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Presentations 12/10/09

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The presentations are consistently getting better.  The presenters are taking the knowledge they have learned from the class and the knowledge they have learned from the first presenters in how to make the best presentation possible.  They have learned that reading off the slides are probably not a good thing to do and that having short bullet points and expanding on them is probably the better way to go.  I liked how Ashley referred to Kenny Mauer in her presentation because he spoke in our class and I thought that was really great that it applied to him and his area of work.  I really liked the Madden's golf resort as well.  i thought it was a really clever idea because no one would have ever thought about doing something like that. I thought it was really original and I actually have friends that go there, so I was interested in seeing what their organization was all about.
This has been an extremely busy week for me, with four presentations and two papers, so I forgot to post my blog about Tuesday's presentations. I thought the presentations were good, I thought that the presentation about the Pop Warner participants was a really cool idea. I think it was something that no one would ever think of. I do not really find the sports team's presentations very interesting because I feel like once I have heard one description of an organization, I have learned them all, with some slight variations. I really like hearing about organizations that I have never heard about before. One thing that I did notice in these presentations was that they all seemed to use the SWOT analysis in their presentation. I used this in my paper, but I did not specifically do it in my presentation. I touched on some of the strengths and weaknesses with Under Armour and some opportunities for them to utilize, but I feel as though the groups saw what others did and that is why the people that went today used the SWOT analysis as part of their presentation.


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The past weekend, the Gopher Women's basketball team went on a trip to the Bahamas for a basketball tournament, the Junkanoo Jam. Being a manager, I had the chance to go on the trip as well. This tournament was a three day long event that held 12 Division 1 basketball teams in three separate brackets. It was held over the Thanksgiving holiday. The tournament was completely professional and every aspect of the tournament was designed extremely efficiently. The organizational structure of the whole process was formalized. At every checkpoint in our trip, there was a Junkanoo employee that helped us on our way to make sure everything went perfectly. Our team was met at the Bahamas airport to ensure that our group went through customs efficiently and made it to our hotel as fast as possible without any problems. The entire staff was extremely helpful in every aspect. The only conflict that occurred the entire weekend was that because 12 teams were staying at a hotel, the only option for laundry was to make a laundry reservation schedule. This huge hotel only had one washer and one dryer for the entire guest population. Being a manager and understanding the laundry situation of the players, was bad news for me. I was a little upset about the situation because most teams had already signed up for times before we got to the hotel, so our time to use the laundry facilities was not a prime time. This was the only problem with the structure of this tournament. With 12 teams doing game laundry and practice laundry for 3 days, means that they should have prepared more and rented more facilities, so that a schedule would not even have to be needed. As a manager, I was worried that people were going to take my time and that I would be absolutely screwed. Luckily, my time was safe and I was able to do laundry as scheduled. However, I also know some ways of getting around the system because of my past experiences. The other manager that was on the trip and I decided to walk over to the neighboring hotel and asked if we could use their laundry facility. They only had one set as well, but it worked for some time because other teams had not thought about that yet. The culture that surrounded the tournament was amazing. This is a tournament that has been around for quite some time and most of the staff have worked it in the past. They were used to the amount of people being brought to their island and they knew how to run the tournament effectively. When we first arrived to the hotel late after being delayed at the airport, one of the Junkanoo staff drove me and the other manager to the grocery store to get snacks for our team. We did not have to take a taxi and pay more money. They genuinely cared about the importance of the tournament and our happiness. I really enjoyed my stay there and the tournament went perfectly. We did not win the championship, but the overall experience was amazing. The people that I met became familiar and I liked that. How hard would it be to run a tournament in another country hosting a dozen teams? How long would it take to plan this event out and how many times would it take to run it effectively and efficiently?

