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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.

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.

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.    

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

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)."

Leadership

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Organizational impact on leadership can be measured in many ways one such way is by measuring the organizations effectiveness as a whole. Organizational effectiveness contains five important criteria "which include quality and quantity of the organization's "product," its efficiency, its ability to adapt to changes, and its flexibility in dealing with crises (Branch, 1990)." These criteria are easily in turn used in many leadership situations and apply to most organizations. In my opinion leadership is defined as someone who organizes a group of people together to accomplish a common goal that is eventually achieved and brings better understanding to a community.

            Actors within a leadership setting must concentrate on building healthy relationships with all university related staff. In athletics it is important for all parties to keep a functioning relationship and understand one another's viewpoint, especially athletic staff towards athletes as well as reciprocation. Leaders in this relationship "should maintain a level of empathy for student-athletes and their commitment, sacrifice, and dedication to athletics (Branch, 1990)." Thus, in return student athletes would acknowledge the same characteristics presented above toward athletic staff as well as being grateful that the opportunity to play sports is granted by those in power.

            The process by which leadership takes place does not necessarily need to be appointed by a coach, team, athletic director, or any other personnel. Anyone can adopt this role for the proper situation and become a leader that takes control and directs everyone in the correct direction. However, some scenarios require an appointed leader to make an outright decision and deal with the responsibilities and consequences of the decision. An example of this would be in college athletics if a player had allegedly committed a felony, but had not been convicted. Most universities would have a standard protocol or process to follow to guide the leader in making a decision. However, in a certain situation it is possible that the ruling is based upon review of a case by case basis and that open interpretation on making a decision is left to an appointed leader. In the end the leader is then left to make a decision in the best interest of the university and student athlete about their career from here on out at the institution.

            Leaders can present themselves in many ways creating a variety of cultures available to its organization. One such example is charismatic leadership where "a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is considered extraordinary and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities (Slack & Parent, 2006." The culture formed in this type of leadership is centered on achieving the goals set out by one singular person of an organization. An example may be an NFL team's owner who is very involved and seen in the community as a celebrity figure who could do no wrong. Another culture form created by a different type of leadership is transformational leadership. Transformational leadership "involves the leader in some form of transaction with subordinates. Leaders exchange pay or prestige for a subordinates compliance with their orders (Slack & Parent, 2006)." This type of leadership is most commonly seen in organizations where there are a group of executives who make decisions and appoint subordinates to achieve these goals and pay them significantly in return.

 

Organizational Change

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            Organization change is simply anything that is done to affect the organization from its normally planned actions. Examples from the concept of change include "new people enter the organization, some leave, parts of the organizations layout are reorganized and new programs or product lines are developed (Slack & Parent, 2006)." A concept that I enjoyed reading about was the evolution and revolution approach to organizational change. The foundation of this approach is that most organizations are resistant to change. "Even when faced with the possibility of failure, organizations will often continue to do what they have been doing in the past and not make necessary adjustments to ensure their survival (Slack & Parent, 2006)." The affects of not addressing this change and making the proper adjustments can be devastating to any company especially those in small market business because of the limited ability to make errors.

            The idea of evolutionary and revolutionary change refers to the concept of momentum which is "the tendency of an organization to stay with its existing structural design (Slack & Parent)." This occurs because many companies have a formula for success and those in power are stubborn to make any changes until certain death as an organization is imminent causing several losses. Instead companies should consider two types of change that this concept presents. First, "evolutionary change occurs as organizations make incremental adjustments in their strategy, structure, or processes, while still remaining within this particular design (Slack & Parent, 2006)." This type of change happens over time and takes a more conservative position as new ideas and solutions are implemented along with the original ideas that are the foundation of the company. Second, "revolutionary change takes place in response to a major upheaval or crisis in an organization's environment requiring a simultaneous and sharp shift in strategy, power, structure, and controls (Slack & Parent, 2006)." The key phrase in acting with revolutionary change is "in response to a major upheaval or crisis" this type of change is extremely dangerous in situations where the situation is not a major concern. Companies need time to evaluate the possible opportunities and risks associated with making any type of change this is why few revolutionary changes should occur over the existence of a company's life span.

            Organizational change can occur "externally in the environment or from the inside (Slack & Parent, 2006)."An example of an external change can be a change in government. Under the evolution and revolution change approach this would need to be addressed under the evolution change because it is something that can be done over time to be implemented into daily business. An example of internal change could be new equipment and technology acquisition. This may require revolutionary change because it could mean the hiring/firing of personnel which would require new compensation plans and alter the budget of an organization. Altogether organizational change is in control of the committee or owner of the company and affects everyone working in or with that organization directly.

