Transformational Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness in Recreational Sports/Fitness Programs

Abstract

The concept of leadership has gained a large amount of attention in recent years. This paper explores the relationships between transformational leadership and organizational effectiveness in the field of recreational sport and leisure. First, it reviews a discussion on the problem of organizational leadership from the perspective of the transactional- transformational model, particularly the arguments of researchers such as Burns and Bass. It examines the components of transformational leadership, and then investigates several approaches to the conceptualization and measurement of organizational effectiveness. Finally, the controversy concerning the impact of transformational leadership upon organizational effectiveness is discussed, and an argument is made that greater transformational leadership seems to be at least indirectly related to a higher degree of organizational effectiveness.

Transformational Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness in Recreational Sports/Fitness Programs

Leadership has drawn great attention from scholars in various fields in recent years. Yukl (1989) wrote that “the study of leadership has been an important and central part of the literature of management and organization behavior for several decades” (p. 251). Paton (1987), too, realized that leadership has become the most popular subject within the field of sports management. Weese (1994) furthermore advised that some 7,500 citations on leadership appear in Bass and Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership (1990). In an article on sports management and leadership, Sourcie (1994) noted that quite a few doctoral dissertations focus on “managerial leadership in sport organizations”. Earlier, Sourcie (1982) had estimated that nearly 25 studies on leadership were completed between 1969 and 1979, as reported in Dissertation Abstracts International, while the same source shows that 30 additional doctoral researchers employed leadership as the primary dependent variable of dissertation research between 1979 and 1989 (p. 6).

There is great controversy over the definition of leadership and thus over approaches to studying leadership (Yukl, 1989). The present authors, however, focus exclusively on the transactional-transformational leadership model and the relationship between transformational leadership and organization effectiveness. The paper looks first at definitions of transactional and transformational leadership and the components of transformational leadership. It then reviews discussions of the transactional-transformational leadership model, particularly the differences between and relationships shared by the concepts of transactional and transformational leadership. In addition, it describes the four elements of transformational leadership.

The paper also investigates existing studies of organizational effectiveness and looks at scholars’ varying approaches to organizational effectiveness. Following this, it discusses the relationships between transformational leadership and organizational effectiveness. Finally, through a review of related literature from the field of recreational sports and fitness programs, the authors examine relationships between transformational leadership and organizational effectiveness.

The Transactional-Transformational Leadership Model

Working from Burns’s earlier efforts (1978), Bass (1985) elaborated the transactional-transformational model. As Yukl (1989) wrote, Bass offered a more thoroughly detailed theory of transformational leadership that further differentiated transformational from transactional leadership. Bass viewed transformational leadership from the perspective of leaders’ influence on subordinates. Influenced by transformational leaders, subordinates become motivated to surpass original expectations (Yukl, 1989). Bass argued that transactional leadership and transformational leadership are “distinct dimensions rather than opposite ends of one continuum” (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996) Or, as Yukl (1989) and Weese (1994) wrote, while transactional leadership and transformational leadership are closely related parts of leadership, they remain distinct.

In addition, Bass viewed transformational leadership as an augmentation and extension of transactional leadership. In his understanding, “[A]ll leaders are transactional, to some extent, exchanging rewards for performance, but some leaders are also transformational, going beyond simple leader-subordinate exchange relations” (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996, p. 294). Studies by other researchers support Bass’s argument both empirically and theoretically, according to Doherty and Danylchuk (1996).

In his discussion of transformational leadership among the coaches of sports teams, Armstrong (2001) laid out four main characteristics of transformational leadership: (a) ethical behavior, (b) shared vision and shared goals, (c) performance improvement through charismatic leadership, and (d) leadership by example (p. 44–45). Armstrong’s framework is a simplified version of the components of transformational leadership provided by Bass (1985), who identified those as intellectual stimulation, individual consideration, inspirational leadership, and idealized influence (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996; Weese, 1994). Intellectual stimulation refers to a leader’s capability to stimulate followers to become curious and creative about thinking and problem solving (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996; Weese, 1994). Individual consideration describes the relationship between leader and follower in terms of two dimensions, developmental orientation and individual orientation (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996). A developmental orientation exists when leaders “assign tasks that will enhance an individual’s potential, abilities, and motivation” (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996, p. 295). An individual orientation exists when a leader stresses “mutual understanding and familiarity via one-on-one relations and two-way communication” (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996, p. 295).

Inspirational leadership refers to the transformational leader’s inspiration and encouragement of subordinates, which creates emotional attachment to the leader and greater identification with his or her vision for organizational goals (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996; Weese, 1994). The final element is idealized influence, which is closely related to charisma (Weese, 1994). Doherty and Danylchuk (1996) view idealized influence as “the behavioral counterpart to charisma” (p. 295), with the leader’s traits promoting commitment among followers in order to tap their full potential (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996; Weese, 1994).

Organizational Effectiveness

Effective leadership has a positive impact on behavior within organizations, according to many leadership researchers; transformational leadership’s role in improving many factors of organizations is especially pronounced (Weese, 1994). The effectiveness of behavior within organizations—the effectiveness of their performance—is known as organizational effectiveness.

The concept of effectiveness is of great importance to an understanding of organizational behavior (Chelladurai & Haggerty, 1991). However, organizational effectiveness is a term that is complicated, controversial, and difficult to conceptualize (Chelladurai, 1987). It is little wonder there are several different approaches to measuring and studying organizational effectiveness. As Sourcie (1994) mentioned briefly, Chelladurai and Haggerty (1991) describe four ways to measure organizational effectiveness; these methods are the goal approach, system resource approach, process approach, and multiple constituency approach.

The goal approach is the most widely used, according to Weese (1997). It assesses the effectiveness of an organization in terms of its success in realizing its goals (Pratt & Eitzen, 1989). Regarded as the “most logical approach” to studying organizational effectiveness (Chelladurai and Haggerty, 1991, p. 127), the goal approach nevertheless has its weaknesses. Most obvious is the reality that an organization may have numerous goals that may conflict with one another (Weese, 1997; Pratt & Eitzen, 1989). In addition, an organization’s goals may shift over time, especially its short-term operative goals (Pratt & Eitzen, 1989). Goal shifts may result from an organization’s interactions with its environment, from internal changes, or from external pressures. When an organization’s goals are “unclear, unstable, and conflicting with each other” (Chelladurai & Haggerty, 1991, p. 127), it becomes very difficult to measure organizational effectiveness using the goal approach.

The third approach is the process approach, which focuses on organizational functioning and integration (Chelladurai & Haggerty, 1991). Under this approach, an organization’s effectiveness is viewed in terms of the smoothness and efficiency of its internal processes and general operation (Sourcie, 1994). Weese (1997) pointed out that effective operations of an organization do not necessarily result in “heightened organizational effectiveness,” because the sum of efficient components may not lead to an efficient whole (p. 267). Thus the process approach for measuring organizational effectiveness is also not without limitations.

In light of the limitations and disadvantages associated with these three approaches, a fourth, the multiple-constituency approach, was also proposed (Weese, 1997). Under the multiple-constituency approach, the opinions of the various constituent groups of an organization are considered in determining the effectiveness of the organization (Sourcie, 1994; Weese, 1997). Chelladurai and Haggerty (1991) discussed the differences between the multiple constituency approach and the earlier approaches. They noted that the former incorporates the other three within one model that “envisions the differential evaluation of an organization by different constituents on one or more dimensions of effectiveness. . . . [such as] productivity, resource acquisition, or internal processes.”

Organizational effectiveness is ambiguous in conceptualization and difficult to measure, due to the fact that it involves multiple dimensions, for example goals, processes, and resources (Chelladurai & Haggerty, 1991). To date, the multiple constituency model, in creating a synthesis of the earlier goal approach, process approach, and system resource approach, appears to best represent the multiplicity of organizational effectiveness.

Relation to Organizational Effectiveness

Efforts have been made to study the relationship between leadership (particularly transformational leadership) and organizational effectiveness. There is controversy, however, over whether transformational leadership has a positive impact on organizational effectiveness. For example, Weese’s (1996) study of the relationships among transformational leadership, organizational culture, and organizational effectiveness showed no significant relationship between transformational leadership and organizational effectiveness. Similarly, Weese (1996) and Lim and Cromartie (2001) found transformational leadership not to relate significantly to organizational effectiveness. They suggested that subordinates play an important role in an organization’s effectiveness.

Interestingly, in an earlier article, Weese (1994) pointed out that many who have studied leadership have found “convincing evidence” for leadership’s importance to the “success and survival” of an organization. He noted that transformational leaders, especially, “have a positive impact on employee satisfaction, productivity, and organizational effectiveness” (Weese, 1994, p. 188).

In addition, the studies by Weese (1996) and Lim and Cromartie (2001) recognized that a significant relationship exists between transformational leadership and organizational culture, while rejecting the argument that transformational leadership has an impact on organizational effectiveness. However, both studies also recognized that organizational culture has great influence on organizational effectiveness (Lim and Cromartie, 2001; Weese, 1996). The implication is that transformational leadership and organizational effectiveness do have an indirect relationship.

