The primary objective of this study was to describe the leadership behaviors of Georgia’s golf course superintendents, describe the outcomes generated by these behaviors, and determine a relationship between transformational leadership behaviors and leadership outcomes.
Data was collected using the Leadership Practices Inventory and a researcher-adapted perceived outcome survey from part of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass & Avolio, 1994) to the entire population (N = 278) of superintendents in the golf course industry that received emails via the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association (GGCSA) listserv, with 66 participating (24% response rate). All of the respondents were men, 42 years of age on average, with just over 20 years in the industry, 12 years as a golf superintendent, and 48 percent had college degrees.
Modeling the Way was the transformational leadership behavior most widely used, followed closely by Enabling Others to Act, and then Encourage the Heart, Challenge the Process, and Inspire a Shared Vision. Outcome assessments of Employee Effectiveness, Satisfaction, and Extra Effort were all significantly correlated with the five leadership practices. Correlations ranged between .46 (Challenge) and .65 (Model) for Employee Effectiveness. The range was between .54 (Inspire) and .64 (Model) for Satisfaction and between .32 (Encourage) and .45 (Enable) for Extra Effort.
The author concludes: “From this study the researcher can conclude that transformational leadership behaviors have a significant effect on how golf course superintendents lead their employees. Data from this study were consistent with the assumption that transformational leadership practices do have a positive and beneficial effect on leadership outcomes. These practices also could also have beneficial impacts on superintendent and employee educational and professional development, as well as increase inter-personal relationships among the two groups” (p. 46).