1st Edition

Leadership in Sport Governance

By Ian O'Boyle, Joshua McLeod, Nick Takos Copyright 2025
    144 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    144 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is a concise introduction to leadership and governance theory and how they are applied in sport. Presenting a series of case studies from around the world, the book offers a detailed guide to best practice in the leadership of sport boards and organisations. 

    Drawing on cutting-edge research, the book sets out the core concepts and principles of good leadership and good governance, explaining their importance in an era in which sport organisations have become increasingly bound by legal frameworks and subject to greater calls for accountability from wider society. The book analyses the key issues related to leadership in sport governance, including leadership styles with a focus on authentic leadership; intra-group dynamics; managing conflict and trust; leading in multi-layered networks; strategic leadership, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), and it considers the differing requirements of sport leadership in different geographical locations, under varying challenges and pressures. 

    Full of illuminating cases, data and examples, this is invaluable reading for any course in sport business and management, and a useful primer for any sport business professional looking to improve their professional knowledge.

    1. Introduction to Leadership in Sport Governance

    2. Authentic Leadership in Sport Governance

    3. Intragroup Dynamics and Conflict

    4. Managing Conflict and Trust in Sport Governance

    5. Leading in Multi-Layered Sport Governance Networks

    6. Strategic Leadership in Sport Governance

    7. Gender Diversity in Sport Leadership and Governance

    8. Conclusion


    Ian O’Boyle is Professor at UniSA Business, University of South Australia. He is a leading researcher in the area of governance, leadership, and performance management focussed within the sporting context, and leads a highly successful applied research venture (CERM PI) that focusses on benchmarking and performance management in the sport and leisure industries. He is currently the lead Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Linkage Project “Social Impact and Connection in Community Sport” and has also been the lead Chief Investigator on another Australian Research Council Linkage Project “Exploring Wellbeing Outcomes in the Aquatic and Recreation Industry". 

    Joshua McLeod is Lecturer in Sport Management at Deakin University, Australia. His research interests centre on sport governance, sport strategy and organisational change. He has published research in leading sport journals including the Journal of Sport Management, Sport Management Review and European Sport Management Quarterly. Joshua has lectured in sport business and governance in business schools in Scotland, England, and Australia and delivers annual guest lectures in India and the United States. 

    Nick Takos is Lecturer and Researcher at UniSA Business, University of South Australia. His expertise is in leadership, organisational culture, management, and commercial operations, particularly in the sport and recreation context. Nick's research has been published in leading more than 20 years working in the sport and recreation industry, including roles with Adelaide Crows (AFL), Adelaide Thunderbirds (netball) and Adelaide Strikers, South Australian Redbacks and Scorpions (cricket). In 2021 he was a board member of the Adelaide Football Club, where he was the Chair of its inaugural Member Engagement Committee.