Day 2 Presentations

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The presentations that were given today were very well done.  I was very impressed with the overall delivery of everyone that presented today.  I was unable to see the first presentations given, so I was really excited to see what each person was doing and their take on the assignment.  I really learned a lot about different organizations that I would have never thought of before.   The one part that I would change would be that the presentations were lacking complementary pictures.  Most of them were really text oriented.  It was hard to listen to some because the speaker was saying everything that was already on the slide.  Complementary visual aids are necessary.  I was really interested in the hockey presentation because I know very little about hockey and would never go out and learn the organizational structure on my own.  I really learned a lot about the Nike brand from Kristen and learned about the Jordan sub-unit of Nike.  I had no idea that Nike was in a slump when they decided to create the Jordan brand.  I really enjoyed seeing these presentations and getting an idea of what I need to bring to the table when it comes my turn to present.  I know what will be expected as a presenter.

Throughout this course, I believe that my idea of organizational effectiveness has remained fairly constant. I have learned a lot throughout this course, but I still believe a lot of the things that I stated in my first blog about organizational effectiveness.  I know that the basic concept of any sports organization is to have some sort of a mission statement, as well as an official goal.  These goals are meant to develop the effectiveness of an organization to reach its peak.  When short term goals are met, the effectiveness of an organization continues to grow.  I have also learned that sometimes a general goal that is not really measurable is a good thing to have because that means the organization is continually working on effectiveness and development. There may be other, shorter goals, but the official goal keeps an organization in check to remember what their main goal is to achieve.  I wrote that in my first blog and I still believe it to be true.

Environment is one of the biggest factors in creating an effective organization.  An organization must maintain a pleasurable and desirable environment to maintain strong effectiveness.  If any sports team does not maintain a desirable environment, their fans that once supported the team, may not be inclined to support a team that does not bring the fans happiness.  The environment needs to be acceptable and open to new people.

Another huge aspect of organizational effectiveness that I have learned was that that a goal or purpose is not the only basis for effectiveness.  Some organizations utilize pieces of their organization that create effectiveness.  Utilizing surrounding resources for an organization can be deemed as development, which is translated to effectiveness.  I have learned a lot about power and politics and how those two pieces can create effectiveness or diminish an organization.  If power is used effectively, it can really bring good things to the organization.  If power is used for negative purposes, the effectiveness of the organization will be deterred or even eliminated altogether.  Along with power comes conflict.  If power is used negatively or wrongly, conflict is inevitable.  Conflict is something that can deter effectiveness, so it needs to be handled professionally and in a timely manner in hopes of not affecting the organization.

In conclusion, my organizational effectiveness philosophy has remained pretty similar.  However, I have learned a lot of different pieces that put the effectiveness puzzle together.  An organization must be resilient, enjoyable to work in, and a connected environment.  There also needs to be something for the employees to work towards, such as a goal or purpose, including a mission statement.  There needs to be positive power in place within an organization to create effective order.  Conflict needs to be dealt with immediately and efficiently to create effectiveness.  If all of these things are managed, the organization is most likely going to be successful.

Decision Making Case Study

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1. The three central decisions that needed to be made in this scenario are:

a. To expand on the ChargeUp product line with a new item called ChargeUp with Lipitrine.

b. To recall ChargeUp with Lipitrine after it is linked with gastrointestinal problems.

c. To decide WHO was to make decisions within the organization.


2. The conditions under which this decision is made:

-High Risk


-Uncertain outcomes

-Potentially dangerous if not recalled

-Potential legal action if not recalled


3. We would recommend using the Garbage Can model for this decision making process, because this process has a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions and has multiple decisions to make. It also allows the decision makers to focus on how chance plays a role in the decision and instead of one decision made by one person, it focuses on any number of decisions made by multiple people.

 This scenario focuses on a couple of different problems (product recall and the consequences that follow) and there is a large number of employees making decisions.

