and the cost and benefits of each alternatives. The manager is 100 percent certainty for the outcome for each alternative. The other condition is risk. Under a condition of risk a decision makers has a basic understanding of the available alternatives, but the potential cost and benefits associated with each are uncertain. The third condition is uncertainty. Under conditions of uncertainty the decision alternatives and their potential outcome are both relatively unknown and there are no historical data or past experience on which to base of decision. By understanding the decision process and hence the factors that influence decision making, sport managers can make better decisions and become a better managers.  

Making a quality, well-thought-out decision is extremely important in an organization. Certain decisions may have the power to make or break the manager's job, or even the organization as a whole. Peter Drucker states, "a decision is a judgement...a choice between alternatives." When making a decision a manager must evaluate all alternatives and the solutions that will result from those alternatives. Slack & Parent recognized two types of decisions: Programmed and Nonprogrammed. Programmed decisions are one's that managers face regularly. This may be a hockey coach deciding what line plays next, or a manager of a store deciding to exchange a returned item, as stated in the book. Nonprogrammed decisions are those in which a manager does not face regularly. Oftentimes with nonprogrammed decisions, the manager has no past experience to base his alternative ideas off of, therefore he may enter the decision making process 'blind'. Decisions in a sport organization are often made under one of three conditions: certainty, risk, and uncertainty. Certainty occurs when the manager is aware of all alternatives and the costs and benefits of each alternative. This means the manager is well-informed of what may happen after the final decision has been made. The most common condition is risk. This is when a manager knows all alternatives but is unaware of the costs and benefits of each. The manager must make their decision based on a subjective processes based off of past experiences. Uncertainty comes when alternatives and outcomes are all unknown. These decisions can be considered the one's that could 'make or break' the managers career. Slack and Parent recognized two Individual Decision Making approaches. The first is called the 'rational model'. This model uses a step by step analysis of the alternatives and decision making process. These steps are, briefly: monitor the decision environment, define the problem relating to the decision, diagnose the problem, identify and analyze the alternatives, select and implement the best alternative, and evaluate the decision to be sure that the original problem has been solved. The second individual approach is called 'the administrative model'. These decisions are followed by time constraints, and the managers are often times not able to analyze all alternatives. A manager is then forced to settle for the best alternative at the time. Slack & Parent also analyzed Organization decision making approaches. The first is 'management science', in which numbers and statistics are used to make decisions. There is also the Carnegie Model in which managers form coalitions, usually one manager from each department involved, and make decisions based on each managers thoughts and input. The third approach is 'the structuring of unstructured processes' where major decisions are broken into smaller decisions that collectively contribute to the major decision. They also created a three phase decision making process: identification, development, and selection phase. The fourth approach is 'The Garbage Can Model' which states that several aspects of organizations are changing as the decision making process is happening. Therefore, choices are made when problems come together with the right solutions and participants. The influence a decision can make on an organization can often times lead to a great amount of stress for the manager. It is extremely important to analyze all alternatives, and the costs and benefits that could occur because of them.

Blog 9

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The organizational methods that have been talked about through the course have been used in many different sport organizations to help effectively create a solid environment to maximize production. The greatest organizational method I have used is the creative leadership method. I have learned this throughout my time in the military. It takes a very creative leader to motivate your soldiers that range in age from 18 to 53 years old when you are a 26 year old leader of 42 soldiers. You need to always come though and make the decisions that will be affecting their daily life when you are deployed overseas. Leadership in my mind is the single most effect way to motivate your workers and your soldiers to get solid production out of them. Strong leadership can get you through the most difficult situations with calmness and poise to ensure the people under you know that even in the most difficult situation, you as the leader are calm and are not worried even though you may be terrified deep down. A classic example of this is when you get ready to move out on a convoy outside the wire and into the Iraq desert. As a leader you must maintain a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the most hectic situation, and moving vehicles over the road in Iraq can be a very difficult situation in which to maintain a strong calmness among the soldiers. Another method that has come into effect that I have learned in class is proper organizational management. I will also relate this my time in the army as I have watched a couple different situations happen in which proper organizational management was the key to maximum production. Taking the proper amount of control of you people and letting them have freedom is a very fine line in the military and in the sports world. You want your soldiers and sports workers under you to think freely and carry out their new ideas as best as possible, but at the same time you are the one that is overall responsible for their accolades and failures. You have to impart your wisdom and judgment when needed, but allow it to still be their idea for them to feel that sense of pride and accomplishment. At times you need to step back in a controlled environment and allow your soldiers or sports workers to plan, create, execute, and evaluate something that they have built from the ground up. This way if they succeed or fail they are allowed the chance to learn from it by evaluation of the project at hand. If you have this type of controlled environment and capability, this can be a very effective way to mentor and evaluate your workers or soldiers. Overall these methods have been proven for me in Iraq on two different deployments. I have seen them work when executed properly and I have seen them fail miserably when you get away from these methods.
Making decisions is something that a manager must do on a daily basis. In an essence, decision making is choosing between alternatives, as Slack and Parent describe in the textbook. In the most basic form, there are two types of decision making: programmed and unprogrammed. A programmed decision is one that coincides with the rules and regulations of the organization, the choice is already planned out and a routing for the manager making the decision. These types of decisions are much easier to make, such as an employee stealing from the organization. The set out punishment may be to suspend or fire the individual, this is a decision lower management can make and therefore much less expensive. On the flip side is unprogrammed decision making, these are new and unique decisions that do not have established guidelines to direct how to handle the decision, there are many different alternatives with no clear direction as to which is the right one to make. These types of decisions take up the time of the highest management positions and are much more expensive to make. Next are the different types of conditions that the decisions are made under. These are: certainty, risk, and uncertainty. The certain conditions go along with a programmed decision: the alternatives are clear to the manager and they know the cost and benefits of each choice. Risk is most common for sport manager, according to Slack and Parent. These conditions are when the manager has a basic understanding of the alternatives, but the costs and benefits are uncertain to him/her. Lastly is uncertainty, this is when a manager has no clue as to what the decision of the alternatives and the potential outcomes of these alternatives may be. There are two models that Slack and Parent describe in individual decision making: The Rational Model and the Administrative Model (Bounded Rationality). In the rational model it is very clear as to what is happening, and there are eight steps that a manager would go through in making decisions. These steps are: moniter the decision environment, define the problem of which the decision needs to be made, diagnose the problem, identify decision alternatives, analyze alternatives, select best alternative, implement decision and lastly evaluate the decision. The Administrative Model states that the Rational Model is somewhat unrealistic. A manager cannot possible understand all the available alternatives and the limits of the human mind would not allow all the information to be processed in order to go by the rational model. Emotions and experience of a manager get in the way of a clear decision making process. Slack and Parent then go on to describe different theories in which decisions are made, but I think the "Key Issues for Managers" sums up decision making very well. In all these situations described in this chapter, the conditions in which the decisions are made in certain. But in reality, there will always be uncertainty. Decision making is rushed, the circumstances will never be fully understood but a manager must slow down and weigh all the different options when making a decision for their organization. 1. Are there any situations in which there is complete certainty in which alternative should be chosen?

Sport managers around the world are faced with many decisions every day. Many times it is the sport managers' and leaders' ability to make these decisions effectively that will positively improve their sport organization. Slack and Parent reference Peter Drucker when defining a decision. "A decision is a judgment...a choice between alternatives," (Slack and Parent, 2006). Decision making becomes more difficult when trying to understand which alternative will lead your sport organization down a path to success. Slack and parent mention a couple types of decisions, such as programmed decisions and non-programmed decisions. A programmed decision would be a decision in which the sport manager has had experience making this decision and are commonly made or are a part of the sport managers' routine. These decisions may be made because they follow the policy and procedures of the sport organization. A non-programmed decision is one that the sport manager may have never faced before and is not a part of his or her decision making routine. These decisions are new and unique (Slack and Parent, 2006).

This leads us to the different conditions in which sport managers make decisions. Slack and Parent mention risk, certainty and uncertainty as these conditions. Decisions are not always certain to produce specific results. The sport manager needs to weigh the cost and benefits of each decision alternatives and accept the risk that may come with their decision. The decisions that end up being more difficult to make, typically deal with higher risk. Another condition would be certainty. This condition is when the sport manager knows exactly what the costs and benefits are of each alternative. This would be the most desirable condition for a sport manager to make decisions. But, with certain conditions also come uncertain conditions. Uncertain conditions are when sport managers do not know the potential outcomes of their decision. These are the most difficult decisions for sport managers to make and there is no past experience or historical data that helps them with their decision making under this condition. (Slack and Parent, 2006)

Slack and Parent present two different models that deal with decision making, which are the rational model and the administrative model. The rational model is broken down into various steps. These steps include: monitoring the environment in which the decision is made, defining the problem in which a decision has to be made, diagnosing the problem, identifying the different decision alternatives, analyzing the alternatives, selecting the best alternative, implementing the alternative, and evaluating the decision. This is more of an account of how the decisions should be made and not actually how they are made. This model is set up so that sport managers can attempt to make economically wise decisions. The other decision making model that Slack and Parent refer to is the administrative model. The administrative model would say that sport managers make decisions based on their emotions, their limited ability to process information, time constraints, and imperfect information. It discusses the idea that sport managers are limited in what they can handle in terms of information and need to develop models based on what information they can manage. This brings in the limitation of pursuing the potentially best decision to be made (Slack and Parent, 2006).

Have you experienced sport managers making tough decisions in your work experience? What process did they go through when making their decisions? How can you apply it to your future career?

 

Supersonics Move

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I found the video about the Supersonics moving from Seattle to Oklahoma City very interesting. There were many things that the organization had to deal with during this major process. First of all they dealt with a change in ownership which is a huge deal. Any owner that is chosen to buy a team has to be approved by the rest of the league owners. This leads to a lot of politicking between owners who support or do not support the perspective buyers. If a potential buyer has made a lot of friends in the NBA over the years then he is more likely to get the team over someone who maybe is making a better offer but they maybe do not know any of the other owners. Also in this video, we got to see some politicking from other stakeholders. One thing we saw was the politicking from former players and from current players. One person that they talked to was Gary Payton, who was a star player for the team in the 90s and he talked at length about how much he did not want to see the team moved from Seattle and what a mistake that would be. Also, they talked to current player Nick Collison about the move and he was very against it. He didn't want the team to move. I would say the players should have a big impact on a decision like this because the organizations invest a lot of money into these players so they should make decisions that keep these players happy so they get the best product on the field. Another area of politicking we saw was the fans of Seattle. Clearly no one wants to see there team leave their city for another. When the talk started about moving the team, fans really did not believe it. Then after the team was sold to the ownership group from Oklahoma City, the fans started to become suspicious. They began to start rallies and they tried to get support for the team to stay in Seattle, but at that point it may have already been too late. I think a lot of fans take their teams for granted and only support them when they are good, but this clearly shows that if you do not support your team it can be taken away from you very quickly. Seattle took their team for granted and this lead to their owner selling the team to a man who had other intentions for the organization.

Decision Making

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            Throughout an organizations life span many decision making opportunities will occur and the choices made ultimately determine the successes and failures of any organization. In my coaching career I will be faced with many decisions such as recruiting athletes, hiring coaches, and determining what players get to play. Therefore examining the conditions under which decisions are made is vital so that I can make the best decision possible.

            First decisions are made under a condition of certainty "when the manager making the decision knows exactly what the available alternatives are, and the costs and benefits of each alternative (Slack & Parent, 2006)." An example of this in my coaching career would be getting students to graduate on time. Next is making decisions under a condition of risk, this is where a "decision maker has a basic understanding of the available alternatives, but the potential cost and benefits associated with each are uncertain (Slack & Parent, 2006)." A prime example of this is when to suspend players for on-court or off-court actions that occur if they do not break rules that have a set university policy.

            The decision making model that shapes the majority of basketball programs is the rational model. The rational model is explained as the "decision maker being the person who knows and understands all decision alternatives and their outcomes (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Also, "all criteria affecting a decision are considered and evaluated according to the sport organization's goals (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Using this in coaching would require me to be fully aware of all things that happen in my program and therefore I would be able to make educated decisions that benefit everyone. Also, this model provides a head coach to use information from other sources including access from assistants. These invaluable ideas will assist me in becoming a better coach and managing situations more effectively.

            In basketball coaching it can be very important to have some structure to provide so that a certain flow begins to run thru the whole organization. This can be a solid teaching point for communication between players and coaches so that everyone is on the same page. Whether structure is in a practice plan distributed to organize what drills will be used or scheduling team meetings and study hall for players all of it is valid and must occur for success. However, sometimes a lack of structure is important for player's mindsets to be at ease. Providing too much structure puts a lot of stress on players and this can seem as though coaches are taking away the college life for their student athletes. Therefore, allowing players to go see movies, go out to dinner, and relax sometimes rewarding them with days off can be a good thing.    

                As it states in the book, decision making can is argued to be the most important process within an organization.  The decisions that have to be made within an organization can be classified important to trivial.  The definition of decision-making in the book states, "a decision is a judgment...a choice between alternatives."  According to the book there are two types of decisions that can be made in a sport organization.  A programmed decision is repetitive and routine.  Programmed decisions are the decisions that are easiest to make because they can be solved by using the sport manager's past experience.  However there is also another kind of decision called a nonprogrammed decision.  These decisions happen to be more difficult because they are usually new and unique.  In a sport organization, it likely that a senior manager or highly trained staff member would be called upon to make these decisions instead of lower level managers.

                There are three conditions upon which decisions are made.  The first is certainty, when managers know what available alternatives are, and the cost of each alternative.  Another condition involves the manager knowing the available alternatives, but not having a clear understanding on potential cost or benefit from the alternative.  Lastly, decisions can be made under uncertainty.  The manager is in tough position because he does not know any decision alternatives nor does he know what potential outcomes would be.

                There are two types of individual decision making models that can be used in an organization.  The first is a rational model, which consists of several stages.  The first step involves monitoring the decision environment.  The second step is where the manager defines the problem about which the decision has to be made.  The next step involves the manager diagnosing the problem.  The fourth step would then include identifying decision alternatives.  Then they can analyze the alternatives to find the best course of action to take in the decision making process that will best benefit the organization.  The next step is selecting the best alternatives, followed then by implementing the alternative.  Lastly, the sport manager must evaluate the decision that has been made.  The type is the administrative model in which the sport manager does not have all of the facts in the situation.  They then try to make the best decision that they know how.

                There are many types of decision making styles that can be made within the organization that are not made by individuals.  They include management science, the Carnegie model, the structuring of unstructured processes, the garbage can model, and the Bradford studies.

                In the end, the decision-making process in a sport organization needs to have multiple sources of input to be effective.  When a sport manager can gather a large amount of information he can better develop alternatives to problems.  These can then be analyzed to find out which decision will best benefit the sport organization.

MLB Case Study

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Context: -Culture of doping and using steroids is very strong in the MLB -Subcultures: Players, coaches, front office, MLB executives, each individual team -Context influence MLB stakeholders: Fans show an enormous interest in home runs and strong players. Stakeholders are less likely to crack down on drug and steroid use. -2005 Drug policy: Through implementing a new drug policy more players, especially famou players, are being caught, which is leading to fans wanting a tougher policy and taking a stand against steroid use. Fans feel cheated and lied to about some of their favorite players who have tested positive for drug and steroid use. The drug policy has created a feeling among some fans that they have been buying a fake product and the sport they are witnessing is not actually true baseball. -Organizational environment: The organization spans across the entire United States and parts of Canada, which makes it tough to constantly and consistently enforce a strict drug policy. This means that teams have to do a lot of self policing. Symbolic Elements: -The roles of MLB administrators, coaches, and players all have to have a unified stance on the issue of doping. Each and everyone of them has to buy into the policy and they hav to consistently enforce it by self policing otherwise it will continue to fail and players will continue to use steroids. Redesigning the Socialization Process: -An educational approach opposed to a punishment approach will be key. Everyone in the organization, especially players, must be educated on the down sides of steroid use. Managers must create a strong sense of disapproval of steroid use, so that drug use is looked down upon throughout the entire organization rather than having an inconsistent policy. -New stories, symbols, rituals: Show what has happened to players that use drugs and steroids. Show that it is difficult to promote a player that has tested positive for steroid use. Give examples of players that have chronic health problems or have even died because of their steroid use. Rituals must include consistent and constant drug testing. Players must know that they WILL be tested and that they cannot keep steroid use a secret. Corporate Culture: -All parts of MLB having a unified approach on the drug policy. Players will have more to fear than just ruining their fame. They would ruin things for their team. If the corporate culture parallels that of the teams culture against drug use then the cultures will be more likely to work in accomplishing their common goal. Consistency is key.

