Recently in Group 2 Category

To what extent do you believe that Nike depicts the "learning organization"?

Nike seems to be learning but not necessarily to an extent that breeds consistent action. They appear to be growing in the sense that their recognition of their labor practices not being acceptable is causing them to make some adjustments in their organization. Even though Nike is making adjustments it does not seem that they are radical enough to have made a large difference in the ways things have been done. But, we do not think that perfection means that you are learning and Nike does appear to be making some effort in advancing when it comes to the labor practices within their organization.

What lessons do you think Nike learned?

Nike is finding that being the biggest in the market causes them to take the heat. The article stated that Nike was not the only company in their industry with these kinds of labor practices. But, because Nike is the leader in the market, they will be made the example. Also, we believe that Nike is more aware of the fact that people do notice when their organization it not following the rules. They may think their practices will go unnoticed but eventually they will be found out.

What learning stage would you currently place Nike? Why?

We would place Nike in the strategic stage because it appears as though they are aware of their current situation with labor practices and have tried to improve their standards. But it does not seem like much of their sought out improvement are coming to fruition. If Nike is to follow through with improving their labor practices and it is known to the world that they are following the standards then we believe that they will be able to move into the civil stage.

What types of strategies did the company use to address their critics about their unethical corporate practices?

Nike used strategies such as audits, increase personnel for their labor compliance team, offering rewards for sweat shops that met standards set by Nike, and attempting to take the lead, amongst their competitors, in the ways that they dealt with their labor practices.

Which strategies where more effective? Why?

It is hard to say which strategies have been affective up to this point because it does not appear as though much has changed for Nike, in terms of their labor practices. But if we were to pick one that has helped them move along thus far it would be the increased personnel for their labor compliance team. Their audits did not appear to be successful and they were almost an embarrassment. Their increased personnel on their compliance team show that they are fairly serious about addressing their downfall with labor practices. It is also a good move that they are trying to take corporate responsibility and lead the rest of their competitors in a direction that will improve labor practice across other organizations.


1. Make sure resources are allocated across the organization in a fair, and well thought out manner.

2. Throughout the decision-making process, make sure all parties' interests and viewpoints are being considered.



1. Professional staff should handle operating tasks. Volunteers should help set policies. The two groups can work together in a committee to make deicisions.

2. Power needs to be dispersed throughout the organization.



1. Organization needs to have a clear mission statement and a clear vision of future goals.

2. Future goals should be determined by a wider spread of individuals among professionals and volunteers, and leaders from both groups must have a good understanding of what capabilities are required for change. 

Covell Case Study: Group 2

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1. In 1998, the Presidents of the NESCAC agreed to "evolve into a qualified playing conference." Basically, this included giving the conference the right to determine a conference championship in all sports, except football, and allow all NESCAC schools to be eligible for NCAA Championships. However, the conference also wanted to preserve in-season competition and academic success, and did not want athletics (especially post-season play) to interfere with either of those two goals.


2. The conference's goals were to preserve in-season competition and academic success, and they mentioned that having an NESCAC school making an NCAA Championship would show that both athletics and academics could succeed hand-in-hand, even with post-season play.


3. Student-athletes, Mainstream Media, Parents & Alumni, Athletic Directors

4. Student-athletes: Opportunity to participate in post season play, a clear-cut goal at the end of the season, more motivation, increase school spirit, higher exposure of athletes, ability to preform at a higher level.

Mainstream Media: More media opportunities (more stories to report) on a larger scale

Parents & Alumni: More school spirit, more donations to schools 

Athletic Directors: More revenue/higher budget to work with, recruiting becomes easier, their role becomes more prominent with a higher focus on athletics

5. Student-Athletes: Decline in academics, could lead to compliance/career development issues

Mainstream Media: There a very few negative effects for adding post-season play for the media

Parents & Alumni: Asked to contribute more financially

Athletic Director: Possible compliance issues, graduation rate of student-athlete declines, job security declines because of more prominent role  

6.   Yes, it should change, becuase it is a new system. There will be a higher governing body with more control over the conference. Academics will still need to be a priority, even while post-season play is occuring. Therefore, there should be a specific authority figure overseeing student-athlete academics.

7. The design option described in the case study was in-season competition followed by one champion being selected to participate in post-season play. This could lead to conflicts between schools. Our suggestion would be to divide the conference into two divisions, and have the two division winners play for the championship. There would also be tie-breakers for division winners, to avoid conflict. 

8. The deisgn of the conference should be highly formalized and centralized. Authority figures should be somewhat specialized in their specific departments, but departments should overlap to allow information to flow freely, especially between academics and athletics. Because the conference's decision making is centralized, the hierarchy should be very top-to-bottom, and not flat. This way decisions can be made in an organized and standardized fashion. 

Case Study: Group 2

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1. The Athletic Director should determine the expectations of the department in collaboration with the sub-departments of the institution. This should also include boosters and large constituencies.
2-3. External Profile: Satisfying constituencies, boosters, supporting outside image
Institutional Enthusiasm: Pride, Marketing, success

Performance on the Field: Sport as the priority, recruiting, hard work, practice

Resource Management: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Inputs-->Outputs

Education: Graduation rate, student-athlete atmosphere

Ethics: Following rules of the institution and league(s), making fair decisions

4. As long as you do not jeopardize education or ethics, which are somewhat loosely related to on-field performance, then the institution can put all of its resources towards the athletics themselves.

5.  They lack statements about resources management and institutional enthusiasm, while focusing more on ethics, external profile, and education. We would add statements regarding stakeholders and utilizing all resources, as well as something about increasing school pride through marketing initiatives.

6. 1. Keep the athletic department profitable

    2. Increase booster fundraising and participation

    3. Consistent allocation of funds

    4. Increase number of streams of revenue

7. Because their mission statement fails to mention much about resource allocation and internal processes, the Systems Resource approach and Internal Processes approach probably wouldn't fit. Therefore, the Competing Values approach should be the best. It would allow MSU to gather all of the goals in its mission statement together and base its effectiveness as a whole, rather than in one specific area.


Group Members: Andrew Myers, Emily Oberlander, Adam Vargas, R.J. McGinnis