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Organizational effectiveness can also be accomplished by successfully implementing leadership positions and filling them with leaders who are capable of managing the responsibilities of their position. After reading the Slack and Parent chapter on leadership I believe the most important part of developing important leaders is by utilizing the trait leadership model detailed by Slack and Parent. I think effective leaders are people who are well educated, well spoken, demonstrate superior judgment, and are above all responsible. I think Slack and Parent's description of traits that are exemplified by trait leaders really missed the mark when the text said that a trait leader is someone who is of "above average height." I refuse to believe that a good leader is defined by any physical attributes. However, the trait leadership approach is one of the most effective ways to identify leaders. I think another key attribute to see in the leadership of an effective organization is the Instrumental leadership theory or the Supportive leadership theory. I think the instrumental leader is the most important of these two styles to have because instrumental leaders place priorities on planning, coordination, and directing according to Slack and Parent. I think the idea of communication that is carried by supportive leaders is also important for effective organizations. I don't think that I truly understood the importance of leaders within an organization before reading the Slack and Parent chapter on the topic. When you consider the volume of people who apply to work in a sport setting there are a lot of people who may not have the qualifications to be part of the organizations and therefore placing leaders in critical positions becomes even more important for developing an effective organizations.
I think effective sport organizations also take advantage of the culture that an organization possesses. I think rituals, symbols, and slogans can play a vital role in how an organization shapes it's culture and how an organization can become a stable entity. The Minnesota Wild are a great example of how to effectively create a culture that is thick and stable. The Wild are a relatively young organization yet the organization has taken incredible advantage of the culture that they were able to create. The slogan "The Team of 18,000" demonstrated to the Wild fan base that the organization valued their commitment to the team and that the team considered the fans to be so important that they were actually as much a part of the organization as the team is. The Wild hockey song also demonstrates that everyone in Minnesota is part of the Wild family and that hockey is in every Minnesotan's blood.
I think an organization is effective if it can manage financial resources, develop and cultivate leaders, and take advantage of organizational culture. These are all things that I think I have come to appreciate more throughout the path of the course and I think these items are three things that each effective organization demonstrates when they are being effective. Obviously, these three things don't all go hand in hand but they do seem to interact within an effective organization quite often. For that reason I believe these three aspects need to be considered extremely important for any organization to be considered effective.
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.
When you consider creating a sport organization's culture there are several factors that come into play. Taking for example the story of Joel Maturi and the merging of the University of Minnesota's Athletic Departments. In this case there were multiple cultures that were changed and molded into on cohesive culture. When Mr. Maturi arrived the Men's and Women's Athletic Departments were extremely different both in terms of organization and organizational culture. The Men's Department was, as Mrs. Regina Sullivan admitted, a little individualistic where sports would go seasons without dealing with the leaders of the athletic department. In contradiction to the Men's department the Women's department allowed their leaders in the athletic department to be more involved in the decision making process and be more involved generally in the operation of the sports.
When Mr. Maturi arrived he had to deal with the separate cultures that existed within the two departments and while struggling to merge these two departments he had to establish a new culture for these departments to coexist within. In this case there isn't a previously established culture for Mr. Maturi to work within and in this case I believe that this was the best case scenario because if there was a preexisting culture that Mr. Maturi tried to use the change wouldn't have been as successful. By establishing a new culture Mr. Maturi had to work from a thin culture where there were feelings of disagreement about how best to deal with change and he managed to develop a sense of commitment where eventually a thick culture would arise.
Developing a thick culture isn't easy and it takes time. One of the biggest skills that Mr. Maturi had going for him when he took over the U of M Athletic Department was role modeling, teaching, and coaching by the leaders. In his case he became the biggest leader of the organization and his style of supportive leadership was instrumental in his ability to lead through teaching and role modeling. Mr. Maturi is a great speaker and its difficult not to share that passion that he has for the U or M organization and the sports that he oversees. In this respect he's able to role model how best to affect change in the organization as well as the organizations culture.
One of the key things that Mr. Maturi was able to capitalize on was the idea of slogans. His "We Are Minnesota" slogan was effective at getting stakeholders to understand what he thought was the most important part of the U of M Athletic Department culture. To Mr. Maturi the most important part was that everyone was committed to representing the state of Minnesota in an effective and positive way. By creating a slogan that everyone could buy into Mr. Maturi was able to create and reinvent the culture of the University of Minnesota Athletic Departments and he continues to do so today.
Supportive leaders are great for group dynamics because they demonstrate concern for other as well as the organization as a whole but supportive leaders generally lack the conviction and confrontational character to address the issues with employees and peers that will thrive over conflicts. There are inevitably times when an organization will go through change or conflict and when those events occur these supportive leaders will struggle with the challenges that these situations bring. When conflict does arise there are innate traits that supportive leaders lack when it comes to dealing with conflict. There are employees and peers that will take advantage of supportive leaders and in those select cases it would be difficult for supportive leaders to over come the difficulties of these situations.
Instrumental leaders, are in general, great in a large variety of situations because they capitalize on planning, coordination, and directing. These skills can get a leader very far but there are things that any amount of planning can't account for. In these cases leaders need to be able to react to the dynamic change that can occur to any organization. While planning is great, the ability to adapt and manage the changes that occur in an organization without warning is also key and is what sets many leaders apart from another. The Arizona Diamondbacks underwent some dynamic change during the 2009 season when they fired their manager and replaced him with relatively newcomer A.J. Hinch. While previous manager Bob Melvin was great with the preparation and planning part of managing he was somewhat less adept at adapting to the changing nature of the game of baseball. As a former player, Hinch, was more well prepared to deal with the change that was going on in the Diamondbacks organization at the time. Hinch was recently retired from playing baseball and had a better understanding about how to adapt to the changes in personnel and other changes within the organization.
The greatest leaders are able to understand the limitations of their leadership styles and capitalize of these shortcomings by surrounding themselves with subordinates and peers whose leadership styles compliment their own styles. In these situations leaders are able to benefit from the leadership styles of others and therefor they can learn and succeed in situations where they may not have been able to succeed before. While leaders are leaders for a reason every leader should be willing to learn from the leadership styles of others and any organizational context that supports a wide variety of leadership styles makes this type of learning possible and these organizations will be better able to adapt to change that comes with sport organizations.