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Organizational Culture

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Organizational culture is an idea in the field of organizational studies and management, which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs, and values of an organization. I think that defining organizational culture is key to understanding how the organization works and what will make it work better. Having organizational culture known and upfront leads to knowing exactly what type of leadership is needed along with what type of decision making process should be used. By knowing the culture of an organization, you know how things are run and know what will work and will not work. It is very important to understand the culture to make sure the communication throughout the organization is good as well. Culture is key to understanding the whole organizational effectiveness and the culture leads to everyone trying to achieve the same goals. This also leads to a great leader and shows if the goals are being obtained as well.
Throughout this course I have learned in the readings about many different ways that organizations can be effective. I believe that my initial thought on what makes an organization effective was correct and I do not think it changed at all. I think that being very goal-oriented, having great communication and great leadership is the key yo having an effective organization because they all work together. Being goal-oriented is great because you have something to work towards, but you need to make sure that they are reasonably attainable. This leads into the communication aspect because the employees need to be aware of everything that is going on throughout the organization so that they can successfully be heading in the same direction at the same time. Communication also leads to making sure all the roles in the organization are being accomplished and to make sure that no two people or more are working on the same project that only needs one person. Then all of this also leads to having a great leadership to make sure that all of the goals are attainable and to make sure the communication is spread throughout all of the organization. Great leadership will make everyone work towards the goals of the organization and hopefully fulfill those goals. Also the leader needs to make all the quick, but effective decisions for the organization so that they can be effective and efficient. The leader also needs to make sure that all of the decisions good or bad get filtered down throughout the organization, so that they can form new goals and streams of communication if needed.

12/10 Presentations

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Today's presentations were some of the best I think. All of them were well put together and the organizations were analyzed very well. I liked the two presentations on the Minnesota Twins because I also did my presentation on the Minnesota Twins Organization and it was interesting to see some other aspects of the organization that were covered. It was good to see that they focused on the history and how one focused a little more on the team and the other focused a little more on the business side, with revenue and what not. The presentation on the Golf Course was also very well put together and was interesting to see exactly what went into a specific venue like that to see how they were effective and I am guessing from what she was saying she works at the Golf Course, but she never stated that. They were all very good presentations today. i also liked the one on the YMCA because it was very informational, all topics were covered well and it was easy to follow. Finally, another presentation that caught my attention was the Chicago Blackhawks presentation because I did not know much about that organization and it was interesting to find out that they did not have a mission statement for the team. It was also nice to see the organizational change and it was discussed very well. How it went from a terrible team that was not televised because of a greedy owner not wanting fans to see the game for free on TV and high ticket prices, to becoming a winning franchise, that now has TV contracts for every regular season game along with cheaper ticket prices with the new president.

12/8 Presentations

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I thought that all of the presentations today went great and that they were very well prepared to present their organizational analysis to the class. The Pop Warner organization was the most interesting to me because I knew that Pop Warner was a large organization and it was very good to hear about how it is actually run and how they measure if they are effective or not. Also, I did not know that they did other sports, I just always affiliated Pop Warner with football, but it was good to find out that they also represented other youth sports. The presentation on Under Armour, which was already done was very good and it explained the company well even though we had heard a presentation about it before. Also, it was nice to see that they information from both presentations lined up. I liked that she had made a comment about the models as well and how they need to change it because not everyone is going to meet the criteria of the model that is wearing the apparel, so they should try to use real life people as well, so they can relate to all the customers as well. The presentation on the Pittsburgh Pirates was also very good because it showed true understanding of the organization and how it was run. I liked how he explained exactly what was causing the problems and the recommendations that were stated were great for the specific organization and really showed the understanding of how things need to be handled in that organization from now on to make they effective and efficient in the future.

Day 2 Presentations

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I thought that the presentations overall on day two were pretty good. I particularly like the two presentations, Nike and Adidas. They were both informational and it was nice to see the differences in companies that are in the same industry. I also enjoyed the presentation on the Minnesota State High School League because it was very in depth and descriptive of the organizational goals and how they review whether or not they are actually effective as an organization. This interests me the most out of the presentations because I played baseball at the high school level in Minnesota, so I was under the Minnesota State High School Leagues program and it was nice to see exactly how they ran their program. Furthermore, I am coaching a baseball team in the Fridley youth league and hopefully will be working up towards the High School level and could possibly be a coach under the Minnesota State High School league. Overall the presentations were good and I would like to know more information about all of the organizations discussed so far.

