Case Study Analysis 4: a Tale of Two Coaches Essay

1361 WordsApr 11, 20136 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…show more content…
A former player, Landon Turner, was paralyzed from a car accident and Bobby Knight worked tirelessly to help establish the Landon Turner Fund. When Turner returned to school following the accident, Coach Knight named him captain of the team he would never play for (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005b). Whereas Coach Knight displayed a transactional leadership style built around rewards and punishment, Coach K. took a transformational approach. He believed his players were trying to do their best, were self-motivated and wanted to perform. His role was to empower them, remove obstacles from their way, and set high goals while maintaining strict standards of practice (Klein, 2006). Coach K., who was more relationship oriented to Coach Knight’s task orientation, demonstrated an adaptive leadership style alternating from directive, “he taught discipline by investing heavily in drills and skills” (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005a), supportive, “he spent a large percentage of time getting inside a player’s head, understanding where the player is coming from” (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005a), participative, “he communicated up close and personal” (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005a) and expected his players to do the same with each other, and achievement-oriented, “Am I tough on the team? Absolutely. If they don’t show respect for the program, for the University, for one another, I’m all over them” (Snook, Perlow, & Delacey, 2005a). The
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