2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Jacqueline McDowell

George Mason University
An intersectional exploration of the perceptions of female athletic administrators displaying agentic behaviors

Studies have repeatedly found that when both male and female leaders occupy stereotypical male leadership roles and display traditionally masculine leadership styles (e.g. assertive, aggressive and dominant), female leaders are viewed less positively than male leaders who exhibit the same behaviors (Eagly et al., 1992; 2000).  Livingston, Rosette, and Washington’s (2012) investigation of the effects of a dominant leadership style on leaders’ outcomes found evidence that White female leaders were penalized for displaying agentic behaviors, but this effect was surprisingly not found for Black women. This study sought to replicate and extend Livingston, Rosette and Washington’s (2012) study by exploring consequences of assertiveness/dominance in a sports context. To obtain the necessary data, an online survey link was sent to associate and assistant athletic administrators in two conferences. The participants were presented with a scenario describing a meeting between the associate athletic director and an assistant athletic director who did not meet the athletic department’s expectations. The scenarios varied by demanding action and the associate athletic director expressing assertive or communal leadership style.  This presentation will discuss the findings of this investigation; and the career implications for Black women athletic administrators that display agentic behaviors.