Basketball Journal Question

In collective bargaining negotiations, there are many different ways that the management team can approach working with the elected representatives of their employees (the union). In some cases, management views the union as partners in the business – there to help troubleshoot problems, improve employee morale, and generally help the business grow. In other cases, management views the union as a means to an end – necessary, but not preferred. In still other cases, management views the union as the enemy – something that should be eliminated if possible, but at least reduced in power so as to be inconsequential. Often, these attitudes are not permanent, and may change over time. However, the personalities of the individuals that make up the leadership for both sides will often play a large role in the attitude of management towards the union, for good or ill.

Below is an outline of 5 different philosophies that management may take towards the elected representatives of their employees. Consider each of these philosophies, and as we discuss each of the major sports, consider how the philosophy changes through time.

For this assignment, decide which one of these 5 philosophies bests describes the NBA management philosophy towards the NBAPA at one of the times below. In order to support your decision, you should provide an example for as many bullet points as you can, being as specific as possible. You can use outside sources to support your claim. You can also use specific language or articles from the period in question, or reactions by either side as guidance. Be sure to properly cite your resources.

Pick one time period from the list below, and submit through the drop box function. Responses should be no more than 3 pages, double-spaced in Times New Roman 12pt font.

Time Period 1: 1995 – 1999

Time Period 2: 2005 – 2008

Time Period 3: 2011 to 2015





  • Battle the union in every arena
  • No acceptance of the union
  • Management seeks to limit or eradicate the union
  • Management decisions made to limit unions and union organizing
  • May close up plants or business to avoid unionization
  • Challenge labor laws or seek to eradicate union or fire union leaders
  • Slow to enact even court-ordered decisions if they help the union




  • Unions and companies have different and opposite interests
  • Containment of the union’s influence on employees is a primary goal
  • Strictly obey labor laws but stretch them when ever possible
  • Rigid negotiation positions, with little flexibility
  • Workable adversary relationship, but contentious
  • Engage in a power struggle with unions, including labor stoppages (e.g. locking out the employees, or allowing them to strike)


  • Acknowledge union legal rights and power
  • A realistic approach to collective bargaining, may be hard-lined at times
  • Tough but fair in labor relations
  • Seeks to win, but with minimal confrontation
  • Delays bargaining to gain power, but doesn’t usually lockout workers
  • Accepts the existence of the union



  • Managers to meet the union halfway on a regular, ongoing basis
  • Union and firm are mutually dependent, beyond financially
  • Management adjusts to the union, and union offers solutions taken by management beyond just negotiations
  • Compromise, flexibility and tolerance are key features
  • A mature system for handling contract grievances and negotiations
  • Management actively engages in negotiations, and does not rely on lockouts to achieve bargaining goals




  • Full acceptance of the union as a partner
  • Seeks union input on business decisions
  • Management believes that unions have much to offer
  • Willing to expand issues discussed in labor relations
  • Jointly deal with workplace issues in a proactive and progressive manner
  • Regularly shares ideas and information without concern for retribution or retaliation

Basketball Journal Question

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