Examining the Environmental Characteristics of Shared Leadership in a Sport-for-Development Organization

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To promote community development, sport-for-development (SFD) organizations strive to build local leadership that fosters long-term sustainability. Although shared leadership (SL) structures are particularly effective in these settings, there has been limited attention to SL within the SFD context, especially from a multilevel perspective. While previous studies of leadership in sport have primarily focused on the individual traits of leaders, multilevel analysis is required to understand how environmental characteristics relate to leadership development. This qualitative case study analyzes the development and deployment of SL in an American SFD organization. Interviews, observations, and document analysis are used to generate data, and theoretical thematic analysis is used to identify key themes related to the environmental characteristics of SL. Results highlight how environmental characteristics are related to SL, as well as group and task characteristics. The discussion integrates these findings with SL theory to discuss implications for the management of SFD projects in this context, and recommends integrated forms of leadership that combine shared and servant leadership approaches.

Jones is with the School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Wegner is with the Department of Tourism, Recreation & Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Bunds, Edwards, and Bocarro are with the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Address author correspondence to Gareth J. Jones at gareth.jones@temple.edu.
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