Change is of the inevitable. Sport organizations are always changing because of internal and external influences. Sport organizations are always changing whether it is a change in staff, change in philosophy or a change in operations and execution. Organizations are always trying to better their staff by hiring people who have certain skills and qualities that will benefit the organization and will allow them to be affective during the times of change. The physical structure of an organization can also change. If an organization is having a hard time dealing with some sort of change they might appoint more people to hierarchical status to have a more efficient leadership oriented structure. It is important for organizations to prepare for change so they are equipped and ready in order for them to keep up with their competitors. This type of preparation is not something that can developed over night, it takes time and thought. Most of the time external pressures cause organizations to change and adapt. Obviously the economy is the biggest issue right now for sport organizations. The economy is forcing organizations to be better financially efficient. For example, teams within the four major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL) are finding ways to reduce costs and are trying to be creative to bring in other sources of revenue besides traditional ways. Teams have changed the structure of their organization by cutting jobs and appointing employees to complete more assigned tasks. This trend of cutting jobs has also been seen in many colleges throughout the country. College athletic departments have t o plan very carefully to overcome this recession. Not only are jobs being cut down, but colleges are eliminating certain sports to help minimize debt and keep a stable athletic budget. The economy can also be a cause of technological change. It affects the sport organization's production process and they way they carry out their rules and procedures. The two types of change are radical and convergent change (Slack, 240). According to the book, radical change is frame bending and it requires complete change within the organization as a whole. Convergent change is more about fixing the organization's structure or "fine tuning" a specific orientation. Not only does change affect sport organizations, but it also indirectly affects their consumers, whether it is companies working for the organization, fans, or teams. Organizations have to fix their structure to help them complete their tasks and also they have to build their organization structure to effectively accommodate their consumers.
desm0042: October 2009 Archives
Conflict is everywhere, it happens in everyday life. People face conflict all the time whether it is with relationships, classes, or sports. Everyone has dealt with many types of conflict throughout their life and has learned from the experience. Whether or not conflict is overcome it is still an important learning tool for future references and similar situations. Sport organizations also face conflict in every phase of their organization. In the book, March and Simon describe conflict as a "breakdown in the standard mechanisms of decision making so that an individual or group experiences difficulty in selecting an action alternative. I agree with this definition however, I don't think conflict is limited to a breakdown in the standard mechanisms of decision making of an organization. I know this is just a general definition, but conflict can also occur during game operation, sales, and in management of an organization. Conflict is difficult to deal with and to overcome, but overcoming conflict expands and organization's ability to achieve tasks and goals. It allows them to discover different possible alternatives to deal with future conflict. There are two types of conflict, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal conflict is used to help breakdown conflict and categorize it into certain subunits. Within these certain subunits or the individuals representing the subunits that remain on the same level of organizational hierarchy is where horizontal conflict occurs (Slack and Parent, 2006). Horizontal conflict can occur in an athletic department between those involved with intercollegiate activities and those who are associated with the campus recreation program. Conflict is present between these two programs in thousands of colleges throughout the U.S. Conflicts may occur with scheduling, funding, and resources for sporting events. The recreation program may feel as though they are not receiving a fair amount of the institution's funding. Another scenario may be scheduling issues at the facilities; a club sport may have to adapt their schedule according to the athletic schedule. Conflict between the two occurs because they both have different goals and priorities. These conflicts are apparent in colleges because most of them have a recreation program to complement their athletic program. It is important to have great leadership within your athletic department to deal with never-ending conflict issues. If conflict is not dealt with, this will cause dysfunction within your organization. I think it is important to take your time and consider every option you have, but I think an ultimate decision must be made fairly quickly so the conflict doesn't linger. Vertical conflict occurs between two different hierarchical levels of sport organization (Slack and Parent, 2006). This conflict is a result from the demand for control in a sport organization and the needs of an individual. An example of this may be if a coach demands for a contract worth more money, this is usually negotiated with the athletic director. I think this conflict arise when people sometimes put their wants ahead of their needs. It is important that organizational members abide by and understand the needs of the organization and realize the structure within the organization.
Power and politics play a major role in the sports industry and affect every sport organization. I think it is vital for a sport organization to have a well built power structure in order for them to operate efficiently and effectively. There are many times when power and politics can have a positive effect on an organization and there are also many times when power and politics can prevent an organization from fulfilling out their duties and keep them from achieving their goals. Strategic choice is a concept that is analyzed when talking about problems of organizational power and politics. According to Slack and Parent, strategic choice typically includes not only the establishment of structural forms but also the manipulation of environmental features and the choice of relevant performance standards. This is saying that an organization must adapt their standards according to how environmental factors are affecting them. Not only do environmental features influence an organization and how `they operate but power and authority is one of the most complex concepts in the organizational theory literature. Power is not something that is directly visible within a sport organization, but the effects of power are evident. Maintaining a certain level of power in an organization is important in order to keep the structure and management intact. Upper levels of the management must have power in order to lead their organization in a market. There are several types of power that affect an organization. One form of power is authority, which is the power that it is formally sanctioned by a sport organization, the power that accrues to a person because of his or her role within the organization (Slack and Parent, 2006). I think in the video we watched about how Nike has their workers in India working for dirt cheap money is a way to show how power and authority can affect a lot of people. Because Nike is the leading company for sport apparel, they have a lot of power and authority and it is being used to direct controversial action. Power can be used negatively or positively it depends on the situation at hand. Although an organization can have their own power and authority, the book talks about sources of individual power. These types of power are legitimate, coercive, referent, and expert power. Legitimate power is the same as authority (Slack and Parent, 2006). People acquire this power depending on their certain position within an organization. Coercive power is power that is used in disciplinary actions. Referent power is based on individuals respect for another person. The individuals within a sport organization support and value the management above. Lastly expert power happens because of an individual's skill or certain knowledge about a particular idea.
When studying organizations, environment is important to understand when trying to distinguish how an organization operates influence the structure and other processes. When trying to be successful an organization must take into consideration many environmental factors such as: the economy, politics, legal issues, and technology etc. These are just a few of many factors that every organization has to face every day. A way to grade an organization's effectiveness can be how they deal with these factors. They must be aware of changes within their environment and must take the necessary steps in order to adapt. They must also be able to take the necessary steps not only to be effective, but to also to stay competitive in their respective industry. Planning and organization are two key components when dealing with these unexpected environmental factors. In the book it talks about how Horst Dassler was better than anyone in sports at adapting to environmental factors. Dassler was known for creating links with many key figures in amateur sports which allowed him to stay informed of the changes that could possibly influence Adidas. Social networking gave Dassler an advantage in capitalizing on opportunities in the environment, which resulted in Adidas becoming the number one sporting good company in the world at one time. According to researchers organizations must deal with two different kinds of environments, a general and a task environment. The general environment includes sectors that can influence the industry in general ways that can impact the organization. There are a number of sectors that general environment can be divided into, some of which I listed above. The task environment in a sport organization is conducted of aspects of its general environment that can influence its abilities to achieve goals. Often included in a task environment for a sport organization are groups like customers-members-fans, staff, suppliers, competitors, and regulatory agencies. A task environment for an organization will change based on the domain that organization chooses to operate under. A domain is relating to the territory that a sport organization stakes out for itself, according to the services and products they offer and the market which they operate under. This allows for differentiation in domains between sport organizations, which means a different task environment. Overall I think it is very important for organizations to manage their environment. There are so many aspects that are associated with environment that can affect a sport organization both positively and negatively if those aspects aren't handled well. An organization can be considered effective if they take the appropriate steps to adapt to changes within their environment.