Mills, J.P., & Boardley, I.D.
International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching, 11(5), 382--394.
Publication year: 2016

The present study is the first to examine transformational leadership behaviours and integrity attitudes of expert, Premier League and International level football managers. To provide a rich, detailed exploration of the expert managers’ experiences, a qualitative approach was adopted utilising holistic content analysis. Constructed narratives revealed that the key behaviours demonstrated were inspirational messages or team talks (i.e. inspirational motivation), empathy (i.e. individualised consideration), introducing new training methods (i.e. intellectual stimulation), using exemplar players (i.e. appropriate role modelling), and goal setting (i.e. high performance expectations). However, the use and effect of such behaviours varied greatly between managers. Each of the managers also claimed to have been willing to “bend the rules” as a player and frequently used euphemistic labels to describe such behaviour. However, upon entering management, all three managers claimed to have adjusted such attitudes without providing an explanation for this.