Context:

The culture that exists around Major League Baseball, in our opinion, is a mediocre one. We say this because for so many years, prior 2005, there was no anti-doping policy or regular testing done in regards to banning performance enhancing drugs. Now they at least have a drug testing policy and penalties for those who test positive, however, that's not to say that it is the best and most effective policy. We feel that they should increase the severity of the penalties because they are given so many chances. Does that really teach a lesson and protect the integrity of the game? Someone who fails their first drug test is suspended for 50 games out of the season. The next failed tests results in a 100 game suspension and if a third test is failed then that individual is banned for life. However, they can seek reinstatement after two years of suspension so we just don't think that this is a culture that is really trying to protect the integrity of the game of baseball.  The subcultures that we feel exist in the MLB culture are; the majority who we think are those who do not use performing enhancing drugs and also those who do in fact who do use them. As far as stakeholders are concerned, we felt that fans, for example, have a better attitude towards those who admit to it and who accept responsibility for their actions rather than those who deny it when there is reasonable proof leading to that suspicion.  We think that the culture that surrounds MLB in regards to performance enhancing drugs trickles down all the way from the commissioner down to the players and fans and that culture gives the impression that using these substances isn't that big of a deal. It is moving in the right direction because they at least implemented a policy, but if they are serious about freezing this culture then greater steps need to be taken.

Symbolic Component:

Everyone involved in the MLB needs to put their foot down and insist that there is no room for the use of performance enhancing drugs. Managers, coaches, and training staff could be more involved and pay closer attention to know what is going on with the players at all times. The more the players feel that they can get away with this, they are going to continue to use these substances because better performance equals more money.

Organizational Activities:

The MLB needs to go back and identify and/or recreate its core values, ideas and beliefs. We also said that a big part of the problem begins in the minor leagues. If the minor leagues are  more strict about their anti-doping policy, fewer players would begin using illegal substances to help them get their "big break." By making punishments more severe and giving players less chances is going to help protect the integrity of the game of baseball. Also, increasing fines may help because players seem to learn their lesson after paying a large fine. Perhaps a salary cap would also help this issue. Since the rewards system in the MLB is based on performance, why wouldn't they use performance enhancing drugs? That's how they make more money. Maybe they should reward those who pass their drug tests or instate bonuses to teams who stay drug free. It's unfortunate that it should have to come to this; however, I think it would seriously have a positive effect on the culture of this sport organization. Peer groups within the MLB should hold one another accountable as well otherwise nothing will change. Another thing to possibly change is to portray a negative image around those who fail drug tests and do the opposite for those adhering to the rules and playing fairly.

Blog 8

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When the 4 speakers came to class and spoke of the merger of the University of Minnesota men's and women's department, it was interesting to hear of the whole process starting in 2002. I found it interesting how Joel Maturi made his first decision by allowing the student athletes to vote on which M they would use in representing the new merged department as one. The leadership style of Joel seems to fit well with all of the student athletes when he sends out weekly emails discussing issues regarding them. He also knows most of their names and attends so many different events to show the athletes that he cares and that he wants to be an important figure within their lives. The cross country coach Gary Wilson informed us that he did not have that much of a role, but you can clearly see that he played a significant role behind the scenes helping get the other coaches on board. Over hearing other coaches bad mouth the new system and hearing of this, by stepping in and confronting the situation he was able to try and fix the problem or point the angry coach in the direction to communicate with the person that needs the issue addressed directly too. Talking behind one another's back only causes issues within a changed program as opposed to communicating directly your concerns and trying to address them. As Gary and Joel both said it does no good to try and cause friction once the decision has been made to merge. You must move forward and find a way to be happy with the administration's decision. Standing behind your leadership and making peace with the decisions they make will only help for a smooth transition. One of the more frustrating things when you are a leader is the same person coming into your office complaining about one decision after another. As a leader I know from personal experience that you can never make everyone happy and you will just wear yourself down to the point of absolute frustration. I have dealt with this several times. On a couple different occasions I have dealt with a couple soldiers that you cannot please no matter what you try. They want your job and they enjoy working behind your back. One thing I noticed from the 4 person panel is that when it came to answering questions on conflict and resolution, they seemed to slide around those conversations. I have a feeling that there were more issues that have been kept secret than they led on. I think the media can make these situations worse by always digging up the controversy in everything in order to make a good news story that will sell. Overall I thought the work that these people did was remarkable to bring the two departments together in a merger.

Alex Maschoff

Anthony Crowell

Ashley Deisting

Brian Grant

 

The steroid culture that has infiltrated the overall culture of Major League Baseball has been allowed to expand and propagate without supervision over the last few decades. Over this time the culture has developed a strong nature with the players of the organization. The management and coaches involved in the game have not addressed this issue appropriately to this point and in order to protect the integrity of this American pastime there must be a strong commitment to changing this pervasive culture. Considering the subcultures that exist in the forms of players, minor league baseball players, MLB management, coaches and coaching staffs there are several different cultures that exist. The most concerning culture within these subcultures are the MLB players who have become the scapegoat for the use of performance enhancing drugs. The culture of using performance enhancing drugs is more prevalent here and will be the strongest here. The steroid culture among the coaches and coaching staff may be less strong but they are, in many cases, former players so with that history there is an innate understanding of how this culture has developed over the last few decades. MLB management's participation in the steroid culture is the least strong and this subculture will be the most important in leading a change in overall organizational culture. The context of MLB's steroid culture stems predominantly from a culture of winning and an extreme desire to be the best. Due to this commitment to winning the context that MLB operates in will play a key role in change. The fans of the game are key stakeholders in this issue as many of them are divided on how to address the issue of steroid use. Some fans will advocate for stiffer penalties, others will remain indifferent to steroid use as long as their team wins, and yet others will have no reservations about steroids as long as the product on the field is entertaining. The players, like the fans, are also divided. Those using steroids have no problems continuing to use steroids if it gives them a competitive advantage, yet players who aren't using desire a level playing field and an opportunity to establish their place in the history of this great game. The 2005 drug policy served as the benchmark for change in MLB culture and for the first time MLB demonstrated that it would not remain complacent regarding the issue of steroid use in baseball. The 2005 policy demonstrated that MLB was committed to maintaining and refurbishing the reputation and integrity of the game of baseball. While this policy was the first move for MLB to change the steroid culture in the game there are still changes to the policy that would better demonstrate the commitment to change the MLB should be demonstrating. The organizational environment within MLB has always been an environment of history and tradition and in that vein MLB practices has always been to maintain the traditional values of the organization. MLB's practices have always been designed to maintain the rules and regulations of the past while the MLB players have lived in an environment of progressive advancement in terms of technology. These conflicting environments have shaped the current practices but the new drug policy has demonstrated a movement within MLB to commit to changing and unifying the practices of all stakeholders in MLB. Without full commitment of key MLB executives, coaches, and players this current drug policy will likely fail. MLB executives including Commissioner Selig and Players Union Chair Donald Fehr will play key roles in restoring the integrity of the game and are vital figureheads when it comes to demonstrating a commitment to change. These two men must understand that what's good for one is good for the other and the cooperation will benefit both parties in the future. These two men will have the biggest impact on changing attitudes regarding the steroid culture. Coaches will have the biggest impact on players and media considering that those are the key stakeholders with whom they interact routinely. Players will play a key role on impacting other player as well as fans who will continue to cheer for these men. Develop a reward system for those who stay clean. Follow through testing at all levels and more often. Random testing is good but they need to be tested at a higher frequency. The stories of the players who tested positive and got suspended can be told to scare other players into not doping. Rituals can be developed at the end of the season for each team that go a full season without using drugs. The reward system for players who do not use drugs is non-existent. There needs to be some form of positive reinforcement because it can send a message of valuing a drug free environment. Our plan will sustain the new corporate culture by creating an atmosphere of cleanliness on the drug abuse level. By having a drug-testing policy that is enforced at all levels we can cut drug abuse substantially. We will also have to implement anti-doping education for the children who participate in our youth activities sponsored by the MLB. We need to reach more people, so that they can understand the use of steroids and the impact it has on the integrity of the game. When fans and spectators are paired with the people involved in MLB, we can start towards achieving the goal of banning performance enhancing drugs.

MLB substance policies

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Objective:

To rid MLB of performance enhancing substances while educating current and future players about the effects these drugs have.

 

Current Culture: 

·      The current MLB culture seems to be if you are going to use these substances, do not get caught.  The MLB culture should be we will not allow these substances to be used at all.

·      Current culture has little reason to change.  Until enough fans revolt and stop going to games and watching them on TV it will be difficult to get MLB to make major changes in their current culture.  If this revolt happens change will happen swiftly because profits will be affected.

 

Unfreeze:

·      Stricter clubhouse rule similar to ones in place within the NBA

·      Adopting an independent drug control policy like the World Anti Doping Agency's, that includes more strict tests and more random testing, also increased random testing

·      Allow players to come forward with drugs they plan to take within a season and ask questions about what is acceptable and what is not, similar to a policy in place in place in the NFL, allowing for more open communication

·      Hold mangers and owner responsible for failed players, with substantial fines, this could have the effect of regular users not be able to sign with a team because owner and managers would not be willing to accept the risk of having that player, very effective scare tactic to prevent use

·      Encourage player, managers, owners and MLB to speak out against players that have tested positive

 

Change:

·      Using motivational style speakers to talk with players on an annual basis about the effects the even minimal substance abuse can have, include in this group former players that have used

·      Create a voted in committee within MLB made of multiple stakeholder groups that will continually evaluate drug policies and create formalized procedure to handle situations, this committee must be kept independent from the commissioners office or MLBPA to ensure more impartiality

·      Create a recognizable, anti-substance logo for the committee that could be a symbol for change within the MLB culture

·      Include language in contracts that will allow players and players managers to lose a percentage of there salary for the rest of their contract if they do test positive, a percentage would be more effective then a set amount because players salary ranges are extremely large and this would take a more equitable amount from each offender

·      Require players in the off-season to make appearances at schools or with youth groups to encourage non drug use, hopefully by talking about it the message will resonate with players more effectively

 

Refreeze:

·      Make rules permanent with committee review to modify slightly

·      Make rules that effect all levels of an organization, players, managers and owners this will lead to self policing of drug abuse situations

·      Offer rewards to players and managers for providing proof of other players substance abuse

·      More open communication about what is acceptable and allowing players to ask more questions about what is acceptable


Andre Phillips
David Dahlstrom
Rebecca Picha
Ryan Hooser
The culture of Major League Baseball, in regards to the anti-doping culture, is quite weak for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons it is a weak culture is because of how recent (2006) MLB instituted the policy, and therefore it is not as established as a culture that has existed over a long period of time. Many of the elements within this new culture send very contradictory messages. An easy example of this is the fact that some players have tested positive and continue to speak out against the policy, while others seem to be on board with the policy. There are differing opinions and messages within the organization because of the different subcultures that exist. The players, coaches, and upper management are the main subcultures within Major League Baseball. Within these subcultures there is a division we feel, with two ways of viewing the policy. For example, some players are completely on-board with the new policy whereas other players want nothing to do with it. MLB stakeholder's attitudes are definitely influenced by the new testing policy, but only to a certain extent. Most fans, in general, would rather go to a game and see an offensive explosion instead of seeing a 1-0 game. While many understand that the integrity of the game is being compromised by performance-enhancing drugs (PED's), they still want to see Alex Rodriguez hit home-runs.

MLB's new drug policy has served as an instrument of cultural change, but it has not done nearly enough to be the only instrument to change the culture in baseball. If anything, we feel that the new policy has simply put the though in player's and owner's minds that there are at least some sort of penalties and repercussions for using PED's. Actually seeing players get suspended for using these illegal drugs should open the eyes of players somewhat. The organization environment of Major League Baseball regarding drugs and steroid abuse has always been an "out of sight, out of mind" culture. Everyone involved in the game at the professional level has known for years that PED's have been used, but nobody really questioned or challenged it publically besides Jose Canseco. It will be difficult to change that mindset and culture in a few short years; it will only change if the league continues to take a pro-active approach to ridding the game of steroids.

The role that MLB's administrator's, coaches, and players have in this process of culture change is absolutely critical to anything ever changing within the game. The administrators need to get down to business and clean up the organizations. They need to have a more authoritative approach, similar to that of Roger Goodell of the NFL. Harsh penalties and sanctions are the only way that these players will get it in their head that steroids just are not a part of the game. Managers and coaches seem to be stuck in the middle. They really do not have much interaction with players, so asking them to try to be authoritative is simply not plausible. Players have more control than the managers, and often times even the ownership and management. They need to be open to change and understand that these policies are an attempt to better the game, not harm them individually.

Using Lewis's 3-Step Model for implementing change, the first step is unfreezing. This means that people need to be convinced that the new policy is a good thing. Our solution to this is holding some sort of educational conference for every new member of the Major League Baseball organization (players as soon as they get drafted, new coaches and management people) before they can become part of the league. The individuals will be educated on the new policy, as well as the harm that steroids cause. Attendance and completion of this course needs to be enforced. Employees then need to be involved in the change process. We believe that the MLB Players Association could nominate a player from each organization to meet on a committee with MLB management a few times a year to see how the policy is being received and followed. The process can finally be frozen by continually enforcing all parts of the policy and retaining a firm and disciplinarian approach to enforcing the policy. It seems hard to create new symbols, stories, and rituals when the policy and culture is not even 5 years old. Instead it would be a good idea to simply let the stories and symbols develop. It is too soon to be able to identify a symbol of this movement. Wait a few years and see if the stories of Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer being great, clean players hold true and if they do then sell them as symbols and tell stories about them. We do not feel that players should be rewarded for following the rules. Is it not reward enough that they get to play a game, and get paid unbelievable amounts of money to do so?

Our plan will promote and sustain this new corporate culture because of the strictness of it. Everyone on the roster should be tested, including minor league players, once a month. First time offenders will be suspended for 81 games (half the season) with no pay and no contact with the team or organization. They also will not be allowed to play on rehab assignments during the suspension. Second time offenders will be suspended an entire season without pay and no contact with the team or organization. Any violation after these two will result in a lifetime ban with no chance of reinstatement. While these sanctions may seem harsh, there is no other way in which the culture of baseball and the MLB will change if strict and serious measures are not reinforced.

-Parker Kruckenberg, Dan Pavlue, Alyssa Wiebusch, Tony Des Marais, Erika W.




Christopher Dirkes
Matt Macer
Yuri Nagai
John Bosman



The culture of the MLB is not a strong culture but it is also not weak.  The drug testing policy is not taken in by everyone in the organization.  There are groups who follow the rules and groups who secretly deny the pure values of the MLB and use anyway.  Baseball does have a strong history filled with heroes and stories that are told.  The dominant culture of claiming the non-use of drugs is a very weak culture.  There is a subculture of a group of people who are using but also publically disdain the use in baseball because it compromises the integrity of the game.

 

MLB stakeholders' have differing views of performance enhancing drug use.  Fans are wanting to see more value for the money they pay to come see the games meaning they want to see more homeruns and faster pitching.  This aids in players rationalization of wanting to use PEDs.  Owners of teams all publically say they are against the use of PEDs but are not afraid to hire a known user onto their team.

 

The 2005 drug policy has not significantly helped to change the culture of MLB.  It has imposed penalties onto some players who have tested positive but are they strict enough to actually impose change.

 

In an environment where winning is the biggest thing the players, coaches, and owners will do what it takes to win.

 

Administrators: need to be more enforce full of the policy.

 

Coaches: need to stop turning their back and work with the players on continual reinforcement on non-use.

 

Players: need to monitor teammates and themselves to keep it clean.

 

·         Not allow users to receive awards; gold gloves, MVPs, all-star game.

·         Take percentage of pay at beginning of year and if not tested positive at the end of the year get the money back.

·         Organizational fine for the organization of a player who tests positive.

 

Stories about players who used steroids and were the best but did not receive any awards or honors.

Story about how the HofF voters will not vote in a user.

 

The all-star game becomes a ritual with no player who has tested positive.

 

Emphasize non-power stats.

 

Sustain the new culture by continual enforcing of policy, story, and reward system.