Conclusion

Leadership is an important but controversial concept in understanding organizational behavior. Burns (1978) and Bass (1985) provided a theoretical framework for two aspects of leadership, the transactional and the transformational leadership paradigms. Organizational effectiveness is no less controversial than leadership, and there are four approaches to measure and study it. The most comprehensive approach developed to date appears to be the integrated multiple constituency approach.

While the existing studies of relationships between transformational leadership and organizational effectiveness are controversial as well, it seems that leadership has at least an indirect impact on organizational effectiveness. Further empirical research and theoretical exploration needs to be conducted in order to gain better understanding of the topic.

References

Armstrong, S. (2001). Are you a “transformational” coach? Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 72(3), 44-47.

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. New York: Free Press.

Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research and Managerial Applications. New York: Free Press.

Burns, J.M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Chelladurai, P. (1987). Multidimensionality and multiple perspectives of organizational effectiveness. Journal of Sport Management, 1(1), 37-47.

Chelladurai, P., & Haggerty, T.R. (1991). Measures of organizational effectiveness of Canadian national sport organizations. Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences, 16(2), 126-133.

Doherty, A. J., & Danylchuk, K.E. (1996). Transformational and transactional leadership in interuniversity athletics management. Journal of Sport Management, 10(3), 292-309.

Ghorpade, T. (1970). Study of organizational effectiveness: Two prevailing viewpoints. Pacific Sociological Review, 13, 31-40.

Lim, J. Y., & Cromartie, F. (2001). Transformational leadership, organizational culture and organizational effectiveness in sport organizations. The Sport Journal, 4(2), 111-169.

Paton, G. (1987). Sport management research: What progress has been made? Journal of Sport Management, 1, 25-31.

Pratt, S. R., & Eitzen, D. S. (1989). Contrasting leadership styles and organizational effectiveness: the case of athletic teams. Social Science Quarterly, 70(2), 311-322.

Sourcie, D. (1982). Management Theory and Practice. In E.F. Zeigler (Ed.), Physical Education and Sport: An Introduction. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger.

Sourcie, D. (1994). Effective managerial leadership in sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 8(1), 1-13.

Weese, W. J. (1994). A leadership discussion with Dr. Bernard Bass. Journal of Sport Management, 8(3), 176-189.

Weese, W. J. (1996). Do leadership and organizational culture really matter? Journal of Sport Management, 10(2), 197-206.

Weese, W. J. (1997). The development of an instrument to measure effectiveness in campus recreation programs. Journal of Sport Management, 11(3), 263-274.

Yuchtman, E., & Stanley, S.(1967). A systematic resource approach to organizational effectiveness. American Sociological Review, 32, 891-903.

Yukl, G. (1989b). Managerial leadership: a review of theory and research. Journal of Management, 15(2), 251-289.

Athletes’ Expectations for Success in Athletics Compared to Academic Competition

INTRODUCTION

In
this paper, we describe a study in which we investigate attitudes
held by student-athletes and non-athlete students towards
academic and athletic success. Athletic success is largely
viewed in the United States as a vehicle for disadvantaged
students to attain higher education. Most colleges and universities
in the U.S. have admittance programs in which a designated
percent of students who do not meet standard admissions criteria
are allowed to enroll. According to the National Collegiate
Athletic Association (1995), about 3% of all students enter
college under these programs. However, more than 20% of college
football and basketball players enter universities under special
admittance programs (Lapchick 1995). Thus, athletic prowess
may allow for an increased opportunity for education.

While
successful high school athletes may have increased educational
opportunities, these students often struggle when they enter
college. College athletes earn fewer bachelor’s degrees than
do students in general, they take longer to do so, their grades
are lower, and their curricula are less demanding (Adelman
1990).

Some
have also argued for the social benefit of sport participating.
Findings indicate that sport involvement is an important activity
that has the potential for reducing at-risk behavior and enhancing
development in adolescents (Agnew and Peterson 1989; Burling,
Seidner, Robbins-Sisco, and Krinsky 1992). However, student-athletes
report greater difficulty than other students in taking leadership
roles, learning from their mistakes, discussing their personal
problems, and articulating their thoughts (Dudley, Johnson,
and Johnson 1997).

One
reason that student-athletes struggle in college may be that
athletes have unrealistic expectations for careers in professional
sports. While a relatively high percentage of university athletes
expect careers in professional sports (Center for the Study
of Athletics 1989; Kennedy and Dimick 1987) a professional
sports career is not an option for any but the most elite
of student athletes (Lapchick 1991).

It
appears that student-athletes are diverted into athletic career
aspirations and away from mainstream opportunities for success,
such as academic achievement. In that student-athletes often
struggle academically and socially in college, it may be that
athletes expect greater costs and fewer benefits to accompany
a university education than do other students. We predict
that student-athletes, in comparison to scholars (not athletes),
will indicate higher expectations for costs and fewer expectations
for benefits to obtain from a successful university education.

