Effective Leadership Styles for Reducing Fan Apathy and Improved Revenue Collection: A Qualitative Inquiry from Professional Sports Teams’ Consultants
Proposed Project Framework
The methodological approach is clearly defined and includes constructs, phenomena, variables, and population.
To explore the most effective leadership styles that can be used to reduce fan apathy and improve revenue collection, this research will adopt the qualitative methodology. Kim et al. (2017) state that qualitative methodology is a kind of research method that is utilized when assessing knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions of individuals based on the topic under investigation. In this current research, the researcher intends to explore the knowledge, opinions, and experiences of professional sports consultants regarding the best leadership behaviors of leaders that positively influence fans in sports. Hence, the qualitative research method will allow the collection of qualitative data from professional sports consultants who have knowledge and experience of what leadership practices work well and those that are not reliable to change the behaviors of fans.
The findings from this research will be based on both ontological and epistemological assumptions. Ontologically speaking, understanding this particular subject matter of effective leadership practices will be entirely objective and independent of the researcher’s beliefs, thoughts, and ideas (Bryman & Bell, 2017). The relativism position of ontology assumes that there are numerous truths based on social reality. According to Leavy (2017), the reality is based on social construction and is continuously changing. This study also assumes that effective leadership styles in influencing fan apathy and revenue collection may vary depending on multiple truths based on the participants’ individual construction of reality. What are the perceptions, experiences, and actions of professional sports consultants. Based on epistemological assumptions, the researcher will focus on finding out the truth about the phenomenon, though not the absolute truth (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). More specifically, the social reality will be based on interpretivism assumption given that data individuals have different opinions and experiences regarding certain subject matters. Thus, the interpretivism philosophy will allow the researcher to analyse the perspectives of professional sports consultants who will have made their interpretations of the subject matter according to their experiences. In line with the use of interpretivism philosophy, an inductive approach will allow the researcher to explore rich and reliable data that will identify relationships and patterns for the leaders and fans. The inductive approach will also allow the researcher to extensively explore the subject matter leaving out no room for new issues to emerge (Denscombe, 2018).
This research will adopt a qualitative case study research design since it will involve accessing first-hand knowledge from professional sports consultants on their opinions about effective leadership styles that reduce fan apathy and increase revenue collection. Leavy (2017) noted that case study design gives freedom to the researcher to deliberately select suitable participants for the research. Since fan apathy is a trending issue in the sports context, findings from the qualitative case study design will be based on the interpretation and understanding of the perceptions and experiences of consultants in the sports profession. Bryman and Bell (2017) stated that case study design offers the researcher an opportunity for adaptability and flexibility to different situations.
Population and Sample
The targeted populations for this study are professional sports consultants because they are aware of the sports market trends. According to Woolway and Harwood (2020), sports consultants are involved in analyzing the trending issues in sports and then providing feedback to help in improving the performance of their clients. Hence, the ability of sports consultants to explore sports market trends clearly suggest that they have adequate first-hand knowledge of how leadership, team culture, and performance influence relationships with professional sports teams. The research will engage approximately 20 professional sports consultants from 10 sports marketing companies across the United States. The ten marketing companies in the sports industry will be selected based on the number of years that they have offered sports consultancy to their clients. The eligibility requirements will include at least three years of functional existence with physical offices established in the country. For the 20 professional sports consultants, the study will include only those individuals with over a year of experience in the company offering sports consultancy services. This eligibility criterion for the sample population will ensure that they possess adequate knowledge and experience in the sports industry to offer data that would generate reliable conclusions. Saunders et al. (2018) recommended small sample size for obtaining meaningful data in qualitative research. With limited participants, a researcher is able to obtain sufficient data and attain data saturation because recruiting additional respondents may not add new information to the already gathered facts.
Constructs, Phenomena, Variables
This research focuses on gathering perceptions on effective leadership practices that sports consultants have analyzed and are aware of. Hence, qualitative case study research will be most suitable for the collection of non-numerical data based on social reality regarding leadership, fan apathy, and revenue collection. Reduced fan apathy and increased revenue collection will be the key variables that will be measured to assess the effectiveness of the leadership practices suggested. The leadership styles that will be suggested by the respondents will represent the predictor variables. On the other hand, reduced fan apathy and increased revenue collection will be the dependent variables that will represent the effect emerging from the significant leadership styles used.
Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2017). Business research methods. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Creswell, J. W. & Creswell, J.D. (2018). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Denscombe, M. (2018). The Good Research Guide. 5th ed. Maidenhead, England: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.
Kim, H., Sefcik, J. & Bradway, C. (2017). Characteristics of Qualitative Descriptive Studies: A Systematic Review. Res Nurs Health, 40(1), pp. 23–42. doi:10.1002/nur.21768.
Leavy, P. (2017). Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Arts-Based, and Community-Based Participatory Research Approaches. London, New York: The Guilford Press.
Saunders, B., Sim, J., Kingstone, T., Baker, S., Water field, J., Bartlam, B., Burroughs, H. & Jinks, C. (2018). Saturation in qualitative research: Exploring its conceptualisation and operationalisation. Qual Quant, 52, pp.1893-1907. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-017-0574-8
Woolway, T. & Harwood, C.G. (2020) Consultant characteristics in sport psychology service provision: A critical review and future research directions, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 18:1, 46-63, DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2018.1462230