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Amanda Perkey MSOD613

Understanding an organization and its respective groups, units and


systems takes clear diagnosis, clarifying inquiry and utilization the
conceptual frameworks to provide the most efficient interventions. At
any level the various inputs, design components and outputs illustrate
the overall system. Looking at the comprehensive model for diagnosing
organization systems will be the most efficient model to assess FOX
Sports Digital. In this description there wont be a full diagnosis rather
a specific lense focused on the necessary components related to the
lack of direction and communication from leadership at FOX Digital and
its direct impact on the social media department. For transparency, I
am aware of similar issues within other groups of FOX Digital but
cannot go into a descriptive record about those specific issues. For
context FOX Digital is one business unit within FOX Sports Media
Group. Additional business units include production, marketing, public
relations, human resources and many more. All business units related
to FOX Sports Media Group are located on the main campus with the
exception of digital and mobile which is located at an office ten miles
away. In February of 2013 there was a major shift in organization
design resulting in 40 engineers being laid off, a split between the
news & editorial systems creating two new roles to oversee news from
the main campus to support the new 24/7 network, FOX Sports1, and
the other to oversee editorial and the website. Most importantly the

former SVP of Digital was replaced with an entrepreneur who was hired
to usher FOX Digital into a new , modern, responsive, successful era.
This new SVP of Digital was the co-founder of a blog that FOX
purchased a few years back. While the company he started was owned
by FOX he wasnt a true FOX employee until this past year. The social
media team became a true business department in March of 2012
started under the marketing business unit on the main campus. When
organization shifts were in flux, the social media department was
moved into FOX Digital (literally and physically to the office ten miles
away) which brought with it new challenges and opportunities that
occur with change. As a new unit within FSMG, the social media team
had spent the majority of its time building relationships and trust with
key departments primarily production. With its new physical barrier
this relationship would need extra attention and intention. After nearly
two years the social department has grown from a body of one to a
senior manager, two managers, nine social specialists/producers. One
of the overarching problems/issues from the beginning of the social
departments relocation to FOX Digital has been lack of communication
and direction from leadership. The first example is from the first all
hands staff meetings with the new SVP, we will call him Paul, and his
new organization. Prior to the meeting an email was sent out to a
distribution list laying out the team structures, new promotions and
reporting structure. The social department did not receive this email

and was left out of the announcement and notes; ultimately showing
up to the all hands blind-sided by the changes.

Looking to Figure 5.2 (Worley p.93), group Level is the stage we will
look at closer now that the issue and context have been provided. The
major input to group design is organization design (p.107) specifically
related to the stated issue are structure, human resources systems and
organization culture as the key contributors. Technology was an issue
early on but the manager of the department took the lead to order the
proper equipment, programs and databases in order to improve
efficiency and team effectiveness. Measurement systems improved
when the social media department transitioned to FOX Digital because
a full digital and television research department was put in charge of
social media reporting from a traffic standpoint and a TV integration
measurement standpoint. To break down structure, human
resources/OD systems and organization culture a bit further will add
clarity to the problem at hand. Structure: there was no sound
reasoning for the placement of the social media department in the new
organization other than it needed to go somewhere. The end result the
social media department was placed under a director of content
management who didnt possess fundamental knowledge of social
media or understood how to utilize the department efficiently. Human
Resources Systems: became a concern early on when structure

discussion and negotiations arose from the senior manager as well as


in key performance areas like yearly reviews, rewards systems for
employees and general hiring questions. In the fall of 2013 there was
an HR consultant put in charge of the group as a whole and she took
charge to gather data and begin the repair process. With the amount of
change that was occurring there was no checks and balances or HR
interventions to ease the process of transition and improve work life
quality and job satisfaction. Since the implementation of HR systems
and OD practices there has been some restoration but there is more to
done in order to maintain Culture: As both Schein and Morgan note
culture is difficult to change. I will touch more on this later but the
notion that is key is the culture has an impact on how the organization
performs and the focus should be on where performance needs to be
improved (Schein). As mentioned earlier in the introduction Paul was
an entrepreneur, who founded a blog. This entrepreneurial vision
brings many positives into an organization but with that come equal
challenges and clashes with an organization who has been established
in a strict, familial regime for 20 years; what is commonly referred to
as the old regime at FOX. As a department that had been groomed in
the old regime but reporting to the entrepreneurial spirit there was a
significant discrepancy primarily because the entrepreneurial spirit was
all for himself, his agenda and his definition of success and not for the
overall team and group.

Design components at the group level that are at risk because of the
leadership and communication issue are goal clarity, team functioning,
group norms and task structure. For the most part group composition
stayed intact with the transition because the social department had
established a level of trust prior to the shift. For the team as a whole
goal clarity and task structure are key to team effectiveness, quality of
work life and performance. For the first 5 months there was no
acknowledgement of organizational chart, structure, reporting and how
that related to tasks, similar to the classical management theory that is
established at FOX especially knowing the goals were different than
under previous leadership. With an unclear goal and unclear task
responsibility the team was searching for answers and clarity. For the
members of the social team at a manager level or higher there was
confusion related to team functioning and task structure now with a
director in their path compared to the SVP they previously reported
too. Career growth, being challenged in a productive manner and
feedback had been stifled for the managers. Ultimately the social
department wanted to add to the overall organization effectiveness,
performance and productivity as well as enjoy their jobs. Since the
major shift, goal clarity related to the social department has been
addressed however team functioning and task structure continue to
shift with the constantly changing ideas, strategies of Paul and the lack

of clear communication through the organizational structure back to


the social department. All of the group level inputs, design components
and outputs directly impact the individual level as well including
individual effectiveness, job satisfaction and personal development like
Maslows Type of Need Theory (p.37). As Morgan stated it (p.35), we
all know that employees work best when motivated by tasks they have
to perform and that the process of motivation hinges on allowing
people to achieve rewards that satisfy their personal needs. From the
stated introduction, issue and discovery of the group level there are
many areas where performance can be addressed and improved.

To address a key concern related to group design that impacts the


overarching issue at FOX Digital is culture. Morgan has an interesting
notion related to contingency theory that states there is no one best
way of organizing of task or environment with which one is dealing,
and different approaches to management may be necessary to
perform different tasks within the same organization. These two
thoughts speak directly to the culture issues at FOX Digital and FSMG
knowing the company operates under the notion of the old regime or
20 years of male gender dominated production culture. As started
earlier as part of the old regime there are qualities that are positive
like the family atmosphere. Most people who have worked at FOX in
those decades truly state its like a family or the FOX family. While Paul

may be creating new rifts and disconnects within the organization with
entrepreneurial spirit he is attempting to infuse speaks to the theory of
adapting organization, environment and people. In its nature digital
web, mobile, social, editorial lends a more innovative, creative,
collaborative, process that should be managed and lead differently
compared to other business units within FSMG. In its current condition
the FOX Digital environment is complex and uneven, its strategy is
reactionary and short-term, technology is improving and trying to find
a more efficient way to transform inputs into outputs and the
employees being hired or transitioned to FOX Digital are that of Pauls
nature, innovative, smart but agenda driven and lack the ability to lead
others. Exhibit 3.6 Congruence and Incongruence Between
Organizational Subsytems (Morgan) illustrated the inquiry types to
visualize the status of each key areas within FOX Digital currently. The
guidelines for learning organizations as suggested by cybernetics
would be an interesting theory to apply to FOX Digital to see if there
would be a fluid way to evolve and learn from problems and each
other. There are leaders within the organization including Paul that
have a mindset that could accept or be open to more modern designs
to facilitate learning within newer subsystems of larger more
established organizations to encourage culture growth in the 21st
century.