Athletes
also often hold unrealistic expectations for professional
sports careers. We predict that student-athletes will expect
lower costs and higher benefits to accompany sport involvement
than will scholars (not athletes). And, because of expectations
for careers in professional sports, we also predict that athletes
will indicate lower motivation toward school performance and
higher motivation toward athletic performance than will scholars.

SURVEY
INSTRUMENTS

We
designed two survey instruments to measure the costs and benefits
that students expect to accompany academic and athletic success,
as well as motivation to perform both athletically and academically.
We designed one instrument, the Student Academic Questionnaire
(SAQ), to measure attitudes towards academic success and the
other instrument, the Student Assessment Survey (SAS),
to measure attitudes towards athletic success.

Each
respondent is assigned one of the two questionnaires. After
answering a number of demographic items, the respondent reads
a brief vignette. The vignette for the SAQ informs students
that the researchers are interested in looking at ways that
individuals feel about academic success. Respondents are asked
to imagine themselves in a scenario in which they are successful
university students. The vignette for the SAS tells students
that the researchers are interested in measuring attitudes
about athletic success. Respondents read a vignette in which
they are successful university athletes.

Imagining
themselves in the given scenario, respondents answer a number
of attitude questions designed to measure the costs, benefits,
and performance motivation they feel towards academic or athletic
achievement. We included three scales (each containing between
8 and 18 items) in the attitude questions, one for academic
or athletic costs, one for academic or athletic benefits,
and one for performance motivation. Questions in each scale
were identical across questionnaires except that we included
information about academic success in questions on the SAQ
and information about athletic success in questions on the
SAS. Respondents answered all questions on 5-point scales
from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.”

PREDICTIONS

We
make the following predictions regarding the costs, benefits,
and motivations that non-athlete scholars and student-athletes
will feel towards academic and athletic success:

Hypothesis
1: Student-athletes, in comparison to scholars (non-athletes)
will

  1. anticipate higher costs accompanying a college education,
  2. anticipate
    lower benefits accompanying a college education, and
  3. be
    less motivated to perform at a high level academically.

Hypothesis
2: Student-athletes, in comparison to scholars (non-athletes)
will

  1. anticipate lower costs accompanying athletic success,
  2. anticipate
    higher benefits accompanying athletic success, and
  3. be
    less motivated to perform at a high level athletically.

RESULTS

In
order to test the hypotheses described above, we passed out
the SAQ and the SAS to samples of students at The University
of Akron, The University of Iowa, Kent State University, and
Louisiana State University. Among the demographic items on
the questionnaires, we designed six questions to measure whether
we should classify respondents as scholars, athletes, or both.
We asked respondents their high school academic and sports
involvement, their academic and athletic scholarship status
in college, and whether they viewed themselves primarily as
scholars or athletes.

The
three items we designed to measure athletic status showed
strong correlations with each other-all correlations produced
probability levels less than .001. The same is true for the
items designed to measure academic status. Because correlations
between items were so high, we chose one item, the extent
to which respondents considered themselves scholars or athletes,
as our measure of academic or athletic status.

We
asked respondents two questions to evaluate the extent to
which they considered themselves primarily athletes or scholars,
with 1 indicating “very much” and 9 indicating “not
at all.” If respondents circled 4 or lower on the scholar
scale and greater than 5 on the athletic scale, we considered
them scholars in our analysis. If respondents circled greater
than 5 on the scholar scale and 4 or less on the athletic
scale, we considered them athletes for our analysis. Again,
answers to these questions correlated highly with high school
athletic involvement and with academic or athletic scholarship
status.

SAQ
Findings

The
SAQ measured the costs, benefits, and motivation that students
felt towards academic success. In all, 302 students completed
the SAQ, 135 scholars and 33 athletes. We predicted that student-athletes
would perceive greater costs for academic success than would
scholars. The cost of success scale is an average of the fourteen
items designed to measure the costs of academic success, with
1 indicating low costs of academic success and 6 indicating
high costs. The mean score on the SAQ cost of success scale
for scholars was 1.42 (st. dev. = .47) and for student-athletes
was 1.53 (st. dev. = .52). This difference is in the predicted
direction-athletes perceive higher costs for academic success
than do scholars. A t-test of the difference, however, is
not significant (t = 1.167, one-tailed p = .123).

We
also predicted that student-athletes would perceive fewer
benefits to accompany academic success than would scholars.
The mean score for scholars on the benefits of academic success
scale was 3.10 (st. dev. = .60) and for athletes was 2.80
(st. dev. = .69). This difference indicates that scholars
expect higher benefits for academic success than do athletes.
Further, a t-test of the difference is significant (t = 2.47,
one-tailed p = .008).

