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.
Dustin Permann: October 2009 Archives
From the book, March and Simon define conflict as a "breakdown in the standard mechanisms of decision making so that an individual or group experiences difficulty in selecting an action alternative." In my own words, I would say that conflict arises when intentions or acts disagree with one another. There are two types of conflict that can occur within an organization. The first, horizontal conflict is between different areas on the same level of hierarchy of an organization. The other, vertical conflict is between different levels of an organization that have differences in power. This conflict is not always a negative thing, as an optimal level of conflict will allow an organization to be critical of itself within each hierarchy and between levels of the hierarchy. If there is no conflict or conflict is frequent, the organization can become dysfunctional and have many problems. Conflict can happen in a number of ways in a sport organization. The structure of the organization, as well as the other factors we have discussed in class can lead to conflicts within the organization. Whether these conflicts are positive or negative, a manager needs to develop strategies to control them. There are many ways to manage conflict, and they are done by either changing behavior or attitudes. Using personal authority within the organization can resolve a conflict even though everyone may not be happy with the outcome. Another strategy is avoiding the problem, but both of these are short-term solutions. Horizontal conflict can be resolved by either separating the subunits completely, or merging them together to make one team. Increasing resources can also discourage conflict between units that have to share the resources. If separating or merging is not an option, a confrontation may be necessary between conflicting parties to negotiate an agreement. A third-party may even be needed, such as an arbitrator, to help with the negotiating process. The creation of goals for an entire organization to achieve can also help conflicting subunits to come together and work as one to achieve such goals. Job rotation is another strategy, as a change of setting can help an employee who has a problem with how another job is done to understand why it is being done a certain way. With any of these strategies, managing external and internal issues with help a manager formulate and implement a response to prevent or manage the issues which can create conflict. While these ways can help an organization prevent or cope with conflict, another strategy is to stimulate conflict to keep an organization from becoming complacent. Introducing new blood can give an organization a jump start, and introduce new ideas and strategies to the organization. A controversial strategy is communication manipulation. Withholding information for a subunit or releasing information that suggests problems can motivate employees to evaluate their situation and try to improve. The final strategy is the creation of competition. Competition can be healthy, and it can force subunits or individuals to strive to do their best.
There are different forms of power and politics that our book talks about. Legitimate power is the power a person has determined by their title. The amount of power comes from the position only, and has nothing to do with personalities. Reward power may be given to people with high legitimate power. This gives them the power to reward those with less legitimate power based on performance. On the other hand, coercive power is the same person to punish the lower person. Referent power is harder to define, as it can only come about if members of an organization believe very strongly in the ideas and values of their leader. The leader can also gain expert power after time, knowledge, and skill are acquired. Within an organization, there are also five basic sources of power. Resources such as people and money are essential to an organization, the control of resources is the ability of an organization not only to obtain these valued resources, but manage these vital resources. All organizations face uncertainty, and the ability of an organization to deal with this uncertainty through the acquisition of information to plan ahead, and through learning from the past is another sources of power. Having an efficient working strategy is also important. This centrality is vital to an organization's success during a crisis. Nonsubstitutability is another source of power. This power comes from the subunit or individual of an organization being necessary to success. Being included in the decision making process is a part of this, and is also a part of the final source of power which is control over decision making. There are also forms of politics in an organization. Building coalitions is one political strategy. By establishing personal relationship and having similar beliefs and values, a coalition can manipulate an organization politically. Organizations also use outside experts to legitimize their positions. Experts provide an objective view that gives the organization public credit. Similar to a coalition, an organization can build a network of contacts outside the organization to go along with the people inside. Networking with influential people and organizations can lead to decisions made in favor of the organization. Sport Managers can use these tactics to perform another tactic which is controlling information. As long as you know what everyone else knows, you can manipulate the information that becomes knowledge to everyone else. These strategies of power and politics are essential to an organization, especially a sport organization. Sports organizations use these strategies daily, and understanding them can lead to an efficient and effective organization.
I learned from the book that every organization has three environments; the general environment, the task environment, and the perceived environment. The general environment of a company is the basic structure of the organization and how it is operated. The task environment is the actual working environment and how the forces that influence the company actually operate. The perceived environment is how the outside world sees the organizations environment. Each of these environments is made up of different parts including the economy, socio-cultural, legal, ecological, technological, political, and demographics. For an organization to be efficient and effective, it has to adapt to the changing environments. For example, the economy is a huge part of the environment of an organization that has changed drastically as of late. An organization's ability to take on this challenge is a good way to keep the environment stable within the organization. Other parts of the environments that are always changing are the technological and political aspects. These are mostly part of the task environment of the organization. Politics is a part of society, but it is also part of an organization. Politics within an organization cannot become childish or informal for there to be a professional environment to work in. Technology is always advancing, so if your technological environment does not keep up, workers will want to work in technologically advanced environments that are in turn going to be more successful. The other parts of environment have to be dealt with on a case by case basis. These mostly make up the general environment of the organization. The legal environment has to be different for smaller organizations than larger ones. It has to be highly sophisticated in organizations that require it. Demographics depend on who the company has as a target audience. Some people have trouble working for companies like a cigarette company because they may not agree with the demographics that are targeted. The perceived environment of an organization like this may be tainted as well, which may lead to less effectiveness. The demographic environment of the company has to be on base with the goals and values of the people that make up the organization. While all three environments somewhat go hand in hand, each feature of each environment plays a vital role in the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization.