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Leadership Style, Machiavellianism and Fair Play at the School: Interaction of Instructors and Students in Physical Education

DOI: 10.4236/jss.2019.71012, PP. 130-146

Keywords: Leadership Style, Fair Play, Machiavellianism, Physical Education

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Abstract:

In this study, correlations among physical education instructors’ leadership style and students’ fair play behaviors and Machiavellian tactics were examined. The sample consisted of 292 students (151 males, 141 females) of 10 - 15 years old from primary and secondary schools. Three types of questionnaires were completed during physical education courses. Statistically significant differences were observed in perceived instructors’ leadership style (more “autocratic” style toward male students and “democratic” toward female), antisocial behaviors by male students and pro-social behaviors by the female ones and Machiavellianism by male students. It has been found that the students of the 5th class of primary school are especially susceptible to see autocratic leadership style on their instructors and to perceive more gamesmanship, cheating, and Machiavellianism on themselves. However, the students of the 3rd class of secondary school tend to see more democratic leadership style on their instructors and to believe that they present more convention and respectfulness to their teammates. Perceived instructors’ autocratic leadership style was negatively related to students’ prosocial fair play behaviors, while it was positively related to students’ antisocial fair play behaviors and Machiavellian tactics. Moreover, leadership style could significantly predict the variables of students’ fair play behaviors and Machiavellianism. Three particular profiles have been proposed: the “bad and controlled student”, the “respectful and weak student” and the “typical autocratic instructor”. Thus, both academic and practical added value is expected to have been produced by the particular research.

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