In the MLB, in regards to the anti-doping culture, they have developed a weak culture in their policies for drug use among the professional players. The first policies were implemented approximately 4 years ago, however the penalties are loose so far, because the MLB doesn't want to lose their top players, whom are the usual players using performance enhancing drugs. There are split attitude about performance enhancing drugs because to the public they want to be a self-righteous organization, but the underlying feelings are that they really do not want to lose their most valued players due to the policies, therefore the policies are made somewhat weak. For instance, under the ban for life after the third offense, players are given the chance to be reinstated after two years. The 2005 drug policy has served as an instrument of cultural change, because before this policy there was a policy that was not enforced to the extent it should have been. The new policy has helped bring awareness of performance enhancing drugs and enforce a stricter policy towards the illegal drugs. The organizational environment was shaped because there was so much pressure from the fans to have a stricter enforcement of a drug policy against the use of performance enhancing drugs with the players, and before the enforcement in 2005 it was more of a culture within the organization that everyone turned their heads to the fact that illegal drugs were being used. For the human element of cultural change, the players, coaches and administrators don't want any of the game,championships, and team to be tarnished by someone using performance enhancing drugs. There are subgroups of coaches and players that 1. uses the performance enhancing drugs, and does not worry about the rules 2. players that do not use, but also do not care that others are 3. there are people that want to enforce the rules to a higher standard to stick to the integrity of the game. The administrators roles are to try and keep the integrity of the teams, by what they believe the teams value, while also keeping in mind the values of their fans. Organizational activities that need to be changed are to not accept statistics of players that were using the illegal drugs, to not recognize them as record setting athletes, put a symbol by their records indicating that they have been a player that violated the performance enhancing drug policy of the MLB. Make sure that the society knows that the MLB is committed to enforcement of the drug use policy in the league. The players and coaches need to be committed to be on the same side as the MLB and be supportive of the anti-doping policy. For symbols, put asterisks or some type of symbol next to the players that have violated the policy. Stories, we should focus more on the players that are not using and breaking the same records, or scoring home runs, as the players that are using. To enforce a ritual, make sure that there is testing of every athlete twice a season to strictly enforce the policy. Also, to make it randomized that the players do not know the days they will be tested. It is more to not reward the players that are setting records, and being instated into the Hall of Fame. It is expected that players respect the integrity of the game by not using drugs. This plan will sustain the new culture, because people will be more aware what is going on. It will not be behind closed doors, the public will know after the testing happened. The testing will be more thorough, because in the past it was a randomized testing of a small number of players from each team.

MLB Drug Policy

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Context: The big time players use steroids and there are few big name players that don't or haven't used steroids. The culture would be that it is accepted, just don't get caught. The subcultures would be the fans, and in that there are even more subcultures because of how much they like or hate the team. Players to the coaches to management and to the stakeholders, there are many different subcultures, some may condone the steroids and some may not. MLB stakeholders do not like seeing players use performance enhancing drugs or get caught using them because it affects all the stakeholders when the players get suspended. It affects the team, the league and the people invested in the league. The culture changed because it used to be somewhat accepted, but now it is illegal. This has changed the entire game as a whole. Before 2005, it was kind of keeping it hidden and they didn't really enforce it at all. Now they are implementing a drug-testing program, to actually enforce the drug policy. Symbolic Elements: Appealing more towards the human side, because they don't want it to be shown to the viewers. Keeping it out of the eyesight of the upcoming players, old and young. It's up to the players, but if the coaches implemented more for their specific team it would be easier to test. It is ultimately up to the players because they are the ones that need to change and want to change. Also up to the administrators to come up with an effective plan to implement. The random drug testing is too random, need to test who is suspected of using steroids. System/Organizational Activities: Promote the players that have proven not to use the steroids, so that they get a good view of the league. Shy away from talking about the players that have been using steroids. Less highlighting of the bad and more highlighting of the good. Only way to try and get over the bad image that steroids have caused. Implement new policies with the media to not address the steroid issue for too long of a period of time and try to keep the teams and league in a good image to the public. New rituals could be more drug testing, if you are suspected you should be tested. And if you get caught you should be continuously tested until maybe you pass twice in a row. If you fail a drug test you should be on the list to be tested all the time rather than having it to be random still. Rewards structure should be steeper fines for not following the rules and testing positive. Shouldn't be rewarded for following the rules of the league. Otherwise larger amounts of games suspended. Our plan might upset a lot of people because it will have more drug testing and it will be less random along with stiffer penalties for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Also, by putting certain players on the radar for being suspected of taking performance enhancers can hurt the image of the MLB and possibly the teams of those specific players.

MLB Blog

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The Los Anglos Angels of Anaheim value tradition with winning. They have a highlight video that they play before every game for the fan, who they value with numerous give-a-ways. They have family Sunday's. The symbols that represent the organization are the "rally monkey." The team won the World Series in 2002 in game 7. They are extremely competitive in the American League West Division each season. The language of the team is such phrases as "hit a homerun" and "throw a no-hitter." The metaphors that describe the organization are perseverance and determination as they have to play a tough schedule each year to win the division and make a run in the playoffs. Vladimier Gueraro would be considered a hero in the organization because of the length of time her has been with the team and how his effort day in and day out on the field is contributed to the team. Mike Scosia the manager of the team has also been there for about 10 years, so he provides a hero like mentality to the team. The Angels pride themselves in clean cut players who represent the game and themselves to the highest quality. The formal rules are to not use steroids, abide by all MLB rules and codes of conduct for the league and team. An informal rule would be not to get caught in compromising positions. Also they need to come to practices and play hard each day and to respect your coaches and teammates. They have a fireworks show after each Friday night game as a ritual. It's called "Big Bang Fridays" and people stop along the freeway to watch the show. They pride themselves in a close knit organization that openly communicates their ideas and philosophies on players and their abilities. Angel's stadium is where they play and that is where all the administrators work on a day to day basis. That is also where the team store is located. They have a HUGE parking lot that surrounds the whole stadium and holds about 15,000 cars. The games are generally held at night with a Sunday afternoon game each week. They usually get Monday's and some Thursday's off dependent the schedule. The offices are located at the Stadium on the perimeter and they are underground. They are extremely up to date with numerous photos and fancy style offices for the workers.

The culture of the MLB in the U.S. is very strong, in terms of expected performance. Fans, coaches, and players themselves, expect a high level of performance, and some will do whatever it takes to succeed. The subcultures that exist come from the viewpoints of the players, coaches, the MLB, and fans. Many players and coaches believe that players should do whatever it takes to win (including PED's), even without publicly admitting it. Fans like to see players succeed, but are split when it comes to PED's. The MLB is completely against PED's and are strongly trying to prohibit them. There are some people among all stakeholder groups who do not care about the players' use of PED's. On the other hand, there are stakeholder groups who are looking for a major culture change.

 

The MLB's new anti-doping policy is a major attempt to change the culture of PED's within the MLB. It is evident that it is an instrument of cultural change because of the suspensions placed upon players (Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, etc.) The new anti-doping policy is almost used as a scare tactic among players, instead of an actual policy. However, in many players' eyes, it is worth the risk of suspension to use drugs and perform at a higher level. The evironment of "winning above all else" in the MLB has shaped how players decide to play the game, which may include the use of PED's.

 

One major symbol, unique to MLB, is money. Because the MLB does not have a salary cap placed upon its teams, players can make any amount of money owners are willing to spend. Therefore, players strive to hit more home runs, steal more bases, and record more outs to increase their monetary value, regardless of their reputation. If a salary cap was placed on the teams in the MLB, players would not feel pressured to increase their individual statistics and a "team-focus" would be more evident. The roles of MLB leaders should be to promote a "team-focus" and re-determine their values and strategies, and attempt to de-value to the "winning at all costs" mentaility. One reward that could be given out to promote the ban of PED's would be to award individuals or teams with a bonus at the end of each season to reward for a clean record during that season. Stricter suspension rules could be put into place as well.

 

Plan to change the MLB's culture:

Unfreezing: Have MLB administrators change their efforts to focus on whole teams, rather than individuals.

Moving: Re-focus the players and coaches viewpoints on the good of the team, rather than the individual. Have teams focus on winning and championships, instead of the "winning at all costs" ethic.

Freezing: Reward teams for a clean record and continue to promote a team focus in baseball.  

 

 

 

 

Presentations

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Day 3 Presentations

 

Overall I enjoyed all the presentations, but two in particular I found especially interesting.  The Brainerd Lunkers Baseball I found interesting because it was a much smaller organization then most of the others that have been presented in class.  I enjoyed learning a bit about an organization that I had never heard of before.  For similar reasons I also enjoyed the Under Armor presentation.  Clearly I have heard of Under Armor before this presentation, but of the many business and teams that have been talked about in various Sports Management courses at the U, Under Armor has never come up.  In both of these instances I found it interesting to learn about an organization that I had not studied before. 

Culture

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Chapter 14 talks about the organizational culture and how important a culture can play a role in a sport organization. From Slack and Parent it shows four different perspectives for the definition of organizational culture. First, Pettigrew describes it as "amalgam of beliefs, ideology, language, ritual, and myth" (275). Second, Schein describes it as "a pattern of basic assumptions that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems" (275). Third, Sathe sees it as "the set of the important understandings that members of a community share in common" (275). At last Wilkins it is "the taken-for-granted and shared meanings that people assign to their social surroundings" (275). All of these are important concepts about organizational culture among managers and organizations. To have an effective team, the organization will need to provide stability to an organization and convey to new members the understanding that enables them to make sense of organizational activities.
By understanding the principle manifestation of an organizational culture: stories, myths, symbols, and rituals, it will help and lead the organization to come together and understand the real meaning of the culture of values, beliefs, and norms. Stores and myths are often about the origins and transformations of a company that is not supported by the facts. It could help transmit messages about organizational goals and the way employees should act and it can reduce uncertainty for employees. Symbols are used to convey meaning about a sport organization to its members and to the public at large. Slogans are part of a symbol in organization. For example USA Gymnastics slogan is "Begin Here. Go Anywhere". Slogan has taken on particular significance for the company. Each sport organization develops its own specialize language to communicate to each other. Through language, members acquire the structural ways of the group, and along with the language the value implications of those way. Being on a gymnastics team at the university we have our own cultural language we use in the gym. We are able to communicate to each other with the language we use because we understand our roles and cultures that are shared in the team. At last most sport organizations will have ceremonies in the company by having a team awards night, pregame meals, and an annual Christmas party. Form having these events it will show what the values are in the organization and they are symbolic representations of the type of beliefs and activities important in the organization.
In a sport organization it is very important to understand how much you understand about the culture of the organization because that could help each other to be successful and be effective.

Organizational Culture

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The culture of a sport organization varies greatly among sport organizations. Some cultures lead to great success and others lead to great failure. Many people have different ways of thinking about organizational culture. Slack and Parent note that there are general themes present amongst different definitions of culture which include values, beliefs, shared understanding and basic assumptions (2006). There are many different factors that create the culture in which a sport organization finds itself. I think it is important to discuss some of the factors Slack and Parent offer such as symbols, language, and the physical setting.

Many organizations use symbols to communicate to their employees, the culture of the sport organization. For example, think about the American flag. This may communicate to people that they are to be patriotic and be in support of the North America nation. This may be used to promote togetherness, but if some of the employees are from other countries they may be turned off by this representation. Sport organizations may create a language within their organization that may not be recognizable to outsiders. This may make it more difficult for new employees to be effective initially because of the language that may need to be learned to communicate properly with their employees. The physical structure of a sport organization can have a big impact on the culture of an organization as well. For example, if a sport organization is effective largely due to its ability to create a social environment and allow for social interaction, then a building that makes it difficult for people to access each other may not be wise. Symbols, language, and the physical structure are all important factors to consider for sport managers to create a culture that will enable the sport organization to be effective.

Slack and Parent mention there are thick and thin cultures. A thin culture would be a culture where there are not common values and activities being used to build the culture of the organization. In contrast, a thick culture would be seen when people involved in the sport organization would share common values and utilize them in their daily routine. They also point out that there may be more than one culture within a sport organization. For example, the sport marketing culture for an NBA team may be completely different than the culture that is created amongst the team members and the coach. Changing the culture of a sport organization can be very difficult. New staff members, structural changes, or a change in the missions and values all could contribute to changing a culture within a sport organization. A good sport manager will be able to facilitate the changes that would need to occur in order to create a culture than would lead to the sport organization being more successful (Slack and Parent, 2006).

Have you experienced a sport organization go through a change in its culture? What do you think would be most important for a sport manager to be aware of when facilitating a cultural change?

 

                Though I'm not sure if Slack and Parent's book ever gives a specific definition, culture is comprised of the values, beliefs, stories, symbols, rituals, basic assumptions, and shared understandings that are unique to an organization. All sport organizations have a distinct culture, some more evident than others. While reading the chapter, I found it very difficult to think about the culture of sport organizations I am not a part of. I think it is very hard to evaluate or pin point an organization's culture when you are on the outside. The book states, researchers who study organizations' cultures "find it necessary to immerse themselves in the organization they are studying" (page 275). With that being said, keep in mind that examples given in the book, by me, or by classmates may not be entirely accurate if the author of those examples was not a part of the sport organization themselves.
                The chapter talks about thick and thin cultures. Thick cultures are those "in which the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines" (page 280); thin cultures are those that do not hold common values. Thick cultures seem to have the more positive connotation. They are organizations that have a rich history and heritage. They have been around for quite some time and their culture has been continually reinforced and therefore strengthened. An example of an organization with a thick culture would be Nike. The organization has been around for a long time, and the members of the organization seem to agree on the importance of certain values.
                Slack and Parent describe stories about organization's beginnings as important messages that gain importance and guide what an organization will place value on. Additionally, symbols are also important to culture. Within Nike's thick culture, they have many symbols that combine to make up the culture of the organization. The name "Nike" is a part of the culture itself, and the Nike swoosh only strengthens that culture. Language also factors into culture; it serves "to strengthen the...organization by providing commonality, and to separate the [organization] from others who do not communicate in this way" (page 277). Using jargon serves as a way to exclude those that are not a part of the organization. Ceremonies are an important component of culture as well. They are evidence of what organizations value. I am not an expert on Nike, but if they had a ceremony for the top sales representatives or fired those whose numbers were not high enough, that would be indicative of the organization valuing high sales numbers. The last part of culture that the book mentions is the physical setting. This basically describes the floor plan of the organization's office(s). An open floor plan versus closed-door offices can greatly affect the culture of an organization. Other rituals can also factor in to the physical setting. For example, having a routine coffee break that allows employees to socialize can do a number on creating a "thicker" culture.
                Based off of the information about culture I learned from this chapter, my questions for the class are as follows:
1. Is there ever an advantage to having a thin culture?
2. Can you think of an organization that is relatively new/young that has a thick culture? How do you think they developed that culture so quickly?
3. Is it possible for those on the bottom of the hierarchy to determine the culture of an organization, or is it primarily upper management that has that power?

Culture within an organization is not very easy to define. Therefore there are many definitions that exist to try to explain what it means. The general themes within the definitions consist of values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings in which a set of individuals base the construction of their organization, group, or subgroup. Stories, myths, symbols, and rituals also play a key role in sport organizations. Once again, it is important to stress the culture of the sport organization and let every employee know what it is like working in this environment. Many employees within sport organizations will talk amongst themselves in the workplace. One manifestation on organizational culture is stories and myths. These are told from employee to employee or from a leader to employee to enlighten them about the organization. These stories and myths try to convey important messages to employees. The stories and myths must include a sense of history, the organization's ability to overcome problems, or indicate social categories which are legitimate in the organization. Symbols are also important for the identity of the sport organization. The symbols can include slogans to promote expectations about the appropriate modes of behavior in the organization. Communication amongst groups or subgroups within the sport organization is very important. Some groups or subgroups within the organization will develop their own specialized language to communicate better with each other. Some organizations will hold ceremonies or rites to new employees or veteran employees. It is most notable in professional sports with the rookie initiation or in the NCAA with freshman initiation. The physical setting in which the sport organization operates can give meaning to its culture. Physical structure, physical stimuli, and symbolic artifacts can all be placed under the physical setting in the manifestation of the sport organization. There are two kinds of cultures that can be used to describe sport organizations. A thick culture is a culture that has members in the organization that generally agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. A thin culture is the opposite of a thick culture. Most of the employees do not see common values or the type of activities in the organization. When creating, managing, and changing culture in a sport organization it is important to remember a couple things. Not all organizations should be a thick culture because their environment is constantly changing therefore they will need to be in a thin culture. There must be leaders that can manage the culture and make sure that the employees are fitting into it to maximize efficiency.

Culture

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               The culture of an organization is a hard thing to define within an organization. One of the reasons it is hard to define is because culture is new to organizational theory. According to Slack and Parent some of the general categories that go into defining organizational culture are values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings (p 275). Depending on the type of organization and what that organization values is a big determinate of the culture. Take the New York Yankees organization as an example. They value winning and therefore they spend a lot of money on players' salaries.  If you look at the Cubs organization they value tradition more so than winning. Values set the tone of the culture within an organization and the more people within that organization that you have believing in those values the stronger your organization will be as a whole.

                Some of the other characteristics that go into defining culture are things such as stories, myths, symbols, rituals, and language. According to Slack and Parent stories are narratives recounted among employees and told to new employees (p 276). Even though some of the stories may be myths this is how the new employees gain an understanding of the history of the organization. Symbols are used to convey meaning about a sport organization to its members and to the public. Management usually makes these symbols. An example of this is the "M" that the University of Minnesota Athletic department came up with after the merger between the men's and the women's athletic department. This "M" is a symbol of the "We are Minnesota" model which is symbolic of the unity of the two departments. Symbols are all around us but most do not notice them unless we are looking for them or thinking about them.  Rituals are also a part of an organizations culture. In the seventh inning stretch for Cubs games at Wrigley Field they have a ritual of having a celebrity come in to sing take me out to the ball game. This is part of the Cubs culture and tradition. Another example of a ritual is when a little kid skates out to the middle of the ice before a Minnesota Wild game and sticks a flag in the ice stating that Minnesota is the "State of Hockey". Sports organizations also develop their own lingo which becomes a part of their everyday language. This helps to bring everyone that is involved in the organization closer. It makes the culture of the organization stronger, or it creates a thick culture. According to Slack and Parent a thick culture is one in which the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. Organizations with a thick culture are usually the ones that succeed. Understanding culture is a necessity for running and organization effectively and for growth in as an organization.  

