Coach Ethical Leadership in Soccer Clubs: An Analysis of Its Influence on Ethical Behavior

in Journal of Sport Management
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Nonprofessional (amateur) soccer is continuously confronted with a wide range of ethical issues. As coaches are believed to be potentially effective in counteracting unethical behavior, this study analyzes the influence of coach ethical leadership on a sample of nonprofessional soccer players (n = 436). As ethical behavior contains two dimensions, namely an inhibitive one and a prosocial one, this study examines how player-perceived coach ethical leadership affects both dimensions, by respectively assessing its influence on the player-perceived ethical climate of the club and on the affective organizational commitment of the player. Results indicate that the influence of player-perceived coach ethical leadership on the player’s affective organizational commitment is partially mediated by the player-perceived ethical climate of the club. Furthermore, the affective organizational commitment of the players is also slightly affected by their organizational tenure. Finally, these findings are discussed, next to the formulation of suggestions for practice.

Constandt, De Waegeneer, and Willem are with the Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Address author correspondence to Bram Constandt at bram.constandt@ugent.be.
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