The role of collegiate sports participation in preparing women for executive leadership
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this qualitative research study was to determine the role of collegiate sports participation in preparing women for executive leadership. This qualitative inquiry utilized interviews with 11 female former college athletes who are presently in executive leadership positions in two-year colleges or the business and industry sector. The constant comparative method of qualitative analysis was employed to analyze the data. As a result of the data analysis, the following major categories emerged from the data: competition, getting along with others and working together, leadership and being in charge, learning opportunities, social context and networking, mentoring, and other activities that played a role in preparing for leadership. Within those categories, there were also several emergent themes. Findings in the study provided details of the role collegiate sports participation plays in preparing women for executive leadership and addressed the guiding research questions. Several conclusions were drawn from the study’s findings. Some of the noteworthy conclusions included the determination that there are numerous leadership traits that are acquired from or developed through collegiate sports participation and the study participants felt many of those traits played a role or are necessary in attaining or performing their executive leadership position. A compelling finding is the perception by the majority of the participants that working together and teamwork is a very important leadership trait, both in collegiate sports competition and in successful executive leadership. Additionally, the social context of collegiate sports creates an environment that is conducive to the acquisition and development of leadership skills.