Organizational change in a system must but understood to be effectively performed. Sport organizations in particular are always under constant change. People in organizations are changing and the output of good is always changing, as well as the consumers. With these factors, come technological advances in sport organizations that are constantly being updated and changed. Year after year, consumers are becoming more interested in sports industries, so change is constantly needed to gain more consumers and keep others attached. An example of these types of change could be the clothing apparel lines in sports organizations. People want to get the athletic apparel that will make them faster, stronger, and to have an athletic image. To follow this view is that people are constantly changing. Consumers will always want something better. Society, as a whole, will never be completely satisfied with anything. There will always be something better in a competitive business. Change is necessary to continue to be a competitive organization with other similar systems.
What interests me is the cause of organizational change. Why does it occur? Change can occur from a number of causes, but with change also come resistance. Some change is brought about because of self-interest. This is about doing something for the good of the company and organization. Another cause is governmental regulations. When Title IX was implemented, many sport organizations had to adapt to this change and reevaluate their current situations. Some change is caused by change agents that see what is best fit for the organization to maintain success and effectiveness. With this, some organizations bring in an outside consultant to look at the systems organization.
There are also many reasons that an organization would choose to resist change. Sport managers will automatically resist change to a certain degree because change can bring about negative occurrences in some cases. Another reason is the cost of change. Sometimes the cost is more than the benefit of the change. Differing opinions may be one of the most common resistances of change. Organizations are big and stakeholders will often have differing opinions of what is best for the system. All of these resistances to change are understandable because change is always a risk to the organization. Although risks can be dangerous an organization, not adapting to society and not inducing change is even more dangerous and risky.
Some of the solutions to these resistances are education and communication throughout the organization. When people are informed and all on the same page, change is easier to perform. Another solution would be participation and involvement in the organization. The team aspect of an organization will help change occur smoothly. One of the biggest solutions is support and facilitation. With support, change will come easier when people are behind the idea and ready to act on the change.
I think change is absolutely necessary, especially in a sports organization. There are some people that say, "Nobody likes change," but in this case, change is necessary and inevitable. There is no way a sports industry would survive without change. They would fail almost immediately, in my opinion.
What if an organization decided not to constantly change? What would their motive to not act be? What if this organization thought it was more strategic to stay constant? I wonder if there are any organizations out there that perform this strategy. Would it work?
Conflict is one of the biggest issues with any organization. If conflict occurs, the organization is suspect to failures in some ways because of conflict. When an organization can not deal with a conflict effectively, severe consequences can occur. The example that Slack and Parent give is the cancelled NHL season that occurred in the 2004-2005 season. Even though the league was worth 2.1 billion dollars, the season was cancelled because it was the poorest of the North American professional sport leagues. This caused huge conflict with the athletes, the fans, and multiple other stakeholders. Instead of enforcing a salary cap immediately, the season was cancelled. There were many options to resolve conflict, but both sides were resistant. By the time the team actually had decided the lockout of the season, the fans, athletes, and coaches have somewhat moved on. This just shows how conflict can affect an organization.
Most organizations have conflict management involved into their daily operations. It is as important as planning, communication, and motivation, according to Slack and Parent (217). There are different types of conflict, such as horizontal and vertical conflict. Horizontal conflict is when there are issues and incidents between a group of people at the same level or profession. An example of this would be at a basketball program. I am a manager for the women's basketball team at the University of Minnesota, and sometimes the group of managers has a conflict with each other. This is an example of horizontal conflict because it is an issue that only involved a certain level group of people. Vertical conflict involves the hierarchy of professions. A conflict can occur at all different levels of an organization. With the basketball team, this would involve an issue occurring with the head coach of the basketball team, and those issues going down the line through the entire program. A conflict can also occur at the bottom of an organization and climb to the top.
Conflict is seen as a negative tone because it hinders a sport organization from reaching its goals. There are main sources of conflict in sport organizations. The first is differentiation, and this is when the levels of an organization are split up and the duties that occur in each level of an organization are not extremely fair. The more difference that is displayed in each subunit of the hierarchies' causes a higher chance of conflict. Another source is interdependence, which is when the differentiation varies greatly between subunits. This is also apparent in small business fitness clubs because they are so independent from the chains. The third source is low formalization. This is clear that if an organization does not perform professionally, they are subject to conflict. If rules and regulations are not established, they will be broken. Competition over resources is another source of conflict. When two or more subunits in the same sport organization compete for limited resources, conflict is inevitable. If rewards for success are variant and different among other subunits, conflict will arise because of unfairness. Power incongruence causes conflict because of unclear leadership boundaries. Communication is probably one of the most important aspects in an organization. If communication is failed, the organization is doomed for failure. Along with communication, comes participative decision making. When a group does not communicate and participate together well, disagreements will cause conflict. Role conflict is when a person will cause conflict when their roles and responsibilities suddenly change in an organization.
All of these sources of conflict can be solved numerous ways. Each way has a different solution. Conflict is one of the most avoided issues in any organization because no one wants to deal with the issues that surround the effectiveness of a company. When all of the sources of conflict are dealt with effectively is when an organization can be successful.