We
further predicted that student-athletes would indicate lower
motivation to perform academically than would scholars. The
mean score for scholars on the academic motivation scale was
3.34 (st. dev. = .52) and for student-athletes was 3.02 (st.
dev. = .55). This difference is in the predicted direction,
and a t-test of the difference produces significance (t =
3.16, one-tailed p = .001).

SAS
Findings

The
SAS measured the costs, benefits, and motivation that students
felt towards athletic success. 252 students completed the
SAS, 124 scholar and 23 athletes. We predicted that student-athletes
would perceive fewer costs associated with athletic success
than would scholars. Student-athletes had a mean score on
the costs of athletic success scale of 1.97 (st. dev. = .61),
while scholars had a mean score of 1.88 (st. dev. = .52).
This slight difference is actually in the opposite direction
of that predicted by our hypothesis, but a t-test of the difference
does not produce significance (t = .722, two-tailed p = .472).

We
also predicted that student-athletes would perceive greater
benefits to accompany athletic success than would scholars.
The mean score on the benefits of athletic success scale for
student-athletes was 2.43 (st. dev. = .60) and for scholars
was 2.20 (st. dev. = .93). This difference is in the predicted
direction, but a t-test of the difference is not significant
(t = 1.11, one-tailed p = .135).

We
also predicted higher motivation towards athletic performance
for student-athletes than for scholars. Student-athletes had
a mean score on the athletic motivation scale of 3.52 (st.
dev. = .45), while scholars had a mean of 3.44 (st. dev. =
.57). This difference, while in the predicted direction, is
not significant (t = .628, one-tailed p = .266).

In
sum, two of the six hypotheses we tested (hypotheses on the
benefits of academic success and on motivation to perform
academically) produced significance. Two hypotheses (on the
costs of academic success and on the benefits of athletic
success) approached significance. The hypotheses on the costs
of athletic success and on athletic motivation did not approach
significance.

DISCUSSION

Results
of our data collection provided partial support for our predictions.
Student-athletes, in comparison to scholars, perceived greater
costs and fewer benefits to accompany a university education.
Further, student-athletes were less motivated to perform academically
than were scholars. These findings support our predictions
and are in line with findings that athletes struggle academically.
Findings on the costs and benefits of athletic success received
less support.

Our
findings provide some support for our argument that athletics
serves to channel a disadvantaged minority away from mainstream
opportunities for success in the United States. If this is
true, then expectations about success in athletics and academics
may differ in countries were athletics does not serve this
purpose. It also may be that respondents in countries with
less rigid racial, economic, and ethnic partitions than the
United States will report smaller differences in their expected
costs for academic and athletic success. A valuable direction
for future research would be to shed light on these issues.

REFERENCES

Adelman,
C. (1990). Light and Shadows on College Athletics. Washington,
DC: U.S. Department of Education.

Agnew,
R. and D.M. Peterson (1989). “Leisure and delinquency.”
Social Problems, 36(4), 332-250.

Burling,
T.A., A.L. Seidner, D. Robbins-Sisco, and A. Krinsky (1992).
“Relapse prevention for homeless veteran substance abusers
via softball team participation.” Journal of Substance
Abuse, 4(4), 407-413.

Center
for the Study of Athletics (1989). Report No. 3: The Experiences
of Black Intercollegiate Athletes at NCAA Division I institutions.
Palo Alto, CA: American Institute for Research.

Dudley,
B.S., D.W. Johnson, and R.T. Johnson. (1997). “Using
cooperative learning to enhance the academic and social experiences
of freshman student athletes.” The Journal of Social
Psychology, 137(4), 449-459.

Kennedy,
S.R., and K.M. Dimick. (1987). “Career maturity and professional
sports expectations of college football and basketball players.”
Journal of College Student Personnel, 28, 293-297.

Lapchick,
R. (1991). Five Minutes to Midnight: Race and Sports in the
1990’s. Lanham, MD: Madison Books.

Lapchick,
R.E. (1995). “Race and college sport: A long way to go.”
Race and Class, 36(4), 87-94.

National
Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). (1995). 1995 Division
I Graduation-Rates Report. Overland Park, KS: Author.