Nike

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            Upon reading the Nike article I began to make many evaluations about the company as well as its practices. Overall, their products, research, and cutting edge technology in the sports industry are second to none. However, their practices as a business should be questioned along with the leadership within their organization. Nike's business model is "to market high-end consumer products manufactured in cost-efficient supply chains (Zadek, 2004)." This common practice used amongst many organizations proves to be effective in attracting many customers and generating a vast amount of profit. However, underlying this business model for Nike is the unethical practices of how the products are made and the unfair wages paid to factory workers in Indonesia. With the exploitations of Nike's business practices being exposed in the early 2000's a new approach was necessary, thus they developed the path to corporate responsibility.

            Therefore, Nike came up with the five stages of organizational learning. These stages in order are defensive, compliance, managerial, strategic, and civil. Using this system they assessed where they were at and how they could progress through each level and eventually reaching the overall goal of becoming a civil learning organization.  Assessing the first stage of being defensive, this states that companies deny their responsibilities as an organization. A company in this stage really needs to re-evaluate the power and position they have in the market and whether or not they are willing to continue to take the risks involved with this stage. Next, the compliance stage states that a company recognizes their responsibilities as an organization; however they do it just to please the corporate standard that is set. This stage is not taking a community responsibility approach and says a lot to consumers about what is important to the company. The managerial stage shows that companies are taking a realistic approach to addressing corporate responsibility yet they are still missing the long term benefit in building a partnership with the community. The strategic learning stage takes an important approach to reaching out to the company and really building in social issues with business strategies. Overall this is a great approach however the step missing is incorporating this idea across business to business relationships. The civil stage is the ideal approach for a company that wants to show ultimate social responsibility for its business actions because it promotes industry participation.

Altogether, Nike remains in the compliance stage to this day with adjustments being made to improve to the managerial stage. They have shown progress by incorporating these ideas into their business activities. However, by promoting themselves as the industry leader in corporate responsibility while still participating in shady business they really contradict their actions and progressing to the next stage. Avoiding the conflict presented by this situation was impossible, however Nike managed this improperly by refusing to do interviews and address the issue. Instead they ignored the so called bad "itch" and continued on until the power of the people starting this issue became too great where they were forced to create a plan of corporate responsibility. Overall Nike has been able to avoid a lot of negative media in the past five years since the initial outbreak of their business practices with this five stage approach. To avoid this in the future Nike would benefit in actually participating in the plan they have set forth.

Blog #4 Power & Politics

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            On a daily basis within sport organizations many decisions are made. Those who make decisions are seen as having power within the organization. Power in sports organizations is defined as "the ability to get someone to do something they would not have otherwise done or the probability that one actor in a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance regardless of the basis on which this probability rests (Slack & Parent, 2006." Also, within sports organizations is the involvement of politics which can be a sensitive subject in the world of sports. Nonetheless politics is defined as "the ability to use the bases of power effectively-to convince those to whom one has access; to use one's resources, information, and technical skills to their fullest in bargaining; to exercise formal power with a sensitivity to the feelings of others; to know where to concentrate one's energies; to sense what is possible; to organize the necessary alliances (Slack & Parent, 2006)." The following will discuss the forms of organizational power and politics along with effective strategies for managing these concepts.

            Beginning with sources of power which include "acquisition and control of resources, ability to cope with uncertainty, and control over decision making (Slack & Parent, 2006)." First, the acquisition and control of resources includes such things as "money, people, information, and legitimacy (Slack & Parent, 2006)." All of these things are used as pawns or bargaining chips within an organization so that changes can be made to effectively meet the needs of the organization. Most times this type of power is used by subunits to obtain things that they want. However, for an organization to effectively manage this concept they must keep themselves structured in a hierarchical strategy and not allow any one particular subunit too much power where daily basis is negatively affected. Second the ability to cope with uncertainty occurs when drastic changes are made within an organizations "task environment which includes such things as suppliers, competitors, fans, and agencies (Slack & Parent, 2006)." One way to handle this problem is to appoint a market research team to gather information about customers needs, the team, and also to predict the trends that may occur. Another way of assessing this issue is to prevent the occurrence by always being prepared for what will happen internally or externally with your organization. To do this an organization must always be up to date with its software, competitors, fans, product etc. Third, control over the decision-making process defined as "power is gained not only by having input in the decision process but also through control of the process itself (Slack & Parent, 2006)." When examining an organization one of the first attributes I look for when trying to determine who has power is those who are making the decisions. The key with figuring out who gets to make decisions that ultimately determine how your organization is run is finding those with quality leadership characteristics. These characteristics include such attributes as loyalty, honesty, knowledge, creativity, and adaptability. With these leadership qualities instilled in a group of people driving the wheel behind an organization to me it is no doubt success will be achieved.

