Recently in Ashley Deisting Category

Presentations 12-8

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I thought that the presentations went really well today. I really enjoy it where there are a lot of pictures on slides verses just words. It helps to keep my attention focused on the presenter and their topic. I thought that both Bryan and Ryan did a good job of using photos in their presentations. Personally I found myself to be interested in Becca's presentation of U of M intramural sports. I had no idea that we had so many different sports offered at the intramural level. Before the presentations I believed it to consist of the usual sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, and flag football. The presentation that I believed to have the most originality today was that of Alyssa's. Her choice of organization was unique. I had never heard of "Pop Warner Little Scholars" before her presentation. I was surprised to find out that it was also in 48 different states. Overall the presentations were very well done, and very informative.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

Change

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                Sports organizations go through many changes. They undergo these changes for many reasons. Some of these changes may be caused by environmental factors such as the economy or technology. Sport organizations need to change to adapt to the changes around them. An example of this may be a sports organization restructuring based on the hard economic times that we all face right now. They may not be able to keep as many employees on the payroll as they did for years past, so they down size departments and possibly even eliminate a few if they are not very vital to the organization. According to Greenwood and Hinings (1996) this is an example of radical change.

                Organizational change is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing depending on who you ask and how well the change benefits the organization. Currently the sports organization that I belong to is undergoing major changes. Capital City Officials Association is merging with St. Paul Officials Association. Resource dependence is the main factor behind the merger. Currently there are 5 organizations in the metro area fighting for resources; basketball and football games, for their members. By merging the two associations you eliminate completion and double the resources. This is an example of a revolutionary change to the organization. If the major change is not handled in the right manner there may be resistance to the change; merger.  Resistance to change may stem from a variety of factors. Some of these factors are the reluctance to deviate from existing programs, the inability of organizations to accurately apprise their performance, the culture of the organization and the fear by some managers that change will reduce their power. In the case of the merger between Capital City and St. Paul I believe that the resistance to change would mainly stem from the fear by some managers/members that change will reduce their power, and the culture of the organization. Many members are hesitant for the merger in fear that they will not get as many games assigned to them depending on which association gets represented through the president. Currently both organizations have presidents, but when the merger takes place one will have to step down there for some of the members from the other association may feel like they are being cheated. Overall I would be fine with either of the presidents taking over the newly merged organization. They are both great leaders and have not shown favoritism towards their organization in this merger.

 

How would you make the members from both organizations happy with the decision for the new president?

Conflict

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                Conflict is defined in several different ways. The one that I believe fits sports organizations the best is defined by Morgan as "conflict occurs whenever interests collide." Within an organization there is horizontal conflict and vertical conflict. Horizontal conflict is when there is a conflict between subunits at the same level of an organization. For example at a division I university the coordinator of campus recreation programs might have a conflict with coordinator of intercollegiate athletics over the use of a sports facility. Vertical conflict occurs between different hierarchical levels of an organization. Most of the vertical conflict stems from the need for control in a sport organization.

                Conflict in sports organizations stem from several different sources. Slack and Parent list differentiation, interdependence, low formalization, competition over resources, differences in reward system, power incongruence, communication problems, participative decision making, and role conflict as some of the sources. Sports organizations need to have strong communication between the different divisions and throughout the different levels of the organization.  If conflict arises in communication it is likely because the information got misinterpreted. Communication needs to be clear between the subunits. Another source of conflict can stem from the formalization of the organization. According to Slack and Parent "when formalization is high, the potential for conflict in a sport organization is low; when formalization is low, the potential for conflict is high" (p 223). The formalization of an organization is like a balancing act. You don't want too much, but you need enough so that your organization runs smoothly.

                Slack and Parent give an example of conflict has happened in a real organization, that talk about is the 2004-2005 NHL lockout by the owners over salary cap disputes with the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players Association).  This conflict between the owners and the players is an example of competition over resources, and in this case the resource was money. The owners and players tried to resolve this conflict over resources with confrontation and negotiation, this means that they met face-to-face to try to resolve their differences.  Confrontation and negotiation is just one of several different conflict management strategies. Some of the other management strategies are authority, avoidance, separating or merging conflicting units, increasing resources, integrating devices, third-party interventions, superordinate goals, job rotation, and issues management. In the NHL lockout example the players association wanted to resolve the conflict with the management strategy of increasing resources. They believed that the success of an NHL team is based on the owners, and that they should basically find more money to support the trend of increasing players salaries. The players believed that they should not be punished for the owners not making a profit on a team. In this situation conflict was good. It forced both sides to sit down and come up with a solution to their problem of being the poorest of the four North American professional sport leagues, and which they did with a salary cap. A little bit of conflict is needed within an organization to make that organization effective.

