As we've learned over the last few chapters, there are a lot of features that contribute to effectiveness in a sport organization. One major aspect that can contribute to effectiveness is the structure of the organization. A well-balanced structure will be constructed around and focus on complexity, formalization, and centralization in order to assist an organization in reaching goals.
I believe an organization must keep the complexity of its structure minimal, because too many employees with narrow routine tasks would create chaos in an organization. This would lead to task differentiation. This would mean that each manager would have more employees to follow, and more jobs to manage. Departmentalization is an effective solution to manage complexity of an organization. It breaks up each department into subunits, which are more easily managed. Regarding vertical differentiation in an organization, the greater number of levels, the less effective. Communication is key in an effective organization and the more levels there are, the long the communication chain. With so many people working under the president of the organization, the employees at the bottom of the chain likely never speak to their Head Manager. This could potentially lead to the employees not being on the same page, and miscommunications could happen more easily. A smaller hierarchy, with all employees reporting to just a few people would make it easier for everyone to not only understand the goals of the organization easier, but also achieve these goals as a team easier.
The next step to creating an effective structure would the formalization of the organization. A company with too much formalization (rules, regulations, policies, etc.) would not be desirable to work for, as there would be too much opportunity for error, and too much structure. That said, an organization with too little formalization would create too much freedom in the workplace. It is necessary to find a happy, medium in formalization in order to be effective. This could happen through simple things like a good training program for the employees, a set of easily understood policies and procedures, as well as job descriptions that are not completely set in stone, and provide some leeway for creativity.
The last dimension of structural effectiveness is Centralization. A centralized organization would be one in which all employees report to the top. The CEO is in charge of all decision making for the company. This could not only be overwhelming for the CEO, but also for the employees. Some issues need to be acted upon right away, and if only one person can be in charge of decision-making for an entire organization, some of these important issues may be overlooked. To me, a decentralized organization would create more effectiveness. In an average size corporation there could be 4-7 Managers working under the CEO, whom the employees can report to and if necessary, those Managers can report to the CEO. For smaller organizations, a centralized structure may be more effective because there are not as many employees to report to that one CEO.
Obviously the effectiveness created from these three dimensions depends on the size of the organization, but if all dimensions are managed well, a balanced structure will be created, and therefore the organization will be effective.
When thinking about what makes an organization effective, several key traits come to mind. Some are fairly basic principles, other more in-depth. Slack and Parent describe several aspects of an effective sport organization, and also 4 approaches to organizational effectiveness. Although I see how all of the approaches lead to organizational effectiveness, I find if taking a few traits from each approach and adding to the mix a few goals based off of company values, an extremely effective organization will result.
Over the past two summers, I was fortunate enough to work at what I now realize is an extremely effective golf course. The management team has developed an organizational approach that has created a fun and successful work environment for all employees, in addition to making a financial profit at the end of each season. A key aspect to starting an effective organization is creating a high-quality training program. All employees must begin their employment by being properly educated. It is beneficial if all employees are on the same page when they start. Having knowledge of the equipment used, day-to-day tasks, job duties, and "team" goals are just a few key aspects of a quality-training program. At the beginning of each summer, each department of the golf course meets to discuss individual and team goals for the season. Not everyone always comes to the meeting with the same goals in mind for their summers individually, but through creativity from our Manager, and teamwork we easily conclude on goals we'd like to reach as a team. Chelladurai, Haggerty, Campbell, and Wall identified 11 criteria for effectiveness, and several of these were apparent at the golf course, and I find could be very useful in any organization. Several of the criteria directly relate to other criteria. By having achieved excellence, this creates spectator interest. Having a 5-Star Golf Digest rating comes from having all departments of the golf course achieving excellence, and a 5-Star rating will create great amounts of spectator interest. By being trained to contribute to a 5-Star golf course, there is a high percentage of satisfaction from the athletes. One goal our Manager makes clear each and every day is that the "Customers are always #1, they always come first". Our decision-making process must be completed with this idea in mind. What can be done to please customer, and keep them in an attractive atmosphere? Creating a desirable and fun atmosphere for the guests, or athletes is just one aspect of an effective organization. In addition to these few aspects, a company that values the safety of guests, and employees can make for a high-level of satisfaction. If employees feel as though they are valued and their safety and well-being is important to the organization, they will find their job attractive and want to contribute to the team more. This will also lead to greater recruitment potential. An organization with a great reputation will always be on the top of recruitment.
I find an organization that works day-to-day with satisfaction and safety of employees and guests, a goal of achieving excellence, and also value-based goals are just a few aspects that will create extreme effectiveness. An organization with not only the end result in mind, but one that considers all aspects of input that will contribute to making a quality end will be most effective in the end.