Change Management In The NFL Capstone Project

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Leadership and Organizational Change Potential in the NFL Organizational Problem or Opportunity

Description of the Problem or Opportunity

Purpose of the Investigation

Management/Business

Audience

Summary of Section Highlights

Problem or Opportunity Background

• Current State of the Target Organization

• Relevant Organizational Processes or Systems or Functions

• Relevant Theory

Risk Management

Organizational Change

Lewin's Change Management Model

McKinsey 7-S Model

Kotter's 8 Step Change Model

Leadership

Corporate Social Responsibility

Investigative Steps

Investigative Approach and Design Strategies

• Investigative Approach

• Theory Thread Strategies

• Data Collection and Preparation Strategies

Investigation Parameters or Limitations

Summary

Findings of the Investigation

Introduction

Relevant Analysis

Overall Findings: A Synthesis

Summary

Interpretation and Recommendations 34

Organizational Implications 34

Recommendations 34

• Implications for Decision Makers 35

• Future Research 35

Summary 36

References 37

Executive Summary

The National Football League (NFL) is currently the most popular sport with American adults, however this position is not guaranteed to remain indefinitely. The NFL is plagued by a slew of problems that range from everything from player misconduct and serious indiscretions both on and off the field, issues related to injuries, player safety, and brain damage from multiple concussions, problems with the players union as well as the team salary caps, diminishing ticket sales for some teams, lack of diversity among head coaches, ethics issues in management, and many more. Because of the major problems the NFL is currently facing, many loyal fans are becoming increasing disenfranchised with the league and the overall popularity of pro-football in the U.S. is slowly falling. In 2011, 36% percent of Americans surveyed stated that pro-football was their favorite sport however this figure has dropped to 32% in 2015. Major League Baseball (MLB) has gained major traction against the NFL in recent year in regards to popularity.

This analysis will focus on leadership, or lack thereof, in the NFL from the highest levels down to the NFL players from a critical perspective. It is argued that an intervention is need to mitigate the damages that the NFL has incurred in recent years. This intervention is need to come from an organizational change that is led by transformational leadership. This report will conduct a survey of best practices that can be found in the literature in regards to organizational change and leadership and relate these models to the NFL and their current position.

Section I: Organizational Problem or Opportunity

Introduction and Background

The NFL has a rich tradition and heritage as the preeminent sports organizations since its inception. The league was organized in the 1920s when ten teams became organized under the American Professional Football Association and later became the National Football League (NFL) when it established a nationwide presence. Although there were other football leagues that attempted to build a nationwide league, the NFL was the first to successfully do so. After its inception the league slowly became more formalized in terms of membership, rules, and a governing body.

The NFL merged with another successful league, the American Football League (AFL), in the 1960s and created an even larger organization that created the Super Bowl. It is at this time the league formed thirty-two teams that still represent today's NFL. The Super Bowl has since become the most watched sporting event in the U.S. and the NFL has become the most popular spectator sport based on a variety of different polls. The NFL was predicted to have a total revenue of more than twelve billion dollars in 2015, up over a billion dollars from the previous year (Kaplan, 2015). The NFL remains the top revenue league in U.S. sports; MLB registers about $9 billion annually, the NBA $5 billion and the NHL $3.6 billion (Kaplan, 2015).

Description of the Problem or Opportunity

There are several problems that the NFL is currently facing that are arguable due to a lack of leadership as a root cause. From the bottom up, there is issues with player disciple. On the team level, there are issues related to the head coaching functions. The league in general is facing several organizational problems.

The opportunity that lies within in this situation is to implement an organizational change initiative from the top down. Since the problems associated with the NFL are multifaceted and occur on several levels, it is argued that an organizational, or cultural, change is needed. This analysis will attempt to identify the change mechanisms that can help the NFL institute such an initiative.

Purpose of the Investigation

The purpose of the investigation is to determine...

...

There are issues present in virtually all facets of the modern league, and some of these problems threaten to jeopardize some of the leagues popularity and it could eventually lose a portion of its fan base.
Management/Business Questions

Not only could effective leadership protect the leagues integrity and preserve the popularity of the game, but it also makes sense from a business perspective. In 2011, 36% percent of Americans surveyed stated that pro-football was their favorite sport however this figure has dropped to 32% in 2015. If revenue were to decrease at the same rate, it would cost the league millions of dollars in lost revenues. In practice, the league has been able to continue to increase its total revenues. However, at the same time, there have been many additional revenue streams added to the league's revenue that stem from the creation of additional "specialty" seating as well as a rebound of the economy in general which has boosted local revenues for the league (Kaplan, 2015). Therefore, revenue decreases from the loss in popularity could be entirely offset by such factors. Therefore, to maintain the league's revenue growth and protect the stakeholder's investments, implementing effective leadership to address the issues that are relevant to the game's popularity is a wise business strategy in the long-term.