Contact
information:

Jeffrey
W. Lucas
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-1905
(330) 972-6915
jlucas2@uakron.edu

Analysis of Perceived Leadership Styles & Levels of Satisfaction of Selected Junior College Athletic Directors and Head Coaches

Athletics and the administration of athletics at the collegiate level are undergoing a continual metamorphosis. No longer is athletics seen as just fun and games for the entertainment of fans. Nor can it be considered only big business, making large amounts of money for the sponsoring institution. It has become a combination of the two, entertainment and business, all within the structure and mission of higher education. Out of necessity, this metamorphosis is also evident in those who manage these programs. The essence of this change has been captured in the following statement:

The athletic director of the coming decades will be asked to meld the demands of business with the constraints of politics, all within the unique parameters of academia. It is a far cry from what it was only 20 years ago, when many schools simply ceded control of the department to the most powerful coach on campus. Or even 10 years ago when the AD with a knack for managing coaches could get by on a superficial understanding of business principles, so long as he surrounded himself with a few bean counters. (King, 2000, p. 35)

As this change continues, leadership ability will continue to increase in importance as a determinant of success for the athletic administrator. Previously, leadership ability was assumed because of athletic success (Linam, 1999). Today, those in administrative positions are receiving much more training and formal education in the business of sport than they would have in former times. Part of this education includes instruction in the nuances of leadership. Leadership has been defined by Roach and Behling (as cited in Watkins & Rikard, 1991, p. 46) as “the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement.” Placing this definition in the context of intercollegiate athletics, one can see its application to the athletic director: The AD would influence the activities of an organized group, the athletic department, toward the goals of athletic success and economic viability, all within the unique atmosphere of academia.

There are numerous labels given the many different ways this influencing process is played out. Two such labels are transactional leadership and transformational leadership, which have been identified as points on a continuum of leadership behavior (Bass, 1985). Field and Herold (1997) described transactional leadership as a reward-driven behavior, the follower behaving in such a manner as to elicit rewards or support from the leader. Transformational leadership has been described as behavior that transcends the need for rewards and appeals to the followers’ higher-order needs, inspiring them to act in the best interest of the organization rather than in their own self-interest (Bass, 1998).

Prominent leadership researchers (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999) feel that transformational leadership is key to the continued success of organizations, because transformational leadership promotes team cohesion, organizational commitment, and higher levels of job satisfaction. Many times intercollegiate athletic departments, especially those outside the realm of Division I, are understaffed, with individuals performing multiple tasks. In these instances it would seem reasonable to think that leadership behaviors that inspire department members to act in the best interest of the organization would be essential for success.

NCAA Division I athletics, with its high-visibility programs and emphasis on the business aspect of intercollegiate sport, is an inviting subject for research. NCAA Division III, with its emphasis on the academic success of its athletes, provides an excellent alternative for a researcher. However, junior college athletics is a forgotten portion of intercollegiate athletics. By its very nature, junior college athletics can offer neither of these divergent points of view. Therefore, little research has been conducted in this realm of intercollegiate athletics.

Athletic directors at the junior college level face many of the same issues as their counterparts at four-year institutions, albeit at a much more anonymous level. These individuals need to be concerned about their leadership abilities and the levels of satisfaction of their subordinates, just like those at higher echelons of competition. It is hoped that this study will help to fill the void in the current research at this level of athletic administration and provide these sport professionals with insight into how to better lead their organizations.

Methodology and Findings

This study examined the perceived leadership styles of selected athletic directors and the levels of satisfaction of selected head coaches serving National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) member colleges from Regions III and XV. These institutions (n=50) are located in the states of New York and Vermont. Leadership data was collected using the latest version of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ form 5X) (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1995). The MLQ was chosen because of its extensive use in leadership research, as it has been used in nearly 200 research programs, doctoral dissertations, and master’s theses around the globe (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1995, p. 6). A demographic survey, constructed by the researcher and validated by a panel of experts, was used to gather information regarding the age, gender, educational background, and levels of experience of the athletic directors and head coaches.

The subjects in this study were the intercollegiate ADs (n=50) and head coaches (n= 345) of the NJCAA colleges in Regions III and XV (n=50), representing 2 of the 24 regions that NJCAA covers. Each athletic director was mailed a packet containing a cover letter, a copy of the “leader” version of the MLQ form 5X, the “athletic director” version of the demographic survey, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Each head coach received a similar packet containing the same cover letter, a copy of the “rater” version of the MLQ form 5X, the “head coach” version of the demographic survey, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

These packets were mailed to each individual on 16 October 2000, with a request to return the completed MLQ form 5X and demographic survey by 1 November 2000. Follow-up was done according to the procedures suggested by Dillman (1978) in his work concerning survey sampling. This involved mailing a follow-up postcard a week after the original mailing. The postcard served as a thank you to the respondents and as a gentle reminder to those who had not yet responded. Three weeks after the original mailing, a second packet with a new cover letter and replacement copies of the appropriate MLQ form 5X and demographic survey was mailed to non-respondents only. Seven weeks after the original mailing, a final request for responses was mailed to non-respondents. It contained a cover letter very similar to the preceding letter, with replacement MLQ form 5Xs and demographic surveys. This packet was sent by certified mail to ensure delivery to the appropriate individual and to stress the importance of a reply (Dillman, 1978). Data collection ceased on 15 December 2000 and analysis began. Thirty-four athletic directors (68%) and 142 coaches (41%) responded and were considered in the study.

