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12/10 Presentations

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I really enjoyed the YMCA presentation as well as the Glof Course presentation. These are both organizations in which I have had contact with but I did not know any of the detailed information the presenters gave. I grew up going to the YMCA because it was the only fitness facility in Grand Rapids. I participated in soccer and swimming leagues at the YMCA and can definitely see how the target market is for lower income family. I think it is a little different in Grand Rapids because it is the only fitness facility in Grand Rapids, so all demographics use the YMCA but the child care center and youth center cater to the lower class. They also have an after school program where youth can come hang out and use the rec facilities for a very reduced cost, which keeps kids out of trouble. Alyssa's presentation on the golf course was very interesting. I liked that she chose to do a golf course rather than a sport team like most people did. It was shocking to me that 2 days of lost business resulted in 20,000 dollars in lost revenue because of the storm. That goes to chow how much weather influences and effects a golf course or other outdoor sport organization. In relation to the Twins presentations, the weather factor makes me wonder if the Twins will suffer alot in making revenue when it gets cold or rainy outside when it is much easier to just watch the game on TV.

12/8 Presentations

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Today's presentations were very diverse and full of information. My favorites would have to be the under armour presentation, the Pittsburg Pirates and the Oakland Raiders presentations. They were all very good at describing every slide and every aspect of the organization they thought were important. I thought the recommendations for the Oakland Raiders were very good: to hire a new GM and get a new scouting department to increase the success of the organization, from an administrative objective and a goal-orientated objective or achieving more wins. I also thought the way the Pitt Pirates presentation was set up made it much easier to understand. When he started out saying he was taking the view of a goal-orientated organization approach, it made it much easier to understand where he was going with his presentations and why he gave the recommendations he did. Overall the presentations went very well again and were very enjoyable.

Dec. 3 Presentations

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Today's presentations were very interesting. My favorites were Ryan's and Parker's. I like how Parker had a very personal perspective on the organization and could share stories from the inside of the organization instead of just looking at it from an outside view. The story about the player that came to practice drunk made the presentation a lot more interesting. Ryan's presentation about Lifetime Fitness was very good and informative without needing to look at his slides often. He seemed to know a lot about the organization. The structure of Lifetime is what I would expect with an organization that large, with the leaders at the top making the large decisions and the rest of the smaller ones made by management lower in the organizational hierarchy. All the presentations today were very informative and it seems like they are getting better as we go on, those going now have learned from the people who have gone before.

Blog 10

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Initially at the beginning of this class I believed an organization must have one strong leader, which makes work fun and interesting. I also believed that the employer must have goals set for the organization that the employees should strive for. Lastly, I found it important that the organization strives to please every customer in order to have a successful business.

Now that I have a lot more education in the area of organizational effectiveness it is apparent that there is much more to an organization than I had thought originally. There are many different structures an organization can have depending on the size and complexity of the organization. There may be many different departments with different leaders, or just one whole staff with one sole leader. Each organization must find out what is best for them. The next thing that was something I had not considered much before was how much the general and task environments affect the organization. These are huge things that an organization must take into account when developing their organization initially as well as keeping the organization afloat. The power and politics of an organization, such as networking and coalition, is another part to an organizational strategy I had not considered before. An organization must have relationships with many different stakeholders and get sponsors through these relationships. Networking is very important for a new organization in order to get the word out about their product or service. Another thing I learned from this section was that a leader has many different kinds of power depending on their position and can use this power to get an organization where it needs to go. It is so important for those in positions of power to keep track of their resources and understand the importance of each one. Next, there must be a system in place for dealing with conflict and change within an organization. Conflict is something that will occur on a regular basis as well as change. The outside market is constantly changing and one must be able to keep up to survive.

All of these aspects are huge players in being able to achieve organizational goals. In summary, I have learned so much from this class about organizational effectiveness and what a manager needs to do to be effective and successful.