Organizational culture is something that is hard to define or collect as a group altogether. Culture is something that is not defined, but as a sort of unwritten law of how a group of people interact and display as a group. It is based on what a certain group of people have in common, such as goals, values, and understandings that run the organization. Slack and Parent also talk about the stories and myths, symbols, and language that is used through organizational culture. Stories are used through every organization as something to bring a group of people together through a better understanding. I have experienced this many times. It is used to connect people and to accept new people into an organization. Symbols are everywhere but people usually do not notice them until someone points it out to them or the person actually thinks about it in great depth. Through the organization of women's basketball at the University of Minnesota, I never thought of symbols as important until one of the people involved in the staff pointed out some symbols to me. I now believe that symbols are all around me and everything happens for a reason. In any organization, there is a specific language used among a group of people. Each system has its own vocabulary and set of words used that no one else may understand. It is like a secret society of knowledge that is only applicable to the entire group of people. Secrets in an organization most times bring a large group of people together. This jargon that is created is used to bring a group together, but to also keep competitors at a distance with their knowledge and plans of things. It keeps competitors guessing because they are unknowing of the information being discussed by the other groups. A certain language in an organization helps bring a sense of unity by being a specialized group that understands the objectives of this organization. The chapter mentions ceremonies and traditions in organizations. This helps a group of people create a culture because these ceremonies show what is important to them. Some sports programs might hold a party for the beginning of a sport season. This is a ritual/ceremony showing the fans what is important to them and how much they are appreciated. An organization creates a culture based on the size and the structure and other contextual features of the group. An organization that maintains its culture will become stronger because of consistency. This consistency is seen as a strength, so stakeholders are more likely to stick with the company. Culture will always be hard to define in any organization, but it is always there.

Culture

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            In the sport industry there are leaders in the game and behind the scenes. It is very important to have a strong leader in making the decisions and providing a focus to the organization. If there is not a person in a leadership role then the organization can become unbalanced and there could develop at lack of drive towards the organizations goals. Leaders in the sports industry have to be able to handle the many factors that the organization will face. Some of these factors are actors, culture, processes, structure, and environment. For example, the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, like many sports organizations, is a very vertical organization. There are many people within the organization that are specialized in one area. There is a main leader at the top and then it trickles down the ladder adding only a few more people each step of the way until you get towards the bottom where it stretches out.

            In this type of structure there are many actors within the organization that can influence decisions, but the leadership role and the decision maker is still up to one man. The reason why the actors within the organization have some say is because they are specialized giving them some expert authority. In the case of the culture in the organization, the leader needs to be able to work within that culture. If there are some opposing ideas of what the culture is from the leader then the organization will have issues running effectively. This ties right into the process of the organization, because the leaders in the organization are responsible for the organization running smoothly. The structure of the organization is also part of the leadership's responsibility to figure out because they need to understand which type of structure would work best in the particular case. In the case of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the vertical structure gave the organization the best chance to get the specialized talent they need whether it is in the Basketball Operations side of the Organization Management side of the organization. Finally the environment to which the organization in submersed in. The leaders in the organization need to understand the environment to which they will work with in order to grow the organization. For the Timberwolves case, the environment is in an economic low with a team which is not looked at as a fan favorite because they are behind the Vikings, Twins, and Wild (for some people, not me). This will shape how the leader will show the team and run the team. The Timberwolves are focused more on rebuilding and seeing what the young talent they have can do, so that is the whole organizations mission. They are trying new things to get the most positive attention. Where on the other hand the Vikings are looking to go to the Super Bowl and they are focused on winning and continually keeping the high fan interest. In their campaigns, they are all about the great plays that are happening now where as the Timberwolves are all about the future. In any case the leader of the organization needs to be able to understand each aspect of the organization. They also need to be able to go with the flow and be flexible with the changing market of the sports industry.

Club Corperation of America

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Club Corporation of America

 

Club Corporation of America (CCA) according to our text is, "the leading North American Company in golf and country-club business."  In the time out portion of the text on page 282 they outline how CCA goes about training their employees to become excellent club managers.  CCA seems to do several things that any employer should do to ensure the future economic stability of their company. 

They take into account what stake holders are expecting from their country club or golfing experience.  The regularly hire outside firms to survey members about their golfing and club experiences.  Then they compare those responses against previous surveys to determine what their customer want and expect.  While CCA would be considered in the sports business, I would say that any company that wants to be around for a long period of time must ensure they are doing everything they can to keep their primary stakeholders happy.  In this case I could say the primary stakeholders would be their customers.  With out them there is really no point in continuing to run a golf course or country club if no one is going to come.

Part of keeping your customers happy is having a positive working environment.  CCA seems to do a considerable amount of testing prior to hiring to ensure they are hiring individuals with the right attitude more so then the right aptitude.  CCA seems to believe they can teach someone how to perform the necessary tasks to be successful.  What CCA needs are the right personalities to perform those tasks.

CCA also seems to have ideas about how to keep their organizational environment positive, without too high a level of negative conflict.  CCA works with an idea they call, "PRIDE - personal recognition is desirable everyday."  Virtually everyone has held a position that they enjoy and positions they did not.  Within any organization, sports affiliated or not, happy employees are normally more productive employees.  This works from the very top CEO's to the part time worker at the golf course pro shop.  If everyone working is enjoying himself or herself, it is likely they will also create an atmosphere that players and club members will enjoy as well. 

All of this ties very easily back to the idea that if your primary stakeholders, golf player and club members, are happy it is likely they will return creating a successful business.

 

Questions:

 

1.     Have you worked in a sports organization that has struggled to keep customers (primary stakeholders) happy?  What was the result?  (as one example, think Timberwolves or Vikings)

2.     How would you as a manager within a sports organization go about providing an environment that has a healthy level of competition between employees and enough support for employees to keep them happy and productive?  How do you measure the right amount of competition and support?

Organizational culture is something that has been defined in many different ways. There are, however, common themes within all of the definitions that recur in all of the definitions. Some of these include; values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. These are some of the things that an organization can build their culture upon. It allows an organization to be stable and also serves as a way to convey an understanding to new members which allows them to make sense of the organization. The book states that, "A focus on organizational culture provides a different approach to understanding patterns of action in sport organizations" (Slack & Parent, pg. 275). Characteristics that sport organizations possess are stories, myths, symbols, and rituals.

Stories are defined by Slack & Parent as narratives that are recounted among employees and told to new employees. Myths, according to the book, are stories, often about the origins and transformations of a company that are not supported by fact. These two things are different types of manifestations that occur within an organization. They both convey important messages about a sport organization. Stories and myths help to reduce uncertainty for employees by establishing the sport organization as an enduring entity. The example that Slack & Parent provided about how stories can reduce uncertainty are if the stories are about hard times, those often give employees a sense that the organization is capable of overcoming problems. Stories also help send messages about organizational goals and the way employees should act. It helps to identify values that are shared by people within the organization.

"Symbols are used to convey meaning about a sport organization to its members and to the public at large" (Slack & Parent, pg. 277). A good example that the book identified is the Nike swoosh which conveys speed. Slogans are also closely related to symbols in that they also convey specific messages. Coaches often use slogans to get more out of their athletes. For example, "No pain, no gain."

Another type of manifestation is language. Sport organizations create their own special language to communicate with each other to ensure everyone is on the same page. I can personally relate to this because our coaches develop certain lingo that becomes the common language throughout the whole team. If they didn't do this we all would be referring to certain things the way we learned them, and we all don't call everything the same thing. It helps to develop a common language.

-Kristen Dockery

In the book it give a definition of organizational culture, but they do not give a clear meaning of culture, however they do mention how there are different themes within the definitions in the book, these themes include: values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. I feel all of these themes make up a "culture" and these themes are associated with organizational culture. They are associated with organizational culture because not every one of these themes is apparent in every sport organization. Every sport organization is unique and they all have different values and themes that make them unique and different from every other sport organization. When analyzing sports, it is obvious that some organizations have a more well-built and evident culture than others. I think it is very difficult to understand the culture of a sport organization if you are not a part of it. Think about it, culture exists every single day in a sport organization and if you don't belong to that organization, you can't fully grasp the meaning and sense of the culture within the organization. Chapter 14 in Slack and Parent discusses the difference between thin and thick cultures. A thin culture doesn't consist of common values or types of activities and process used to build a culture. A thick culture is one in which the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines (Slack and Parent, pg. 280). A thick culture is often kept together from stories, myths, symbols, and slogans, etc. Stories are narratives told among current employees to new employees within the organization, they often summarize history of the sport organization. Myths are almost the same as stories and have similar effects, they usually tell origins of the organization. Symbols often illustrate the ideas and meanings behind sport and portray them to organization members and the public. Slogans are often how people identify an organization (i.e. NBA's slogan, "where amazing happens"). A thick culture is more of a socially-based organization that will hire employees based on management's perception whether or not the person will fit into the culture and will perform the duties of a thick culture. This culture puts a high emphasis on employee involvement and employees are judged on how well they use their culture-based skills and how well they adapt to circumstances within the organization. I think both of these types of culture are evident in the athletic department of the University of Minnesota. Last week in class Joel Maturi was talking about how he likes to hire employees based on their variety of skill sets and culture. He also hires them if he thinks their history of culture will adapt to the culture of the Univeristy of Minnesota. Although most of the time all the employees aren't going to agree on everything, Joel talked about how he emphasizes respect within the athletic department. Everybody has a title to their opinion, and other people have to respect their opinion whether they agree with it or not. This shows great leadership within the athletic department, it is also evident that there is a strong and effective culture here at the University of Minnesota.

Organizational Culture

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Culture is an ever changing part of any organization, and because culture is always changing it must be managed in its own way.  Chapter 14 discusses how to manage organizational culture by explaining it and explaining the different ways to effectively manage it.  In our text Slack and Parent gives many definitions of what others believe organizational culture is; the definition that I most relate with organizational culture is Sathe's definition which is, "the set of important understandings (often unstated) that members of a community share in common" (275).  The characteristics that are listed in our text to explain organizational culture are "stories, myths, symbols, and rituals" (275), these are attributes that differ across different cultures and change from person to person, organization, to organization. Stories and myths are described by Slack and Parent as "Stories are narratives recounted among employees and told to new employees.  Myths are stories, often about origins and transformations of a company, that are not supported by fact" (276).  I think that anyone that has worked any where can say that they have heard either stories or myths about the organization that they work for.  I think that stories are a more common part of organizational culture and that the stories of the organization can either change a lot of a little depending on the turnover rate of the employees.  An example of an organizational story from my own life would come from when I worked in a retail store in the Mall of America.  The store had a very high turnover rate and there were not that many employees that stayed there over a year, unless you were a manager.  One of the things that the older employees would tell the new employees was that they worked there so long that they remembered when the men's side of the store was the women's and vice versa.  By the time I quit that job there was only one more employee that had experienced the swap besides me, and I'm sure that the story died after that person left; but for a long time that was a large part of our organizational culture, even though it was a seemingly insignificant event.  Symbols is described by Slack and Parent as, "Symbols are used to convey meaning about a sport organization to its members and the public at large" (277).  Basically symbols are the objects, emblems, etc that can be directly related back to the organization.  Slogans also are a part of organizational symbols because some slogans can be directly related back to a specific organization.  Organizational language is the direct language or jargon that is used within the organization; this can be anything from football terms if you are a football team, to personal jargon that is only found within your specific organization.  I think that the characteristic that is the most influential to an organization's culture is the stories and myths within the organization, because most of the time these are things that cannot be picked up outside of the organization like symbols and language can be.  Stories and myths can only be obtained once you are on the inside of the organization and interacting with the other employees.  

Culture

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Organizational culture is a very interesting topic. There are many different aspects involved in the discussion of culture. Most often, culture is defined as the shared ideas, beliefs and values. Culture plays a big part in all sports organizations. I think a good example of a sports organization with a strong culture is the New England Patriots. I think the culture of an organization is established by the people at the top. Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, was originally a fan of the team and he was fed up with the way the organization was run which made him decide that he wanted to buy the team. After purchasing the team his first order of business was to build a new stadium. Kraft realized that the Patriots could not be competitive unless they had a new stadium because the fans did not have a good experience at the games so they were less likely to come back. He created a better physical environment for his team and then he worked to create a more successful team with a stronger culture. He started by hiring people that he felt were good at evaluating talent. He hired Scott Pioli as his vice president of player personnel who has now become known as the best at what he does. He also hired Bill Belichick as his head coach. Kraft, Pioli and Belichick worked together to set the standards in their organization, and this lead to them having a strong culture. One of the things the Patriots do very well is they do not leak any inside information to the general public Whenever they have any injuries, no one knows whether or not their players will play or not. Another example of the strong culture of the Patriots is shown when they bring in new players. There have been multiple examples of the Patriots bringing in players who had been considered trouble makers on their previous teams like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss. After the Patriots sign players like this you do not hear about them getting into trouble. Once players sign with the Patriots they immediately understand that they do things differently and that if they do make mistakes, they will be held accountable for their actions. New players come into New England and they see players like Tom Brady and they immediately follow in his footsteps without any question. I think the culture of an organization is established at the top and then the rest of the organization will follow after them.

Culture in Sports

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Throughout the chapter in the Slack & Parent's book it talks about all kinds of things that go into the culture of a sports organization.  Like the four themes or the thick and thin culture, but I think that the most important thing that they talk about which I feel correlates the most with culture are the different "manifestations" within the sport.

Some of the manifestations that are talked about in the chapter are physical setting of the organization, stories and myths, language and symbols.  Just think about your favorite sport and what makes it so different from all the other sports.  Is the language harsher, are the clothes different, is the sport considered to be more masculine of feminine.  All these things play into how the culture of the organization is shaped.  I personally think that culture is really one of the only aspects of an organization that is effected by the activity that is taking place.  Because football is a more masculine, hard hitting, trash talking sport then let's say women's tennis the cultures are going to be completely different because women's tennis is more gentile, and sophisticated.

I have left one topic to talk about because I think that in last Thursday's panel discussion Athletic Director Joel Maturi did a great job on giving an example of how the physical environment plays a large part in the culture.  He brought up numerous times that we live in a state where everyone wants to be involved.  They want to be involved in every aspect no matter how big or small.  This is defiantly going to affect the culture because he can't just ignore these people because some of them like to give lots of money to our different programs. So he ahs got to be able to make his own decision while keeping everyone else in the loop and on his side.

I really don't buy into the other things that Slack & Parent say affect the overall culture of the organization.  Yes changing the number of employees and expanding markets or product lines will affect how your organization is going to operate but I feel that it is still going to have the same type of people working, and the same type of people are going to be buying your products and services.  There are probably tons of little things that will affect the culture but I think that how people are perceiving your organization, these "manifestations", is what is going to cause the culture to shift and change.

Organizational Culture

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All organizations have their own culture. Organizational culture can be defined in many different ways because there are so many different cultures. A few definitions from or book, written by Slack and Parent, offer the idea that organizational culture, sometimes coined as "corporate culture", involves a mixture of ideology, language, rituals, And a set of understandings that members of that community share in common. (Slack and Parent, 2006) Our book suggests that the general cultural themes among most sport organizations are values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. (Slack and Parent, 2006) These cultural themes provide a basis for an organizations culture and provide stability for an organization. There are a few different ways that cultural characteristics manifest within an organization. The book suggests that through stories, myths, symbols, and rituals the culture of an organization prevails. There are also different types of cultures that tend to manifest within sport organizations. Our book states that the strength of a sport organization's culture will vary from one company to another. (Slack and Parent, 2006) With this difference in cultural intensity we might find thick and thin cultures in sport organizations. Slack and Parent define a thick culture as one in which the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. A thick culture also assists in cohesiveness of the organization. On the other hand, a thin culture does not present common values the way a thick culture does. There might still be values and beliefs among the members of the organizations, but they might not constantly be prevalent and affect almost everything the organization does. (Slack and Parent, 2006) As we learned last class period from our guest speakers, culture greatly impacts how an organization operates and must be factored into different managerial styles. Joel Maturi, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Athletic Director, was hired to specifically help a sport organization combine two separate athletic programs that each had their own culture. To do so he had to create a new culture at the University of Minnesota while still keeping the old values and belief of the previous culture. Joel Maturi has been successful in meshing two separate cultures and departments into one for a few reasons. He took the majority of the first year in his position to acclimate himself to the cultures already in place. He used his excellent communication skills to listen to both the Men's and Women's athletic departments to understand what the core values of each culture were. He then combined the common characteristics that each culture possessed to create a single athletic department. Thus far his managerial efforts have created one of the most successful and smoothly run combined athletic department in the country. Cultures within sport organizations come in many different forms. Leading both think and thin cultures will most likely be a task each and every one of us will have to accomplish at some point in our careers as sport managers. By studying and learning from successful organizations, such as the University of Minnesota athletic department, we can assure ourselves that there is always a way to manage or even merge different organizational cultures.