Findings

Descriptive statistics were generated for the athletic directors and the coaches both from the demographic data and from information gathered by the MLQ form 5X. Frequencies for age, gender, highest degree earned, and total years of experience were determined for coaches and for athletic directors. An additional variable, employment status, was determined for coaches.

Perceived leadership styles and levels of satisfaction were determined from the MLQ form 5X data. The mean scores for the transactional, transformational, and laissez-faire components were determined for each group (coaches and athletic directors). If the individual score fell above the mean for that component, that leadership style was considered dominant. If more than one component fell above the mean, the individual was determined to have a combined leadership style. A similar procedure was used to determine levels of satisfaction. If the individual’s satisfaction score was above the mean, the individual was considered satisfied; scores falling below the mean indicated lack of satisfaction.

Chi-square analyses for independence were used to measure 10 associations. First was the association between the perceived leadership styles of selected junior college athletic directors and the levels of satisfaction of head coaches reporting to them. Second was the association between perceived leadership styles of selected junior college athletic directors and the directors’ gender. Third was the association between perceived leadership styles of selected junior college athletic directors and the directors’ ages. Fourth was the association between perceived leadership styles of selected junior college athletic directors and their levels of education. The fifth association measured was that between perceived leadership styles of selected junior college athletic directors and their years of experience. The sixth association measured was that between gender of the selected junior college athletic directors and the levels of satisfaction of head coaches reporting to them. Seventh was the association between the age of selected junior college athletic directors and the levels of satisfaction of head coaches reporting to them. Eighth was the association between levels of education of selected junior college athletic directors and the levels of satisfaction of the head coaches reporting to them. Ninth was the association between years of experience offered by selected junior college athletic directors and the levels of satisfaction of head coaches reporting to them. Tenth was the association between levels of satisfaction and employment status of junior college head coaches. For each chi-square analysis, a Yates correction was automatically performed. Yates correction is a statistical technique that enhances the robustness of the chi-square in those instances in which the cells have counts below five.

An athletic director in the present study was most likely to report perceiving his or her personal leadership style as transformational, rather than another style; the proportion of ADs who reported a perceived transformational leadership style was 26.5%, and the rate rose to 50% when including the ADs who reported a perceived style combining transformational leadership with other styles. Similarly, head coaches in the study tended to perceive those ADs to whom they reported as having predominately transformational leadership styles. The head coaches perceived 28.9% of the ADs to whom they reported to exhibit a transformational style of leadership; the rate rose to 62.7% when including ADs whom the coaches perceived as combining transformational leadership with other styles.

Using a chi-square analysis for independence, no statistically significant association (p< .05) was found between the ADs’ perceptions of their leadership styles and (a) their perceptions of the levels of satisfaction their leadership provided (p = .183), (b) their gender (p=. 299), (c) their age (p=. 253), (d) their levels of education (p=. 482), or (e) their years of experience (p=. 583). Additionally, no statistically significant association (p< .05) was found between the ADs’ gender (p=. 971), age (p=. 057), levels of education (p=. 581), or years of experience (p=. 353) and the levels of satisfaction perceived by head coaches reporting to them. Finally, no statistically significant association (p< .05) was found between the perceived levels of satisfaction of junior college head coaches and their employment status (p=. 127). However, a chi-square analysis for independence did indicate a statistically significant association (p< .05) between a head coach’s perception of the leadership style of his or her AD and that coach’s perception concerning level of satisfaction provided by the AD’s leadership (p = <0.01).

Conclusions

As is evidenced by the breadth of research on the topic, leadership is a very complex phenomenon. It can be argued that leader behavior is impacted by the traits and skills of the leader, the traits and behaviors of the followers, the complexity of the situation, and numerous other variables, some of which may be currently unidentified. One of the prominent theories used to explain effective leadership is that of the transactional-transformational leadership continuum. Transformational leadership focuses on inspiring followers to set aside self-interest and seek the betterment of the organization; in contrast, transactional leadership focuses largely on the effort-reward exchange between followers and leader. In athletics in general, and in junior college athletics specifically, transformational leadership is essential for success. As budgets and human resources diminish and the need to do more with less increases, leadership able to transform and inspire individuals to act in organizations’ best interests will be vital.