Leadership Blog

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Leadership Blog: Leadership can be affected in many different ways, in many different companies and organizations. Leadership in businesses and/or organizations can make you or break you as a company. Leadership has many different aspects in organizations and they consist of the executives (CEO's, President, GM) and middle management staff and some lower level management can make up the leadership of an organization or business. How they act and make decisions can affect what they do in their specific area of their organization and this has a large affect on how the employees will react and how they will work for you. If you include your employees/staff in the decision making and in other aspects of the organization and actually listen to their opinions on what should and should not be done, they will be much more likely to produce for you. Also, giving them recognition and encouragement will help to balance the company and make them more likely to be involved in the company/organization and produce for you in the long run. I personally think that this is a much better way to express leadership than just having one person commanding everyone to work. You can be born into leadership or you will have to work your way up into the front office, by hard work and long hours. The structure of leadership within an organization can be vital in making leadership decisions. In sports organizations there are many aspects of leadership and structure. The structure is very complex because there are many aspects of a sport organization to run. For example, I will use the Minnesota Twins, they need to run the team as a whole, each department, MLB operations, baseball communications, the team, the organization and the clubhouse. All of these aspects much have great leadership structure and decision making so that the organization can run smoothly and succeed. Without all of these departments and people being on the same page along with great leadership the organization will fail because they will not be striving towards the same goals and will all be going in different directions.

Decision Making Blog Garvin

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Decision Making Blog: This article was discussing the fact of whether or not this company made a bad decision about their product. After reading this article I think that they made a terrible decision to remove their product off the market right away for many reasons. First of all, decisions were taking way too long to be made, the executives were very indecisive and so far they decision to remove the product from the market was a decision that was made too quickly, but all their other decision were very lengthy in time. They did not test the drug for all of these possible side effects and since all of the reports of the side effects were in the same area they should have tried to figure out why in those area things were going badly and not just remove the product immediately. There had to be some outside force that was causing the effects in that area if there were no other side effects in other people in other areas taking the same product. The conditions that they recalled the ChargeUp product was because they were uncertain about the product and whether it was actually causing those side effects, but they should have done some research before actually pulling the product off the shelves. Another condition that it was recalled for was because of the risk condition because if it was really causing all of those side effects and they kept the product on the shelf that could cause much panic and uproar if more and more people continue to have those side effects. This article was good in describing how this company was making all the wrong decisions for their company because they were too quick to pull this product off the shelves and all of their other decisions were not made in a timely fashion, which caused many other issues. All the people in the company had too much say it what was going to happen and by everyone having an opinion the executives could not make fast and smart decision. In the end the main problem of the organization was the decision making process that the executives had and that they needed to put more information into the decision to recall the ChargeUp product and also they needed to have more timely decision in the rest of them.
Guest Speakers: University of Minnesota Athletic Board This was a great panel for the leadership aspect of the sport organization. Having all of these employees, in all different levels of the sport organization of the University of Minnesota Athletics was very helpful in understanding their roles. It also helped in showing where the power was located in the organization and how the merger of the two separate athletic departments affected the university. Joel Maturi was hired as the Athletic Director to help merge the two programs and from what I have heard and my own personal understanding of the merger is that he has done a great job, even with all the doubts from both sides (the women's and men's athletic programs). Now all you hear about is the great job he has done in completing the merger and also about his leadership style. The first thing that was great about what he did was that in the first year he kept all the staff from both athletic departments and guaranteed that they would not be let go for this first year, but could not promise about years that follow. He noticed people leaving on their own, which lead to him being able to appoint heads of departments without the struggle of power. Also having a base goal to stride for helped in this transition heavily because everyone knew what he wanted and what the university wanted to be shown and known as. They were there to make sure that athletes got their education and were able to participate in their sport as well. They made the priority in education rather than athletics, which is the way it should be. I thought by having Gary Wilson a coach that has been there for many years was very helpful because he was a coach before the merger, during and now after the merger, so it was great to get his point of view on the merger. He did a great job explaining how Joel Maturi's style helped the organization greatly and that it was easy to follow. Even though the media and everyone seemed to talk about how Maturi was not making the decisions fast enough or on his own. This is where it was nice to hear from Coach Wilson because he clearly stated that Maturi took the input from the coaches, but he had final say and would let them know exactly what he thought of the situation and would let you know if you were doing something wrong. Coach Wilson's aspect was great because he discussed how he helped in a way during the merger by trying to get other coaches in the men's sports to understand that they were not priority and that the had to follow the rules as well. The other coaches were in a power struggle mainly because of the money aspect, the revenue generating sports thought they should get more money than ones that did not generate any revenue for the university. He specifically discussed an event/conversation that he had with Maturi about international recruiting funds for Cross Country, the sport he coached. Joel would hear him out every time, but he always put his foot down because it was not something that they were going to fund or even think about doing.