Organizational Culture

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Organizational culture is made up of a number of different aspects of the organization. The book lists values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings as a few of these aspects. Organizations are also defined by characteristics such as stories, myths, symbols, and rituals. The culture of an organization is not created when the organization is first started. Culture is an important part of the identity of an organizations that is developed as the organization grows and changes. There are different kinds of cultures. Organizations with thick cultures are made up of a group of people that all are entrenched in the values and beliefs of the organization and keep these aspects in the forefront of their daily routines. Organizations in a stable environment thrive in this kind of culture. On the other hand, if the environment is constantly changing, a thin culture may be a better fit for the organization. Organizations with thin cultures have competing departments or goals that may operate together, but there is no central vision or values of the organization. Of course an organization may not be trying to have one definitive culture. Some multicultural organizations have broad aspects of their environment and cultures that may either work well together or clash and cause a rift in the organization. If there is a rift, the organization cannot be effective. Leaders play an important role in how the culture of the organization is perceived by lower levels of the organization. What the managers pay attention to, measure, and control are vital to the cultural background of an organization. Sometimes a culture needs to be rethought or totally overhauled. If a sport organization is unsuccessful, the culture may need to be changed. Changing an entire culture is not something that happens overnight. A culture may be entrenched in an organization and may face some resistance to change. However, to become an effective organization after being ineffective for a long period of time, radical change is necessary. The culture of an organization is what makes the organization what it really is. It gives the organization an identity. With an identity, an organization's image can be shaped by their culture and those inside and outside the organization will better know what the organization is all about.

Culture

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One of the biggest determinants for success in an organization is agreement. When it comes to generating a great organizational culture that will generate success agreement is also important. A thick culture is one where the organization's members and stakeholders agree on what type of things are important for the organization. A thick organizational culture allows the organization to function effectively and creates a culture that will be strong and powerful in the business of sports.

When you consider creating a sport organization's culture there are several factors that come into play. Taking for example the story of Joel Maturi and the merging of the University of Minnesota's Athletic Departments. In this case there were multiple cultures that were changed and molded into on cohesive culture. When Mr. Maturi arrived the Men's and Women's Athletic Departments were extremely different both in terms of organization and organizational culture. The Men's Department was, as Mrs. Regina Sullivan admitted, a little individualistic where sports would go seasons without dealing with the leaders of the athletic department. In contradiction to the Men's department the Women's department allowed their leaders in the athletic department to be more involved in the decision making process and be more involved generally in the operation of the sports.

When Mr. Maturi arrived he had to deal with the separate cultures that existed within the two departments and while struggling to merge these two departments he had to establish a new culture for these departments to coexist within. In this case there isn't a previously established culture for Mr. Maturi to work within and in this case I believe that this was the best case scenario because if there was a preexisting culture that Mr. Maturi tried to use the change wouldn't have been as successful. By establishing a new culture Mr. Maturi had to work from a thin culture where there were feelings of disagreement about how best to deal with change and he managed to develop a sense of commitment where eventually a thick culture would arise.

Developing a thick culture isn't easy and it takes time. One of the biggest skills that Mr. Maturi had going for him when he took over the U of M Athletic Department was role modeling, teaching, and coaching by the leaders. In his case he became the biggest leader of the organization and his style of supportive leadership was instrumental in his ability to lead through teaching and role modeling. Mr. Maturi is a great speaker and its difficult not to share that passion that he has for the U or M organization and the sports that he oversees. In this respect he's able to role model how best to affect change in the organization as well as the organizations culture.

One of the key things that Mr. Maturi was able to capitalize on was the idea of slogans. His "We Are Minnesota" slogan was effective at getting stakeholders to understand what he thought was the most important part of the U of M Athletic Department culture. To Mr. Maturi the most important part was that everyone was committed to representing the state of Minnesota in an effective and positive way. By creating a slogan that everyone could buy into Mr. Maturi was able to create and reinvent the culture of the University of Minnesota Athletic Departments and he continues to do so today.
In defining culture, I would agree most with Sathe's definition, "a set of important understanding that members of a community share in common". During my employment with the Lunkers baseball organization, I learned a lot about the importance of culture in a sport organization. Every employee knew exactly what the culture of the Lunkers organization was, and the general manager of the team never directly stated it. It was just evident every time an employee stepped into 'Lunkerland' just what was expected of them, and what the Lunkers were all about. Lunkerland, as the town of Brainerd referred to the Lunkers Home Ballpark, had an extremely positive reputation around town. In the past, there have been other teams in the Northwood League that had found Brainerd home, but none of those teams understood the importance of a culture of a team. The stadium was always seen as run down, the leaders of the organizations never put themselves in the public eye, and a respect for the organization was never evident. All that changed when the Lunkers declared Brainerd home. As last summer was the inaugural season, expressing the culture of the team immediately was extremely important. The owner of the team, Joel Sutherland, knew exactly what kind of culture he wanted in his organization, and made sure he did all he could to make it perfect. He knew that since Northwoods League teams in Brainerd didn't have a very good reputation, and were often short-lived, he had to do it right the first time and right away. Prior to the first home game, there was a Lunker Luncheon, announcing all the players, coaches, and staff to the Brainerd Lakes Area (BLA). The highlight of this luncheon was the keynote speaker, Mr. Harmon Killebrew. As a baseball Hall-of-Fame inductee, Killebrew is an extremely honored person in the baseball world. Sutherland was sure to make an impression on the BLA that he is here to do things right, and is here to provide a fun-filled atmosphere for every fan at Lunkerland. During the season, Sutherland was sure to check each game that all his employees were happy, that they were providing the customers with the best experience they could, and that each fan was indeed having the most positive experience they could have. Sutherland also made it clear that the well-being of the players was at the top of his priority list. He started this team in order to provide college baseball players with a team in which they would better themselves as players and as people. Sutherland is an extremely valuable role model to the organization. He is proud of his organization, and even if he does have some stressors regarding the team, he never lets them show while he's in the public eye. His main priority is to build and maintain the fun-filled, positive family experience, and good baseball culture of the Lunkers baseball organization. Since the Lunkers have created such a thick culture, (where the values are employed each day) for themselves, they are an extremely effective and successful organization.
What do you believe is the most effective way to create a culture for a new organization?

Importance of Culture

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 Culture of an organization is defined in many ways but still today cannot be completely and satisfactorily described.  Combining the three different theorist's definitions in Slack and Parent, culture is defined as the beliefs, rituals, patterns and understandings that a company learns to develop for itself.  Some of the most important things that organizational culture focuses on is characteristics of stories, myths, symbols, and rituals of an organization.

Stories and myths are very important in analyzing an organization's culture because they can develop a feeling of belonging to new employees and a sense of togetherness for employees already in the organization. They help present a sense of the organizations history, they can help establish the organization as an enduring entity, and they help transmit messages about organizational goal and how they employees should act.

Symbols are used in a company to communicate meanings bout the organization itself to the members involved and to the public that recognizes the company. Companies and organization can identify themselves with a symbol that is used on all their merchandise, for example the Nike swoosh. Nike is such a global company that people all over the world can identify that certain apparel is Nike Brand because of the swoosh printed on the clothing. There are also symbols such as slogans that a company ties them with. Once again, Nike developed the slogan of "just do it", and has been very successful in taking it as a strong significance for the company.

Language of organizations can vary from specific organizations to the wide culture of something such as a specific sport itself. The language is used between people of the organization or of the culture to communicate with each other. Language serves to strengthen the social network of the organization.

Lastly ceremonies and rituals are something that organizations develop as a tradition for that organization. They can be simple things such as team nights out, or a company trip to a conference in a different area of the country each year. When rituals are performed it shares and strengthens the values of the organization. They can also demonstrate when the organization values through their ceremonies and rituals. For example when a team prays before a game, it demonstrates values of religion and beliefs.  The book identifies different types of rites, or rituals, one being a rite of passage. This is described as marking the change in the role or status of the person or persons involved. Also there is a rite of degradation, which points out the faults of performance in a person associated with power in the organization.

Overall, it is important for an organization to have a strong culture. Having a strong culture helps an organization collaborate ideas, and traditions and can help get everyone on the same page. It can develop a sense of belonging for employees and can be used in determining the overall effectiveness of an organization.

Culture

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Organizational culture is oftentimes overlooked and not fully understood, but it is vital for success. In order for employees to get along and work together they must share a common culture. Organizational culture can become confusing because of the wide variety of definitions it encompasses. "There are some general themes within these different definitions, including values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared assumptions..." (Slack and Parent 275). Because there are numerous definitions it is important that everyone within the company recognize the corporate culture and is tolerant of other's beliefs. Within any organization there are two different types of culture, thick culture and thin culture. An organization that exhibits a thick culture shares and agrees on values that are seen through day to day operations. An organization with a thin culture does not always share values and these values can often clash between departments (Slack and Parent 280). An organization's effectiveness should not be sacrificed based upon its type of culture. Whether it has a thick or thin culture employees need to respect each other and work together to achieve their goals. Many organization's structures today result in different divisions having different cultures, making many organizations multicultural. Some values may overlap, but often times different goals within a subunit result in a different culture. An example the book uses is a research and development branch having a different culture than a sales department. Both branches within the organization have goals that clash and result in cultural diversity. An organization must effectively create, manage and change within a sporting atmosphere. Peters and Waterman describe two ways to create culture within an organization. The first way involves having a high sense of vision. The founder within that organization generates excitement and the employees values are shaped through this. The second method is exhibited by leader's attention to detail. By setting strict values others are motivated. Like anything within an organization culture must be managed to optimize its effectiveness. "Schein suggest five primary mechanisms: 1. What leaders pay attention to, measure, and control 2. Leader reaction to critical incidents and organizational crises 3. Deliberate role modeling, teaching and coaching by leaders 4. Criteria for allocation of rewards and status 5. Criteria for recruitment, selection, promotion, retirement and excommunication Successfully managing organizational culture is vital to an organization's success. Lastly an organization must be able to change its culture if it is a detriment to operations. Changes in employee turnover and attitudes can have a major impact on organizational culture. Organizational culture is important and vital for organizational effectiveness. If values, beliefs and basic assumptions are different among employees in an organization must work out differences so that everyone is working towards the same goal. 1. How have you experienced differences in organizational culture? 2. To what extent can organizational culture be detrimental to day to day operations?

Culture

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            What is culture?  Culture has been described in many different ways throughout the years.  The way people interact with each other and their surroundings is one way to describe culture.  Our book identified common themes in the various ways culture has been described as being concerned with values, beliefs, basic assumptions, shared understandings, and taken-for-granted meanings on which a set of individuals base the construction of their organization, group, or subgroup.  Culture is traditionally thought of in terms of the culture of a country like the United States or France.  Culture can also be apparent in other area such as within an organization.  Organizations across the street from each other could have totally different cultures.

            How does the culture of an organization come to be realized?  Is culture present in an organization from the beginning or does it take time to develop?  How is the culture of an organization developed; by the head of the organization, the main leader, or some other factors?  A brand new start up organization will not instantly have a built up culture that would be very noticeable.  In this case there would be no myths about the origins of the organization or stories for employees to tell to new employees to help them get initiated into the ways of the organization.  In a new organization who would be the major influences in the development of the culture?  I would say the most influential person in developing a culture is the creator and most likely the head of the organization.  This person would have legitimate power over the people he hires and by selecting the people he does hire will give the organization their culture.  In an organization that has been around for a long time the culture has been established and current employees can share stories with new employees and help them fit into the culture.  Personally, I enjoy the story from our text about Nike and only having to be right fifty-one percent of the time.  This is especially true in a thick culture as opposed to a thin culture.  A thick culture could potentially cause problems in hiring a new person to an organization if the new hire does not fit in with the culture they are likely to leave the organization if it is affecting them greatly. 

            The reading for this week brings up the question, do leaders shape culture or are they shaped by it?  This argument could go both ways and depends on the situation.  As I stated before in a new organization there is no culture so the leader would shape the culture into what it will be.  As the organization and culture grow and the leaders move on and new leaders step in it is possible for the culture of the organization to shape them.  This is apparent when the new leader has come up through the levels of the organization.  They would have thrived in the culture at the organization to make it to the top level and would not attempt to change the culture much.  Someone that was hired from outside the organization could influence a shift to a different culture.  This was done when Joel Maturi was hired as athletic director and was in charge of merging the men's and women's athletic departments.  The two departments were run completely different and separate cultures and Joel has been successful in combining the two cultures into one unique culture from the two previous.

Culture

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The culture of an organization is very important in many ways but i believe a lot of people mis interrupt it and look beyond it. The culture of an organization is very different in sports from the regular world and also each sport and team at that matter relay on a very specific culture from the people they have work for them to the mission statement on the wall of the main office. A strong culture I believe is a step in the right direction for a very strong and effective organization. When you and your organization are on the same page as far as goals it is very easy to set a mood or culture that your going to always stand by. I believe with change your going to have to maybe re think your culture because what you may had as a mission statement 20 years ago may not fit with your beliefs and traditions now a days. To have a very strong culture throughout the organization I believe that it starts from the top down and making sure that everyone is happy but yet sticking to the mission statement or beliefs of that organization and if you have people that are not sticking with it or have the same thoughts about the organization as everyone else the you need to get rid of them and find someone that is suitable for the culture of the team. If you do not get rid of that person and you let them keep their position it is going to make things much worse for you in the long run and they could in turn really mess up the culture of the organization. The culture also looks as deep as what your benefits, selection promotion, retirement, and so on. Its just not all about the feel of the organization but also the little things like how you can get promoted or the benefits you have for working in our organization. Language is very crucial to culture because I believe in every sport organization there is a different language used. Not so much between teams in the same sport but especially between the different sports like football and hockey. The language not only goes on the field but a lot of it is off the field in marketing, promotions, announcing and so on. Culture is a very specific term and it changes so much throughout the sport world and in different areas it may be the same but most likely you will never see the same mission statement in two different organizations. That is culture because they have there own meanings and beliefs for what the organization stands for and what there goals are.
Each and every organization has a unique culture, which can be seen through the values, beliefs, and ways in which the organization goes about doing things. As Slack and Parent discuss in the text, beginning on p. 275, there are 4 characteristics that nearly every organization has in regards to the organizational culture. These characteristics are stories, myths, symbols, and rituals. Stories are narratives told among employees and to new employees, they often present history of the sport organization. They also may help depict organizational goals and the way in which employees should act. Myths often have a similar effect as stories, as they will often times tell the story of the origins of the organization. Symbols can be used to depict the meaning of a sport organization to its members and the public. A logo or company slogan is often what people identify an organization with (i.e. Nike's "Just Do It" campaign). Language is often developed within a sport organization, and it is unique to that specific company. I see the language component quite a bit in my role with the University of Minnesota baseball program. The coaches and staff use language specific to the game of baseball that may not mean a lot to outsiders, but to the organization this language is at the core of everything we do. For example, when our assistant coach yells "Molitor" during a base-running drill, the players and coaching staff understand that this is a specific way to round third base that was designed after the running style of Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.

Another important aspect of this chapter was the discussion of thick and thin cultures. "A thick culture is one in which the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines" (Slack & Parent, 280). Employees are often recruited into the organization because their values and work-behaviors seem to fit the pre-existing culture. In contrast, in a thin culture we don't usually see common values throughout the organization. This leads to a difference of values and beliefs throughout the many different components and areas within the specific organization. Once again, in reference to the University of Minnesota athletic department, I believe that there are aspects of both thin and thick culture within the organization. Employees are in fact hired because their values and work-ethic are similar to that of the current employees. As Joel Maturi discussed in class last week, he as the head of the department looks for people who not only are excellent at what they do, but also people who will believe in the mission of the athletic department. There is evidence of a thin culture too because with 25 different intercollegiate athletics programs at this university, each one has certain beliefs and a specific culture.