Andrew Myers, RJ McGinnis, Adam Vargas, Emily Oberlander



Sports managers are always under pressure from other people and are handed difficult decisions every single day.  These decisions are made in hopes to positively affect the organization.  Sport managers hold this responsibility to make decisions and execute those decisions effectively.  Slack and Parent describe, "a decision is a judgement...a choice between alternatives."  Decision making becomes a hard and difficult activity when an alternative is added to the picture.  The hard choice is to decide which decision will gain the greatest success.  Slack and Parent describe a couple types of decisions, such as programmed and non-programmed decisions.  A programmed decision is when the sport manager is familiar with this decision and is often times made in any given day.  A non-programmed decision is one that the sport manager has never faced before and does not know what would be the best interest of the organization.

In this chapter, Slack and Parent mention risk in response to decision making.  Any person is going to have doubts about certain decisions.  There is always going to be uncertainty in unknown decisions.  The responsibility of the sport manager is to understand the costs and benefits of each of every option involved with the decision making process.  With this comes that idea that the risk needs to be assessed before any huge decision is made and to understand the acceptance of those risks.  When there is a higher chance of risk, the sport manager is faced with a tougher decision.  There are two different models of decision making.  There is the rational model and the administrative model.  The rational model has various steps, including monitoring the environment where the decision is made, defining the problem, diagnosing the problem, identifying alternatives, analyzing the alternatives, selecting the best alternative, then implementing the alternative, and evaluating the decision.  This is just a way to monitor how decisions should be made, but not how they actually are decided upon.  This is merely an attempt for sport managers to make an attempt at making economically mature decisions that positively affect the organization.  The administrative model means that sport managers make each decision based on their own emotions, limited ability to process certain information, time constraints, and incorrect information.  This means that sport managers are limited in the decisions they can handle based on the information they are given.  This means that the best decisions might be lost because of the limitations caused.

Have you ever experienced making a tough decision through a work experience?  What though processes did you go through to get to that decision?  How can these experiences impact your future career experiences?

The culture of the MLB in the U.S. is very strong, in terms of expected performance. Fans, coaches, and players themselves, expect a high level of performance, and some will do whatever it takes to succeed. The subcultures that exist come from the viewpoints of the players, coaches, the MLB, and fans. Many players and coaches believe that players should do whatever it takes to win (including PED's), even without publicly admitting it. Fans like to see players succeed, but are split when it comes to PED's. The MLB is completely against PED's and are strongly trying to prohibit them. There are some people among all stakeholder groups who do not care about the players' use of PED's. On the other hand, there are stakeholder groups who are looking for a major culture change.


The MLB's new anti-doping policy is a major attempt to change the culture of PED's within the MLB. It is evident that it is an instrument of cultural change because of the suspensions placed upon players (Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, etc.) The new anti-doping policy is almost used as a scare tactic among players, instead of an actual policy. However, in many players' eyes, it is worth the risk of suspension to use drugs and perform at a higher level. The evironment of "winning above all else" in the MLB has shaped how players decide to play the game, which may include the use of PED's.


One major symbol, unique to MLB, is money. Because the MLB does not have a salary cap placed upon its teams, players can make any amount of money owners are willing to spend. Therefore, players strive to hit more home runs, steal more bases, and record more outs to increase their monetary value, regardless of their reputation. If a salary cap was placed on the teams in the MLB, players would not feel pressured to increase their individual statistics and a "team-focus" would be more evident. The roles of MLB leaders should be to promote a "team-focus" and re-determine their values and strategies, and attempt to de-value to the "winning at all costs" mentaility. One reward that could be given out to promote the ban of PED's would be to award individuals or teams with a bonus at the end of each season to reward for a clean record during that season. Stricter suspension rules could be put into place as well.


Plan to change the MLB's culture:

Unfreezing: Have MLB administrators change their efforts to focus on whole teams, rather than individuals.

Moving: Re-focus the players and coaches viewpoints on the good of the team, rather than the individual. Have teams focus on winning and championships, instead of the "winning at all costs" ethic.

