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2nd day presentations

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I thought today's presentations went very well. I thought it was interesting when Adidas was analyzed after the Nike presentation to see how the large corporations differed and how they were similar. Nike and Adidas are the biggest competitors in the sporting goods industry. It was a mixture of organizations with the large organizations being Nike and Adidas and the smaller organizations MN Gopher Hockey and Minnesota State High School League. I also think Nike has established themselves as a global power, they have expanded their fan base throughout the world and they are one of the most recognizable brands. I think Adidas is behind Nike in a sense of brand identity, I still think they need to expand their clothing line and add some variety. It was also interesting to see how the MN hockey team tied in with the whole athletic department's goals and how they contribute to the department as a team. I think the hockey team is young and they need a couple years to develop in order to get back to the championship caliber level we are used to seeing them on.

11/19/09 Presentations

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First off, I thought everyone did a great job at covering all of the information needed for the audience to understand the organization. I thought everyone was well prepared and everyone was very informative. I thought Andre's presentation was really interesting especially when all the hoopla is surrounding the team. Also because I am a big Gophers basketball fan. It was interesting to listen to Andre describe the different components of the organization. It was obvious he was very knowledgeable about not only the organization as a whole but the team, players, and coaches. He projected his voice well and maintained eye contact throughout his whole presentation. Since he is a team manager, it was interesting to listen to his experiences with the team and he was able to give everyone a first-hand perspective of the Men's basketball program. Lastly I think he had a good recommendation, which was for the organization to require some feedback from the players and managers about some issues or ideas they have.
Decision making is an important aspect in everyone's life. Within an organization decision-making is crucial to the overall effectiveness. Peter Drucker, a management guru once stated, "A decision is a judgment... a choice between alternatives." I think this is a great definition of decision making. When trying to make a decision you have to choose between alternatives, and whoever is making the decision is basing their final decision on past experiences and decisions. The textbook describes the decisions a manager makes can be divided into two categories. One type of decision is programmed decisions, which are repetitive and routine. These decisions are made from past experiences and are based on tight policies and procedures. They are usually made after manager has adequate information available to them and alternatives are easy to implement also. An example of programmed decision is when college coaches can't start recruiting high school players until they are seniors in high school. There is a specific policy that is statewide and possibly nationwide. If a coach violates this policy they would face penalties and might lose the right to recruit that player. Nonprogrammed decisions are innovative and different. There are no procedures to help guide the decision making process. Most of the time an organization has never made decisions similar to the current situation. Alternatives to the situation are unclear. I think an extreme example of this is during the Pacers and Pistons brawl in Auburn Hills, Detroit. A fight between the two teams broke out and it was settled, then somebody from the crowd threw a pop at Ron Artest while he was lying on the scorer's table. He and teammate Stephen Jackson went into the crowd and started fighting fans in the crowd. The coaches and some of the players had to make a nonprogrammed decision. I'm sure many of them hadn't experience a brawl of that magnitude and they had to make quick decisions to stop the fight. Slack and Parent describes the three types of conditions in which decisions are made. One of the conditions is certainty, which is the manager making the decision completely understands the available alternatives and solutions to each decision, with 100 percent certainty. Another condition is risk, although it would be ideal many decisions are made without certainty. With risk, the individual has a basic understanding of the alternatives however the risk vs. reward for each decision is uncertain. The third condition in which decisions are made is uncertainty. With this condition both the alternative and its outcome are uncertain. These decisions are the most difficult because there are no past experiences one can base their decisions on. This can make or break someone's career. Decision making is an important key factor for organizations and members within the organization. It is important for people to gain experience with decisions so they are better prepared for future situations.
In the book it give a definition of organizational culture, but they do not give a clear meaning of culture, however they do mention how there are different themes within the definitions in the book, these themes include: values, beliefs, basic assumptions, and shared understandings. I feel all of these themes make up a "culture" and these themes are associated with organizational culture. They are associated with organizational culture because not every one of these themes is apparent in every sport organization. Every sport organization is unique and they all have different values and themes that make them unique and different from every other sport organization. When analyzing sports, it is obvious that some organizations have a more well-built and evident culture than others. I think it is very difficult to understand the culture of a sport organization if you are not a part of it. Think about it, culture exists every single day in a sport organization and if you don't belong to that organization, you can't fully grasp the meaning and sense of the culture within the organization. Chapter 14 in Slack and Parent discusses the difference between thin and thick cultures. A thin culture doesn't consist of common values or types of activities and process used to build a culture. A thick culture is one in which the members of the sport organization agree about the importance of certain values and employ them in their daily routines (Slack and Parent, pg. 280). A thick culture is often kept together from stories, myths, symbols, and slogans, etc. Stories are narratives told among current employees to new employees within the organization, they often summarize history of the sport organization. Myths are almost the same as stories and have similar effects, they usually tell origins of the organization. Symbols often illustrate the ideas and meanings behind sport and portray them to organization members and the public. Slogans are often how people identify an organization (i.e. NBA's slogan, "where amazing happens"). A thick culture is more of a socially-based organization that will hire employees based on management's perception whether or not the person will fit into the culture and will perform the duties of a thick culture. This culture puts a high emphasis on employee involvement and employees are judged on how well they use their culture-based skills and how well they adapt to circumstances within the organization. I think both of these types of culture are evident in the athletic department of the University of Minnesota. Last week in class Joel Maturi was talking about how he likes to hire employees based on their variety of skill sets and culture. He also hires them if he thinks their history of culture will adapt to the culture of the Univeristy of Minnesota. Although most of the time all the employees aren't going to agree on everything, Joel talked about how he emphasizes respect within the athletic department. Everybody has a title to their opinion, and other people have to respect their opinion whether they agree with it or not. This shows great leadership within the athletic department, it is also evident that there is a strong and effective culture here at the University of Minnesota.