One of the more important parts of this chapter about organization culture is the last section in the text regarding creating, managing, and changing a sport organization's culture. As is the case with any organization, a sport organization's culture is not created overnight. The founder or current leader of an organization has a large role in establishing and maintaining the culture of the organization. The text gives the example of the vision that Phil Knight set for Nike, which was to produce good quality shoes at a reasonable price for U.S. athletes. This vision is still holds true for Nike, and all of the organizations goals and values, which essentially create the foundation for culture, have been based off of Knight's early vision. The next idea introduced was the five ways in which Schein believes you can manage a sport organization's culture. These mechanisms are 1) what leaders pay attention to, measure, and control, 2) leader reaction to critical incidents and organizational crises, 3) deliberating role modeling, teaching, and coaching by leaders, 4) criteria for allocation of rewards and status, 5) criteria for recruitment, selection, promotion, retirement, and excommunication. All of these mechanisms are based on the assumption that the organization wants to maintain the culture that currently is in place. The final part of this section is the idea of changing a sport organization's culture. Changing the culture of a sport organization in my opinion is a change in the way in which stakeholders think in terms of their values, beliefs, and the way in which they carry out their daily activities and responsibilities. Changing staff and other factors does not necessarily mean a change in culture because the staff could still hang on to old values, while putting on a face to management that they are on board with the new culture. I believe that in order to truly change the culture of an organization, a new leader needs to be established and he/she needs to implement a new vision. Look at things that helped the organization succeed in the past and use those aspects to help guide the change.

Questions: 1) Is a thick or thin culture more effective within the professional sports industry, or does it simply depend on the specific organization? 2) How would you specifically go about introducing a change in culture to an organization if you were a new leader, such as Joel Maturi was at the University of Minnesota in 2002?

Organizational culture is one of the most recent introductions into the field of organization theory and as such does not have a concrete definition. Various theories have been presented and all have some of the same general ideas concerning values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. these are commonly accepted as forming the basis of an organization's culture. culture is necessary in sport organizations in order for managers to be able to implement these ideas as well as to provide employees with an understanding of the organizational activities (Slack & Parent 275). Culture can be divided into two subcategories: thick and thin (Slack & Parent 276). In a thick culture, members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. This type of culture helps to hold the employees together through the use of stories, rituals, rites, and language.  An organization with a thin culture will have differing values based on what part of the organization is being looked at. This obviously creates for a weaker cultural tie between employees. The management of a sport organization's culture can be accomplished by five primary mechanisms (Slack & Parent 285). Leaders should pay attention to things that happen and can be measured in order to reward good behavior accordingly. The way a leader handles a crisis can also have an impact on culture. After such an incident occurs, it is understood that learning has taken place and those values that underpin the organization's culture have been reinforced. A more direct way to reinforce values is for the leader to talk the talk and walk the walk. They lead by example and help to directly influence those around them by teaching and coaching. People are more willing to follow someone if they see that their leader truly believes in what he or she is saying. Rewards and punishments also need to be allocated according to behavior. Finally, managers need to be thoughtful about employment decisions. People who fit with the organization and believe in its values are certainly going to be hired. However, organizations need to be wary about hiring people solely because they are consistent with the rest of their employees. New ideas are beneficial and can help an organization if they are implemented the right way. Top management will eventually realize that change is the only way to keep an organization alive. Though values remain constant, the way in which the company goes about things will shift. This awareness will lead to confusion where managers agree that change needs to happen but they are unsure as to how that will come about. This confusion will lead to one new manger being elected who then presents his or her vision to the rest of the employees and begins to implement it through experimentation. These are all ways that organizational culture can be managed and, if necessary, changed.

There are many different definitions for the aspect of culture in an organization. Out of all of these definitions, Slack and Parent point out four themes that are common in all of them which include: values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. Then Slack and Parent goes on to describe different "manifestations" that shape the culture of the organization and make it what it is. These manifestations include: symbols, stories and myths, language, ceremonies/rites ans the physical setting of the organization. I think Joel Maturi explained some of these aspects of the U of M athletic departments culture very well. He described that working in Minnesota (the physical setting) is very different from anywhere else because it is a very political state and every citizen believes they should have a say in what goes on in the athletic department. He also expressed the "ceremonies/rites" portion of the athletic department's culture. They have many meeting in which they go over the athletic department's goals/missions and what they can do to achieve them. I think this is a very big part of the culture here; the university is always striving to work towards their goals and succeed in every portion of college athletics, academically and athletically. Slack and Parent describe two types of cultures, thick and thin. A thick culture is one that "the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. A thick culture helps hold an organization together by making frequent use of stories, rituals, slogan and so on." (p 280). According to the text, this is a more desirable culture because employees are hired because of their similar beliefs and coagulation with the culture of that organization. On the flip side there is the thin culture in which "we don't see common values or the type of activities that a thick-cultured organization uses to build its culture". The book uses the example of a college athletic department because they must balance athletics as well as academics because there are conflicting values between focusing on athletics or academics in the department. The very last portion of this chapter describes the creation, management and changing of a sport orgs culture. The founders of an organization have a big pull on what the culture of the org will be, because it is their visions and their missions of where they want their organization to go is what makes up the culture. They also have an attention to detail in which will create a culture for the organization, One the culture is developed, it must be managed. There are five ways in which to manage a culture: what managers pay attention to, measure and control, managers' reactions to critical incidents and organizational crises, deliberate role modeling teaching and coaching, criteria for allocating rewards, and criteria for recruitment selection promotion retirement and excommunication. The way a manager handles these five aspects of managing the culture of an organization will oftentimes determine its success. Lastly, sometimes an organization must change its culture in order to keep up with the current market or because the organization feels a different culture would work best for them. Slack and Parent list changes in the number of employees, expanding markets or product lines, and other structural modifications as ways in which a sport organization can change its culture (p.285). Questions: What cultural aspects are successful within the U of M athletics? How could they handle the incidents that have happened recently in terms of the student athletes better i norder to reinforce the culture the university believes in?

Culture

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-Of the definitions of culture given by Slack & Parent, the one I feel that Sathe's fits best.  It says organizational culture is, "the set of important understandings (often unstated) that members of a community share in common". 
-The manifestations of a sport organization's culture is often studied because it's so difficult to examine the way values, beliefs and accepted patterns of meaning play into the culture.  When looking at how an organization's culture is manifested The manifestations most often studied when it comes to a sport organization's culture are: stories and myths, symbols, language, ceremonies or rites, and physical setting.  Stores are, like the name says, stories about a company that are told to new employees.  Myths on the other hand, are stories which are not factual.  Symbols are "used to convey meaning about a sport organization to its members and to the public at large" (Slack & Parent 277). Examples of symbols include the Nike "swoosh", the Dallas' Star, or the New England "Patriot".  Language is an interesting one to me.  It's an organizations own language or form of "jargon".  But it's not just the way an organization communicates, but it's also a form of bonding amongst members of an organization.  Ceremonies or Rites are things such as rookie initiations, award ceremonies, and other such team functions.  I use the term team loosely as it encompases more than just a sports team, and could include an organizational sales team or a whole organization for that matter.  Physical setting includes three aspects.  Physical structure, "the architect's design and physical placement of furnishings in a building that influence or regulate social interaction" (Davis, 1984, Pg 272).  Physical Stimuli include activities that become rituals, such as coffee breaks or mail delivery.  They tend to occur on a consistent basis and become part of an everyday routine.  Symbolic Artifacts include things such as banners, trophies, and traveling trophies such as Paul Bunyon's Axe or the Little Brown Jug.  
-The difference between a  thick and thin culture is pretty self explainitory.  A thick culture is comprised of a close knit group that agrees on the common goals and values of an organization.  A thin culture is the opposite, one which members don't see eye to eye on the values and/or the types of activities used to build a culture.
-Some organizations have more than one culture.  These are most prevalent in large organizations. It's difficult to have just one culture in large organizations, and having more than one allows the smaller branches to feel more connected and work better together.


Organizational Culture

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As is the case with many of the concepts regarding sport organizations, organizational culture is difficult to define. Slack and Parent list multiple definitions of culture from scholars, each definition a bit different from the next. This being said, four general themes of organizational culture can be taken out of these definitions to be used as a guide for what organizational culture entails. These four characteristics are values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. These characteristics, according to Slack and Parent, provide "stability to an organization and convey to new members the understanding that enables them to make sense of organizational activities" (p. 275). After defining organizational context, the text begins to explain "manifestations" in which we can use to further understand organizational context in detail. These manifestations are components or characteristics of an organization which help shape the underlying culture of the organization. These components include stories and myths, symbols, language, ceremonies or rites, and physical setting. Of these components, the language component struck home with me. This past summer I worked as the head coach of a high school baseball team and we had a developed language system we used to call defensive alignments, execute offensive plays, etc. This specialized language clearly defined our culture as an organization because members outside of the organization did not know this language, and it clearly separated our organization from the next. In addition to this, we held many ceremonies, meetings, etc. to further express our team's values and cultural components. Slack and Parent also describe a broad way of identifying types of organizational culture. Thick culture, according to the text, is "one in which the members of a sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines" (p.280). On the flip side, a thin culture is a culture in which there are not many common values, and the organization's culture is varied dependent on the department within the organization. An example of thin culture can be seen within the U of M athletic department. The athletic team's main values and goals are to recruit the best athletes, earn victories, and raising funds. On the flip side, the academic services department within the organization is concerned with aiding the student athletes in their academic endeavors, providing career opportunities, and issuing tutors. As you can see, the various departments within the U of M athletic department have different values and goals. In my opinion, a thin culture can be thought of as a collection of "mini cultures" that collectively make up an organization and help it achieve its ultimate goals. The last section of the chapter focuses on creating, managing and changing a sport organization's culture. Slack and Parent describe that the founders of an organization have a large influence on the development of culture (p.283). In addition, Slack and Parent note that the creation of visions, codes of conduct, and organizational procedures set forth by the founder contribute to the overall creation of culture within the sport organization. Once an organization's culture is developed, it must be managed. The text describes five mechanisms in which culture can be managed: what managers pay attention to, measure, and control, managers' reaction to critical incidents and organizational crises, deliberate role modeling, teaching, and coaching, criteria for allocation of rewards, and criteria for recruitment, selection, promotion, retirement, and excommunication. In essence, the way a manager handles and controls these five mechanisms within an organization can reinforce the underlying values and beliefs that an organization's culture is built upon. For example, a manager of a sport organization who rewards his employees for excellent attendance at work clearly values workers who show up to work every day. Changing the culture of a sport organization can be done in many ways. Slack and Parent list changes in the number of employees, expanding markets or product lines, and other structural modifications as ways in which a sport organization can change its culture (p.285). At some times organizations change their culture because they feel it is needed, and in other situations, they must change their culture in order to adapt to their environment and remain competitive. Questions: 1.) Slack and Parent explain that research has shown a strong correlation between organizational effectiveness and a thick organizational culture. Do you believe this is the case? Why or why not? 2.) If you were the manager of a sport organization, what kind of culture would you develop (values, beliefs, policies, etc.)? 3.) The text talks about sport organizations being multicultural. Do you think that every organization is multicultural, or are there organizations in which the culture is nearly identical throughout all departments?

Athletic Department Merger

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The Athletic Department merger was very interesting because it provided a real life example for a lot of issues we discussed throughout the semester. I personally did not know the athletic department had separate departments for men and women. I think that all four of the people who spoke in front of the class brought a different side of the story. I do think the University made a good choice with Joel Maturi to be the Athletic Director that would be in charge of the task of leading the University through this historic change. I thought the stories that the track and field coach had were very interesting. He talked about how upset all of the different coaches were when Maturi had to make decisions on what to cut from the athletic department and how he had to calm down many other coaches after they left meetings with Maturi. The track and field department had to take many cuts to their budget and they had to deal with many changes but he talked about how all of the coaches needed to take a step back and just realize that the change was for the best and even though no one was very happy about the things they had to give up, these changes were made to help the department in the long run. A lot of budgets needed to be cut so that things could be consolidated. The athletic department lacked a lot of efficiency when the men and women had separate departments. They had people performing the same tasks for very similar departments and it was costing the University a lot of money. Now they have one person supervising the marketing department for the whole athletic department. When they consolidated the departments into one this lead to many departments being combined. This caused many headaches for Maturi because he then had to fire certain people and this lead to a few tough decisions. I like the way Maturi handled this situation by guaranteeing all of the employees that they would all keep their jobs through the first year. This allowed him plenty of time to evaluate the employees and it lead to some people leaving which made some decisions easier for himself. The University needed to complete a major merger and they needed to find an athletic director to lead them through this change. They picked Joel Maturi and I totally support that decision as he has a great personality to lead people through a major change like this one. He is very positive and tries to make sure that people don't just see the trees but that they also see the forest.

Culture

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            In every organization there is a common feeling or experience that everyone senses and understands this is essentially its culture. An organizations culture is made up of its "values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Examining an organizations culture is extremely important for outsiders to fully grasp how a business will conduct its daily operations and decision making. Also, for a new member of an organization learning the culture is important so that a person can fit in and do their job.

            Breaking down aspects of culture within an organization can be difficult especially in the sport industry. However, in basketball many different symbols are used especially when calling plays or referees officiating games. It can be nearly impossible for someone new to understand everything that is going on during a basketball without prior knowledge or training of the game. Enough cannot be emphasize on the language of the game at not only the beginning level but also the advanced level with such terminology as traveling, double-dribbling, and screening.

            Upon looking at the pyramid of success several things stood out that would be important to me in creating a successful culture. In the text success is defined as "peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming (Slack & Parent, 2006)." My definition of success for a team would certainly resemble something like the textbook definition because at the end of the day I can live with trying my best and the results do no matter.  Some of the characteristics found in the success pyramid I hope to develop over time in my coaching career. Therefore I picked five of the characteristics that I thought were most important. First, competitive greatness which is defined as "being at your best when your best is needed. Real love of a hard battle (Slack & Parent, 2006)." This is important to me because my passion of competing within sport is extremely important to my future successes. Second, poise which is defined as "being yourself, at ease in any situation (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Being able to stay level-headed and focused on your abilities is important so that others respect you. Next, enthusiasm defined as "having your heart be in your work, stimulate others (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Really enjoying what you do rubs off on others and would make the kids I coach more excited to come to practice and work harder. Following this is confidence defined as respect without fear, may come from faith in yourself in knowing that you are prepared (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Without confidence in yourself, fellow coaches, and players being effective is not possible. Lastly, "loyalty to yourself and all those dependent on you, keep you self-respect (Slack & Parent, 2006)."

Culture

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The first thing that the book talks about in the chapter about culture is the difficulty in defining the term altogether. There is no set term that defines organizational culture best, but what most people seem to agree that is common among all of the definitions is that they care about values, beliefs, basic assumptions, shared understandings to constructing an organization. Some other things that the book talks about are the stories and myths, symbols, and the language that is used. These are things that I understand very well and that I can really relate to. In many of the organizations that I have worked in there are stories that are told. These stories are used to make the people that understand and remember the stories feel more included in the organization and those that do not remember the stories want to be there for when the next story happens. Symbols exist everywhere but are not always noticed until they are actually thought about in depth. There are some organizations that hide their symbols so that they may create further unity within their organization by being the only ones that know the secret. Secrets also somewhat apply when it comes to the language that sport organizations use. While they are mainly using the specific jargon to keep the intentions away from the competition, they are also increasing their team unity by being a specialized group that understands that particular language. Ceremonies are traditions that are predominant in sport organizations. By having different ceremonies, the values of the organization are enforced. For example, when a sports team holds a pep rally, then are showing all of the fans how much they appreciate their support and are showing how important they are to the success of the team. The organization might also hold an awards banquet for the team in order to recognize which players are doing the right thing and which should be role models for the rest of the team in upcoming years. The culture of an organization is also affected by all of the different aspects that we have talked about throughout the year. An organization may have to adopt a certain type of culture based on their type of structure, size, or any other contextual features of the organizations. Many different types of cultures for an organization are created when the organization is created. Organizations like to be able to say that their culture has remained consistent throughout their existence in able to communicate consistency within their company. Outside stakeholders will then be able to see that the organization has stayed the same and hopefully succeeded throughout their whole time of existence. It is seen as stability. As you can see, there are many different aspects to a company's culture. In that sense there are many different ways in order to influence an organization's culture. The culture of the organization could sometimes be considered the backbone because it has been with the organization from the beginning and the stories and other aspects will remain with the company for as long as it exists.

