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Decision making is what keeps an organization running effectively from day to day. There are also important decisions that need to be made for the big picture of the organization. The day to day decisions are programmed decisions that are made by the policies and procedures of the organization and past experiences of the leaders making the decisions. Non programmed decisions are decisions that need to be made on the fly and do not have a guideline to follow. These decisions can make or break an organization. If managers are not proactive in planning for some problems that may come up, these decisions may be difficult or next to impossible to make effectively. They need to evaluate risk and certainty when making decisions as well. Uncertainty is a weakness of leaders making decisions in organizations. Leaders or those making decisions can not show uncertainty because those following the decisions will not follow the plan is they are not confident in the decision made. Some organizations rely on individual decision making by one central leadership figure that may or may not take the ideas of others into consideration. Other organizations rely on group decision making where many people have a say on how a decision is made and what the decision is. This may cause confusion as to who has the most importance in the organization. Sometimes when many people are making a decision they look for someone to step up and be a leader. This will help the decision making process because if everyone has a role and the decision making process is structure, the decisions can be made efficiently and effectively. Major decisions in sport organizations may be scrutinized by the public, and sport managers need to remember that they need to keep the effectiveness of the organization in mind when decisions are being made. There may be pressure from inside or outside the organization to make a certain decision, but ultimately a sport manager needs to stick to the mission of the organization. A manager needs to know who he can trust and who has good judgment when getting help on major decisions. This decision making is one of the most important processes a sport manager will face.
Organizational culture is made up of a number of different aspects of the organization. The book lists values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings as a few of these aspects. Organizations are also defined by characteristics such as stories, myths, symbols, and rituals. The culture of an organization is not created when the organization is first started. Culture is an important part of the identity of an organizations that is developed as the organization grows and changes. There are different kinds of cultures. Organizations with thick cultures are made up of a group of people that all are entrenched in the values and beliefs of the organization and keep these aspects in the forefront of their daily routines. Organizations in a stable environment thrive in this kind of culture. On the other hand, if the environment is constantly changing, a thin culture may be a better fit for the organization. Organizations with thin cultures have competing departments or goals that may operate together, but there is no central vision or values of the organization. Of course an organization may not be trying to have one definitive culture. Some multicultural organizations have broad aspects of their environment and cultures that may either work well together or clash and cause a rift in the organization. If there is a rift, the organization cannot be effective. Leaders play an important role in how the culture of the organization is perceived by lower levels of the organization. What the managers pay attention to, measure, and control are vital to the cultural background of an organization. Sometimes a culture needs to be rethought or totally overhauled. If a sport organization is unsuccessful, the culture may need to be changed. Changing an entire culture is not something that happens overnight. A culture may be entrenched in an organization and may face some resistance to change. However, to become an effective organization after being ineffective for a long period of time, radical change is necessary. The culture of an organization is what makes the organization what it really is. It gives the organization an identity. With an identity, an organization's image can be shaped by their culture and those inside and outside the organization will better know what the organization is all about.
Change is something that is never ending in any organization. In a sport organization, changes are usually publicized and can be harder to cope with when everyone is scrutinizing the change. There are several kinds of change including technological, structural, and systematic changes. Along with these changes, the people of an organization are changing as well. In a struggling organization, radical change may be necessary to change the entire way the organization is run. If the organization is efficient, convergent change is still necessary to keep pace and continue to be efficient. This process of changing to keep up with the competition is called the paradoxical nature of change. Some sport organizations are stubborn and have not accepted this concept. As technology and other areas of the world progress, change is becoming more necessary and is also happening at a quicker pace. The organizations that are not changing may have survived fifty years ago, but in this day and age if there is no change there is no efficiency. This resistance to change is explained by the evolution and revolution approach to organizational change in the book. The reluctance to deviate from what is normal, the inability to access themselves, the costs of infrastructure, the culture, and the fear from managers of losing power are all reasons why some organizations are resistant to change. There are many strategies in the book for dealing with organizations that are resistant to change. Education is important for these old style organizations and the communication of this education is important in case these organizations are not even aware of their ever changing environment. There may be a few employees or managers that are holding back the process of change because they are set in their ways. Getting these personnel openly and actively involved is essential at the beginning of the change. A way to get employees onboard with the idea of change is by finding important people who are influential in the organization to lead the process. Negotiations and manipulations may be necessary if those against the change will not budge from their stance. After the personnel is all behind the change, the six steps of the changing process need to each be carefully followed to ensure the plan is executed. This change needs to work in favor of the organization, but ultimately it is necessary to keep the organization working efficiently and effectively.