Organizational Context and Leadership

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Leadership and its relation to the context of the organization are very important to consider in a sport organization. The leadership structure may need to be adjusted to create a better fit for the context that surrounds the sport organization. Other times it may need to be the contextual features that need to be reorganized to fit the leaders or potential leaders within the sport organization. The environment of an organization may have a lot of impact on the leader of a sport organization. The context of the environment may change the qualities that may be needed for the leadership to be effective. For example, if you were to look at sporting goods store, you would want a leader who is good when working with customers and has good people skills. But, if you look at a leader who works in the accounting department then these skills may not be quite as important because they may be working with less people and the success of their work may not have much to do with customer interaction. Organizational change is a very big factor that may affect the leadership within a sport organization. Sport organizations need to stay competitive in their market and make sure they are trying their best to remain or push ahead of their competition. This may mean that the organization has to reorganize and evolve to remain competitive. Slack and Parent refer to this as evolutionary change, which would be when the sport organization shows signs of incremental change (2006). Whenever change like this occurs it may change the mission and focus of the organization. It is up to the leadership of the organization to implement or change current strategies of the organization to fit the new mission. How well the leaders of the sport organization carry this out, will affect the success of the change that the sport organization is deciding to make. If the leadership is unable to be successful in these changes then it could potentially cost them their job. For example, say that an NFL football coach needs to hire a new coaching staff, because his previous staff decided to leave the team because they did not agree with his coaching philosophy. Now the new coach brings on new members for his coaching staff and the team takes a turn for the worse for the next few seasons. This new coaching staff, that is struggling to bring together a winning team, may reflect very poorly on the head coach. This may lead to the general manager of the NFL team letting the head coach and his staff persons go because of the poor leadership in building a successful coaching staff. Leadership is very important within a sport organization and is affected by many different contextual factors.

How have you experienced contextual factors influence the leadership of a sport organization? Have you seen anyone in leadership lose their job because of the changing context surrounding the organization?