Did we get up? Leadership in sport SCIence 5 years after the wake up call


Introduction. In 2017, Arthur, Bastordoz and Eklund published a crushing review on transformational leadership in Sport in Current Opinion in Psychology. They reported that most studies are still cross-sectional, single-source questionnaires without interventions, yet full of endogeneity. In line with the recommendations following the replication crisis in psychology (Open Science Colloboration, 2015), they recommend randomized controlled trials for leadership studies in sport. Has the wake up call been heard? Purpose. Based on the recommendations on making causal claims by Antonakis, Bendahan, Jacquart and Lalive (2010), we review what happened in the past 5 years. Method. A systematic mapping review following the PRISMA guidelines revealed n=38 empirical peer reviewed English studies on leadership in sport from 2017 until 2021 (N=4679 identified records after duplicate removal, Pubmed, Psychinfo, Sportdisc, Scopus, Psycharticles). Result. Of the 40 top ranked articles, we observed self-selected samples (37 out of 38), omitted regressors (37 out of 38), possible reversed causality and/or simultaneity and single source bias (37out of 38). None of the studies featured an experimental design. Conclusion. We are still asleep. We develop suggestions on how to improve empirical research in line with the recommendations. Antonakis, J., Bendahan, S., Jacquart, P., & Lalive, R. (2010). On making causal claims: A review and recommendations. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(6), 1086–1120. Arthur CA, Bastardoz N, Eklund R. (2017). Transformational leadership in sport: current status and future directions. Current Opinion Psychology,16,78-83. Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349, aac4716.