Power and Politics

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Two things that everyone will encounter at one point or another in their lives are forms of power and politics. These are two things that we as sports managers will in counter in a sports organization. There are five main sources of power in an organization and there are five sources of individual power in organizations. The five sources of power in an organization are control of resources, coping with uncertainty, centrality, nonsubstitutability, and control over decision making. The sources of individual power are legitimate power, reward power, coercive power, referent power, and expert power. All of these sources of power play a role in organizational politics. The more power that an organization or an individual have the more influential they are when it comes to organizational politics.  

                The sources of power in an organization are key factors when it comes to successful organizations. Control of resources is a big step in gaining power. The organizations that have acquired resources and ones that are critical to the organization's operations is a big step to being successful in the market. Another source of power in an organization is the ability to cope with uncertainty. The organizations that deal with the uncertainties that arise out of the task environment well will have more power. Market research is one strategy that organizations will use to help cope with the uncertainty.  This also helps them plan for the future. The next source of power in an organization is centrality. According to Slack and Parent centrality is determined by the problems it is facing at a particular time.  Centrality is the amount of power a subunit has in the sport organization. For example Slack and Parent say that in an equipment manufacturer is likely to have centrality in the marketing department. One way to avoid having all the power in one department is to have several leaders or managers overseeing several different departments. The fourth sources of power in an organization is nonsubstitutability. Nonsubstitutability is being irreplaceable. This is important for individuals and subunits within sport organizations. If they can not replace you that means that you hold a lot of power, and like I stated earlier the more power you have the better. In this case it creates job security. From an organization's prospective to avoid having too much power lay with one person you could train in several other people to do that persons job. This way they all have to work together and the power does not lay with one single person rather with a group. The last source of power for organizations is control over decision making. This is a huge part of power within an organization. According to Slack and Parent, "power is gained not only by having input in the decision process but also through control of the process itself." This also holds true for organizations not in the sports industry. An effective strategy for managing this concept is spread out the decision making process. Make the decision have to go through several different levels of management before it can be approved. Overall the more say you have in the sources of power in an organization the more influential you will be when it comes to company politics.

            There are many different things that influence whether or not a sports organizations succeeds or fails. In past blogs we have talked about how the structure and design influence the success of sports organizations, and we have also talked about the organizations strategies and how they can help them accomplish their goals. Well there is yet another thing that determines how successful a sports organization is how organizations react to the environments that surround it. In the book it talks about how there are two sectors that influence an organization and those are the general environment and the task environment.

            The general environment has less of an impact on organizations than the task environment. The general environment includes things like economic conditions, political situations, legal conditions, ecological factors, sociocultural factors, demographics, and technological developments. These general things effect every organization even if it is not in the sports sector.

            The second sector of environment is the task environment. This is the most important sector because everything has a large impact on the sport organization. The five main things in this sector are suppliers, competitors, athletes' groups/staff, regulatory agencies, and customers/members/fans. Sports organization managers and CEOs focus on these five things to better their company. They use planning and forecasting to predict what the environment might be like in the future, and then adjust their goals and strategies from there. 

            In the article assigned for this week by Alison J. Armstrong-Doherty they talk about how Canadian Universities are concerned about their dependence on non-university sources for financial support. The universities are trying to figure out ways to generate more money, so that they will not be so reliant on the non-university sources. They are doing this in fear of the compromise of the education principles underlying interuniversity athletics. In this study they looked at financial input of various contributors and how it related to the control in athletic departments. When looking at this it would be smart of the universities to shy away from non-university sources for revenue because of the different environmental factors. One of those factors being the possibility of poor economic conditions, which would make the non university donors more likely to donate less money to the school. Even though this is a general environment category it would still have a significant impact on donations.

            In any organization top level management must look at and analyze environmental factors. They must determine and forecast the complexity of the environment and the amount of change in the environment. The companies or organizations that do this the best will be the most successful.

 

Questions

1. If you were a top level manager at Nike corporation which environmental factor would you be most concerned with? (demographics, technological developments economic conditions ect.)

2. In regards to the article by Armstrong-Doherty do you agree that shying away from non-university revenue would be a good idea to help uphold the educational principles underlying interuniversity athletics?