The Role of Servant Leadership in Developing an Ethical Climate in Sport Organizations

in Journal of Sport Management
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Evaluation of leadership as a necessary component to reform sport could be critical to fostering a more ethical climate and reducing the frequency and severity of ethical improprieties within this context. However, limited research has examined the relationship between leadership and ethical climate. Servant leadership, due to its ethical component and people-centered focus, is a leadership approach that may best support development of an ethical climate. The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of servant leadership on perceptions of an ethical climate in intercollegiate athletic departments, with an examination of how trust and perceptions of organizational justice indirectly influence the relationship between servant leadership and perceptions of an ethical climate. Findings indicated that servant leadership was directly related to trust in leadership and perceptions of an ethical climate. Further, both trust in the leader and procedural justice indirectly influenced the relationship between servant leadership and ethical climate.

Laura J. Burton is with the Department of Educational Leadership, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. Jon Welty Peachey is with the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. Janelle E. Well is with the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.

Address author correspondence to Laura J. Burton at laura.burton@uconn.edu.
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