Domestic Violence In The Nfl: Time For Real Change? Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Domestic Violence In The Nfl: Time For Real Change? Case Study Solution

Understanding the Stakeholders

The stakeholders are the personnel who can affect or get affected by the organization’s actions, goals and objectives, decisions and policies. It is a crucial element to keep every shareholder satisfied for the steady and smooth flow of business operations.(management)

Primary Interest of Stakeholders

The stakeholders’ interest refers to the interest that an individual stakeholder has in an organization. The primary stakeholders have direct interest (i.e. those stakeholders that are directly influenced by the company’s action, policies, and goals and objectives).For the key stakeholders who should be considered by Richardson, while taking decision regarding the situation are:

  1. MEDIA

Media can influence the business significantly by providing information related to the operations of the business to the general public, which eventually influences the decisions taken by the organization. As far as NFL is concerned; it is an organization that provides entertainment service to the general public. (.i.e. football matches), a slight mishap in the activities of an organization enforces the media to take coverage and tell general public about it. Thus, the domestic violence issue is hyped because of the media’s exaggeration and the video leaked through different channels of media, indicating that media is NFL’s key stakeholder and its interest as a stakeholder is to provide authentic information to the general public related to NFL.

b.      NFL FANS

As mentioned above; NFL is an entertainment provider for its fans. The primary stake of NFL fans from the organization and football teams is that they demand fair, and enthusiastic matches from the teams and their actions to be in line with the ethical standards of the society. Thus, not fulfilling their stake from the organization can affect the organization’s operations, as the fans will turn into haters, projecting severe consequences on the financial performance of the organization.

c.       PLAYERS

The players are also the primary stakeholders of NFL as they have monetary interest in the organization and can be considered as employees of the company. Furthermore, the fan base of the players may be affected by the reputation of the company. Also, the promotion of players also depends on the organization.

Relation among the Interest of Stakeholders

  • The interest of media may conflict with the interest of the players, as media is interested in covering every possible detail about the organization and its players whereas the players need to maintain their goodwill among the general public and their fans.
  • The primary interest of media and the NFL fans is complementary as media will cover every detail and the fans want to be updated about the organization and their favorite players.
  • The interest of fans and players are not much related at times, as sometimes the players need financial benefit only whereas the fans want an enthusiastic match and a win from their favorite teams.

Important Stakeholders

  • The most powerful stakeholder here is media as it can impact the reputation of the organization, which may further impact the performance of the organization.
  • Secondly, the players are important as without them the nature of organization would be baseless.
  • Last but not the least, the NFL fans are important as their perceptions make the business of this organization profitable and reputed.

Joint Action Plan

Richardson has following options available to solve the dilemma he is facing in this crucial situation:

Option-1: Suspend Hardy

There is an option available for Richardson to suspend Hardy,but with suspension the Panthers may face some serious difficulties as the team will lose its star player. Currently, he is playing, and Richardson has a goal of winning 2014 Super Bowl Championship, so the suspension of Hardy will make it hard for the team to win the championship. However, the suspension will improve the reputational damage of NFL, and media will be in favor of the organization.


  • Reputational damage may get compensated.
  • Favoritism from fans and media.
  • Example for the other team members.


  • Loss of the star player.
  • Negative influence.
  • Difficulty in winning other matches.

Option-2: Do not Suspend Hardy and Face Criticism:

Another solution available for Richardson would be to not suspend Hardy, and let him play in this season as he has already played the first match for the season and has faced criticism from media and fans. Also this will impact the Richardson’s legacy as he’ll keep the player in the team who is charged of domestic violence and is facing some serious criticism from its fans. However, the team members are supportive for him and may welcome him in the team with open hearts. Having him in the team will be beneficial for the team in terms of winning more matches from this season.


  • Team players are supportive.
  • May win more matches for this season.
  • The case is still on-going, which gives him the benefit of doubt of not being guilty.


  • Criticism from media.
  • Richardson’s legacy will be in danger.
  • Criticism from fans.

Option-3: Re-sign Hardy to the Panthers

This option is for the later stage, as his terms will be expired after the current season. There’s an option to re-assign Hardy to the Panthers for next seasons,which may give an advantage to the team in terms of winning more matches. Although he has an option of joining other teams, but still the current team players are very supportive to him so it’ll be beneficial if he’ll be hired again. However, the charges on him are not finalized yet, which means if he is found guilty later on then that will bring disgust to the organization and the team.


  • Advantage of the match winning.
  • Supportive team members.
  • Gaining his reputation back.


  • Criticism from different stakeholders.
  • Reputational loss to the organization.
  • Richardson’s legacy will be compromised.

From the different options available; it is recommended that the proposed action plan (i.e. option-2) should be selected. Richardson should not suspend Hardy immediately and wait for the final verdict from the court, as suspension will bring disgrace to the organization and the team as well. Furthermore, he has already played the first match of the season, which makes it more difficult to suspend him and hire another player as a replacement of Hardy. Also, after the current season his terms will be expired and till then the court will also announce the final decision.Thus, the decision of whether to re-assign him or not will then be easier for Richardson. Moreover, taking a wise decision will maintain Richardson’s legacy as well…………


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