Sports Management and Marketing

Sports Management and Marketing

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Sports Management and Marketing
Management is tasks. Management is a discipline. But management is also people (Drucker, 1999) Management is a very broad term and has been given many different definitions. Smith and Stewart (1999) define it as ‘The system of planning, organising, actuating and controlling the co-ordination of resources for the efficient and effective delivery and exchange of products and services’ (p7). This definition incorporates 4 major principles that almost every definition will include. These 4 categories are compressed functions that G. R. Terry developed in 1960. They are planning, organising, actuating (leading) and controlling. This is a development of the 1916 description by Fayol who, instead of inserting actuating (leading), inserted command and coordinate. The Smith and Stewart (1999) definition includes the modern conception of human resource management. It considers people as individuals to lead instead of personnel management which identifies people as the collective to command. This type of management is implemented in many different organisations both sporting and in general business. Honda implements this notion and has an ethos where everyone in the organisation, from the cleaners to the CEO’s has a voice. They express this notion of individual importance in their slogan † ‘the power of dreams’. Leadership, therefore, is a very iconic part of management and is too vast an area to identify as a single behaviour. The term ‘leadership’ is often confused with ‘management’. Even within a work organisation you cannot identify a manager necessarily by a person’s job title (Mullins, 1999) but by the way they lead (Cole, 1999). A manager, therefore, is a title whereas leadership is a personality trait that a manager should possess. Leadership qualities can be broken down to sub categories or behaviours such as ‘communication’. Communication in the basic skill form is obviously invaluable to a manager’s success. Managers spend most of their time communicating by spoken, written or electronic means with their supervisors, peers, subordinates or customers (Mintzberg, 1973). The importance and differences in communication can be seen in most sporting contexts form football (where Jose Mourinho passed notes to his Chelsea players to communicate his instructions privately) to boxing (where the coach is ever present and vocal during the fight in their designated corner).Therefore it is clear that the continued development of this skill will ultimately underpin a successful manager (Boddy & Patton, 1998). This, however, is communication in its basic form.

