Sport Leadership Management - Article Review Example

Published: 2023-12-10
Sport Leadership Management - Article Review Example
Essay type:  Reflective essays
Categories:  Sport Leadership management
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1094 words
10 min read

The main objective of the article, by Peachey et al (2015), is to give a detailed analysis of sport management leadership literature. Peachey et al begin by identifying the period during which sport management studies started emerging; during the 1970s. From that period to date, there has never been a review of all completed studies about the subject, which is the primary motive of this article. It seeks to highlight gaps in the proposed concept of leadership management and in doing so, provide suggestions for further studies.

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Before the 1970s, there were few scholarly ventures which made propositions on leadership styles. Carlyle (1907), representing the individualistic views of Western European philosophers, assessed the characteristics of leaders. Stogdill (1948) made a conclusion that a single trait is less likely to predict the universal qualities of effective leadership owing to the diversity of backgrounds leaders are caught in. This conclusion made scholars turn their attention to leaders’ behavior and its impact on their followers. Another major change in the course of studies was made after Fiedler’s book (1967) following his first article (1964). Fiedler suggested a contingency model of leadership effectiveness. After a series of other studies on this course, leader legitimacy was established as the focal point of research. The pre-1970s era, however, barely invested in off-the-field studies. Peachey et al were keen to point out the review done by Chelladurai in 1990 that expanded the framework of study in later years.

In the latter years of the 20th century, there were dynamic shifts in the specific areas of study. The first most notable one was transactional leadership in sport which was raised by Burns (1978). As Peachey et al say, this type of leadership involves a mutual leader-follower relationship in which the leader benefits from a completed task, and in exchange, he shows recognition, affiliation, and security to the follower. The focus on that area faded following Bourner and Weese's (1995) publication suggesting that transformational leadership did not provide a profound impact on organizational effectiveness. A great deal of research was also conducted to weigh gender-difference influence on sport leadership organizations. Other scholars diverted their attention to preferred styles of leadership to leaders and the impacts of sports leader behavior. There was an interesting conclusion that showed leaders were more into goal-and-task ventures rather than positive relations with their subordinates.

Peachey et al also touched on studies related to ethical leadership and emerging themes in sports management. On ethical leadership, the review’s focal point was intercollegiate sports. All the reviewed articles were in agreement about the importance of sports leaders acknowledging and taking social and moral responsibility in the course of their leadership. Peachey et al noted servant leadership to be the dominant theme in sports management literature. The term was first coined by Greenleaf (1977) who defined it as the natural impulse to serve as a leader. Peachey at al pointed out that the gaps in ethical leadership could be filled by servant leadership, and that it was easier for leaders to take full moral responsibility if they practiced servant leadership. Besides servant leadership, emotional intelligence was also highlighted as a key theme. Schneider (2012) particularly pointed out the importance of a sports leader having a high emotional quotient.

In all the reviewed articles, Peachey et al noted that most of the studies had focused on on-the-field leadership of sports teams. The reviewers added that leadership in the larger organizations was an under-researched aspect. Peachey et al also created a table analyzing the prevalence of research articles according to some topics. In their analysis, it was interesting to note that most research and cited articles were those that focused on transactional leadership, gender issues in sports leadership, and LMX. Also, most of the research, as noted, had borrowed theories and knowledge from other disciplines such as business administration and social psychology, which was advantageous to Peachey et al, in that they could easily prove the authenticity of the research. From this framework, the reviewers proposed that more research could be carried out on how sports leadership is different from theories in other disciplines.

Peachey et al go to the extent of constructing a conceptual model illustrating an understanding of sports leadership, mainly of the aspects of the field unique from other fields and disciplines. The model is buttressed by research propositions and suggestions for courses to take in the future that are meant to challenge future scholars. Even as they prepare to draw a detailed framework, they understand that sports leadership is a dynamic and fluid structure, thus difficult to capture all aspects involved in it. Therefore, they are open to revision and updates on their model.

This review by Peachey et al is immensely significant in this scholarly field of study. Its value starts from the fact that it covers almost all reviews, research articles, and proposals related to sports management from the beginning of the 20th century in its entirety. Having this large database improves the authenticity of the review, thus increasing the amount of expected dependence on it as a reference point. Furthermore, Peachey et al are consistent in their review approach. They begin with a period-by-period review analysis before they delve into the topic-by-topic analysis. This makes it easier for a scholar to reference a certain article with the knowledge of when the article was published or what the article covers. Moreover, Peachey et al provide analytical and evidential data to support the facts in their review. Besides this making their review more formal and authentic, it also increases the confidence a scholar or any other party could have while referring to the article. The table analysis covering the prevalence of articles based on the topics they cover is especially notable, even more so, the conceptual framework that the reviewers construct. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Peachey et al’s review is the way they highlight under-researched segments. This is especially important to aspiring scholars in the field. It provides a clearer course for future research and study. To this effect, the reviewers partition the last whole segment of their article into additional directions for further study. For future scholars, this segment can contend as the main highlight of the whole article. Succinctly put, this review is more than profound, and extremely fundamental for sports leaders as well as scholars in the field.


Peachey, J. W., Zhou, Y., Damon, Z. J., Burton, L. J. (2015). Forty Years of Leadership Research in Sport Management: A Review, Synthesis, and Conceptual Framework. Journal of Sport Management. Vol.29 570-587. Retrieved from:

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