Culture

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The first thing that the book talks about in the chapter about culture is the difficulty in defining the term altogether. There is no set term that defines organizational culture best, but what most people seem to agree that is common among all of the definitions is that they care about values, beliefs, basic assumptions, shared understandings to constructing an organization. Some other things that the book talks about are the stories and myths, symbols, and the language that is used. These are things that I understand very well and that I can really relate to. In many of the organizations that I have worked in there are stories that are told. These stories are used to make the people that understand and remember the stories feel more included in the organization and those that do not remember the stories want to be there for when the next story happens. Symbols exist everywhere but are not always noticed until they are actually thought about in depth. There are some organizations that hide their symbols so that they may create further unity within their organization by being the only ones that know the secret. Secrets also somewhat apply when it comes to the language that sport organizations use. While they are mainly using the specific jargon to keep the intentions away from the competition, they are also increasing their team unity by being a specialized group that understands that particular language. Ceremonies are traditions that are predominant in sport organizations. By having different ceremonies, the values of the organization are enforced. For example, when a sports team holds a pep rally, then are showing all of the fans how much they appreciate their support and are showing how important they are to the success of the team. The organization might also hold an awards banquet for the team in order to recognize which players are doing the right thing and which should be role models for the rest of the team in upcoming years. The culture of an organization is also affected by all of the different aspects that we have talked about throughout the year. An organization may have to adopt a certain type of culture based on their type of structure, size, or any other contextual features of the organizations. Many different types of cultures for an organization are created when the organization is created. Organizations like to be able to say that their culture has remained consistent throughout their existence in able to communicate consistency within their company. Outside stakeholders will then be able to see that the organization has stayed the same and hopefully succeeded throughout their whole time of existence. It is seen as stability. As you can see, there are many different aspects to a company's culture. In that sense there are many different ways in order to influence an organization's culture. The culture of the organization could sometimes be considered the backbone because it has been with the organization from the beginning and the stories and other aspects will remain with the company for as long as it exists.

Today we had the opportunity to listen to four representatives from the University of Minnesota athletic department speak about their experiences. The four people who spoke to our class were Joel Maturi (Head Athletic Director), Regina Sullivan (Senior Associate Athletic Director), Gary Wilson (Head Track Coach), and Kathy Brown (Vice President of the University). They specifically talked about their experience with the merger that took place at the U between the men's and women's athletic departments a few years ago and their leadership roles within the merger. The University of Minnesota had separate athletic departments for men and women and then made the decision to merge the departments into one. It was essential for the new head athletic director to have all the necessary qualities to be able to make this merger work. We learned that only two-thirds of all mergers actually work. That being said, it takes a certain kind of person to be able to handle such a huge, monumental change. Joel Maturi was and is that person. He had to make a lot of tough decisions after his first year, mainly because between the two departments, they had two or more people doing the same job. This meant that he had to decide who to terminate and/or keep. Then there was also the option of hiring someone else. That was something that he said he struggled with because firing people is not something he likes to do. What he did do, however, was promise the employees their job in his first year and then after that it was up in the air. This ended up in Joel Maturi's favor because many of the employees ended up leaving on their own, which made his job a little bit easier. This is a good example to show how communication goes a long way. All of the speakers reiterated how essential communication is in any environment, especially when undergoing change. Something that both Joel and Regina touched on in regards to the merger was how they developed a clear mission statement and goals which became known throughout the entire athletic department. All of the sports had to grasp these concepts and embrace them. Another thing that was different for all of the coaches in the different sports was having Joel, Regina, and the other members of the athletic department present for games and even practices. Joel was trying to create a healthy atmosphere and environment in which the coaches and athletic directors felt comfortable with each other. It was a way to get to know each other on a different level which creates an environment in which the coaches and/or athletic directors are more comfortable confronting each other about different things. This was a very different culture that didn't exist before the merger. These are just some of the things I took away from this class but it is certainly relevant information to obtain considering the fact that I'm in a sports management major.  

-Kristen Dockery

Leadership

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Leadership is something that every organization needs to be fully effective and efficient. It is apparent which sports organizations have quality leaders, and which do not. Organizational contexts such as the environment, structure and culture play a large impact on the way a leader operates. I am currently an intern for the Timberwolves, and it is very clear to me that the organization has created a new vision and is under new leadership. David Kahn has taken over for Kevin McHale and has made an attempt to give this team a new start. As the leader, he can pick and choose his staff and do whatever he pleases. Every decision he makes, has an effect on everyone within the organization even if it is someone who works in the marketing department. The culture has changed under Kahn. It is now a new start, and the team is going with a new look both on the court and off. The environment can have different affects on the leader and organization. If the Timberwolves played in Iowa, fans would be more loyal to both the leader, and the organization as a whole. Because they play in the heavy sport town of Minneapolis, Kahn has even more of a challenge to compete and gain the reputation as the city's team. He needs to gain support locally and nationally, and how they perform can play a big part. In the Timberwolves case, the culture before Kahn was on a decline. Fans were not happy, and to me it seemed like the team was losing support. In comes Kahn and a whole roster and it is evident that the culture is going to change. Kahn states that the team is rebuilding, something that was tough for Kevin McHale to admit. Many think the culture of losing will stay, but people need to realize that some teams must break before they can be remade. That is how the business works and a new leader can help ease the minds of many. If a leader of any sports organization doesn't have the support from the people he controls, he or she will never gain the support of the public. In my opinion, the internal culture must change and that comes straight from the top. It often happens that if a new leader is appointed, the structure is altered. An example would be if a new President or General Manager comes in, he often wants his own people so he will bring in a new coach, one that he feels comfortable within his own structure. Overall I think leaders in sports organizations can give both vision and confidence to people who are directly part of the organization and also to the supporters, whether it be investors, sponsors or fans.

                Leadership within sports can determine just about anything that has with the organization or sports team that you are working for.  It can determine success or failure, profit or loss.  It can pretty much determine anything that is or will be going on within the organization.  To first understand how these things happen you have to understand what a leader is.  Kind of a basic description that I go by is that it is a person that is willing to enable other to act and gain followers so that they may achieve a goal. 

Before anything even begins leadership often starts with your personality.  You already know if you are the kind of person that is going to lead or is going to follow.  More often then not you are going to see these people step up and take control over the situation no matter what.  Within a sports organization often the people that are high up are the leaders and the reason that they got up that high was because of there leadership skills.  Take Mark Cuban for example; form the beginning of his career, when he was a no body, he has always had the ability to lead people and now he is making billions and making all kinds of important decisions.

The next real important steep that can really make or break a sports org. is the ability for that leader, ether the head or a department leader, to enable other people to act toward the main goal.  IF you can't make people trust you and work with you to better the organization you are never going to become a leader.  A majority of the people in this world are followers.  They wait for someone to tell them what to do so they can do it, well if you can't get these people to buy your tickets, or buy you t-shirts, or even market your service correctly it is going to be a lost cause and you aren't going to make any money.

The last kind of characteristic is the Goal.  When I talk about goals I don't mean just one like a short term or a long term, I mean them all.  Essentially every thing is centered on the one main long term goal, but each one of the short term and minuet goals gets you even closer to the larger one.  The thing that you have to realize about goals is that you always have to set them with the expectations of the organization on your mind.  It's kind of hard to get followers if you, a brand new team in the NFL, say that the team is going to win the super bowl in there first years. 

Leadership and its relation to the context of the organization are very important to consider in a sport organization. The leadership structure may need to be adjusted to create a better fit for the context that surrounds the sport organization. Other times it may need to be the contextual features that need to be reorganized to fit the leaders or potential leaders within the sport organization. The environment of an organization may have a lot of impact on the leader of a sport organization. The context of the environment may change the qualities that may be needed for the leadership to be effective. For example, if you were to look at sporting goods store, you would want a leader who is good when working with customers and has good people skills. But, if you look at a leader who works in the accounting department then these skills may not be quite as important because they may be working with less people and the success of their work may not have much to do with customer interaction. Organizational change is a very big factor that may affect the leadership within a sport organization. Sport organizations need to stay competitive in their market and make sure they are trying their best to remain or push ahead of their competition. This may mean that the organization has to reorganize and evolve to remain competitive. Slack and Parent refer to this as evolutionary change, which would be when the sport organization shows signs of incremental change (2006). Whenever change like this occurs it may change the mission and focus of the organization. It is up to the leadership of the organization to implement or change current strategies of the organization to fit the new mission. How well the leaders of the sport organization carry this out, will affect the success of the change that the sport organization is deciding to make. If the leadership is unable to be successful in these changes then it could potentially cost them their job. For example, say that an NFL football coach needs to hire a new coaching staff, because his previous staff decided to leave the team because they did not agree with his coaching philosophy. Now the new coach brings on new members for his coaching staff and the team takes a turn for the worse for the next few seasons. This new coaching staff, that is struggling to bring together a winning team, may reflect very poorly on the head coach. This may lead to the general manager of the NFL team letting the head coach and his staff persons go because of the poor leadership in building a successful coaching staff. Leadership is very important within a sport organization and is affected by many different contextual factors.

How have you experienced contextual factors influence the leadership of a sport organization? Have you seen anyone in leadership lose their job because of the changing context surrounding the organization?

 

Leadership

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The context in which a sport organization sits affects all aspects of the organization. An organization's leadership, whether it be one person or many, must be able to adjust and adapt to the fluidity of these aspects. Those leaders must also be able to work with an satisfy any number of actors involved with the organization, whether they be inside or outside of the organization. For example, the owner of the Twins, must be able to satisfy the needs of his employees, members of the team and also office staff, but also must work with the legislature of MN to work out a deal for a new stadium. Since there was no referendum vote for the tax increase for the stadium, the owner had to of worked directly with those in charge of making those kinds of changes. The culture in which the organization is situated also affects leadership because the managers have to make sure that the processes are effective within that culture. If the culture changes, the managers must make sure the organization changes accordingly. For example, in the 80's and 90's the American culture shifted towards fitness. Nike, Adidas, and other sporting goods manufacturers responded by created lines of clothing that fit active bodies. They created new shoes that supported arches and encouraged better posture, they came out with clothing lines like Dri-Fit and Climacool to target not only hardcore athletes but casual runners and hikers as well. The company noticed a change in the culture and adapted to it, and were highly successful. Structure also impacts leadership because depending on the hierarchy of the organization the leader could be one person or a panel of people. If the organization is run by a board of people there is a voting system to implement changes and make decisions, this changes the dynamic of inter-office relationships. Some sub-groups might think that if they win the favor of two or three board members then they will be able to sway the entire group, however, this does not always work. On the other hand, if there is one person in charge making all the important decisions alone then it is much easier for different interest groups to win the favor of one versus many. Leaders must be interested in what is best for the whole organization and not be afraid to make a decision and stick to it, and also to be criticized later if the plan did not go through as planned. Leaders must be able to adapt and also moderate different interest groups and decide what the organization will benefit the most from.

Leadership is always a difficult concept for me to grasp. I am pursuing a minor in Leadership and thus have taken multiple leadership classes. Through all of the discussions, lectures and articles, I have gained a deeper understanding of leadership and ways you can be an effective leader, but I always get lost in the maze of methods and definitions, and I find myself in the same place as Kets de Vries.

In the Slack and Parent textbook, Kets de Vries says, "When we plunge into the organizational literature on leadership we quickly become lost in a labyrinth: There are endless definitions, countless articles, and never-ending polemics. As far as leadership studies go, it seems that more and more has been studied about less and less, to end up ironically with a group of researchers studying everything about nothing" (pg 305).

            This point is further emphasized by Stogdill who says, "The endless accumulation of empirical data has not produced an integrated understanding of leadership" (pg 305). I don't mean to undermine leadership studies or allude that the results of these studies are not valuable, but there is no one right answer; there has never been one answer. One study concludes that a leader should focus on accomplishing goals, while another concluded a leader should focus on building relationships. All of the leadership methods discussed in the chapter have a time and place where they are valuable, but it is difficult to generalize about what contextual features need which leadership approach.

            As Stogdill emphasizes, "The qualities, characteristics and skills required in a leader are determined to a large extent by the demands of the situation in which he is to function as a leader" (pg 293). Each situation calls for leadership that is a little bit different than another situation may call for. For example, the Ohio State studies talked about in the book created the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire (LBDQ), which assesses an organization's level of leadership by the importance they place on consideration (relationships) and initiating structure (reaching goals). When military leaders took the LBDQ, results showed that more emphasis was placed on consideration; I believe this would be similar for something like a youth sports coach. On the other hand, when athletic directors were surveyed, the importance was placed on initiating structure. A large part of this difference in importance is due to the stakeholders in the situation. Athletic directors for NCAA teams are subject to much more scrutiny from public stakeholders than military leaders or youth sports coaches are, mostly due to the scale of the media attention their organization receives. In this example, that would point to a generalization that the larger your environment (the more actors you have), the more focused leaders need to be on achieving results. You have to please your constituencies by performing well, or they will discontinue support. For example, an alumni may discontinuing donating to the University of Minnesota Athletic Department if he thought Joel Maturi wasn't putting enough money into recruiting football players that could get us the big wins on game days.

            In regards to organizational context, one thing I noticed in the book was that they always referred to leadership as the leader influencing a "subordinate." I think this reference is a strong indicator of hierarchical structures that are present in many sport organizations. I think organizations need to be careful not to limit themselves by only allowing those with positions of authority to evoke positive change. Organizations that are highly formalized and structuralized may miss out on potential leaders that are low on the totem pole because the structure and processes of the organization do not allow the individual to move beyond their role.

 

Questions: Can you think of an example of a person not in a position of power who was able to evoke change in their sport organization?

What is your definition of a leader?

Do you agree that there is never one set path to effective leadership? Why or why not?

Leadership

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The various elements of leadership all play a part it the way individuals lead and how far reaching that leadership can be.  Actors with an organization that are in a leadership position must consider factors in determining the best way to be a leader within their organization.  No all leadership styles will work in all situations; leadership must be tailored to fit the position and organization. 

Environment to me is the single most important factor that influences how leadership functions.  A leader that likes to know and understand every aspect of an organization is not going to be able to run a large multinational corporation.  For example Phil Knight cannot possible be involved in every aspect of what Nike does.  Because of the sheer size of his environment it is just not possible for Phil Knight to be hands-on in many respects.  In contrast a President of a National Governing Body (NGB) will likely have to be more involved in everyday activities of the NGB because the environment is not on the scale like it is with a company such as Nike.  The smaller the organization the easier it is for leaders to understand numerous positions and perform several different tasks.  As an organizations environment grows positions become more specialized and this same level of understanding becomes impossible.

In many situations leaders must also be able to work within a system that is already in place.  For example, in the environment of a Division 1 University it is important that a leader understand the many formalized processes that are required by the NCAA and the institution.  In this highly formalized environment there is likely to also be a very clear organizational structure that a leader should follow.  The leader must understand who is to perform what jobs so that organization is able to run smoothly.  This will also allow a leader to set goals/standards for individuals and then hold individuals accountable for completing their job requirements.

Taken with other factors environment is the most important element a leader must consider.  Leaders must be able to understand the level of involvement they are able to have in day-to-day activities.  Leaders must also be aware of how formalized their organization is, understand that formalization and must be able to follow the formalized processes in place.


Class Questions:

1) Do you think that any one factor within an organization such as formalization or structure makes it more difficult for leaders to truly be effective leaders?

2) Can you think of a specific leader that was held back from being as effective as possible because of some of the factors mentioned here?

Obviously leadership in an organization is an integral part of making the organization successful. Without leadership employees would have different ideas that would never come together and total chaos would ensue. Leadership can be defined simply as the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. There are several organizational contexts that impact leadership. Processes, culture, structure, and environment, and actors are just a few of those. Leaders can lead in four certain styles. A leader can use supportive leadership to guide his subordinates in a positive manner. This style is a process that involves the leader showing concern for the subordinates needs and attempting to make form a work environment that is pleasant and caring. Another style the leader can take is instrumental leadership. This style is a process in which the leader puts a great deal of importance on planning, coordinating, directing, and controlling the activities of the subordinates. The third style that can be used to lead a group is participative leadership. This involves the process of the leader treating the subordinates almost as equals. The subordinates are expected to let their views be known and to feel as though they have a stake in the decision-making process. The fourth and final style is achievement leadership. The leader sets challenging goals for the subordinates and anticipates them to take responsibility in meeting the goals in this process. The culture of a sport organization is what helps determine who can be a leader within it. If the organization has a thick culture will most likely have a leader at or near the top organization. This leader can then spread the message of reaching goals down to the subordinates. In a thin culture which is constantly changing there may need to be several leaders. These leaders may need to participate almost at as high of a level as the leader on top of the subgroup to which they belong. The structure of the sport organization can also determine who or how many will have leadership roles. In an organization with more of a vertical structure the leaders will be at the top and the subordinates will report to them, leaving few in leadership roles. In more of horizontal structure there will need to be many more leaders because they will all have to report to the top of the organization. Those at the top of the organization do not have time to visit with every subgroup, hence more leaders. The environment in which a sport organization belongs can determine the leaders that will emerge. The concept of who will emerge as a leader is similar to how it determined by the structure. If the organization is in a rapidly changing environment then the leader will have to work their subordinates to keep effective. In an environment that hardly ever changes the leaders can look down from above and be instrumental or directive in their leadership style. The actors in an organization have to work together to create the best product. Leaders need to come from within the subgroups and not just the top of the organization or the head of the subgroups. The organization is a as productive as its weakest employee. If every employee understands the goals of the organization and can implement the goals into their everyday decision-making process, the organization should be successful.

