© 2019

Servant Leadership in Sport

Theory and Practice

  • Bridges gap between theory and practice to show the applicability of positive psychology and servant leadership theory to sport management

  • Provides empirical evidence of the effective use of servant leadership principles in sport organizations

  • Written for academic audience and includes practical elements that will appeal to sport administrators and coaches

  • Provides a model for servant leadership with a focus on leader self-care and well-being


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Gregory S. Sullivan
    Pages 1-28
  3. Servant Leadership

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-30
    2. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 31-39
    3. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 41-65
    4. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 67-79
    5. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 81-113
  4. Positive Psychology: Well-Being as a Servant Leadership Antecedent

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-115
    2. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 117-121
    3. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 123-144
    4. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 145-157
    5. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 159-172
    6. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 173-187
    7. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 189-202
    8. Gregory S. Sullivan
      Pages 203-210
  5. Need Satisfaction: A Self-Determined Perspective

About this book


This book applies the principles of well-being theory and positive psychology to sport to establish a basis of servant leadership in sport organizations. Though the win-at-all-cost mentality is pervasive in sport, leading to acceptance of leadership styles more associated with controlling and extrinsic motivators, the author proposes need satisfaction based on three psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and belongingness, which leads to enhanced job performance, job satisfaction, and well-being. Through need satisfaction, servant leaders positively influence organizational outcomes by enabling followers' growth and well-being. This book will make a new contribution to sport management research in applying the principles of positive psychology to servant leadership and to sport.


positive psychology self-determination theory servant leadership need satisfaction well-being theory positive leadership sport management SDT

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Ohio UniversityAthensUSA

About the authors

Gregory S. Sullivan is Associate Professor and Director of the Professional Masters of Sports Administration (PMSA) program in the Department of Sports Administration, College of Business at Ohio University, USA. His research focuses on the role of positive psychology, servant leadership, and self-determined motivation in a sports context, both in the workplace and on the playing field.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Servant Leadership in Sport
  • Book Subtitle Theory and Practice
  • Authors Gregory S. Sullivan
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Business and Management Business and Management (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-11247-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-11248-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 297
  • Number of Illustrations 3 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Business Strategy/Leadership
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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