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Description: After five months without a labor contract, the National Basketball Association is ready to resume play. As is typical with strikes/lockouts, the two sides bitterly contested the issues. In the end, both recognized a deal was necessary for the survival of professional basketball.

Source: K. Clark, “NBA’s Owners Win Big,” Wall Street Journal

Date: November 28, 2011

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Questions for discussion:

  1. All major professional athletes are represented by some type of players union. Review the short section on labor-management relations in Chapter 11. Discuss how the collective bargaining process can break down and lead to a lockout like the NBA had.
  2. Did communication, or lack thereof, have anything to do with the eventual lockout? What communication barriers may have been involved?
  3. What antecedent conditions led to this most recent professional sports conflict?
  4. Prior to the lockout, the players received 57 percent of annual revenues. The agreement now gives them 50 percent. What conflict management style(s) might have produced this result? Note: be careful not to quickly assume this was compromise.
  5. From what you can determine, evaluate the effectiveness of this negotiation. Did it satisfy all three criteria for effectiveness?


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