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Dec. 10

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I enjoyed all of today's presentation and thought that they all seemed very well rehearsed and informational. The presentation that I found to be the most interesting was Sam's presentation about the YMCA. I had never been to a YMCA and didn't know that they focused so heavily on giving back to their community and providing opportunities to less fortunate families. I always heard that the YMCA was very expensive to join and it would have been beneficial to Sam's presentation if she would have listed the membership cost for some YMCAs around the Twin Cities; she could have then took those costs and then compared them to what the average family pays with aide. Some comparison like that I think would have been very interesting. Another presentation that I found interesting today was the Texas Ranger presentation. I never really knew much about that organization either, except that it was a baseball team in Texas, which is pretty obvious. I found it interesting that they have a 28 year old general manager and that from what was presented, he is doing a good job at being the general manager because he can relate to his players on more of a one-on-one level because he is about the age of the players. I also learned a lot about the Twin's organization from the two presentations that we had today, and I think that it is great to see people interested in learning about professional sports teams in the metro.

Day 4

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All of today's presentations were really good and informational. The one that I most enjoyed was the one about Lifetime Fitness. I think that he did a really good outlining the presentation and explaining what the different parts of the organization were. I also agree with the recommendations that he gave about opening up gyms in the west and east coast, I think that doing that would opening up the demographics that they could market to. I also thought that we talked about how Lifetime was opening up gyms overseas, but I could be mistaken. I also enjoyed the presentation about the Minnesota Wild, a lot of the information I did not know beforehand and I think that it is important information to know since it is one of the biggest sports in Minnesota and a new and upcoming team. The presentation about the Olympics I felt was a little rushed, but it is completely understandable since there are a lot of aspects to that organization that could probably not fit into a ten minute presentation. I thought that an overall strength that many of the presenters had today was not fully reading off of the slides that they had, I think that they have learned from previous presenters that summarizing is the best way to present because you grab both Lisa's and the class's attention more.

Day three presentations

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Overall I thought that today's presentations were very informational. I noticed that a lot of the presenters read from their slides almost word for word, which ended up making their presentations less captivating as than they had potential for. Also the two presentations that went over I noticed that they were talking very slow in their presentation, if they would have talked at a faster pace than they could have stayed in the ten minute time frame. The presentation that I liked the most today was the under armour presentation. I liked that she did not read completely off of the slides and she also incorporated fun facts into her presentation to make it more interesting and to keep the class's attention.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.  

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. 

Change

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Change much like conflict is an ever occurring part of any organization and it must be adjusted to constantly to keep the organization running smoothly and effectively.  Slack and Parent identify four different areas where change can occur within a sport organization, these areas are technology, products and services, structures and systems, and finally people.  All four of these areas can occur in any combination together to create a multitude of different organizational changes.  There are two forms of change and they are radical change and convergent change, these forms of changes can occur no matter what the area of change may be in.  Radical change is a dramatic change that happens very fast.  Convergent change is a small change that occurs to fulfill a specific purpose.  The perspective on organizational change that I found most intriguing was evolution and revolution.  This perspective focuses on how an organization will not change even when the existence of the organization is at risk, or in other words a organization will resist all changes even is it means failure.  Slack and Parent identify many different factors that lead up to this resistance and they vary from cost of facilities and equipment, managers fearing loss of their power, to the organizational culture.  The different changes in this perspective are evolutionary which means that incremental adjustments are made, and then revolutionary change, where drastic changes must be made in response to a crisis or upheaval.  Innovation is a very important aspect to organizational change and it was discussed at the end of the chapter as being "one of the major challenges confronting all sport organizations" (252).  There are three types of innovation that can occur within a sport organization and they are, administrative innovation, technological innovation, and product or service innovation.  Administrative innovation happens within the structure of the organization or within the administrative processes.  Technological innovation happens with the development of tools, knowledge, techniques, etc.  Finally product or service innovation involves the development of new services or products.  In conclusion organizational change can occur in many different forms and there are perspectives to accompany most if not all types of organizational change.