Kenny Mauer Guest Speaker

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Guest Speaker Kenny Mauer, NBA Referee This was a great guest speaker for talking about the legal side of the contracts, as well as the conflict and leadership aspects of the NBA officials. It was helpful to hear the side of the officials, to see exactly what was going on, since the NBA side is always biased towards their own league. Also, Kenny was explaining the contracts in a way that was very easy to follow. I liked how he told us every little detail about their contracts that the NBA did not ever disclose or mention during the negotiations. For one, that the NBA officials have strict guidelines they have to follow as well as that they have a strict itinerary to follow for every game they ref. Furthermore the explanation of how the NBA tried to separate them and when they would turn down a specific contract the NBA would just go back for a little while and bring them the exact same contract. It was helpful for Kenny to explain this process and how it affected the younger and inexperienced NBA officials because they would think that they were doing something wrong by not signing the contract, since the NBA continuously brought back the same contract. Kenny showed and talked about great leadership him and many of the other veteran officials that would take the rookie/new officials under their wing, so that they would understand that they needed to be united. Continuing on, Kenny also discussed how the betting scandal from Tin Donaghy and how there was a lot of conflict between the league and other officials during that time. Kenny said that the scandal with Donaghy really hurt the image of the NBA and the NBA officials as a whole and that the officials still have not fully recovered from that issue and he does not see them overcoming that event anytime soon. He also discussed some of the guidelines that the NBA has in place now for the officials to try and prevent this from happening again. He discussed the NBA's itinerary for the officials each game. They have to be on a certain flight, have to be in the city of the game at a certain time, check into the hotel at a certain time, be at the game a certain amount of hours before the game and they have to keep them up to date on what they are doing, pretty much at all times. Overall, I thought that this was a great guest speaker at a great time in the class for discussing conflict in a sport organizations.
According to Slack and Parent the definition of power is the ability to get someone to do something they would not have otherwise done. Organizations include power within the individuals and within the organization itself. There are five main sources of individual power as stated in the text and they are: legitimate, reward, coercive, referent, and expert. To make an organization effective, many of these powers may need to work together. Now to explain each of the powers, first is the legitimate power, which is stated as exactly the same as authority. This power is given by the position of the person in the sport organization. They can expect compliance from all of their subordinates because of just their position title, when they ask for something to be done. This power only comes from the person position, not from any other skill that they may have. Second is the reward power, which is one person's control of one person's reward. This basically means that the person of control gives out a reward for the subordinates good work and by the person receiving a reward it makes them want to continue to work hard and get bigger and better rewards as they work. As Slack and Parent state, the larger the reward the greater the importance of the reward to the recipient. For example, in many professional players contracts they receive certain rewards for reaching certain goals for all the team. I have heard that certain players get more money if they hit a certain amount of home runs or even if they score a certain amount of touchdowns for their team. This makes them want to try harder and reach those goals for their management, so that they can be rewarded in the end. The third power is coercive. According to Slack and Parent, this is the power that is derived from the ability that one person has to punish another. I know that where I work, I get all my jobs done on time because I do not want to be "punished" for not completing my job. I personally do not think that this is the best approach for power because I do not like they way my work is run because of this approach, it makes the workplace stressful and does build up some anger towards management. This might work better in a sports organization because the players are getting paid much more money and they should have many more guidelines because they are representing a city, team and state. The fourth power is referent. According to Slack and Parent, this power is based on an individual's charisma and another person's identification with this quality. Basically, this power is for someone who identifies very strongly with a team or organization. They agree with all the values and concerns that their leader expresses and sends throughout the team or organization. The people that promote teams, event and sporting equipment are a great example of referent power. They identify themselves with the team. When they talk about the team they use the word we or us, to identify with them. The fifth and final power is expert. According to Slack and Parent this is a special knowledge or skill that a person has. They do not have to be high up in the organization to have the expert power. If they are the only person that specializes in that area at their organization they are going to have much more power than someone without that knowledge. For example, if a person knows how to operate a specific program in the organization to the max, then they are going to be the go to person for that program and they are going to have the most power for that specific aspect.