American football is the most common high school sport and a core event in communities across the United States. The top competitive priority in sport is winning. As a result, the prominent measure of a high school football teams’ success is their winning percentage. Not much about a high school football program is consistent from year-to-year, nor from one high school football program to another. Therefore, the head football coach’s leadership behavior is critical to developing a successful program. Unfortunately, current leadership research in high school sport is scarce. The authentic leadership construct is a theory-based measure comprised of four dimensions: self-awareness, relational transparency, internalized moral perspective, and balanced processing. There is a gap in the literature related to authentic leadership and team success in high school football programs. This study addresses the gap with the following RQ: To what extent, if any, is there a correlation between a Midwestern state high school head football coach’s measured level of leadership authenticity and the team’s success? The population for the study consisted of all high school football programs in a Midwestern state (N = 716). This study utilized the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ) to measure the level of leadership authenticity of head football coaches; the team’s winning percentage was used to measure team success. Spearman’s Rho was .509 ( p <.001), indicating a significant positive relationship between a head football coach’s level of authentic leadership and their team’s success. A two-step hierarchical regression of two models was performed; both were statistically significant. The addition of ALQ score to model 2 provided a significant increase in R-squared (R 2 change = .12, p < .01) demonstrating the difference in variability and increase in predictive power associated with authentic leadership behavior. A high school football team success model equation was developed. The research addresses the gap in the existing literature by contributing to the emergence of authentic leadership theory in sport and has practical implications for current and future high school athletic directors and head football coaches.
|Subjects||Social research; Sports management; Management|
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