The Birth of the Stars: A Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection Investigation into the Leadership and Development of a New Superleague Netball Club

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 University of Gloucestershire
  • 2 University of Worcester
  • 3 Queen’s University
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This Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection (PAAR) investigation illustrates a leader’s first steps in a “values-to-action” journey. Drawing on the interface between transformational leadership and organizational culture, this study focused on the birth of the Severn Stars—a professional netball club in the United Kingdom. In particular, this PAAR investigation explored how the leader’s values were operationalized through the club’s inaugural year. Fourteen operational managers, coaches, and players were individually interviewed in order to gain an appreciative gaze and subsequently reframe their lived experience. Results demonstrated how transformational leadership was manifested through the pragmatic deployment of club values and how the organizational culture was, in part, characterized by individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and inspirational motivation. These behaviors and the organizational culture were shown to enhance prosocial relationships and social connections across the club, the influence of the Super Stars, and stakeholders’ perceptions of autonomy.

Navin and Croad are with the School of Sport and Exercise, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, United Kingdom. Vinson is with the School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom. Turnnidge and Côté are with the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

Vinson (d.vinson@worc.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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