New Work and Conceptual Model Related to Leadership

Leadership plays a big role in diversity initiatives within a team or workplace. The leader sets expectations, models expected behaviors, helps develop systems to reward inclusion, and helps to create systems and strategies that reinforce diversity and inclusion principles. For some examples, see here and here

Leadership's importance points to the significance of new work from Jon Welty Peachey, Yilun Zhou, Zack Damon, and Laura Burton.* The authors reviewed articles published over four decades, highlighting the major trends in the area. They also pointed to growth in how scholars have conceptualized leadership and the ways in which they have measured its effects. 

Based on this collective review, they then developed a conceptual model that scholars and practitioners can use to think about how leadership affects people, personal relationships, groups, and organizations as a whole. I find this to be the most important contribution of the article, and the figure is presented below. 

They suggest that people develop their leadership styles based on their personal traits, moral identity, lived experiences, and their participation in sport and physical activity. Importantly, they note the influence of what they refer to as 'dark traits' such as hubris and narcissism. 

The authors also note the influence of sport participation--something unique to the leadership literature. For example, some claim that participation in sport helps develop desired character traits and life skills. There is also some work suggesting that employers desire previous sport participation among future leaders, particularly women. Thus, this represents an important connection by the authors. 

Finally, Welty Peachey and colleagues note the influence of various external forces, such as organizational culture. For example, leadership stereotypes potentially limit the degree to which some persons, such as women, racial minorities, and LGBT individuals, have access to leadership roles. 

In short, the Welty Peachey et al. article offers new insights into how we think about leadership. Their work offers a good guide for helping people think about factors that influence leadership behavior, as well as leadership's effects throughout various areas of sport. 


* Welty Peachey, J., 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, 29, 570-587.