Year of Publication

2019

Date of Thesis

08-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Exercise and Sport Sciences

Abstract

Servant leadership is characterized by a leader’s emphasis on serving their followers first (Greenleaf, 1977). The servant leadership model is based on tenets of teamwork and community-building through the involvement of others in decisionmaking, ethical and caring behavior, and enhances the personal development of followers to achieve organizational goals (Spears, 1998). It has been associated with positive outcomes (e.g., trust in the leader, performance) and may be a more effective leadership style compared to other approaches (e.g., autocratic, democratic). In a sport context, servant leadership has been mostly studied in coaches and has been associated with positive athlete outcomes, such as increased athlete satisfaction, motivation, and performance (Hammermeister et al., 2008; Rieke et al., 2008). However, the impact of servant leadership from a peer perspective (e.g., formal team captains) has been underexplored. As such, the purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between peer servant leadership, cohesion, and athlete satisfaction within intercollegiate athletes. Two hundred and eighty-eight NCAA intercollegiate athletes participated in the present study (female n = 165; male n = 123; Mage = 19.41, SDage = 1.09) and completed the Revised Servant Leadership Profile for Sport (RSLP-S; Hammermeister et al., 2008), Group Environment Questionnaire (GEQ; Carron et al., 1995), and Social Identity Questionnaire for Sport (SIQS; Bruner & Benson, 2018). Structural equation modeling was used to assess the relationship between peer servant leadership, cohesion, and social identity. Results revealed that peer servant leadership positively predicted cohesion, and this relationship was fully mediated by social identity.

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