Reimagining Leadership in Sport Management: Lessons From the Social Construction of Leadership

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Conventional approaches to leadership in sport management regard leadership as a leader-centric phenomenon. Recent advances in the generic leadership literature have highlighted the way that people construct their own understanding of leadership and shown that these influence their assessment and responses to people they regard as leaders. This observer-centric perspective is collectively known as the social construction of leadership. In this conceptual paper, we demonstrate how this emerging theoretical approach can reframe and invigorate our understanding of leadership in sport management. We explore the research implications of this new approach, reflect on what this might mean for teaching, and discuss the practical ramifications for leadership in sport management that might flow from the adoption of this approach.

Billsberry is with the Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia. Mueller, Skinner, Swanson, and Corbett are with the Institute for Sport Business, Loughborough University London, London, United Kingdom. Ferkins is with the AUT Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT Millennium, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.

Address author correspondence to Jon Billsberry at j.billsberry@deakin.edu.au.
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