Advanced Sports Managment

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This essay will provide a detailed analysis of two operational sport industry organizations, which lie within the Hertfordshire region. A critical analysis of Virgin Active (Borehamwood) and Hatfield Leisure Centre will be carried out, focusing on the internal and external environmental influences on strategic direction. To support the analysis of this essay, primary research had been carried out, using open questionnaires to interview both organisations.

Hatfield Leisure Centre is a facility managed by Finesse Leisure Partnership. Finesse Leisure Partnership is the operating name for Welwyn Hatfield Leisure Ltd, a non-profit organization established in 2004 under the Industrial and Provident Society legislation, by Welwyn Hatfield Council to manage and develop facilities and services at several fitness and recreation centers in Welwyn Hatfield (About Finesse Leisure, 2010).

The organizations mission is to "provide quality sport, leisure and cultural facilities and activities, that are affordable and accessible, for an increasing number and range of users who will want to return time and again", which is all comprised by the phrase "Caring for leisure"((About Finesse Leisure, 2010).

Handy (1985) established four types of distinguish organizational cultures: power culture, role culture, task-based culture and person culture. He suggested that an organizations culture depends on various factors such as organizational structure. (Appendix A) illustrates Finesse Leisure Partnership organizational structure. Handy suggest that the organizations structure is an example of a role culture, because it indicates that each individual within the organization has been assigned a particular role, which was assigned to them by their job description, also suggests that a company uses role culture in aiming which to improve productivity for the company.

Virgin Active launched in 1998 as part of Richards Branson’s Virgin group, and operates a chain of 194 health clubs around the world, including clubs in South Africa, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK.

Richard Brandon Vision for Virgin active is “I believe that in the future we will be able to enjoy healthy and fulfilling lifestyles whilst minimising the negative impact we have on the world,” says Richard. This vision is incorporated in the company’s values ‘Challenging the norm, Having fun, Excellent customer service, Value for money, Innovation’ (About Us, 2011)

Gamble and Thompson (2009) suggest that a company’s strategy consist of the competitive moves and business approaches management has developed to attract and please customers, conduct operations, grow the business, and achieve performance objectives. Richard L. Daft, Dorothy Marcic (2010) indicate that Strategy formulation includes the planning and decision making that leads to the establishment of the organizations goals and the development of a specific strategic plan, and suggest that formulating a strategy usually begins with an assessment of the internal and external factors. Numerous theoretical concepts have been developed to evaluate how managers form strategies

The resource based view takes an ‘inside-out’ approach, by looking at the organisations internal environment, Barney (1991). Robert M. Grant (2004) agreed with Barneys approach and indicated that strategy is concerned with matching an organization’s resources and capabilities to use these as opportunities to formulate a strategy to achieve a competitive advantage in its markets and industries

Barney (1986) proposed that an organisations resources consist of, capabilities, organizational processes, firm attributes, information, knowledge, etc. However later Barney (1991) developed a checklist to show what resource is the most important to an also supported by Gamble and Thompson (2009). They identified 4 factors as key characteristics for a resource to be strategically important, Valuable, Rare, Inimitable, and Non-substitutable...
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