There are many things that affect and organization and how well it operates, however context of an organization plays a vital role on the level of leadership present in an organization.  When analyzing the organizational structure of any sport organization it is important for all people under the hierarchy to understand the overall message that is being displayed and conveyed throughout the organization.  It is important for the leader of the organization to appoint people with different skill sets and techniques that will all ultimately come together as one.  For example an NBA team, the players , assistant coaches, and the training staff have to respect the coaches' decision and trust the coach is going to make decisions that are for the betterment of the team.  This goes both ways, the coach has to be a great leader and must get everyone involved to believe in their philosophy so everyone is aimed at the same goals.  If mutual respect is present, this means things will run very smoothly and more effectively.   Often problems occur with players not agreeing to a coach's decision, for example if a coach doesn't play a certain player as much as that player wants to play.  The player should calmly and respectfully talk it over with the coach in order to diffuse the situation.  Often players forget they are professional athletes and they are selfish and put themselves in front of team goals.  I think this is an example of why most teams highly emphasize signing and developing players with good character.  It is also helpful for the coach to be a leader if the team consists of veteran players who respect and back up the coach and will tolerate any nonsense on the field/court or off.  An organization must have a certain direction in which they are aimed for the future.  If the organization is in need of chance it is important for management and coaches of an organization to begin the process of direction.  For example if you take a look at the Boston Celtics, they struggled to compete from 2000-2007 with few playoff appearances.  Management decided enough is enough, they went out and made trades and signed players to build a championship organization.  They collected certain pieces of the puzzle in order to build a special culture and set an achievable goal to win an NBA championship and make the Boston Celtics a contending franchise for many years to come.  In one year they had about ten players that never played with each other before and through hard work, dedication, and great leadership attained an NBA title.  This is a great example of successful and effective leadership within all levels of the organization.  These days leadership and effectiveness is often based on success, many organizations get overlooked because they are not successful at first.  Leadership must be implemented and sustained constantly over a long period of time.  Environment is a factor that may affect an organization the most.  A healthy work environment is important and necessary in order for leadership to exist in an organization.  Also people within an organization are more capable of performing their duties in a calm and stable environment rather than a chaotic and uncomfortable environment.  Operations tend to run smoothly and goals are achieved in a timely manner also in a healthy environment. 

