The amateur sports leadership challenge: A study of who leads amateur sports in America today and how well they practice exemplary leadership

by Rutledge, Wanda L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2007, 104 pages; 3254715


The purpose of this study is to derive a more comprehensive understanding of the CEOs for national amateur sports organizations and the level of self-reported transformational leadership they exhibit. The association of transformational leadership with organizational size, gender of participants, tenure in leadership role, and experience in the sport or sports managed is also examined. Participants were 74 full-time chief executives in national U.S.-based single-sport or multi-sport organizations. The instrument used to gather the data was the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) Self-Version that consists of 30 statements scored on a 10-point Likert scale indicating the frequency with which each individual engages in the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: (a) Model the way; (b) inspire a shared vision,; (c) challenge the process; (d) enable others to act; and (e) encourage the heart. Participants also completed a 12-question demographic survey. A series of one-way ANOVAs were performed on the variables of gender, tenure, and organizational size. To determine where the differences in the variables lie, the Tukey HSD was used. Descriptive statistics were also conducted to compare the scores for the five leadership practices as reported by the amateur sports CEOs to the national norms. These leaders were found to be overwhelmingly male (82%), Caucasian (93%), and well-educated with 80% possessing a college degree. The largest percentage of CEOs (28%) was between 55-59 years old; the majority (64%) indicated that they have participated in the sport or sports that they currently manage; and 68 % have been in the CEO position for less than 10 years. The analysis of the data revealed a positive association between leadership position and participation in the sport or sports managed; no statistical difference in the reported leadership behaviors of amateur sports CEOs based on their gender; the size of the organization managed, or their tenure in the organization as CEO. There is some evidence that amateur sports CEOs engage in the five practices of exemplary leadership more frequently than those found in other industries, except for the practice of modeling the way.

AdviserMartin J. Leahy
Source TypeDissertation
Publication Number3254715

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