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Fizička kultura
2017, vol. 71, iss. 2, pp. 86-98
article language: Serbian, English
document type: Original Scientific Paper

Creative Commons License 4.0
Top-down or shared leadership? Examining differences in athlete leadership behaviours based on leadership status in sport
aUniverzitet Južna Australija, Škola zdravstvenih nauka, Adelaida, Australija
bUniverzitet Vindzor, Odjeljenje Humane kinetike, Vinzdor, Ontario, Kanada



The purpose of this study was to examine differences in athlete leadership behaviours based on one's athlete leader status. Intercollegiate athletes (N = 299) self-identified their leadership status (i.e., formal leader, informal leader, follower) and rated the frequency of their own leadership behaviours. Results revealed that formal athlete leaders engaged in Training and Instruction more often than informal athlete leaders; with informal athlete leaders reporting higher frequencies than followers. Further, formal and informal athlete leaders reported engaging in Social Support more often than followers. These findings provide preliminary evidence of a top-down approach to leadership among athletes. No differences were found for Democratic Behaviour and Positive Feedback, suggesting that athlete leadership also is distributed among teammates. Results highlight important practical implications for sport practitioners in regard to athlete leader development.


shared leadership; group dynamics; sports teams; status; athlete leader


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