Organizational Change

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Change is of the inevitable. Sport organizations are always changing because of internal and external influences. Sport organizations are always changing whether it is a change in staff, change in philosophy or a change in operations and execution. Organizations are always trying to better their staff by hiring people who have certain skills and qualities that will benefit the organization and will allow them to be affective during the times of change. The physical structure of an organization can also change. If an organization is having a hard time dealing with some sort of change they might appoint more people to hierarchical status to have a more efficient leadership oriented structure. It is important for organizations to prepare for change so they are equipped and ready in order for them to keep up with their competitors. This type of preparation is not something that can developed over night, it takes time and thought. Most of the time external pressures cause organizations to change and adapt. Obviously the economy is the biggest issue right now for sport organizations. The economy is forcing organizations to be better financially efficient. For example, teams within the four major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL) are finding ways to reduce costs and are trying to be creative to bring in other sources of revenue besides traditional ways. Teams have changed the structure of their organization by cutting jobs and appointing employees to complete more assigned tasks. This trend of cutting jobs has also been seen in many colleges throughout the country. College athletic departments have t o plan very carefully to overcome this recession. Not only are jobs being cut down, but colleges are eliminating certain sports to help minimize debt and keep a stable athletic budget. The economy can also be a cause of technological change. It affects the sport organization's production process and they way they carry out their rules and procedures. The two types of change are radical and convergent change (Slack, 240). According to the book, radical change is frame bending and it requires complete change within the organization as a whole. Convergent change is more about fixing the organization's structure or "fine tuning" a specific orientation. Not only does change affect sport organizations, but it also indirectly affects their consumers, whether it is companies working for the organization, fans, or teams. Organizations have to fix their structure to help them complete their tasks and also they have to build their organization structure to effectively accommodate their consumers.
Conflict is everywhere, it happens in everyday life. People face conflict all the time whether it is with relationships, classes, or sports. Everyone has dealt with many types of conflict throughout their life and has learned from the experience. Whether or not conflict is overcome it is still an important learning tool for future references and similar situations. Sport organizations also face conflict in every phase of their organization. In the book, March and Simon describe conflict as a "breakdown in the standard mechanisms of decision making so that an individual or group experiences difficulty in selecting an action alternative. I agree with this definition however, I don't think conflict is limited to a breakdown in the standard mechanisms of decision making of an organization. I know this is just a general definition, but conflict can also occur during game operation, sales, and in management of an organization. Conflict is difficult to deal with and to overcome, but overcoming conflict expands and organization's ability to achieve tasks and goals. It allows them to discover different possible alternatives to deal with future conflict. There are two types of conflict, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal conflict is used to help breakdown conflict and categorize it into certain subunits. Within these certain subunits or the individuals representing the subunits that remain on the same level of organizational hierarchy is where horizontal conflict occurs (Slack and Parent, 2006). Horizontal conflict can occur in an athletic department between those involved with intercollegiate activities and those who are associated with the campus recreation program. Conflict is present between these two programs in thousands of colleges throughout the U.S. Conflicts may occur with scheduling, funding, and resources for sporting events. The recreation program may feel as though they are not receiving a fair amount of the institution's funding. Another scenario may be scheduling issues at the facilities; a club sport may have to adapt their schedule according to the athletic schedule. Conflict between the two occurs because they both have different goals and priorities. These conflicts are apparent in colleges because most of them have a recreation program to complement their athletic program. It is important to have great leadership within your athletic department to deal with never-ending conflict issues. If conflict is not dealt with, this will cause dysfunction within your organization. I think it is important to take your time and consider every option you have, but I think an ultimate decision must be made fairly quickly so the conflict doesn't linger. Vertical conflict occurs between two different hierarchical levels of sport organization (Slack and Parent, 2006). This conflict is a result from the demand for control in a sport organization and the needs of an individual. An example of this may be if a coach demands for a contract worth more money, this is usually negotiated with the athletic director. I think this conflict arise when people sometimes put their wants ahead of their needs. It is important that organizational members abide by and understand the needs of the organization and realize the structure within the organization.