            The forms of organizational politics include building coalitions, use of outside experts, and building a network of contacts. First, building coalitions are "built when people spend time communicating their views to others, establishing trust relationships, and building mutual respect (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Within a sport organization building coalitions is very important for subordinate employees because unified power can be achieved this way and can be used later if necessary against an organization. However, for CEO's of a sport organization coalitions in the workforce are dangerous because of the before mentioned reasons. While sport organizations should encourage friendly relationships in the workforce it should be encouraged for these things to occur outside of the workplace and not on work time. Also, it should be noted that any discussions about harming the organization in any way shape or form are strongly discouraged. This is a good way of managing coalitions within a sport organization. Next, the use of outside experts means hiring external employees to "support or legitimize one's position (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Most organizations see this task as bringing in an "objective view," however, the book discusses how the hiring of these external employees needs to be objective as well otherwise the use of outside experts is distorted. In order to manage outside experts' organizations need to allow full access of their records and keep a hands off approach so that this task is useful upon completion. Lastly, the importance of obtaining and maintaining a useful group of networking contacts cannot be underestimated. Networks are "established individuals through the formal mechanisms of the sport organization, but also through informal means (Slack & Parent, 2006)." These days many people receive jobs through their network of contacts along with other beneficial resources. Every individual should attempt to grow their list of contacts as often as possible. Sport organizations should encourage joint relationships with other organization as business-to-business work can be the most powerful. However, this practice should only be used on the grounds of the utmost trust and ability to create a successful partnership.

 

Questions: Do politics in sport organizations bring more negatives or positives? And why? Who holds more power within a sport organization such as a professional league players or owners? And Why?

 

Andre Phillips

Environment

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            An organizations environment is very important to the success of daily operations along with meeting its expectations and achieving its goals. Every organization has what is called a general environment which "includes those sectors that, although they may not have direct impact on the operations of a sport organization, can influence the industry in general ways that ultimately have an impact on the organization (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Aspects of a general environment include economic, political, sociocultural, legal, demographic, ecological, and technological changes. An important implementation to a successful organization in my opinion is a task oriented environment.

            A task environment "is made up of those aspects of its general environment that can influence its ability to achieve its goals (Slack & Parent, 2006)." Addressing an economic issue such as a recession from a task environment perspective depends on its overall goals. Say the organization placed a high goal on maintaining a high profit margin they would be willing to cut their losses in the form of cutting jobs, eliminating unusable resources, and reducing payroll in certain areas. Political issues may include a change in power within the organization. From a task environment perspective the company would remain working to achieve the short term goals of the organization, but would more than likely adapt quickly to any long term changes. Sociocultural factors are dependent on trends within an industry, say that it becomes popular to spend as little amount of money on sport equipment as possible while maintaining a high quality product. A task oriented environment would immediately adapt to this demand and come up with a viable solution to offer an adequate market competitive product that would satisfy consumers. Legal issues occur over time with every organization no matter how much prevention is put in place these situations are unavoidable. An example would be a union being formed in the NBA and referees decide to go on strike. A task environment would attempt to solve this issue with its best interests in mind while continuing on daily operations such as games, marketing opportunities, and community relations. The task environment organization would attempt to solve this privately while doing its best to not disturb the work being done outside of this specific situation. Demographics are part of every organization in who to market to and who is the best hire based on age, gender, and race. An issue that a sport organization may face is inequalities for women in equal pay to professional athletes in comparison to men. A task oriented organization would attempt to find a reasonable agreement for both sides while not undermining the importance of women's athletics and the growing market for it. Another aspect of an environment is ecological which is like weather conditions. An example of this would be if it snowed at a baseball game and the game was cancelled how does that organization compensate the fans and working crew? A task oriented environment would accommodate the fans as best as they can whether it be free entrance to that game when it occurs along with something from the concession stand or discounted parking and future ticket purchases. The working crew may receive benefits such as team gear. A task environment would want to increase future game attendance from fans and additional money spent at the game they would have originally attended. Additionally from the working crew they would want to increase loyalty to the organization by giving inexpensive benefits this also reduces such issues as stealing. Lastly technological developments drastically affect organizational environments. An example would be instant replay in the NFL. From a task environment approach they would want to ensure that it works efficiently and that it creates no backlash towards officials who make incorrect calls along with protecting the game so that a call decides the game for a team. Prevention would be the main focus in this situation. Overall, "task environment is of more immediate concern to the sport manager, because it contains those constituents that can strongly affect the success of the organization (Slack & Parent, 2006)."