Audience

The audience for this research will include anyone that is a fan of the game of football as well as anyone interested in leadership in organizations as well as anyone potentially interested in the financial aspects of the league. This research also hopes to identify insights that might also be relevant to future research efforts.

Summary of Section Highlights

The NFL has a rich tradition and heritage as the preeminent sports organizations since its inception.

The NFL merged with another successful league, the American Football League (AFL), in the 1960s and created an even larger organization that created the Super Bowl. It is at this time the league formed thirty-two teams that still represent today's NFL. The Super Bowl has since become the most watched sporting event in the U.S. and the NFL has become the most popular spectator sport based on a variety of different polls. The NFL was predicted to have a total revenue of more than twelve billion dollars in 2015, up over a billion dollars from the previous year (Kaplan, 2015).

The NFL is plagued by a slew of problems that range from everything from player misconduct and serious indiscretions both on and off the field, issues related to injuries, player safety, and brain damage from multiple concussions, problems with the players union as well as the team salary caps, diminishing ticket sales for some teams, lack of diversity among head coaches, ethics issues in management, and many more. Because of the major problems the NFL is currently facing, many loyal fans are becoming increasing disenfranchised with the league and the overall popularity of pro-football in the U.S. is slowly falling. In 2011, 36% percent of Americans surveyed stated that pro-football was their favorite sport however this figure has dropped to 32% in 2015. Major League Baseball (MLB) has gained major traction against the NFL in recent year in regards to popularity.

Not only could effective leadership protect the leagues integrity and preserve the popularity of the game, but it also makes sense from a business perspective. Therefore, to maintain the league's revenue growth and protect the stakeholder's investments, implementing effective leadership to address the issues that are relevant to the game's popularity is a wise business strategy in the long-term.

Section II: Problem or Opportunity Background

Introduction

The problem has been identified to be a lack of leadership throughout the NFL as well as a cultural problem that also effects the entire organization. The opportunity is to identify the best practices and the most relevant leadership models found in the academic leadership. Once these items are identified, a strategy can be developed to introduce effective leadership as well as work to transform the culture into something more sustainable relative to the league's popularity and revenue objectives.

Definition of Terms

Change Management -- minimizing resistance to organizational change through involvement of key players and stakeholders (Business Dictionary, N.d.).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) -- programs that an organization implements to address social or environmental issues either internally or externally.

Organizational Change -- Company or organization going through a transformation. Organization change occurs when business strategies or major sections of an organization are altered. Also known as reorganization, restructuring and turnaround (Business Dictionary, N.d.).

Transformational Leadership -- Style of leadership in which the leader identifies the needed change, creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executes the change with the commitment of the members of the group (Business Dictionary, N.d.).

Risk Management -- The identification, analysis, assessment, control, and…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Bass, B. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.

Bass, B. (1999). Two decasdes in research and development in transformational leadership. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 9-32.

Benta, D. (2011). On Best Practices for Risk Management in Complex Projects. Informatica Economica, 142-152.

Business Dictionary. (N.d.). Change Management. Retrieved from Business Dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/change-management.html
Business Dictionary. (N.d.). Organizational Change. Retrieved from Business Dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/organization-change.html
Business Dictionary. (N.d.). Risk Management. Retrieved from Business Dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/risk-management.html
Business Dictionary. (N.d.). Transformational Leadership. Retrieved from Business Dictionary: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/transformational-leadership.html
Goodell, R. (2011, June 15). A letter from the Commissioner. Retrieved from NFL: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82054f96/article/a-letter-from-the-commissioner
Gunther, M. (2007, February 3). The NFL and CSR. Retrieved from Business. Sustainability: http://www.marcgunther.com/the-nfl-and-csr/
Kaplan, D. (2015, March 9). NFL projecting revenue increase of $1B over 2014. Retrieved from Street & Smith "s Sports Business: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2015/03/09/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/NFL-revenue.aspx
Klein, T. (2011, January 16). John Kotter's 8 Steps Change Model. Retrieved from A Doctoral Journey: http://teddyklein.blogspot.com/2011/01/john-kotters-8-steps-change-model.html
NFL. (N.d.). Community Programs. Retrieved from NFL: http://www.nfl.com/community
U.S. News. (N.d.). Should Football Be Fundamentally Changed to Make It Safer? Retrieved from U.S. New and World Report: http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-football-be-fundamentally-changed-to-make-it-safer
USBR. (N.d.). Emergeny Plans. Retrieved August 22, 2012, from http://www.usbr.gov/ssle/safety/RSHS/sec6.pdf
Zita, I. (2011, May 13). How to Develop a Risk Management Plan. Retrieved from Risk Management: http://www.wikihow.com/Develop-a-Risk-Management-Plan


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