Presentations Day 1

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The presentations today were very interesting. I learned a lot about 5 different organizations I did not have much knowledge for previously, which I find very beneficial. My favorite presentation would have to be Andre's. I thought he did a very good job going through each subject, giving the basic necessities and using his personal experiences to keep it interesting. I found it interesting that he said the only major goals for the organization had to do with winning. This is something I have found true with some sport organizations I have worked for, while others value winning as well as character development. With recent issues in the news about basketball players and football players, I thought it was very respectable of Tubby to suspend his players, while Brewster did nothing to reprimand his players. Tubby and the Minnesota Basketball Team seems to stick to their word and rules better than other sports at the university.
Making decisions is something that a manager must do on a daily basis. In an essence, decision making is choosing between alternatives, as Slack and Parent describe in the textbook. In the most basic form, there are two types of decision making: programmed and unprogrammed. A programmed decision is one that coincides with the rules and regulations of the organization, the choice is already planned out and a routing for the manager making the decision. These types of decisions are much easier to make, such as an employee stealing from the organization. The set out punishment may be to suspend or fire the individual, this is a decision lower management can make and therefore much less expensive. On the flip side is unprogrammed decision making, these are new and unique decisions that do not have established guidelines to direct how to handle the decision, there are many different alternatives with no clear direction as to which is the right one to make. These types of decisions take up the time of the highest management positions and are much more expensive to make. Next are the different types of conditions that the decisions are made under. These are: certainty, risk, and uncertainty. The certain conditions go along with a programmed decision: the alternatives are clear to the manager and they know the cost and benefits of each choice. Risk is most common for sport manager, according to Slack and Parent. These conditions are when the manager has a basic understanding of the alternatives, but the costs and benefits are uncertain to him/her. Lastly is uncertainty, this is when a manager has no clue as to what the decision of the alternatives and the potential outcomes of these alternatives may be. There are two models that Slack and Parent describe in individual decision making: The Rational Model and the Administrative Model (Bounded Rationality). In the rational model it is very clear as to what is happening, and there are eight steps that a manager would go through in making decisions. These steps are: moniter the decision environment, define the problem of which the decision needs to be made, diagnose the problem, identify decision alternatives, analyze alternatives, select best alternative, implement decision and lastly evaluate the decision. The Administrative Model states that the Rational Model is somewhat unrealistic. A manager cannot possible understand all the available alternatives and the limits of the human mind would not allow all the information to be processed in order to go by the rational model. Emotions and experience of a manager get in the way of a clear decision making process. Slack and Parent then go on to describe different theories in which decisions are made, but I think the "Key Issues for Managers" sums up decision making very well. In all these situations described in this chapter, the conditions in which the decisions are made in certain. But in reality, there will always be uncertainty. Decision making is rushed, the circumstances will never be fully understood but a manager must slow down and weigh all the different options when making a decision for their organization. 1. Are there any situations in which there is complete certainty in which alternative should be chosen?
There are many different definitions for the aspect of culture in an organization. Out of all of these definitions, Slack and Parent point out four themes that are common in all of them which include: values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. Then Slack and Parent goes on to describe different "manifestations" that shape the culture of the organization and make it what it is. These manifestations include: symbols, stories and myths, language, ceremonies/rites ans the physical setting of the organization. I think Joel Maturi explained some of these aspects of the U of M athletic departments culture very well. He described that working in Minnesota (the physical setting) is very different from anywhere else because it is a very political state and every citizen believes they should have a say in what goes on in the athletic department. He also expressed the "ceremonies/rites" portion of the athletic department's culture. They have many meeting in which they go over the athletic department's goals/missions and what they can do to achieve them. I think this is a very big part of the culture here; the university is always striving to work towards their goals and succeed in every portion of college athletics, academically and athletically. Slack and Parent describe two types of cultures, thick and thin. A thick culture is one that "the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines. A thick culture helps hold an organization together by making frequent use of stories, rituals, slogan and so on." (p 280). According to the text, this is a more desirable culture because employees are hired because of their similar beliefs and coagulation with the culture of that organization. On the flip side there is the thin culture in which "we don't see common values or the type of activities that a thick-cultured organization uses to build its culture". The book uses the example of a college athletic department because they must balance athletics as well as academics because there are conflicting values between focusing on athletics or academics in the department. The very last portion of this chapter describes the creation, management and changing of a sport orgs culture. The founders of an organization have a big pull on what the culture of the org will be, because it is their visions and their missions of where they want their organization to go is what makes up the culture. They also have an attention to detail in which will create a culture for the organization, One the culture is developed, it must be managed. There are five ways in which to manage a culture: what managers pay attention to, measure and control, managers' reactions to critical incidents and organizational crises, deliberate role modeling teaching and coaching, criteria for allocating rewards, and criteria for recruitment selection promotion retirement and excommunication. The way a manager handles these five aspects of managing the culture of an organization will oftentimes determine its success. Lastly, sometimes an organization must change its culture in order to keep up with the current market or because the organization feels a different culture would work best for them. Slack and Parent list changes in the number of employees, expanding markets or product lines, and other structural modifications as ways in which a sport organization can change its culture (p.285). Questions: What cultural aspects are successful within the U of M athletics? How could they handle the incidents that have happened recently in terms of the student athletes better i norder to reinforce the culture the university believes in?