Soucie (1994) states that leadership is perhaps the most important skill the sport administrator should possess. Sport administrators, or athletic directors, are perceived to be the causal agents in the success or failure of their organizations. Therefore, the leadership they provide determines the level of success of the organization and even the organizational culture itself, which includes among other things subordinates’ perceived levels of satisfaction.

The findings of this study resemble those of other studies (Doherty & Danylchuk, 1996; Wallace & Weese, 1995) that examined the relationship between leader behavior within the transactional-transformational paradigm and organizational factors such as levels of satisfaction. In the earlier studies, transformational leadership behaviors were found to be positively associated with high levels of satisfaction. While the current study did not examine exclusively the relationship between transformational leadership behavior and levels of satisfaction, the study results do indicate that (a) the head coaches perceived their ADs to have predominately transformational leadership styles, (b) most coaches perceived their ADs’ leadership to be satisfying, and (c) there was a highly significant association between the perception of AD leadership style and perceived levels of satisfaction.

The results of the current study indicate that other variables did not have a statistically significant association (p< .05) with perceived levels of satisfaction. This finding should not be a surprise, given the nature of coaches. Wallace and Weese (1995) noted that YMCA employees are altruistic individuals, working toward the common goal of providing excellent service for their clients. Coaches, while they may not be every bit as altruistic as YMCA employees, tend to be practical individuals. Variables such as the age and gender of the AD or education or experience of the AD are unlikely to make much impact on a coach’s perceived satisfaction. If a coach is provided the resources and support needed to produce an excellent program, that coach will be satisfied. It is quite possible that if the variables of funding, other resources, and institutional support were to be examined, more significant associations might be found.

In conclusion, leadership research will continue to be a priority in the sport setting, as it is in other organizations. Currently, the conclusions reached are unclear or, oftentimes, contradictory. However, as the research continues, we will begin to gain a clearer understanding of the role of leadership and its impact on subordinates in the sport enterprise. Perhaps Soucie (1994) put it best, when he said that there are no absolute truths about effective leadership, but those of us privileged to serve in a formal leadership role within an athletic enterprise know that the rewards are plenty (p. 11). We owe both those whom we lead, and ourselves, a continued examination of this complex and amazing phenomenon we call leadership.

References

Avolio, B.J., Bass, B.M., & Jung, D.I. (1999). Re-examining the components of transformational and transactional leadership using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 72, 441-463.

Bass, B.M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press.

Bass, B.M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industry, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Doherty, A.J. & Danylchuk, K.E. (1996) Transformational and transactional leadership in interuniversity athletics management. Journal of Sport Management, 10, 292-309.

Dillman, D.A. (1978). Mail and telephone surveys: The total design method. New York: John Wiley & sons.

Field, D.L. & Herold, D.M. (1997). Using the Leadership Practices Inventory to measure transformational and transactional leadership. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 57, 569-580.

King, B. (2000, June 12-18). Unearthing the AD of the future. Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 3(9), 25, 35.

Linam, K. (1999). Leadership styles of collegiate athletic directors and head coaches’ satisfaction. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, United States Sports Academy, Daphne, AL.

Soucie, D. (1994). Effective managerial leadership in sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 8, 1-13.

Wallace, M. & Weese, W.J. (1995). Leadership, organizational culture, and job satisfaction in Canadian YMCA organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 9, 182-193.

Watkins, D.L. & Rikard, G.L. (1991). Perceptions of leader behaviors of athletic directors: Implications for change. Physical Educator, 48,(1), 2-6.

The Effect of Physical Exercise on Anxiety

Abstract

In this study, the effects of physical exercise to eliminate the anxiety in university youth was investigated. The study covered 311 students who had never involved in physical exercise or any form of physical exercise. They were from 7 different departments of Education Faculty of Konya Selçuk University. State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) by Spielberger was applied to the students. The first 60 who had the highest anxiety scores were determined. Half of 60(30 student) participated in physical exercise while the other 30 were accepted as the control group. Pre, mid and post–test were administered to both the test and control group. Results were estimated by ANOVA. As a result ; the anxiety level of female students was found to be higher comparison to males’ depending upon the gender. In addition, the results also showed that participation physical exercise and physical activities decreased the anxiety level of both sexes. According to the age, a similar level of anxiety was seen at the beginning. It appeared that these activities had a reduction in anxiety levels of all age categories. The reduction mentioned above was found highest in 19–20 age group. According to fields, the physical exercise activities played a very important role in minimizing the anxiety. This effect was the most reliable on the students of music department. As a result, it has been concluded that physical exercise activities played a very notable role to eliminate anxiety of the university youth.

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