Differentiatie door coaches binnen amateursportteams: terecht of onterecht? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0921-5077
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7235


Differential treatment by coaches of amateur sports teams: right or wrong?

Differential treatment by coaches of amateur sports teams: right or wrong?

J.W.M. van Breukelen & W. Wesselius, Gedrag & Organisatie, volume 20, November 2007, nr. 4, pp. 427-444

A central assumption in the Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory is that leaders do not adopt a single style towards all members of their work unit, but treat the various team members differently. This may result in different kinds of working relationships between the leader and the various members ranging from formal to intense. The effects of these different LMX relationships are visible in important outcome variables such as job satisfaction and performance.

Not only in working organizations but also in the context of sports differential treatment by the coach seems a relevant topic. In this article we describe the results of a field study among the players (N = 218) of 21 amateur sports teams. Firstly, we investigated on which aspects the coaches of these teams differentiated between the various team members and how these incidents of differential treatment were experienced by the players in terms of justice and fairness. In addition, we analyzed whether the frequency and evaluation of differential treatment was related to the players' enthusiasm and to team atmosphere and team performance. Social differentiation was appreciated less than task differentiation. Especially task differentiation proved to be important for team performance.


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