Augusta and Ncwo

Topics: Masters Tournament, Golf, Augusta National Golf Club Pages: 5 (1295 words) Published: October 12, 2008

This report analyses the case study about “Augusta National Golf Club and NCWO battle for admitting female membership”. Mainly, this report will examine and identify the communication traits and flaws that can be found in this case study and will provide solutions and what should be done rather than taking a stand on who is right and wrong. Therefore, all the communications between Augusta’s Chairman, Mr. Johnson, NCWO’s Chairwoman, Ms. Burk, the CEOs of Sponsor companies, the Augusta members and the media were researched and studied. Furthermore, this report mainly uses secondary data such as newspaper articles and journals to support the arguments and ideas. Moreover, the core purposes of this report is to evaluate the interactions and point out some communication management factors and flaws from this dispute, set it as an example and provide solutions to be improved in the future business communication.

Main body

Augusta, the private golf club

Augusta is the private golf club which its culture and membership are mainly reflected on its prestige and exclusiveness. Moreover, members of Augusta join the club to satisfy mutual interests and to fulfil the social needs and the need for self-esteem such as being a part of the highly regarded golf club in the country. Because it is a private club, it holds its legal rights to choose its own members. (Peraino, 2002). Furthermore, the club clearly specified the club (team) norms (obligation, preference and prohibition) such as “members are required to sign an agreement not to speak about the club” and have to withhold the membership information to the outsiders. (Saporito). Therefore, Augusta organizational control can be identified as a bureaucratic control system where the Chairman, Mr. Johnson has the ultimate power to dominate the club’s affairs.


On the other hand, the NCWO’s sole purpose is to promote women rights and members join the committee to achieve security and satisfy their mutual interests. As you can see from the case, Ms. Burk, the chair of NCWO usually do the decision making for the committee. Although the decision making criteria are not formally discussed in the case or in the media (newspaper articles), we can assume that NCWO lacks the rational decision making process in groups such as orientation, discussion, decision making and implementation. Also, in his article Munching (2002) states that “she (Burk) forgot to ask herself one question: What women want to do?” which clarify the lack of communication between members of the group and its chair.

The dispute

The offensive approach and the vulgar feedback

It can be seen in the case that without deeply analysing the situation, Ms. Burk took an offensive approach demanding and insisting on female membership, base mainly on the speech about “inclusion of women in Augusta” by Mr. Lloyd Ward. Moreover, Augusta’s Chair, Mr. Johnson also gave a vulgar feedback to this demand which sparks into a dispute of gender issue. Moreover, negative impressions between them were formed on limited information and stereotyping where Burk is seems as the trouble maker and Johnson as the rigid discriminator. Therefore, this miscommunication and poor transaction of messages led to unnecessary conflicts and egotism of the two corresponding Chairs.

The Sponsors, members and Burk

When the direct demand fails, Burk took the indirect persuasion and argumentation approach through the Augusta’s sponsors for its prime event, the Masters. She appealed to CEOs of sponsor companies like Citigroup, IBM, Coca-cola, Cadillac and CBS using generalisation and cause-effect relationship methods of arguments to boycott the Masters. For example, she praised their stance in gender discrimination within their firm and point out the possible public opinion in the involvement with the Masters. However, only Citigroup and Coca-cola agreed to help her and these decisions can be seen as corporate social...
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