Recently in Group #5 Category

Decision Making

Vote 0 Votes

1.      Decision making issues included the recall on the drink, lack of structure in chaos control situations or no procedure, and too much participation from too many members of the organization in making the decision.

2.      The conditions in which this decision was made were high pressure and priority and were time constrained do to the urgency and risk involved.

3.      Using the Carnegie model we addressed this as a high uncertainty issue also with high risk and a high possibility of failure. Therefore, in order to take a conservative approach while also being responsible to our company we decided a coalition formation of upper management along with a crisis control team was necessary. The crisis control team would research as much information about the issue at hand and form possible solutions as to why this problem is occurring. From there upper management would make the decision that best suits the situation both from a socially responsible standpoint and keeping the best interest of the company in mind.

Nike is a company that is learning from its mistakes in the past but they haven't solved the problem as of yet. The stage of learning that Nike is in is somewhere in between the compliance and the managerial stages. It is hard to really tell what stage they are in at this moment because the information that we received was dated 2004. In the past 5 years they could have made some more strides to increasing the stage of learning they are in. This is conceivable because in the span of four years from 2000 to 2004 they did make some significant changes which were apparent in comparing the video in class and the last reading. One concern that our group discussed was the issue of Nike using the public relations department in order to get the view of the company up. The thought is that Nike is using the PR department to show that Nike is doing a lot more than they actually are. This would improve the image but not cost the company more, which is also wrong.

            Some lessons that Nike have learned over the past few years is that if they don't change what they are doing as a company then people and customers will call them out on the issue again. People have already done it once and there is nothing stopping them from doing it again. Nike has also learned that it needs to be more accountable for its actions. They were able to get away with a lot because they were not taking responsibility for anything that they did which has started to recently change. This ties to the lesson that Nike learned that they need to change with the social expectations of the organization. Nike needs to learn to be more adaptable to the changing environment because the defensive strategy just doesn't work.

            As stated before, Nike is somewhere in between the compliance and managerial stage in the continuum of the learning stages. They are still in these stages because they are still trying to protect their reputation by saying that they are going to do all of these different organization changing plans but few have gotten off the ground. Since they have started some of them they are thinking about the long term problem and are not trying to just push it away or cover it up which in turn leads them towards the managerial stage. This mix of two organizational styles is way they are sitting between the compliance and managerial stages.

            Some strategies that Nike used to address the critics was to show them a lot of PR work to show what they are doing not just what they plan to do. Nike also agreed to an external audit system which was a nice step forward but it only looked at a section of the company. It was a high profile firm but they were unreliable. The next step was impressive; Nike created their own department to audit the company. The Corporate Responsibility Department was the formalized structure which Nike had audit the organization. This supply chain audit management system was a nice way to show a current system to check to see where the organization needed to be changed. This also allowed the organization to revaluate the goals of the company and the employees working for the company. Along with all this, Nike started to shift the issues focus away from them to other companies having the same issue.


Group Members: Rebecca Picha, Andre Phillips, David Dahlstrom, Ryan Hooser

NSO Recommendations

Vote 0 Votes

Group Members: Rebecca Picha, Andre Phillips, David Dahlstrom, Ryan Hooser

The reason that three of the NSOs did not succeed in implementing strategic/radical change is because they did not manage their organizations' interests, power and capacities well. Group 5's recommendations for the organizations are as follows:

1. The organization, most specifically the leader(s) of the organization need to make sure that all subunits' interests are considered. If you don't give people a voice, they will lose interest and ambition towards attaining strategic change.
2. Beyond considering all subunits' interest, we recommend that the NSOs involve them in the process of planning for and achieving strategic change. A good way to do this would be to create committees; creating committees would present a platform on which people can voice their opinions, and volunteers would also feel more committed to the organization because they feel valued within the organization.

1. The three NSOs that successfully implemented strategic change all had a professional staff, so we recommend that the other three NSOs develop a professional staff.
2. We recommend that the majority of the power and responsibility shift to fall into the hands of the professional staff. We would still like the volunteers to hold some power so that they feel empowered and can be held accountable to the organization, but we also recognize that because they are volunteers, the NSO might not always be their first priority.

1. We recommend that the NSOs appoint a leader or a group of leaders. While it seems like an obvious suggestion, a leader is what these three organizations lacked. Leaders don't necessarily have to have a position of authority, but nobody stepped up in these three organizations so we think they should officially appoint someone to lead the efforts towards strategic change.
2. Once a leader (or leaders) has/have been appointed, they need to articulate a vision of the strategic change and then inspire others toward that vision. Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great and the Social Sectors," would describe this process as getting the right people on the bus and getting the right people in the right seats. It is important for a leader to utilize all members of the organization to their fullest potential. They need to place employees and volunteers where their talents can be best utilized to achieve strategic change.

We believe that if the National Sport Organizations followed our recommendations, they would be much more successful in implementing strategic change.

NESCAC Questions

Vote 0 Votes

1.     The basic principles as stated in the reading on page 81 are:

·      Intercollegiate athletic programs were to be kept in harmony with the essential academic purpose of member institutions.

·      Competing players were to be representatives of the student body.

·      The academic authority in each college was to control intercollegiate athletic policy.

2.     The presidents' compromise is inline with these principles in some ways and not in others.  It is in some ways because winter and fall sports do not have a scheduling issue with school requirements and it is only the spring sports that are in conflict.  With regard to spring sports the compromise clearly does not fit the conferences principles.

