The Impact of Leadership Behavior on Satisfaction of College Tennis Players: A Test of the Leadership Behavior Congruency Hypothesis of the Multidimensional Model of Leadership

By Andrew, Damon P. S. | Journal of Sport Behavior, September 2009 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Leadership Behavior on Satisfaction of College Tennis Players: A Test of the Leadership Behavior Congruency Hypothesis of the Multidimensional Model of Leadership


Andrew, Damon P. S., Journal of Sport Behavior


Most research on coaching effectiveness has assumed that coaches greatly influence athletes' performance and behavior, as well as their general psychological and emotional well-being (Chelladurai, 1990; 1993). The study of the role of the leader/coach in athletics has been aided greatly over the past two decades or so by the existence of the Multidimensional Model of Leadership (MML--See Figure 1), developed by Chelladurai (1978) as an attempt to both bring parsimony to the numerous approaches to studying leadership in the mainstream, and to bring a sport-specific focus to the study of leadership. Further, the MML addresses the concerns put forth by Chelladurai and Carron (1978), who asserted that the direct application of mainstream leadership theory to sport situations may not adequately account for the distinctness of the sport context.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

The MML proposes that three aspects of leader behavior need to be in congruence to achieve effective group performance and member satisfaction. The aspects of leader behavior include required (behavior that is prescribed for a particular situation), preferred (behavior preferred of the coach by the athletes), and actual, hereafter referred to as perceived (the coach's behavior as perceived by the athletes). Required leader behavior is influenced by situational characteristics such as organizational goals, formal structure, group task, social norms, government regulations, technology, and the nature of the group (Chelladurai, 2006). In 1990, Chelladurai revised the antecedents of required leader behavior to also include member characteristics. For example, in situations where members lack the intelligence, ability, experience, and/or personality dispositions to make judgments about situational requirements, the leader must make an appropriate decision for the members. Therefore, required leader behavior is determined by situational and member characteristics. Preferred leader behavior stems from both the aforementioned situational characteristics and member characteristics such as task-relevant ability (House, 1971; House & Dressier, 1974), personality traits, attitude toward authority (Lorsch & Morse, 1974; Morse, 1976), cognitive complexity (Wynne & Hunsaker, 1975), authoritarianism and the need for independence (Vroom, 1959). Perceived leader behaviors are partially determined by the characteristics and behaviors of the leader (i.e., personality, ability, experience, and style), but are also determined to some extent by required and preferred leader behavior. Therefore, the leader may alter his or her behavior to the requirements of the situation and the preferences of the members to some degree.

The main proposition of the MML is that, to a large degree, group performance and member satisfaction are dependent upon the congruency of required, preferred, and perceived leader behaviors. In other words, group performance and member satisfaction can be enhanced when the leadership behavior required by the situation, the leadership behavior preferred by the followers, and the leadership behavior perceived by the followers are similar. In contrast, when the leadership behavior required by the situation, the leadership behavior preferred by the followers, and the leadership behavior perceived by the followers are not similar, group performance and member satisfaction are compromised. Although more study is warranted, initial research has supported this proposition and the individual tenets of the MML. Strong support has been shown, for example, for the link between member characteristics and coaching behaviors (e.g., Chelladurai & Carron, 1983; Chelladurai, Imamura, Yamaguchi, Oinmuma, & Miyauchi, 1988; Chelladurai, Malloy, Imamura, & Yamaguchi, 1987). Research has also clearly identified a link between leadership behavior congruency and athlete satisfaction (Chelladurai, 1978; 1984; Chelladurai et al., 1988; Dwyer & Fischer, 1988; Home & Carron, 1985; McMillin, 1990; Riemer & Chelladurai, 1995; Schliesman, 1987; Summers, 1983; Weiss & Friedrichs, 1986) as well as group performance (Gordon, 1986; Serpa, Pataco, & Santos, 1991; Weiss & Friedrichs, 1986). …

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