Date of Award

12-6-2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Joan Scialli

Second Advisor

John Cipolla

Third Advisor

Kenneth L. Knight

Abstract

Employers identify leadership as a desirable characteristic of athletic trainers. The Board of Certification's Role Delineation Study advocates "knowledge of leadership styles," and "preparation for leadership roles" should be a "distinguishing characteristic" of post-certification athletic training education. The athletic training literature was weak in identifying leadership competencies or content important for practice or for inclusion in athletic training education programs (ATEPs). A two phase exploratory and comparative research study was conducted using a panel of 18 athletic training experts (Phase One, Modified Delphi Technique, mixed methods) and a randomly selected sample of 161 faculty and athletic training practitioners (Phase Two, National Survey) to determine leadership competencies and content necessary for athletic training practice and for inclusion in different types of ATEPs.

Phase One resulted in the Leadership Development in Athletic Training (LDAT) and its subscales, Athletic Training Leadership Competency Scale, and Leadership Content in Athletic Training Education Scale, establishing content validity, and acceptable inter-rater and internal consistency reliability estimates. In Phase Two, practitioners and faculty used the LDAT to rate the importance of leadership competencies and content important for athletic training practice and for inclusion in ATEPs. Coefficient alphas provided satisfactory estimates of internal consistency. Concurrent, construct, convergent, and criterion validity were established.

The 49 leadership competencies were rated significantly important for practice and for inclusion in ATEPs. Through exploratory factor analysis (EFA), leadership competencies were organized by four constructs, Personality Characteristics, Diagnosing Context/People Skills, Communication/Initiative, and Strategic Thinking. The 35 leadership content areas were rated as significantly important for inclusion in ATEPs. Through EFA, content areas were organized by three leadership constructs, Managerial Leadership and Knowledge Management, Leadership Theories, and Leadership Issues, Trends, and Policies. Each competency and content factor significantly increased in importance as the level of the ATEP progressed from entry-level, to post-certification, to doctoral. Few differences were found according to faculty and practitioners. Leadership competency and content is important for practice and for inclusion in ATEPs at all levels. Future studies should confirm factors and examine how leadership influences the practice of athletic trainers.

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