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December 8th Presentations

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I really enjoyed Brian's presentation about the Pittsburgh Pirates. Of all organizations in professional sports, I would presume the Pirates would be one of the least effective. They haven't had a winning season since 1992! However, the way Brian was able to analyze the organization, he convinced us all the organization was effective in reaching their goals. While they do have a lot of ground to make up compared to other organizations, His reccommedations of removing the "revolving door" in the organization are spot on. The Pirates are notorious for trading players away, acquiring new players, and then trading them...and they rarely take the time to develop any talent. Brian's presentation was very well put together and he presented it very clearly.

December 3rd Presentations

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I really enjoyed today's presentation about the Moorehead RedHawks. It was very interesting to hear how a smaller, local sports organization is run, compared to the professional organizations we have been hearing about in previous presentations. The thing that surprised me the most was the amount of authority/power the coach had within the organization. In most professional organizations, the coach has very little control over anything but the team. In other words, you would never see Ron Gardenhire making marketing or ticketing decisions. However, the coach of the Moorehead RedHawks made decisions right along with the owners and other managers. Many of these decisions were not related to the team at all! I thought this presentation was very insightful and had a lot of first-hand knowledge included in it.

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!

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


-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



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.  






1. Make sure resources are allocated across the organization in a fair, and well thought out manner.

2. Throughout the decision-making process, make sure all parties' interests and viewpoints are being considered.



1. Professional staff should handle operating tasks. Volunteers should help set policies. The two groups can work together in a committee to make deicisions.

2. Power needs to be dispersed throughout the organization.



1. Organization needs to have a clear mission statement and a clear vision of future goals.

2. Future goals should be determined by a wider spread of individuals among professionals and volunteers, and leaders from both groups must have a good understanding of what capabilities are required for change. 

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


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


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


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


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