Case Study Analysis 4: a Tale of Two Coaches

1358 words 6 pages
Case Study Analysis Paper 4: A Tale of Two Coaches
Elizabeth Smith
Grand Canyon University: LDR 600
January 30, 2013

The path-goal theory describes the way leaders support their followers in achieving their goals by removing obstacles, clarifying expectations, and making the work more satisfying and rewarding. Leaders who adapt their style to the situation or the motivational needs of the follower can produce more successful outcomes (Northouse, 2010). The key considerations of this theoretical perspective will be analyzed in the leadership styles of two coaches, Coach Bobby Knight, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K.). Coach Knight and Coach K. shared a similar follower directive; do not do anything that could be damaging to
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Followers, who believe in themselves and have confidence in their skills, become motivated to do better resulting in improved outcomes for the leader, follower, and the organization. To influence motivation, an internal behavior, leaders must provide the follower with tools to improve their skills and to build their confidence. When analyzing Coach K. and Coach Knight, there is evidence of the LMX theory. Both Coach K. and Coach Knight provided a regimented training program to improve their players’ fundamental skills; it was their approach to motivating their players that varied. Coach Knight, a power wielder, led through command and control; he told his players what to do and expected them to do it without question, “Follow our rules, do exactly what we tell you and you will not lose” (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005b). Coach Knight’s influence was through external rewards and threats of punishment. Coach K. on the other hand motivated through a collaborative effort using assertiveness and empathy. He had high expectations, set goals, and expected results. He was demanding when his players needed it but also included them in solving problems as they arose (Allen, 2012). Both of these coaches, though using different approaches, experienced exceptional outcomes for themselves, their players, and their universities. “Coach K. had become as important to Duke University off the court as he was on it” (Snook,

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