The purpose of this research to determine the leadership practices of head athletic trainers (HATC) and program directors (PD) at Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs accredited institutions and to compare their leadership practices with those of leaders in other fields.
From a population of 553 HATCs and PDs, a total of 238 completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and provided demographic data. This sample included 120 HATCs and 118 PDs. The typical respondent was male (69%), Caucasian (97%), having 11-15 years of experience as an athletic trainer, and between the ages of 30 and 39 years (46%).
The most frequently engaged in leadership practices were Enable and Model, followed by Encourage, and then Challenge and Inspire. Compared with the Kouzes Posner normative database, athletic training leaders reported engaging significantly more frequently on Model and Enable, and significantly less frequently on Challenge and Inspire. The PDs reported using Inspire, Challenge, Enable and Encourage significantly more often than the HATCs did (with Model about reaching statistical significance at the .07 probability level).
No differences were found for the demographic variables of ethnicity, age, and years of experience for any of the five leadership practices. Female athletic training leaders and their male counterparts did not differ on Inspire, but the former reported engaging in Model, Challenge, Enable and Encourage more often than did males. The authors suggest that since most of the women in the sample were PDs rather than HATCs that “some of the difference may
have been due to the position responsibilities of the PDs rather than the different sexes of the respondents” (p. 124).