The most interesting lecture in this class was Kenny Mauer's guest appearance. Many times in the professional sport industry we have seen debates, strikes, and conflict surrounding contracts and salaries. Before Kenny spoke with us, I had never heard a first hand story or opinion on the topic. The conflict that Kenny presented was between the referees of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the NBA itself. Kenny, being a veteran official of the NBA gave us great insight into the previous conflicts that he had dealt with. He personally had experienced multiple times when the NBA officials were dealing with contractual changes, most of which turned into strikes. The conflict that Kenny and other NBA officials dealt with was vertical conflict, which arises between different hierarchical levels of an organization (Slack, & Parent, 2006). The conflict arose between the league commissioner, David Stern, and the NBA officials. The conflict occurred because David Stern was attempting to change the officials contracts, which affected their salaries in a negative way. Kenny mentioned that there were quite a few younger officials that had never seen a strike before and these officials were more likely to believe David Stern about how great of a contract they were receiving than to listen to the veteran officials about continuing to hold out. This is a demonstration of legitimate and coercive power. David Stern, because of his position as league commissioner, has the legitimate power (Slack, & Parent, 2006). With his legitimate power he can make the decisions on what he want the officials contracts to consist of. He also used coercive power to instill fear into the younger officials. David Stern acquired new officials while the NBA officials were on strike and claimed that if a decision were not reached about the contracts then he would use the new officials all year. This would result in the young officials missing out on an entire year of their contract. Kenny Mauer stated that there was no way the NBA would use unqualified officials for an entire season, but the younger officials were scared that David Stern would. Ultimately the coercive power must have had a significant impact on the officials because they ended up voting in favor of the new contracts much sooner than Kenny Mauer and other veteran officials would have liked.
Ben Masnado: December 2009 Archives
Most of our lectures in this class consisted of one main topic of the organization and management of sport. I think that when we had the panel of guest speakers in class we were presented with the main topic of organizational conflict and change, but also given an inside view on other important management topics. It was fascinating to hear Mr. Maturi speak about the organizational change he experienced when he became the University of Minnesota Athletic Director. He gave personal insight into the process of organizational change and also mentioned other management topics such as culture, decision-making, leadership, and power and politics. Mr. Maturi focused mainly on his approach to the organizational change of combining the men's and women's athletics departments. He explained that he used his first year as the Athletic Director almost entirely to personally adapt to the culture of the University, the two athletic departments and the people who were involved in them. In his first year, there was not one athletic department employee who got fired. Mr. Maturi decided to throw out the idea of radical change for the first year by not eliminating people and positions. Coming into the situation, Mr. Maturi knew that there would potentially be strong resistance to the change that he was hired to coordinate. The men's and women's athletic departments were completely separate in everything they did, so he expected them both to have different ideas in the process of combining the two. To combat the resistance to change that he expected, Mr. Maturi used participation and involvement of the men's and women's athletes, which Slack and Parent (2006) claim is one of the most effective ways to deal with resistance to change. The men's and women's athletic departments each had different logos before the merger. The men used the block "M" and the women used a "Ms.". Mr. Maturi asked both the men and women to come together and collectively make a decision on what the new logo for the University of Minnesota Athletic Department should be. The athletes chose the block "M" almost unanimously. This exercise helped show Mr. Maturi's commitment to the process and allowed him to gain the trust and support of the athletes. Overall, Mr. Maturi's speech on the organizational change that the University of Minnesota experienced shed a new light onto many organizational processes. His leadership and ability to make decisions has helped the merger go smoothly and has created an effective athletic department.
Today's presentations all went very well. I really liked Brian's presentation on the Pittsburgh Pirates. He gave great insight into the organization and had a great recommendation of "committing" to their leaders. In Rebecca's presentation, it was nice to hear that someone else feels the U of M intramural program needs to provide better officiating. I think Ryan N. gave a great presentation on the Oakland Raiders. He centered his presentation around the owner Al Davis, which is exactly how the organization is run and he gave a great recommendation as to hiring a General Manager. I enjoyed hearing about the Pop Warner Little Scholars. I did not know much about that organization before hearing Alyssa's presentation. I thought Kristin's presentation on Under Armour was great. I really like hearing about Kevin Plank's style of leadership and how it effects the entire organization in a positive way.