I would honestly say that Kenny Mauer was one of the best guest speakers I have ever had speak to my class. He was willing to share almost everything with us and wasn't afraid to state his opinions on some of the major issues that caused the labor dispute. He also didn't mind when we brought up the whole Donaghy situation and the effect that has had on NBA officials. One thing that I really liked about Kenny was that he showed that he was worried about his security over the long run. This was not Kenny's first lockout with the NBA. He understands what the NBA is trying to do to the officials and he is used to all of their tactics. He knows that David Stern is going to try and bully the officials around and get his way, but even in the preseason their were many coaches and players complaining about the officiating and begging David Stern to end the lockout. If the officials would have waited it out, most likely at some point, a game that matters would have been effected by an official's call and this would have lead to the NBA being put in a tough situation and then the officials probably would have gotten more of their demands met. Most of the young officials did not want to risk losing their job and they were willing to sacrifice things that would help them in the future in order to keep their job right now. Kenny really tried to emphasize planning for the future and making sure that whatever they compromised on with the NBA would still be good for all of the officials over the next 10, 15, or even 20 years. I thought that Kenny was also very personable which I really liked. Right away he made sure to mention the fact that he was Joe Mauer's cousin and he talked about what a nice guy he was. Also, he had a bunch of stories about his time in the NBA and how he interacts with certain fans and players. He talked about how when he is home he usually calls a youth basketball game and how one time a fan was yelling at him from the stands and didn't believe it when people told her that he was a referee for the NBA. I think that by telling us all of these personal details it made him a very likable person and that we were all kind of pulling for the officials to win their lockout battle against the NBA. I think that David Stern exploits a lot of other people because he understands that he has a lot of power seeing as he runs one of the wealthiest sports leagues in the world. This is smart but it leads to many smaller constituents not getting what they want in the long run.
nordn004: October 2009 Archives
Change is constantly happening in all organizations and it can be handled in many ways. In doing my organizational analysis about the Oakland Raiders I have noticed that they have been dealing with a large amount of change of late and they have not done a very good job of dealing with it. Since the 2002 season the Raiders have had 5 coaches. The team has to learn a new system almost every year. Many of these coaching changes have been caused because of conflicts between the owner and the coaches. While Lane Kiffin was the coach of the team he wanted to hire his father, Monte, as the team's defensive coordinator. Monte had been in the league for many years and was very well respected by people all around the league, so he was definitely well-qualified for the position. Davis did not want to hire Monte Kiffin and would not allow Lane to bring him in as his defensive coordinator. This was the first of many issues between the two men which eventually led to Kiffin being fired in the middle of the 2008 season. Another example of a lot of change in the Raider organization occurred when the Raiders moved. In the early 80s, Al Davis wanted the city of Oakland to help pay for renovations to the team's stadium. The league and the city did not support the renovations so Davis threatened to move the team to Los Angeles. Eventually Davis got his wish and he moved the team to the Coliseum in Los Angeles. The team stayed there until the mid-90s. During the early 90s the fans in Oakland had rallies and protests against the team because they were upset about the team leaving. Eventually Davis moved the team back to Oakland but he made a terrible decision to issue Personal Seat Licenses which led to the team to have poor ticket sales and they have had many games blacked out since their return to Oakland. All of this change is very hard for the organization to deal with because there is no consistency and the team never knows when the next big change is going to happen. Everyone is always on their toes and coaches know that if they slip up even once with the owner that they could be out of a job. An organization that handled change very well of late is the University of Minnesota. They merged the athletic department because they used to have a men's and women's athletic department. From everything I have come across, most people think the University did a very good job of handling this change. They brought in Joel Maturi to help lead the merger and I feel like he has the right vision to lead the University through this humongous change. This change could have turned out very bad but the organization was able to make some tough decisions on which people to keep on the staff and it seems like they have merged the two departments very smoothly.
After reading about the different components of an organization's environment, I think it can have a major influence on decisions made by any organization. There are a few different types of environmental factors. There are political or legal factors. there are economic factors and there are socio-cultural factors. Since my organizational evaluation is on the Oakland Raiders it is very easy for me to give good examples of these environmental factors. Al Davis has had many legal battles throughout his tenure as owner of the Raiders. In the 80s he moved his team to Los Angeles because the city of Oakland did not want to pay for renovations to their stadium. He went through with the move after all of the owners in the NFL voted against it and then years of legal battles ensued until he was allowed to move to Los Angeles. Also, when the USFL tried to start another football league and claimed the NFL had created a monopoly, Al Davis was the only NFL owner to testify against the NFL in the anti-trust law suit. With all of these legal battles against the NFL, the Raiders do not get preferential treatment from the league so they have no advantages over other teams. Economic factors have been the cause of a lot of issues lately in the NFL. The economy has taken a serious downturn of late and this has lead to many teams ticket sales taking a major hit. A lot of teams are struggling with this but along with teams like the Jaguars, the Raiders are among the worst in the league as far as ticket sales numbers. Many teams around sports are trying to bring in more fans by offering special ticket prices to students and family in order to at least get some money for seats that they are struggling to sell. The Raiders have really done nothing of the sort. When I visited the team's website the only special ticket offer I found was that they were giving away beaded necklaces to celebrate the Latino culture of the area. This is not a campaign that will bring in many extra fans. Speaking of the Latino culture of the area, this is a major socio-cultural factor that influences many decisions the Oakland Raiders make. The Oakland Raiders have a lot of support from Latino fans and their one special ticket package is supposed to celebrate the Latino heritage but a beaded necklace just really doesn't get the job done. If the Raiders tried to market more to their Latino fans, I think they could bring in a lot more fans from around the area. Another possibility that the Raiders could consider because of their Latino following is they could possibly move to Mexico City because the NFL is always looking to expand internationally. The Raiders have to deal with many things in their environment and I think they are doing somethings well but they also could improve a lot.