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Leading in multiple contexts: Investigating the meaning of leadership for sport officials [Abstract]

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conference contribution
posted on 17.06.2022, 10:38 authored by Steve Swanson, James SkinnerJames Skinner
Sport officials (e.g., referees) are an essential element of sporting competition, with the role of facilitating structure and fair play, the quality of spectator experience, and an environment conducive to optimal athlete performance (Cuskelly & Hoye, 2014; Kellett & Shilbury, 2007). However, despite their important positions in the production of organized sport, they have received very little attention in the field of sport management in comparison to athletes and coaches. Moreover, with such explicit positions of influence in the sporting environment, it is surprising that sport management research has yet to address the notion of leadership as it relates to officiating. The aim of the current research is to address this gap in the literature and gain initial insight on the meaning of leadership in the context of sport officials. Our investigation was framed around two main research questions: what characteristics are representative of an ideal leader in officiating?; and, what is the meaning of leadership in the context of officiating? This process in turn provided the foundation for a conceptual framework, which is developed and discussed in relation to the officiating context and other environments.



  • Loughborough University London

Published in

The 25th EASM Conference, 5-8 September 2017, Bern and Magglingen, Switzerland, Challenges and Developments of Sport Organisations, Book of Abstracts


143 - 144


SWANSON, S. and SKINNER, J., 2017. Leading in multiple contexts: Investigating the meaning of leadership for sport officials. Presented at the 25th European Association for Sport Management (EASM) Conference, Bern and Magglingen, Switzerland, 5-8th Sept.


25th EASM Conference


University of Bern, Bern Open Publishing


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© Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by University of Bern, Bern Open Publishing under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at:

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Tim Ströbel; Tim Breitbarth; Hippolyt Kempf; Claas Christian Germelmann; Siegfried Nagel,


Bern and Magglingen, Switzerland

Event dates

5th September 2017 - 8th September 2017

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