Freezing: Reward teams for a clean record and continue to promote a team focus in baseball.  





Organizational culture is something that is hard to define or collect as a group altogether. Culture is something that is not defined, but as a sort of unwritten law of how a group of people interact and display as a group. It is based on what a certain group of people have in common, such as goals, values, and understandings that run the organization. Slack and Parent also talk about the stories and myths, symbols, and language that is used through organizational culture. Stories are used through every organization as something to bring a group of people together through a better understanding. I have experienced this many times. It is used to connect people and to accept new people into an organization. Symbols are everywhere but people usually do not notice them until someone points it out to them or the person actually thinks about it in great depth. Through the organization of women's basketball at the University of Minnesota, I never thought of symbols as important until one of the people involved in the staff pointed out some symbols to me. I now believe that symbols are all around me and everything happens for a reason. In any organization, there is a specific language used among a group of people. Each system has its own vocabulary and set of words used that no one else may understand. It is like a secret society of knowledge that is only applicable to the entire group of people. Secrets in an organization most times bring a large group of people together. This jargon that is created is used to bring a group together, but to also keep competitors at a distance with their knowledge and plans of things. It keeps competitors guessing because they are unknowing of the information being discussed by the other groups. A certain language in an organization helps bring a sense of unity by being a specialized group that understands the objectives of this organization. The chapter mentions ceremonies and traditions in organizations. This helps a group of people create a culture because these ceremonies show what is important to them. Some sports programs might hold a party for the beginning of a sport season. This is a ritual/ceremony showing the fans what is important to them and how much they are appreciated. An organization creates a culture based on the size and the structure and other contextual features of the group. An organization that maintains its culture will become stronger because of consistency. This consistency is seen as a strength, so stakeholders are more likely to stick with the company. Culture will always be hard to define in any organization, but it is always there.
Leadership is extremely important in any organization, especially in the field of sports. The basic approaches to leadership go all the way back to the belief that leaders are born. Leaders are born with certain qualities and possess certain characteristics that enable them to be strong, productive, and effective leaders. This is called the Trait Approach. Leadership styles and approaches have adapted over the years and have become more specialized. The actors, processes, culture, structure, and environment all impact how the leadership is going to be structured and executed in a sports organization. In any leadership position, these aspects must be continually tended to and dealt with. The culture and environment of any sport organization is always changing, so the leaders in the system must have the ability to become flexible and adaptive. The culture surround sports are always changing, so the purposes and goals of an organization may change from time to time to better support the needs of the consumers or stakeholders. An example of an environmental factor in an organization could be the competitors. If there are many competitors surrounding a sports organization, the leadership style would most likely be more formalized and centralized to minimize any chance of error or mishap. On the other hand, if there are few competitors, the organization would not feel the need to be so pressured, so the leadership approach may be more laid back, rather than rigid. A leader has to be able to deal with these changes in an effective manner. The actors and structure should stay roughly the same all the time because the structure is the backbone of every organization. It is the basis for everything that is done. If the company is smaller, the employee centered leadership style would most likely be the most effective because those employees would feel more worth. When employees feel a sense of worth, they are more productive in the overall organization. When the system is production centered, employees will feel disconnected from the goals of the organization and not put as much into their work because they do not feel important. With a large system structure, it would be impossible for a manager to connect personally with every employee. It would be amazing if he or she did, but the likelihood of that happening is really slim, so the employee centered structure would not be implemented. The actors may slightly change from time to time, but in larger organizations, a couple of people leaving and a couple being added to the staff is not that big of a deal. In many cases, there is not one sole leader that runs an entire organization. Leadership is a role that many people can play in certain respects. Power and leadership roles can affect the whole organization if those with the leadership roles do not use their power effectively and in a positive manner. In any given situation, a manager of an organization will be forced to switch leadership strategies based on the circumstances of each situation. Leaders wear all different types of hats that are interchangeable.