Winning Better: Cases of Cultural Transformation in Sport and Coaching (RRU Webinar)

Please join us Wed April 15 12 noon PT for a Roads to Research (link) presentation with Dr. Jennifer Walinga Professor, School of Communication and Culture

  • Date: April 15
  • Time: noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Online in Collaborate (see link below)

Ultimately, all organizations are socio-technical systems in which the manner of external adaptation and the solution of internal integration problems are interdependent” (2004, 186). According to Schein and others, culture stems from underlying assumptions and beliefs which are represented through the values expressed, communicated, or enacted via any number and type of artifacts including structures, processes, systems, design, texts, and imagery. In our study of high performing sport organizations and teams, a key feature was that the team was led and facilitated by their coach, director, or CEO, but all team members became leaders, reminiscent of New Zealand Rugby 15’s All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw’s quote: “1 Captain, 15 Leaders.” Central to these high performance organizations was a non hierarchical leadership model governed by the underlying assumption that ‘sport is for human and social development’. This assumption drove the system, represented through the expressed and enacted values of integrity (including honesty, equality, equity), effort (and the constant striving or pursuit of excellence), and psychological safety (and the expectation that sport be a safe place to try and fail). These values were expressed through non-hierarchical structures, processes and systems including collaboration, curiosity, clarity, purposeful communication, and community support. These values underpinned non-hierarchical attitudes and behaviours such as perspective, appreciation for diversity, fun and positivity. The resulting environment fostered the development of leadership competencies and abilities such as self efficacy, self awareness, and resilience stemming from tolerance for lack of control (Walinga, 2008). Participants considered their egalitarian culture a key factor in reaching peak performances within and beyond sport including multiple Olympic and world championship gold medals, world records, and repeated and enduring success as a team. Findings may be relevant to multiple sectors.

To Join

Please click on the Collaborate link below and do the following:

  • Please use Google Chrome or Firefox. Other browsers are not supported and may cause technical difficulties. (Exception: If you are using an iPad or iPhone, you will need to use Safari).
  • Please note that your mic and video will be automatically muted upon entry for this webinar-style, recorded presentation. We may unmute for the Q&A.
  • Most of the presentation will take place over 30 minutes, questions may go over.
  • Use this link.

Research Services gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the Research Support Fund (RSF) in the development of this initiative. The RSF is administered by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat.

Roads to Research sessions are filmed. If you recently missed a presentation, check the RRU Roads to Research YouTube channel.

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