Leadership

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The organizations actors, processes, culture, structure and environment impact leadership on a large scale. These are all large determinants in which type of leadership style is used within an organization as well as determining its effectiveness. I will be using my first hand experience with the U of M football team as an example throughout this entry. The organizational structure is somewhat complex with a vertical sort of chain of command. The coaches and assistant coaches are given a lot of power in relation to training and teaching their players. They must have very effective leadership styles, and I have noticed some coaches using better leadership styles than others. Some are solely using a coercive style with their players, constantly yelling and offering negative feedback. Few coaches have a balance between the coercive style and a supportive leadership style. These coaches that have a good balance have players that are willing to work harder to get these words of encouragement and end up excelling much greater than the players with coaches who are constantly negative. The culture an organization is placed in has a lot to do with the type of style that is used. As it points out in the "Time Out" section of Slack and Parent on page 301, the Japanese students prefer the supportive type of leadership as well as participative leadership styles much more than the Canadian students. This would have a lot to do with the styles of leadership that are common in Japanese culture as opposed to what the Canadian students are used to. The type of sport also determines the different types of leadership styles that are effective. This has relation to the type of environment the players are experiencing. The type of sport would be the environment in my opinion. For example, football typically has a much more abrasive and high intensity environment than a cross-country running team or dance team would experience. These different environments attract different leadership styles. Using the football team as an example again, this environment is very high intensity and high stress, therefore a lot of this is transferred on down onto the players. I have noticed it increasing more from last year to this year. I think this could be attributed to the fact that Tim Brewster's job is on the line this year so he needs a lot of wins in order to continue on with his job at the U of M. Lastly, the actors are very influential on the leadership styles used in an organization. The actors within the university setting include the athletic director, coaches, compliance coordinators, academic staff, support staff, etc. These actors all come into the organization with different ideas on what makes an effective leader and what is best for the organization. If Joel Maturi were to be a very lax athletic director who let everyone else make the decisions for the athletic department, the merger would not have been successful and many of the programs he supervises would most likely be in shambles. On the other side of the spectrum, if he were to be keeping tabs on every employee within the organization and smothering them with his direction and leadership, he would create a lot of animosity and unrest within the athletic department. I think he keeps a good balance between the two extremes, and lets the other actors within the organization have their own leadership styles as long as they are working for their team or department. 1. How do leadership styles differ between collegiate and pro levels of sport? 2. Are there any leadership styles that are almost never effective within sport organizations?
A sport organizations ability to effectively and smoothly execute change within their organization is very beneficial. This will help the organization stay afloat in the market as well as excel in it. The world is constantly changing, and if an organization is not willing to do the same they will flounder and fail. Slack and Parent describe that there are four areas of change: 1) Technological change, 2) product/service change, 3) structural/systematic change and 4) people change. Although these areas of change are valid, I think that when an organization is experiencing change it is due to a combination of the four, because they are all closely interrelated. Slack and Parent also describe the fact that there are 2 types of change, radical change and convergent change. I think a good example of radical change would be when the University of Minnesota merged their athletic department into one department. This took a lot of orchestration and fine tuning. This is the example I will use throughout this blog. Slack and Parent then goes on to describe many different theories and perspective son how and why organizational change happens. There is: population ecology, resource dependence, life cycle approach, institutional theory, evolution and revolution, and the contextualist approach. After reading all of these perspectives, I thought the evolution and revolution theory made the most sense. This perspective acknowledges the fact that all organizations are resistant to change for a number of reasons and can either have an evolutionary change, which is very slow and happens over time: or a revolutionary change which is very sudden and overturns everything within the organization. Again, I think the U of M athletic department underwent a revolutionary change after management realized it would be much more efficient to have one big department. Going along with the evolution/revolution theory, Slack and Parent identifies several different reasons why organizations are resistant to change. They are: 1) self interest, 2) lack of understanding and trust about the implications of change, 3) different assessments of change consequences and 4) the cost of change. They then give sport managers several different ways to deal with this resistance. I would say out of all the strategies given, the best way to implement change and deal with this resistance is education and communication about the change. A sport manager will find it very difficult to have everybody on their side while implementing change, but if the staff is educated about why the change is occurring and knows what exactly is going to happen, there will be a lot less resistance and confusion along the way. Questions: Was there a lot of resistance to the merging of the athletic department at the University of Minnesota? How did Joel Maturi effectively handle this change to make the athletic department how it is today? How did he deal with the resistance?