Leadership

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Leadership is a very complex element to organizational effectiveness. It can be influenced by numerous factors and can be drastically different from one organization to the next. Individual actors will impact the way in which leadership is implemented, and if this is done wrong, it can have detrimental effects on the overall success of an organization or branch.  A leader must orient their leadership style around the general attitude of their subordinates. The most effective leaders have a way of "analyzing" how best to manage/lead their subordinate and are constantly listening and reacting to their subordinate's ever changing needs. In most situations, effective leaders are those who accommodate their subordinates, but not one where they lose their power. The ways in which processes, culture, structure and environment and all closely related in their affect on leadership. A leader needs to "fit it" with their organizations and in only very unique situations should they attempt to alter the general culture of their organization.  It's very important that a leader is aligned with the overall goals of an organization, minimizing possible issues that can arise from veering off course.  When leadership is implemented correctly it will most likely improve organizational effectiveness. This can have a lasting effect, as it promotes a culture of success and subordinates are more likely to follow these leaders. It would seem that proper leadership is determined by each specific situation and they way certain organizational factors will effective this leadership style.  But there are some general guidelines to being a successful leader, no matter the situation. One needs to properly listen to their subordinate's attitudes towards leaders and know the general culture, structure, and environment of the organization.  One of the most successful leaders in college basketball history, Dean Smith, did just that and in his book on leadership, The Carolina Way, he gives his opinion on effective leadership. First, he stresses the importance of pleasing all actors of your organization, from the water boy to the dean of the institution and everyone in between. This is closely associated with understanding the specific environment you are in. Next, he discusses the value that should be placed on a leader falling to place with their organization and understanding it's culture. A leader should be less focused on specifically changing the organization and more focused on achieving certain goals, because for the most part semi-successful organizations aren't in need of a big organizational overhaul but a change in leadership style.  Lastly, he stresses the importance of a leaders willingness to change and adapt. Not only can circumstances change rapidly but also at the same time different leadership style may be needed simultaneously. There is no one set of rules for effective leadership but being flexible and willing to adapt to your organization can be an useful first step.

Leadership

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                Leadership in an organization is very important. You cannot have a successful organization without good leadership from employees and especially top level managers. Top level managers are the ones that set the president in which the other employees model. According to Trait approach good leaders are born, not made. (p 293) Even though this approach was one of the earliest approaches to defining leadership it is still effective. The newer approaches such as the contingency or Fiedlers LPC approach just go more in depth and describe the specific qualities that good leadership requires.   The actors, processes, culture, structure, and environment of organizations are all things that leaders of organizations need to deal with.

                The actors of an organization often have the same leadership qualities as their superiors. It is like a trickledown effect. For example a coach of an NBA team would most likely have assistant coaches with similar if not the same leadership qualities as they posses.  The organizational culture of a sports organization is based on values, beliefs and accepted patterns of meaning. These areas are influence by the leadership of the organization. The top leaders choose which values and beliefs of a team are important in accomplishing a goal. For example for a team sport such as basketball a coach may decided to emphasize that they are a team and that not one person can win a game, but rather they need to work together as a team to accomplish their goals. If the actors below the head coach such as assistant coaches and captions of a team also believe in the culture the head coach has set forth for them they will most likely be successful. How an organization is structured impacts leadership in the fact that some organizations that have a more of a horizontal structure may also have more influential leaders as compared to a vertically structured organization. A vertical organization may have one very powerful leader that dictates the culture and the processes of an organization. A horizontal organization would have several very influential leaders, one for each subdivision of the organization. Environment also influences organizational leadership. The internal environment of an organization is often heavily influenced by the organizations leaders. The leaders that adapt to the outside environment the best often have a lot of influence in an organization. One of the things that an organization leader might have to adjust to is a changing market. The leaders that adapt the best and help the company the most will most likely have a very prominent leadership role in the organization. Overall the leadership structure and leaders in an organization may have to change to adapt to the organizational context.

Blog #4

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In this blog I will address how I believe actors, processes, culture, structure, and environment impact leadership within an organization.  Actors such as different people within an organization impact leadership because they influence the type of leadership that is going to be performed.  All people are different and we all respond to different leadership styles in our own individual way.  for example if you are trying to lead a group of outgoing people, you will use a different leadership approach that you would use with a group of strict uptight individuals.  One of the big impacters of leadership within an organization is the structure of the organization.  If you have a very top down structure, where all of the decisions are made at the top of the chain of command, then the head of the organization will have to demonstrate a different type of leadership than he/she would if they were a part of a less complex organization where decisions are made within specific areas of the organization.  A leader who is at the top that is approving all of the decisions will have to chow a lot of confidence in themselves, because they have to believe that they are always making the right choice for their organization.  Culture is another big impacter on leadership; I look at culture as the style in which you run your organization and the people that work for your organization.  So their is the culture of your organization, and there are the cultures within your organization (your employees and such).  Again this goes with what i said with my last two points, that different people react better or worse to different types of leadership and you have to conform to their individual needs without losing sight of the goals and missions that your organization is trying to achieve. 

Organizational Leadership

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The organizational context impacts leadership in many ways. Internal and external influences such as actors, processes, culture, structure, and environment each impact leadership differently. Although each of these plays a specific role in the organizational context of leadership, I believe that culture, environment, and actors have the greatest impact. Culture, environment, and actors all influence the way a successful organization goes about structuring business. When leaders within these organizations have the ability to recognize and adapt to different influences they build strong and successful organizations. This summer I experienced an extremely successful structure and style of leadership during an internship with the PGA of America. Although I could not find an official organizational structure for the PGA, I did learn quite a bit about how the management was structured while working for them. The PGA seemed for be quite a horizontal style structure. There were many leaders with different titles that all seemed equally qualified, important, and held a high level of responsibility. Each of these leaders held positions in very different areas of business. In the area I worked in, Merchandise Operations, my boss displayed supportive leadership, participative leadership, and achievement leadership. All of these resulted from our high-stress and at times tedious work environment. He used a supportive leadership style to maintain a good morale during the long and tiring days. He complemented us on our work and was rarely negative because he wanted to increase our confidence as employees, so we maintained the quality of work he expected out of us. He also displayed participative leadership. Our tasks as interns were often unstructured and unclear, but the way they were presented made us feel like they made us personally interested in accomplishing them. My boss was also confronted with the task of a new staff and a new environment. Each PGA event is in a different location around the country and they generally hire local interns and must adapt to different cultures and environments. My boss had to adapt to the new actors (interns) and the Minnesota environment. Additionally he had the daunting task of selling more than $6 million worth of merchandise in one week during terrible economic times. By using those three styles of leadership he created an atmosphere throughout his subordinates that allowed him to successfully achieve his and the PGA's goals. There are many things that can impact the leadership style of an organization. Adaptation to different elements within and outside of the organization is a key trait of a successful leader. Whether it be the PGA of a youth sports organization leadership in many shapes and forms is necessary to become a successful organization.

Blog 4: Leadership

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 I believe leadership is one of the most important factors in an organization. Leadership can be affected by the structure, culture, environment, actors and processes in an organization. This winter, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to coach a 12U Girls Hockey team. In the first few weeks of practice, the role of leadership has become extremely apparent to me. Through analyzing these components of an organization, I will apply them to my coaching position and my team to exemplify the importance of leadership in an organization.
The structure of our team is fairly simple. There are 12 girls on the team, one head coach (me), and two assistant coaches. There are also two parent managers, and the rest of the parents are obviously involved in some way because there daughters need their support. As the head coach, I feel as though I am the top leader. I have created a 'hierarchy' of some sort with the other 'subordinates' of the team. Each player, parent, coach, and manager is an important asset and actor to the team. However, without a hierarchy imposing leadership positions in the organization, the team would not be considered successful. As the leader of the team, it is my responsibility to make sure each person is performing their duties and striving to reach their goals. Each level of the hierarchy contains its own leader, or 'captain'. Amongst the coaches, the head coach takes the captain role. Amongst the parents, the two team managers take the captain position. In the players level, the coaches and girls themselves have chosen two of the players to take the captaincy position. In deciding these captains, I administered the Trait Approach that Slack & Parent discussed. I took into factor the players intellectual qualities and personality traits. At the age of 12, it is hard to say if the girls have been put into situations that would really get them thinking about what a leader would do, so one's personality and intellectual qualities will help them resolve conflicts and lead in a smart manner. 
I am working at creating a positive, and fun environment on the ice for these girls in order to create a strong, hockey culture in these girls lives. With this fun, positive environment comes the manner and processes by which we run the team and manage the environment. I have decided to have the coaches handle on-ice situations, while the managers handle off-ice situations. I have laid down rules explaining my expectations of the parents and players, and if these rules are followed, a successful team will result. It is known on this team, because of statements made during parent meetings, that the coaches and I are there to provide an environment that girls want to be in. They will want to come to practice, and will want to play in all the games, because it is fun, and they are with their friends, and it's not all about winning. 
Through the role of leadership on the actors of the team, the environment and culture I am creating for this team, and the processes by which the leaders are creating this positive culture, leadership will help this team achieve success.

Leadership

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When determining leadership in an organization, there are many factors to take into account.  The things that affect and impact leadership in a company are the company's actors, the processes the company's uses in things such as decision making, the culture of the organization, how the organization is structured, and also the environment that the company survives in.

The structure, and social structure of an organization can affect the organization economically affects the organization in three main ways. The power and politics of the company affect the flow and quality of the information within the company.  Also in the social structure there is an important of reward and punishment for completed jobs. Third, there is a need for trust in the organization that the people with the highest power will make the right and best decisions for the company regardless of incentives. The actors involved with the organization hold importance because they have a say in how the company adapts, changes, and evolves. Certain actors in the organization have insight on how to manage certain relations in regards to the company's best interest. The processes the organization uses to for example most information throughout the organization, or how to implement change impact the organization greatly because one process may not work well for a company in reaching their goals, and they need to be adaptable and able to change processes to survive. The culture of an organization is very important in its success. An organization must develop and create a strong culture to create norms and tradition in the workplace. The culture includes many different aspects such as things like heroes, traditions, stories, speech and many others. In order to develop a strong leadership a company needs to have a good culture and connection with their employees to develop a trust and understanding that everyone is there to reach the same goals. When the official referee from the NBA  came in to talk about his job and his position in the contract renewals he explained part of the culture of the organization and the subgroup of the referees. He explained how the main leaders of the referees were the older and more experienced guys.  They had been through a contract negotiation before and were trying to lead and coach the younger less experienced refs how to handle and deal with the NBA in order to get more money and be able to support their families in the same way as before.

Leadership and Organization

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I believe that leadership in an organization has a huge impact on basically how well a lot of things are run in an organization. In a University outlook a lot of leadership comes from the athletic director and then trickles down to assistants, coaches, staff, and facility workers under that. That is not always the case when you get to higher professional teams because then it starts with the owners and the general managers of the specific teams and so on down the line. You need to have a good leader in any kind of organization or teams, they are put in place to make those big decisions and trickle the power down from there. Structure and leadership go together in a way of that leadership can be claimed in many different matters depending on the structure of your organization. If you are a smaller structure where all the power goes to one person then they will get all the leadership and make sure everything is done. Where as if you are a much larger organization you will not always have one person making all the decisions and the power or leadership will be spread out. Take for instance in a smaller organization like a sports outfit store you will have one head manager you go to for your leadership but in a professional sports team you have a lot more leadership spread out through all the different sub groups that makes a organization run like for instance the Minnesota Twins. The environment has a huge impact on leadership because of all the media out in the environment and the things that go along with a pro or even collegiate sports team. If there are big issues the person in charge or the leader are always the one to take the blame or address the media. An example of this is our Athletic Director here at the U of M having to deal with the issues of the new basketball player we got this year and his issue with some crime he had done. The processes of an organization are impacted by leadership because they are the ones that make the decisions and tell everyone they way things are suppose to be done and the processes that things need to be done in. An example of this is a General Manager of a professional team like the Minnesota Wild determining when we get a new coach and the processes that they are going to take to get there because he is the leader in that role. Things like actors and culture have a huge impact on leadership because you need to have a good leader to make an organization run smoothly and work because if no one believes in your leader or he or she cannot lead your whole organization could falter or close if your a smaller organization with only one leader. Which of these things discussed in my blog has the biggest impact on leadership and why? What is another thing that impacts leadership in an organization?

Leadership

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Organizational context, such as actors, culture, structure, and environment impact leadership in many ways. Strong leaders are critical in every organization. A good leader can lead, inspire, and direct an organization and its employees toward achieving the organizational goals. To describe how the different organization contexts can impact leadership I am going to use the United States Logrolling Association (USLRA) as an example. The actors, or the board members, change from year to year, but not dramatically. Each year only about three people change roles. The actors are voted in and out, making their leadership even more important because the people voting them in are counting on them. Due to the fact that the same people are usually on the board it is easier for them to be stronger leaders. They are able to gain the trust and knowledge and skills and build it over the years. In organizations where leaders are constantly being changed I feel it is hard for them live up to their full leadership potential. By adapting to your members and the processes of the organization the leaders are able to become stronger and stronger. The culture of an organization also impacts leadership dramatically. If a new leader joins an organization, he or she must adapt their leadership style to the culture they are now surrounded by. Also, when starting a new organization it is up the leader to form a culture for that organization. The USLRA is a very new organization, and therefore, is still in the culture forming stages. I feel that the president now is attempting to define the culture in which she wants the USLRA to be run. We have open lines of communication, the board is very informative, and all decisions are run by the members before being made. The structure of an organization impacts leadership depending on how tall or flat it is. The flatter an organization is the more crucial it is to have one leader making most of the decisions and running the company. The taller a company gets, the more important it is to have a few leaders so that everyone within the company can have a good relationship with at least one leader. The USLRA has a very flat structure and therefore we have one primary leader, the president. Every member gets to vote on important decisions and new rules and regulations to be voted in or out, however, ultimately it is up to the leader to inform everyone of these voting's and lead them in making the appropriate vote. Leadership can be impacted by the environment in many different ways. External environmental factors can affect an organization and force the leader to change leadership styles. The leader will have to take what the environment gives them and adjust. Also, when times get hard it is up the leader to guide his organization through the tough times and keep them motivated and strong. It is crucial that the leaders establish their own values within the company and stand by their decisions so their employees have someone to stand by as well. Another way to view environment in a sport organization is how competitive the market is. For instance the USLRA does not have any competitors, making the environment much more relaxes. The Minnesota Vikings, being in a very competitive market may require a different type of strict, more aggressive leadership due to this competition. Questions: Which organizational context has the most impact on leadership? To what extent does length of leadership role impact ones ability to lead well?

Leadership

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The organizations actors, processes, culture, structure and environment impact leadership on a large scale. These are all large determinants in which type of leadership style is used within an organization as well as determining its effectiveness. I will be using my first hand experience with the U of M football team as an example throughout this entry. The organizational structure is somewhat complex with a vertical sort of chain of command. The coaches and assistant coaches are given a lot of power in relation to training and teaching their players. They must have very effective leadership styles, and I have noticed some coaches using better leadership styles than others. Some are solely using a coercive style with their players, constantly yelling and offering negative feedback. Few coaches have a balance between the coercive style and a supportive leadership style. These coaches that have a good balance have players that are willing to work harder to get these words of encouragement and end up excelling much greater than the players with coaches who are constantly negative. The culture an organization is placed in has a lot to do with the type of style that is used. As it points out in the "Time Out" section of Slack and Parent on page 301, the Japanese students prefer the supportive type of leadership as well as participative leadership styles much more than the Canadian students. This would have a lot to do with the styles of leadership that are common in Japanese culture as opposed to what the Canadian students are used to. The type of sport also determines the different types of leadership styles that are effective. This has relation to the type of environment the players are experiencing. The type of sport would be the environment in my opinion. For example, football typically has a much more abrasive and high intensity environment than a cross-country running team or dance team would experience. These different environments attract different leadership styles. Using the football team as an example again, this environment is very high intensity and high stress, therefore a lot of this is transferred on down onto the players. I have noticed it increasing more from last year to this year. I think this could be attributed to the fact that Tim Brewster's job is on the line this year so he needs a lot of wins in order to continue on with his job at the U of M. Lastly, the actors are very influential on the leadership styles used in an organization. The actors within the university setting include the athletic director, coaches, compliance coordinators, academic staff, support staff, etc. These actors all come into the organization with different ideas on what makes an effective leader and what is best for the organization. If Joel Maturi were to be a very lax athletic director who let everyone else make the decisions for the athletic department, the merger would not have been successful and many of the programs he supervises would most likely be in shambles. On the other side of the spectrum, if he were to be keeping tabs on every employee within the organization and smothering them with his direction and leadership, he would create a lot of animosity and unrest within the athletic department. I think he keeps a good balance between the two extremes, and lets the other actors within the organization have their own leadership styles as long as they are working for their team or department. 1. How do leadership styles differ between collegiate and pro levels of sport? 2. Are there any leadership styles that are almost never effective within sport organizations?