Does Identity Matter? An Investigation of the Effects of Authentic Leadership on Student-Athletes’ Psychological Capital and Engagement

in Journal of Sport Management
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This study tested newly advanced theoretical predications about mechanisms by which authentic leadership has its positive effects on players’ psychological resources and team engagement. Specifically, we tested a mediation model, in which positive climate is the key social mechanism by which authentic leaders influence followers’ psychological capital and team engagement. Moreover, we examined the role of leader–follower characteristics in authentic leadership dynamics, particularly the role of race and gender. Quantitative data were obtained from 119 student-athletes representing 15 NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball teams. Results indicate that positive team climate mediated the relationships between authentic leadership and players’ psychological capital and engagement, and this relationship was moderated by gender. Results are discussed relative to the effects of gendered leadership, and implications for coaches and authentic leadership theory are presented.

McDowell is with the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Huang is with the Department of Leisure Industry and Health Promotion, National Ilan University, Yilan City, Taiwan. Caza is with the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Jacqueline McDowell at jmcdowe7@gmu.edu.
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