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To succeed in a managerial role understanding of communication pathways is vital. There are many different communication networks that represent these pathways. These networks represent both centralised (e.g. A ‘Y’ and a Wheel network, figure 1) and decentralised (e.g. All-Channel, Circle and Chain, figure 2) pathways (Cole, 1999). In terms of sports management, especially in team sports, the preferred network for communication would be decentralised. This allows the team to have shared leadership where each individual can have an input to the outcome (Cole, 1999). This method also allows for better working relationships between the members of the team because instead of having a centralised leader to command the individuals they are all encouraged to interact with each other. Formula 1 implements this method and is why they also have the constructor table. It identifies every member of the team working as one towards one common goal. As a manager there is a need to implement the best pathway. This will ensure that the workforce of the organisation work to their maximum potential. There are, however, barriers to communication. The pathway has to work both ways in the hierarchal chain of command (Boddy & Patton) where policies, plans, information and instructions are passed down and also where ideas, suggestions, comments and complaints pass upwards (Cole, 1999). It was found that employees use of communication processes such as openness, access and listening in risk communication programmes contributed to external publics’ development of positive perceptions regarding the organisation (Rhee, 2008). The communication relationship by between hierarchal positions is noticeable in golf. The caddy has a considerable role to play in the golfers’ capability to complete a world class round. If the communication is good between the two then the round will be a success. This involvement contributed to Tiger Woods’ caddy Steve Williams being the highest paid New Zealand sports person for several years. Hartmut Huebner, Richard Varey and Laurie Wood (2008) identified 3 fields of action that the manager can perform due to effective communication and strategy implementation. These are giving decisions voice, facilitating the legitimization process for decisions and decision implementation. Decision making is therefore an integral part of a managers make-up. Peter Drucker (1999, p374) identified the first managerial skill to be ‘the making of effective decisions’. This area of management is therefore vital for managerial success and an organisations success and progression. However, surprisingly many people struggle when it comes to taking decisions. This might be due to; fear of failure, lack of a structured approach, procrastinating or lack of clarity (Brodie, 2005). This is where a systematic, rational approach to decision making is needed (Figure 3) (Cole, 2002). This suppresses some of the issues why managers struggle with decision making because it allows them to follow a strategic plan and raises their confidence. The Japanese take a different approach to decision making where they debate a proposed decision throughout the organisation until there is complete agreement. This lack of singular authority may lead to increased amount of compromise where everyone is happy but also solves nothing (Drucker, 1999). This means a managers role is reliant on informed, structured and realistic decisions and has the confidence to deliver and implement the decision successfully. Even though managers may recognize their responsibility to make good decisions, participate in group decisions and influence deliberations that lead to other decisions, they seldom understand the underlying decision-making process or think about their role as decision managers. In this role, they influence and guide the people around them to make effective decisions that enhance the organisations prosperity (Yates, 2006). This is evident in every coaching scenario. The coach cannot participate for the athlete so the coach has to instil good decision making so that the athlete uses the coaches knowledge to good effect. If a rugby team were not coached how to make good decisions then the athletes would need constant guidance for the full 80 minutes. There has been much research into decision management and management development through decision making (e.g. Vroom, 2003; Rausch, 2003 ) where it has been found that taking a diplomatic approach to decision making where by involving a number of people’s input to the decision the outcome will be more effective. There does still need to be an authoritarian style to the final decision to alleviate the problems faced with the Japanese style of decision making, but to utilise the resources available (i.e. people) to influence decision making has been found prominent. This method is also utilised in a sporting context where decisions are discussed and formulated not only from the opinions of the coach but a combination of coach and athlete. For example in gymnastics, the coach may be able to see what is going on but cannot feel how the action is performed. If it is solely a coaches decision to change the action without the input of the gymnast then it could cause a decline in the actions efficiency or even injury. Another behaviour that is essential to being a good manager and one that has a noticeable link to decision making is ‘_motivation_’. Motivation has many descriptions, one of which is ‘the term used to describe those processes, both instinctive and rational, by which people seek to satisfy the basic drives, perceived need and personal goals, which trigger human behaviour (Cole, 1995, p119). This is a key behaviour for a manager to control human behaviour in such a way to achieve the desired outcomes. A model of motivation (shown in figure 4) shows the process of motivation. A stimulus triggers behaviour and in turn leads to an outcome (Cole, 1999). If a manager can control the stimulus of their workforce then they will also be able to control their behaviour and gear it towards a combination of needs, both of the manager and of the workforce. The stimulus can be in the form of reward (e.g. promotion, pay rise) or acknowledgement (e.g. praise, recognition). These types of stimulus will drive the employee to behave in such a way to achieve the outcome of the manager and in turn achieve the outcome for themselves. This helps in sports where a manager or coach gives a player or team winning bonuses to encourage them to perform better. This type of motivation cannot be used in the day to day workings of the entire workforce and has therefore lead to research into different areas of motivation. Elton Mayo (between 1927 and 1932) conducted research in the Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago, USA called ‘The Hawthorne Studies. This research concluded that individual workers cannot be treated in isolation, but must be members of a group (Cole, 1999). This motivation technique can be seen in Sir Clive Woodward’s approach to his world cup winning rugby squad, where he asked the players to turn up for meeting in a suit. This made them feel like an important part of the team and therefore care a lot more about the outcomes that that team wanted to achieve. Another study titled ‘Theory Z’ by William Ouchi (1981) sought to find out the motivation tactics in the highly successful Japanese manufacturing industries (Cole, 1999). The studies findings were similar to that of the Hawthorne study, in that there is a collective responsibility for the success of the organisation and co-operative effort rather than individual achievement (Cole, 1999). It attributed this finding to shared decision making at all levels, which co-insides with Peter Druckers analysis of the Japanese management style. A western company that employs this tactic to some extent that has already been mentioned in this study is the Honda car manufacturers, where they invite and explore decisions and ideas form all levels of the company.
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