Power and Politics

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Power and politics play a major role in the sports industry and affect every sport organization. I think it is vital for a sport organization to have a well built power structure in order for them to operate efficiently and effectively. There are many times when power and politics can have a positive effect on an organization and there are also many times when power and politics can prevent an organization from fulfilling out their duties and keep them from achieving their goals. Strategic choice is a concept that is analyzed when talking about problems of organizational power and politics. According to Slack and Parent, strategic choice typically includes not only the establishment of structural forms but also the manipulation of environmental features and the choice of relevant performance standards. This is saying that an organization must adapt their standards according to how environmental factors are affecting them. Not only do environmental features influence an organization and how `they operate but power and authority is one of the most complex concepts in the organizational theory literature. Power is not something that is directly visible within a sport organization, but the effects of power are evident. Maintaining a certain level of power in an organization is important in order to keep the structure and management intact. Upper levels of the management must have power in order to lead their organization in a market. There are several types of power that affect an organization. One form of power is authority, which is the power that it is formally sanctioned by a sport organization, the power that accrues to a person because of his or her role within the organization (Slack and Parent, 2006). I think in the video we watched about how Nike has their workers in India working for dirt cheap money is a way to show how power and authority can affect a lot of people. Because Nike is the leading company for sport apparel, they have a lot of power and authority and it is being used to direct controversial action. Power can be used negatively or positively it depends on the situation at hand. Although an organization can have their own power and authority, the book talks about sources of individual power. These types of power are legitimate, coercive, referent, and expert power. Legitimate power is the same as authority (Slack and Parent, 2006). People acquire this power depending on their certain position within an organization. Coercive power is power that is used in disciplinary actions. Referent power is based on individuals respect for another person. The individuals within a sport organization support and value the management above. Lastly expert power happens because of an individual's skill or certain knowledge about a particular idea.
When studying organizations, environment is important to understand when trying to distinguish how an organization operates influence the structure and other processes. When trying to be successful an organization must take into consideration many environmental factors such as: the economy, politics, legal issues, and technology etc. These are just a few of many factors that every organization has to face every day. A way to grade an organization's effectiveness can be how they deal with these factors. They must be aware of changes within their environment and must take the necessary steps in order to adapt. They must also be able to take the necessary steps not only to be effective, but to also to stay competitive in their respective industry. Planning and organization are two key components when dealing with these unexpected environmental factors. In the book it talks about how Horst Dassler was better than anyone in sports at adapting to environmental factors. Dassler was known for creating links with many key figures in amateur sports which allowed him to stay informed of the changes that could possibly influence Adidas. Social networking gave Dassler an advantage in capitalizing on opportunities in the environment, which resulted in Adidas becoming the number one sporting good company in the world at one time. According to researchers organizations must deal with two different kinds of environments, a general and a task environment. The general environment includes sectors that can influence the industry in general ways that can impact the organization. There are a number of sectors that general environment can be divided into, some of which I listed above. The task environment in a sport organization is conducted of aspects of its general environment that can influence its abilities to achieve goals. Often included in a task environment for a sport organization are groups like customers-members-fans, staff, suppliers, competitors, and regulatory agencies. A task environment for an organization will change based on the domain that organization chooses to operate under. A domain is relating to the territory that a sport organization stakes out for itself, according to the services and products they offer and the market which they operate under. This allows for differentiation in domains between sport organizations, which means a different task environment. Overall I think it is very important for organizations to manage their environment. There are so many aspects that are associated with environment that can affect a sport organization both positively and negatively if those aspects aren't handled well. An organization can be considered effective if they take the appropriate steps to adapt to changes within their environment.
1) I think in intercollegiate athletic programs, athletic directors should determine which expectations have priority. When I think back to my high school days, I interviewed the athletic director and I was amazed at all of the duties and expectations that he had as an athletic director for a large high school. I remember seeing him at all the sporting events, not just as a spectator but more like a director and supervisor, to make sure everything was running smoothly. The athletic director should have a set of expectations within the department and should be able to prioritize the expectations. To go with that, each member within the athletic department should have their own personal expectations that are associated with the overall expectations of the department. I think an example of this is when say a player of the basketball team gets an underage drinking violation (minor) and the school and the athletic department will suspend them for a certain amount of games. Also the team may have their rules and consequences that could be like extra games they had to sit out in addition to the school's consequence. 2) External profile- honor, pride, sportsmanship and competiveness. Resource management- respect, kindness, awareness, and sportsmanship. Performance on the field- competiveness, teamwork, strive for success, work ethic. Ethics- honesty, dependable, and passion. Education- dedication, consistent, committed, and focused. Institutional enthusiasm- spirit, respect, and pride. 3) If performance on the field influences the other six determinants of success, then you must build a team of winners. This doesn't necessarily mean recruiting or persuading the best rated athletes. It means to build a team of players that will coincide with each other and they have different skills that once put together will produce a consistently successful team. I think that it is very important your athletes also to be successful in the classroom so they will be able to earn a degree. That should be a school's top priority for their student athletes. MSU should aim to have the nation's top student athletes and should have high expectations for these athletes. Also understand that a winning athletic department helps the organization in endless ways. 4) After reviewing MSU's mission statement it appears that not many of Wolf et al.'s expectations were implemented into their mission. I think they should talk about resource management, I feel that will help elevate their organization. This is one of the expectations that need to be covered by MSU. 5) There are many ways in maintaining a solid financial structure. I think they should concentrate on getting their alumni more involved to help make donations and to get more involved with the organization. 6) I think the Internal Process approach would be useful in measuring MSU's effectiveness. They should work on developing their lower level management and expanding their pyramid horizontally. I think it is important for all the employees to respect each other, stay dedicated, and to be open to other's thoughts and decisions. People want a comfortable atmosphere to work in and this will give the organization a good image. If all the employees are dedicated, the organization will overcome challenges and problems they discover.