Conflict in Sport Orgs

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Bring able to handle and manage conflicts in an organization is very essential to the organization running smoothly. Conflict management is defined as "the ability to navigate through the small and large conflicts within an organization" by Slack and Parent. The book gives many definitions of conflict, but what I understood from the definitions it is a discrepancy between two or more parties that is recognized by all parties and needs to be resolved. Slack and parent describes that there are two ways an organization can have conflict, horizontally and vertically. Horizontal conflict can happen due to a misunderstanding of duties between different subunits. Vertical conflict usually happens because of misunderstandings in power allotments in the different positions. For example, a defensive coordinator for a football team may think they can make all the calls during a game for the defense without consulting the head coach. This would create conflict between the coaches and confusion for the players. Conflict can either be detrimental or beneficial for the organization. If the conflict is not dealt with efficiently it could hold an organization back, but it is positive because it stimulates change and creativity. Slack and Parent also discuss different sources of conflict being; differentiation, interdependence, low formalization, competition over resources, differences in reward systems, power inconvenience, communication problems, participative decision making problems and role conflicts. All of these sources of conflict have ways to be solved and dealt with differently. There are many ways that Slack and Parent point out, some being more effective than others These different ways to deal with conflict are called: authority, avoidance, sparating or merging conflict units, increasing resources, integrating devices, confrontation and negotiation, superordinate goals, job rotation and issues management. Out of all of these techniques, I would say avoidance is the worst technique. Although it may initially solve the issue, it will stay latent if not deal with and could blow up into something much larger if left untouched. The book states that authority is the most common way to deal with conflict in a sport organization, I think this is an efficient way to deal with conflict as well. The authoritative figure addresses the issue and solves it, or tells the parties how to solve it. All the other ways mentioned also work well in settling differences and dissipating conflict. When there is more than one person in an organization, there is bound to be conflict. Differing ideas on how an organization is best run, how players are to be recruited, what products to order, how much money is allocated for different departments, power struggles, etc. will all create conflict, but this also helps an organization grow and shape into something better. What is a case in which conflict would be completely detrimental to an organization?