Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

Third Advisor

Dr. Joel Beam

Fourth Advisor

Dr. E. Newton Jackson, Jr.

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel


The present study examined how athletic directors perceive their leadership roles in interscholastic athletics and the relationship of their leadership styles to their job satisfaction. The conceptual framework of this study was Bass and Avolio’s (1994) full range leadership model, also known as the transformational-transactional leadership model, which consists of 9 factors—5 transformational behaviors: idealized influence (attributed), idealized influence (behavior), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration; 2 transactional behaviors: contingent reward and management-by-exception (active); 2 passive/avoidant behaviors: management-by-exception (passive) and laissez-faire. These 9 factors are measured by the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). The study was also informed by Chelladurai’s multidimensional model of leadership in sport which focuses on transformational effects of sport leaders on individual satisfaction and group performance. The study was significant in that the effects of transformational leadership on individuals in sporting organizations have not been fully explored in previous research.

Both the MLQ and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) served as data collection tools. A sample of 500 athletic directors from across the United States was invited to participate in an electronic survey. Usable data were returned by 55 (11%) of the original sample. Participants self-assessed their leadership styles via the MLQ and job satisfaction via the MSQ. Data were analyzed via canonical correlation analysis followed by canonical commonality analysis. One canonical root was interpreted (Rc2 = .22; pCanonical structure coefficients indicated that Transformational and Passive/Avoidant Leadership made major contributions to the predictor canonical variate; the dependent canonical variate was defined by both Intrinsic and Extrinsic Satisfaction. Canonical commonality analysis indicated that Transformational Leadership had the largest unique variance partition; the largest common variance partition was shared by Transformational and Passive/Avoidant. The analysis also indicated two variable suppressor effects. There was a moderate correlation between athletic directors’ leadership styles and their job satisfaction; however, the directionality of the relationships of the variables in the leadership set with satisfaction was unexpected: (a) the relationship between transformational leadership and job satisfaction was found to be negative, and (b) the relationship between passive/avoidant leadership and job satisfaction was positive.