The purpose of this book is to help the prospective director or manager of physical activity education and educational sport develop an initial understanding of selected aspects of the organizational environment that he or she will face. Such self-education about both the external and internal aspects of this environment should occur because a managerial revolution occurred in the 20th century, the limits of which we in education today still envision dimly.
True understanding of "organizational culture" in the related area of the fitness industry in Canada, for example, is in its earliest stages. In the first comprehensive study of its type by Macintosh, he found that organizational culture did significantly impact "the attitude and behaviour of client members and staff involved in fitness operations" (2007, p. iv).
Further, the management of change is an ever-present reality, a social setting being transformed by the steadily increasing importance of ecology as a basic social force. Assessing society's rate of change that has brought this onrushing development may be literally impossible. However, the onset of so-called postindustrial society has alerted us to the importance of one fact: we must increasingly search for synthesis and consensus because of conflicting demands and trends in our lives. "second wave civilization placed an extremely heavy emphasis on our ability to dismantle problems into their components; it rewarded us less often for the ability to put the pieces back together again" (Toffler, 1981, pp. 129-30).
What we need now in all aspects of (Third Wave) life is to put this all in greatly improved an apparent context (Toffler & Toffler, 1884). Today we must do all in our power to "eschew obfuscation" (i.e., to be clear, concise, and precise in what we say and do). We have so much to deal with that is so obsolescent, and which should be viewed simply as excess "cultural baggage." This is nowhere more true than in many of the managerial myths that surface time and again in the immediate, on-the-job environment. (An example of this is the dismal myth that the person who assumes the managerial mantle knows best about everything; see Hunt, 1979, p. 19).
Management of physical activity education and educational sport is the professional accompaniment emanating from the ongoing importance of wholesome developmental physical activity in people's lives. We urgently need the knowledge from onrushing behavioral theory that will help us to understand the managerial structure in an ever more-insightful manner. Question: Is it too much to hope that search committees recommend men and women for managerial posts who are committed to the employment of sound management theory in accord with ethical practice? Further, it is unreasonable to expect that when mistakes are made in manager selection that people will be prepared to rectify an unproductive situation at the first possible legal and ethical moment?
With a truly scientific, but hopefully still sufficiently humanistic approach to management, coupled with an increasing awareness of the social influence of ecology, the managerial team and key associated personnel should seek to develop, employ, and maintain power and influence that lead to the achievement of planned goals. Many people within the organization will be involved in one way or another in assisting with the implementation of the fundamental processes of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling the operation of the organization. Throughout this series of experiences, it is imperative that good human relations be employed by all through the use of effective and efficient communication techniques. The successful implementation of these various processes is extremely complex, of course. This is why a topflight managerial team is becoming increasingly necessary to move a complex organization ahead.
We must keep in mind that the external environment relates typically to the still broader physical and social environment of the public, semipublic, or private agency that the manger is administering within the society. However, there are now ever-increasing indications that this external environment has now become worldwide in scope. This aspect of the environment therefore needs its own theoretical subdivisions. Also, a manager should plan to assist the larger community (i.e., the external environment) by personally assuming some direct responsibility for society's welfare over and above his or her own immediate professional task. Now that we are all quite aware of the Toffler's concepts (1970; 1981, 1994) of "future shock" and "third wave world" – we must be ready for our own collision with the future. The world will never be the same again – but, then, it probably never was…