Free «Structures of Sports Organizations» Essay Sample

A structure refers to designated relationships among resources of the management system. An organizational structure is a framework that outlines how tasks are divided, grouped and coordinated within an organization. An organizational structure is represented primarily by a graphic illustration called an organization chart. The relative positioning of individuals within boxes on the chart indicates broad working relationships, and lines between boxes designate formal lines of communication between individuals. In addition, an organization chart can also communicate to outsiders the complexity of the organization (Certo, 2009). Nowadays, every sport organization has a structure that outlines the tasks to be performed by individuals and teams. Finding the right structure for an organization involves juggling requirements to formalize procedures while fostering innovation and creativity. An organizational structure is important because it defines where staffs and volunteers fit with each other in terms of work tasks, decision-making procedures, the need for collaboration, levels of responsibility and reporting mechanisms.



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Structural Models

Organizational structures are subjectively based on specific sets of organizational and external factors. The three most common types of structures adopted by sports organizations can be categorized into four common types: a simple structure, functional structure, matrix structure and team structure.

Simple Structure

The simple structure has a low degree of departmentalization and formalization. For example, the simple structure would be used by a small sporting goods retail store that might have 10 casual and full-time staff and an owner or manager. There would be no need for departments, as most decisions and administrative tasks would be performed by the owner or manager and all other staff on the scales floor. Figure 1 shows the simple structure. As can be seen, the majority of procedures would be executed according to a simple set of rules and the owner or manager would have all staff reporting directly to him or her. Advantages of the simple structure are obvious: decisions can be made quickly, it ensures a flexible workforce to cater for seasonal needs and accountability clearly rests with the owner or manager.

Functional Structure

The functional structure is a direct descendant of the bureaucratic structure. It is based on a group's function or dedicated activities in an organization such as sales and marketing, finance and operations. The structure's effectiveness is based on division of labor. This structure allows for specialization within functional areas and facilitates co-ordination among its members. Figure 2 shows the functional structure. As can be seen, the functional structure relies on high levels of formalization, the use of departments to group people into discrete work teams that deal with specific functions, highly centralized decision-making and a clear chain of command. An advantage of functional departmentalizing is the control conferred to the various functional heads (Certo, 2009). However, individuals become insulated in their functional groups and fail to see or understand the other functions' jobs. Thus, this can lead to co-ordination problems (Aelita and Maris, 1994).

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Matrix Structure

The matrix structure is based on a dual chain of command. Each employee in the matrix structure is responsible to one functional department and one project manager. Although the matrix structure is usually a combination of functional and divisional groupings, it can also be a combination of product and market groupings. These matrix structures can be temporary or permanent, depending on the needs of the organization. It was this flexibility that made the matrix structure very popular initially. However, many companies soon found the matrix structure to be more burdensome than helpful. The biggest problem is the level of ambiguity inherent in the matrix structure. The relationship between functional and project managers was not clearly specified by rules and procedures, creating power struggles and a blurred sense of accountability. This decreased both efficiency and effectiveness (Aelita and Maris, 1994). Figure 3 shows the matrix structure. The matrix structure creates two bosses. This breaks the unity of command principle but allows an organization to group specialists together to maximize sharing of expertise while facilitating their involvement in the number of projects or service delivery areas.

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Team Structure

The team structure requires decision-making to be decentralized to work teams that are made up of people with skills to perform a variety of tasks. While an organization is constituted as a set of people who synergize individual competencies to achieve newer dimensions, the quality of organizational structure revolves around the competencies of teams in totality. Thus, a soccer club franchise might employ such a structure with teams formed for club events or marketing campaigns as it will allow quick decision-making in regard to finance, staffing or impacts on players.

Organizational Structure of Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Club

Investor Background

Philip Frederick Anschutz, an American investor, diversifies his portfolio by investing in stocks, real estate, railroads and then entertainments. A drilling company that he bought out his dad went broke, and then struck oil in Utah and Wyoming. In recent months he lost a big complicated tax case over whether or not he sold $375 million in Oil Company shares as part of a tax dodge a decade ago. I.R.S. wants at least $144 million. Anschutz will appeal (Forbes, 2010). Therefore, entertainments are just the latest chapter for Anschutz. Anschutz entertainment group (AEG) is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG has owned arenas like the Staples Center in L.A. and The O2 arena in London. AEG has held stakes in 9 sports teams like the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Kings. Moreover, AEG has also produced 33 films like the Chronicles of Narnia series and Ray (AEG, 2010).

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Organizing of Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Club

As the previous descriptions suggest, each organizational structure has its own merits and drawbacks. AEG has a rich history of sports management. AEG has two major sports ventures including soccer and golf. One of AEG’s sports ventures is Los Angeles galaxy soccer club.

AEG wholly owns subsidiary of the Anschutz Company. Initially, AEG organized Los Angeles galaxy soccer club by using simple structure including sales, administrations and team division. Recently, AEG diversifies its organizations into both vertical and horizontal dimensioning due to expand its operations. Appendix 1 shows a LA galaxy’s organizational chart. As can be seen, in terms of vertical dimensioning, AEG creates spans of management to achieve its objectives as speeding up organizational decision-making and building a more likely to help the organization achieve success in the long run. In terms of horizontal dimensioning, AEG establishes the functional structure. The functional structure is in the second phase of development whereby AEG wants to expand its business and soccer operations. In addition, AEG would require a different structure to cope with the added demands of controlling staff in multiple locations and making decisions across a wider number of operational areas.


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