3.     There are almost countless stakeholders in the situation but the one major one that stands out is the current and future student athlete.  They are the individuals most affected by the policies set by the NESCAC presidents.

4.     Positive affects on current and future student athlete:

·      Fundraising would increase to support athletics.

·      Recruiting would be positively affected do to the chance to play in post-season games.

·      School spirit and pride would be improved.

·      The compromise does allow a chance for a post-season NCAA tournament that was not possible before.

·      Could have a positive image nationally for the school(s).

5.     Negative affects on current and future student athlete:

·      Increased risk for injury with more games played.

·      Possibility of grades becoming an issue due to more games and less time to complete school requirements.

·      School spirit and pride could be damaged if teams consistently perform poorly.

·      Recruiting could be hurt because only one team can make an NCAA post-season tournament rather then multiple teams.

6.     The decision making process seems to centralized in the current system.  It also just seems odd that the person that should be focused on providing a quality education is using his valuable time to make decision on athletics.  We felt that athletic director (AD) should be provided more decision making power because this would allow for a bit more specialization in the presidents and AD positions.  In this case the specialization seems necessary and like it could be more productive for both positions.  Also, the NESCAC could use the "conference office" referenced in the article to help coordinated the AD's into a system that could produce quality athletics and enough time for the student athlete to perform well in classes.  This system would likely resemble and division 1 program in many ways but with a larger emphasis on the students requirements.

7.     Way came up with 3 possibilities all of which exclude football much like the article did:

·      Selections system similar to the current BCS style.   We rejected this idea because of the hierarchy of authority issues.  Simply who decides?

·      Round Robin similar to the World Cup Soccer qualifications.  We rejected this system because too often when a top team and bottom team play each other the contest ends up being a pointless one with little value for the teams involved.  It can also be time consuming and difficult to schedule.

·      Bracket style playoffs similar to many NCAA end of season tournaments.  We decided on that was the most effective system largely because it is so simple to implement (why reinvent the wheel).  This system is already used almost exclusively in the NCAA and seems like the NESCAC schools could follow examples for other university conferences.

8.     We would encourage a simple structured playoff.  Similar to the compromise that the Presidents' worked out but with a formal process of team selection (what happens with a regular season tie?) and a clear plan for the tournament structure (location? number of teams? single elimination?).  With a bit of a formalized plan and department specialization within school we feel the compromise plan could work well. 

We determined that the WWE is not a sport because it did not fulfill one of the requirements of a sport. While the WWE does require skill/movement and it is institutionalized, it has a predetermined outcome. The fans may not know who will win, but the results are determined behinds the scenes and each action is already planned. Although we did not consider it to be a sport, we do think the WWE is a part of the sport industry. We assimilated its involvement with companies such as Nike; regardless of the predetermined outcome, the WWE still produces goods (such as apparel) and services (i.e. entertainment) relating to physical activity. You could think of the WWE as more of a product than a team or a league. We struggled to come up with a definite reason why we need to know if it is a part of the sport industry, but the best we came up with is for tax reasons and for making an estimate on exactly how valuable the sport industry is to our local, national and international economies. For the second part of our assignment, we chose to analyze the Minnesota Wild organization. In size, we estimated that the Minnesota Wild would directly employ about 150 people and in terms of the "Wild Community," we figured it was towards the top of list of NHL teams. The technology that is necessary for the Wild to operate includes an intricate website, media boards, and online ticket sales, amongst other things. We thought the environments of the organization were all pretty positive environments. As far as the social atmosphere goes, the Wild have a very positive image and reputation with surrounding communities. The political environment also seems to be positive; we concluded this because legislature supported the construction of the Xcel Energy Center. We also think the economic environment of the Wild is very good. We live in the state of hockey and the Wild have no problem selling out their games. We determined that the goals of the Minnesota Wild would include winning games, getting the Minnesota Wild brand out there, having a positive image in the community, and making money. We think the overall culture of the Wild values good sportsmanship and highly regard good community relations. In contrast to another professional sports team in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Wild have done a great job of keeping players and the team away from scandalous stories that would shine a negative light on the organization. Structural features of the Minnesota Wild organization are as follows: Formalization of the Wild organization is characterized by written job descriptions, lists of tasks and deadlines to accomplish those by, schedules and player contracts. Specialization is evident by the coaches, equipment, players, trainers, marketing and sales. The hierarchy of authority is typical of other professional sport organizations; the hierarchy starts with the owner and the front office, working its way down through coaches, players, trainers, down to the ticket sellers. With this hierarchy, the centralization/decision making of the organization comes from the top. Those at the top of the hierarchy make the decisions and the effects of such decisions trickle down the food chain. The Minnesota Wild is a very professional organization. As part of maintaining a good public image, employees of the Wild dress and act professionally while at work and in the public eye. As far as the personnel ratio goes, it is difficult to know exact numbers without doing research, but we thought a diagram of the personnel ratio would probably look something like a pyramid. Starting at the top of the hierarchy, one person would supervise a small number of employees, maybe a handful. And as you work your way down the hierarchy, the more people someone is in charge of supervising. We all agreed that the contextual factors determined the structure of the Wild organization. If the someday the contextual features changed, the structure would have to adapt accordingly.