It is hard to know what any one person would do in any given conflict, but I wonder what most sport organizations use to handle conflict effectively? Does hierarchical power influence the impact of conflict in a sport organization?
There are many different types and levels of power in an organization. There are individual powers within a hierarchy and there are organizational powers for the group. According to Slack and Parent, there are five different levels of individual power. These types are legitimate, reward, coercive, referent, and expert. These levels of power are somewhat interchangeable and they overlap each other in some circumstances. Each level of power is used to create decisions within an organization, as well as, effective strategies to help manage these concepts. The first power, legitimate, means that this power is occupied by different people that are in the higher positions. Slack and Parent describe this power as the same as authority. It is the upmost power. This is a type of power where it is expected that subordinate employees answer to the requests of the people with legitimate power. This does not explicitly mean that they hold more skills than the rest of the organization, but only that they have the ultimate power based on their position or title. This power would be effective in a very rigid hierarchical organization, but it is extremely hard for the subordinate workers to have no power because they feel useless to the organization because of the lack of empowerment. Reward power is when the person with power is able to give rewards to actors within the organization. This power is really similar to that of legitimate power because if they have the authority to give rewards for whatever behavior means that you have the power to choose those rewards. The book gives the example of a coach rewarding the players for some sort of positive behavior. I believe that rewards are only effective to a certain extent. Sometimes people would rather feel empowered than having rewards. Coercive power is the opposite of reward power. This means that a person with this type of power is able to punish someone for not complying with certain tasks in the organization. Punishment is never the most effective way to run an organization. People do not respond well to punishment because negative attitudes can often respond in more failure within an organization. Referent power is all about having charisma and attracting your employees to have an interest in you because of your personality. This power means that because of the number of "followers" that agree with the method of organization, means that they have gained the referent power. In some cases this is not effective because some people may just be very likeable, but have no true wisdom with the organization. The last individual power is expert power. This strictly comes from the person that has an expertise in the field. I feel like this is the most important power because it is very important if someone has the knowledge of something that no one else has. By being the only person that is able to understand a position and perform a task, the expert power is gained. If an organization has only one person that knows how to do a certain task, that person would be irreplaceable in the workplace. People with higher positions would be more likely to keep this employee around because of their expertise in the business. Politics play a huge role in any organization. Politics is how an organization uses the power that they have. The first step is to create relationships with other organizations that you respect. Networking is a huge key to success. Sometimes it is not what you know, but who you know. These connections are called coalitions. With an expansion like this, the organization would be able to attain goals because of the resources they have surrounding the organization.
There are multiple core aspects that are part of the environment of a sport organization. The core values are economy, socio-cultural, legal, ecological, technological, political, and demographics. Such companies that need to keep these values in mind are sports organizations. All of these pieces affect the outcome of the organization. If one piece fails, the business as a whole is subject for failure.
The economy is a huge impact on any organization. Some say that sports organizations, such as Nike and Adidas are recession proof because there is such a need for their materials in the material world. Sports teams are under contract to represent a brand and fans of sports want to have what is the popular clothing item. So much of society is based on branding. People are always aware of what people look like and what brands they choose to represent. With the economy as it is today, sporting goods industries have done fairly well considering the global circumstances. Legal aspects are also under the factor of economy. Sports organizations are under jurisdictions that facilitate taxation, unionization, and the regulation of the organization itself. It is crucial that these organizations are overlooked by the legal system. It is hard to believe that the Nike organization is able to get away with such mistreatment of sweatshop workers in other countries producing their products that are sold for outrageously more than it costs to make. This seems like a legal issue to me, but there are really no rules against what they are doing. They are taking advantage of populations that are already struggling to survive.
Politics will always influence sporting industries. There are always going to be situations that promote the use of sport organizations. The example given in Slack and Parent, is the event of the Summer Olympics in 1980 and 1984 when countries did not participate because of political reasoning. Another example given was the threat of oil in the automobile industry that promoted bike shops to grow significantly. In many political standings, you can find a way where the sports industry is affected positively or negatively. This is because sport industries are such a huge part of our culture. So many people are affected by sports.
Going along with how so many people are affected by sports, is the idea of how much it affects the socio-cultural and demographic aspects of any given population. Some sports have more prevalence in certain areas than others, which in turn affects the industries that decide to grow in specific areas. Areas that have a strong economic backgrounds are more likely to be surrounded by sports than less wealthier areas, with poorer people. The sports organizations businesses are meant to make huge revenues. They are not going to waste their time and money in areas that won't produce major profits. This is also contributed to the ecological factors. There is not going to be a ski equipment store in an area that has no access to snow or skiing. Ecological factors are based on location. Some areas are more attracted to certain sports based on age, gender, race, and economic standing. Sports industries are going to base themselves in areas where they are wanted by the population.
The last factor concerns technology. Technology is a huge factor because it is used to improve sporting goods. Goods are constantly being updated based on improvements. There is always going to be something better that will make a person run faster, jump higher, and feel better. This is also a way for consumers to purchase the goods and for the organization to ultimately make more money and attempt to be the number one choice for consumers to choose when it concerns sports.
These aspects affect the effectiveness of the organization greatly in either positive or negative ways. Organizations will only be considered successful if they handle each of the environmental aspects in a professional manner.