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Technology affects changes in sport culture

This is an excerpt from Applied Sport Management Skills 3rd Edition epub With Web Study Guide by Robert N. Lussier & David C. Kimball.


Technology increases productivity and thus helps organizations gain competitive advantage and improve our quality of life. Technology advances two to three times faster than organizations can keep up with.12 Technology, especially the Internet and smartphones, has changed the way we live and work.13 Technology often drives changes in strategy, structure, and people. Here are a few examples of the innumerable ways technology affects changes:

  • Machines. Athletes look to their equipment suppliers (Nike, Spalding, Wilson, and many others) to provide cutting-edge shoes, bats, skis, and bicycles and to their trainers and therapists to provide cutting-edge training techniques and rehabilitation methods to facilitate recovery from injuries. Do you have some type of a Fitbit or app?
  • Systems process. In chapter 2 you learned that the systems process is the technology used to transform inputs into outputs. Every organization has some type of operations department that has a systems process to create its goods or services, and technology is what makes the systems process work.
  • Information process. With the advent of the computer, organizations have radically changed the way they do business using big data. Management information systems (MISs), also called information systems, are formal systems for collecting, processing, and disseminating information that aids managers in decision making. MISs centralize and integrate the organization's key information, such as finance, production, inventory, and sales. Departments plugged into MISs can better coordinate their efforts, and this translates into a more focused organization and higher productivity. Just think about how much easier computers have made it to record and maintain all the statistics of each team and each player in all the sports at all levels, especially in professional leagues like the NFL that keep records on hundreds of players.
    Moneyball is still as controversial today as it was in 2003. The concept that statistical analysis can outperform the wisdom of experts has spread to other sports and many other industries. Moneyball is so popular that decision makers in many fields rely on analytical data instead of trusting the experts in the field.14 The concern about Moneyball is that teams have actually relied on analytics too much. Boston Red Sox owner John Henry stated that the team relied too much on analytics in making major decisions. He has added managers who rely often on their instincts.15
  • Automation. Computers and other machines have enabled organizations to replace people with robots. Automation has increased the speed of making athletic equipment and its quality and helped keep prices down. Automation takes away some jobs and adds others. It also changes the types of work people do. Pressing needs for better training, retraining, and higher levels of skill will continue to help athletes to break records for the foreseeable future. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of any device that perceives its environment and takes actions to achieve its goals, such as a self-driving car continuing to adjust to road conditions to get you safely to your destination. AI will continue to automate how we work (with robots), and live (in home appliances).
  • Incremental and discontinuous change. Incremental change is continual improvement of an existing product within the current technology cycle.16 Discontinuous change (also called creative destruction) is a significant breakthrough in technology that leads to a new product, often a replacement product, creating a new technology cycle.17 This requires competitors to make radical changes or go out of business.18 The technology of recording music on vinyl records was incrementally improved for years but began to be overtaken by music recorded on tape. Cassette tapes were disrupted by CDs and MP3 players, which are being disrupted by streaming.