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Gareth J. Jones, Christine E. Wegner, Kyle S. Bunds, Michael B. Edwards and Jason N. Bocarro

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.

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Stephen Frawley, Daniel Favaloro and Nico Schulenkorf

In recent years, there has been a significant interest around leadership development practices within the field of management. Leadership development is particularly important within the highly competitive sport industry, where leadership performance is under constant and ever-increasing scrutiny. For sport organizations, strong leadership can be a source of significant competitive advantage, and hence, increased focus on leadership and investment into the development of talent has occurred. However, there has been a surprising lack of scholarly research into leadership and the associated processes within the sport management field, particularly from an Australian perspective. This paper addresses this gap as it examines the nature of experience-based leadership development practices within three of Australia’s leading professional sport organizations. Following a qualitative multicase study approach, the thematic analysis of 15 in-depth semistructured interviews with members of the senior executive of each case organization suggested that the national sport organizations placed significant emphasis on experience-based opportunities as a way of developing their workforce. Via the adoption of McCall’s experience-based leadership development framework, four main themes emerged: the importance of experience-based opportunities for leadership development; leadership development through involvement and exposure to experiences; networking opportunities gained from experienced-based exposure; and the relationship between on-the-job experience and formal leadership education. These findings extend our knowledge of current leadership development and practices implemented in national sport organizations and highlight the importance of effective leadership within highly competitive sport markets. Based on these findings, implications are provided for current practice illustrating the benefits that an experience-based approach to leadership development within sport organizations can have.

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Jon Welty Peachey, Laura Burton, Janelle Wells and Mi Ryoung Chung

The purpose of this study was to explore how servant leadership influences followers’ work-related needs satisfaction within the sport for development and peace field. We examined whether leaders used and followers perceived aspects of servant leadership, and if so, did servant leadership work to satisfy the basic psychological needs of followers (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness). Based on an online survey (n = 76) with followers (employees) and qualitative interviews (n = 14) with both leaders (executive directors and founders) and followers (employees), our results revealed that followers perceived and leaders used aspects of servant leadership in sport for development and peace organizations. Leaders used servant leadership behaviors to set the vision for the organization. In addition, followers’ needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness were met through servant leadership. This study supports use of servant leadership behaviors to satisfy the needs of followers in sport for development and peace organizations.

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Paul M. Pedersen

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Matthew Katz, Nefertiti A. Walker and Lauren C. Hindman

The purpose of this study is to examine and compare the informal networks of both senior woman administrators (SWAs) and athletic directors (ADs) within National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I institutions. Drawing on extant literature citing the underrepresentation of women in sport leadership positions, we incorporate a network approach to build and analyze affiliation networks of SWAs and ADs. Guided by the framework of Leadership in Networks, we argue that the social structures within which ADs and SWAs operate impact opportunities for leader emergence and leadership outcomes. By comparing the AD and SWA affiliation networks, we illustrate the differences in informal networks among men and women leaders in sport, highlighting how informal networks may contribute to the lack of women in sport leadership positions. Previous scholars have long cited an “old boys’ club” as a barrier to women achieving leadership positions, but we argue these studies have largely relied on dispositional evidence rather than methodological and analytical strategies designed specifically to examine relationships and the corresponding network structures. Our results indicate that the SWA network is far less cohesive than the AD networks, and the few women in the AD networks are largely located outside the center of the affiliation networks. Implications regarding the impact of informal networks on the underrepresented nature of women in leadership positions are discussed.

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Chen Chen and Daniel S. Mason

This study examines how leadership in non-Western sporting contexts has been represented in the mainstream (Western) sport management literature. A postcolonialism-informed critical discourse analysis, focusing on the locus of enunciation of each selected representation, reveals the limitations of current mainstream leadership studies in explaining phenomena in non-Western sport contexts and in fostering a comprehensive, multilayered understanding of globalization of sport. Thus, it is imperative to consider what leadership in sport means in local contexts outside the West and having multiple narratives of sport and sport leadership is therefore necessary. To illustrate this, we introduce a discussion of Indigenous leadership perspectives based on studies conducted in Indigenous communities, present ways in which Indigenous Peoples understand leadership differently from the conventional definitions, and suggest some opportunities for research. We conclude with examples in the literature where authors have been theoretically and methodologically reflexive when explaining local issues in peripheral contexts.

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Jon Billsberry, Jacqueline Mueller, James Skinner, Steve Swanson, Ben Corbett and Lesley Ferkins

Conventional approaches to leadership in sport management regard leadership as a leader-centric phenomenon. Recent advances in the generic leadership literature have highlighted the way that people construct their own understanding of leadership and shown that these influence their assessment and responses to people they regard as leaders. This observer-centric perspective is collectively known as the social construction of leadership. In this conceptual paper, we demonstrate how this emerging theoretical approach can reframe and invigorate our understanding of leadership in sport management. We explore the research implications of this new approach, reflect on what this might mean for teaching, and discuss the practical ramifications for leadership in sport management that might flow from the adoption of this approach.

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Lesley Ferkins, James Skinner and Steve Swanson

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Tywan G. Martin, Jessica Wallace, Young Ik Suh, Kysha Harriell and Justin Tatman

The purpose of this study was to examine athletic training students’ media consumption to advance our understanding of the role the media play in reported incidences of sport-related concussion (SRC) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football and how media coverage of those injuries may potentially influence public perception. Participants who consumed more hours of television per day were more likely to disagree with the statements that reporting on SRC has helped to accurately educate the public, H(2) = 11.06, p = .01, and that reporting on CTE has helped to accurately educate the public, H(2) = 8.67, p = .01. Respondents who consumed more hours of Internet per day were more likely to disagree with the statements that accurate terminology is used to report SRC, H(2) = 7.78, p = .02, and that reporting of SRCs has helped to accurately educate the public, H(2) = 8.27, p = .02.