Authors: Todd D. Pitts, Ed. D, Gerald Nyambane, Ph.D., Stephen L. Butler Ed.D.
Todd D. Pitts, Ed.D
6191 Kraft Avenue
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512
Todd D. Pitts is an Associate Professor of Sports Management at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also serves as the university’s Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) to the NCAA.
Preferred Leadership Styles of Student-Athletes in a Midwest NAIA Conference
This study examined the leadership preferences of student-athletes competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) conference located in the Midwest region of the United States. Using Chelladurai’s Leadership Scale for Sports (LSS) instrument, quantitative data were collected from student-athletes (N = 758) representing 9 universities competing in the conference. All 5 dimensions of leadership behavior were compared across student-athletes’ gender, coaches’ gender, task dependence nature of the sport played, and whether or not the student-athlete’s institution identifies itself as faith-based, or non-faith-based. The results from 2 sample t-tests indicated that training and instruction and positive feedback were the most preferred leadership dimensions. The results also confirmed findings from previous studies that autocratic behavior is the least preferred leadership dimension. In addition, the democratic behavior leadership dimension was preferred more by student-athletes participating in independent sports than student-athletes in team sports; corroborating findings in recent studies. (more…)