Authentic leadership in sport

Malloy, Ella ORCID: 0000-0002-1039-7115 (2021). Authentic leadership in sport. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of the present thesis was to extend existing research on authentic leadership in sport and develop a better understanding of the impact of authentic leadership on athletes, through investigating the relationship between coaches’ authentic leadership and a range of reported athlete outcomes. Authentic leadership is a style of leadership which has received little attention in sport. However, due to its proposed core components and focus on followers’ development and creating trusting relationships with followers, it could prove promising in promoting positive athlete outcomes.
After reviewing the literature in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 presents Study 1 which examined how authentic leadership is unique when compared to the dominant sport leadership theory i.e., transformational leadership. Specifically, Study 1 examined whether authentic leadership is empirically distinct from transformational leadership and what it adds to transformational leadership in terms of predicting athletes’ commitment and enjoyment, when controlling for transformational leadership. Authentic leadership was found to be positively correlated to transformational leadership, suggesting evidence of overlap between the leadership styles. However structural equation modelling revealed authentic leadership to also be different to transformational leadership and demonstrated that it predicted athlete enjoyment and commitment beyond that explained by transformational leadership.
After finding evidence for the divergent validity of authentic leadership compared to the prominent leadership theory in sport, Chapter 3 consists of a longitudinal study which examined whether authentic leadership would be directly related to changes in athletes’ enjoyment, commitment, and prosocial behaviours, or indirectly related through changes in trust and cohesion over time. Authentic leadership was found to be directly related to changes in athletes’ prosocial behaviours and enjoyment over time. Authentic leadership was also indirectly related to athletes’ enjoyment via changes in cohesion over time, and indirectly related to prosocial behaviours via changes in trust and cohesion over time.
Chapter 4 consists of an experimental study which examined the effects of authentic leadership on athletes’ trust, achievement, and moral outcomes. The results of Study 3 demonstrated that athletes in the high authentic condition reported higher trust, commitment, enjoyment, anticipated guilt and lower aggression compared to participants in the low authentic leadership and neutral conditions.
Chapter 5 consists of Study 4 which examined the potential effectiveness of an intervention designed to increase coaches’ demonstration of authentic leadership. This authentic coaching intervention was pilot tested and evaluated by examining its efficacy on athletes’ perceptions of their coaches use of authentic leadership and a range of reported athlete outcomes. Study 4 indicated that athletes in the intervention group reported significantly higher perceptions of authentic leadership, as well as higher enjoyment and prosocial behaviours compared to the control group. Overall, the findings of the thesis suggest that coaches should be encouraged to demonstrate behaviours indicative of authentic leadership as this was found to have positive consequences for their respective athletes and teams.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
van Zanten, Joachimina VeldhuijzenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)


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