Transformational Leadership in Elite Sport: A Qualitative Analysis of Effective Leadership Behaviors in Cricket

in The Sport Psychologist

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Matthew J. SmithUniversity of Chichester

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David J. YoungEngland and Wales Cricket Board

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Sean G. FigginsUniversity of Chichester

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Calum A. ArthurUniversity of Stirling

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We examined transformational leadership behaviors are exhibited in an elite sport environment. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 9 professional county cricket players to explore perceptions of transformational leadership behaviors of their captain and head-coach. Behaviors were firstly deductively categorized based on the Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory, with the most frequently cited being high performance expectations and individual consideration from the coach, and appropriate role-modeling of the captain. Further inductive analyses revealed a range of other factors which may influence players’ perceptions of transformational leadership. From these findings, suggestions are offered for those working in an applied context with sporting leaders.

Smith and Figgins are with the Institute of Sport, University of Chichester, Chichester, UK. Young is with the England and Wales Cricket Board. Arthur is with the School of Sport, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK.

Address author correspondence to Matthew Smith at matt.smith@chi.ac.uk.
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