University of Limerick
Holden_2022_Leading.pdf (2.23 MB)

Leading off the field: A grounded theory study of cross- domain leader identity development from athlete leadership to business leaders

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posted on 2022-12-01, 08:36 authored by Aidan Holden

The objective of this study was to explore identity construction that captures the content of leader development through cross-domain experiences. The study investigated the lived experience of leaders from a sporting background who have transitioned out of sport into a  leadership position in the business. This study used grounded theory qualitative approach to research the phenomenon and explore experiences of leaders from a sporting background who have transitioned out of sport into a leadership position in business. The study used purposive  sampling to identify participants with in-depth insight into the study phenomenon, resulting in  robust findings. The criteria was that the participants had to be cross domain leaders i.e. sports leaders and hold leader positions in business. In total 16 national and international sports leaders  who have retired from sport and now hold leader positions in organisations were selected and  interviewed for the study. After recruiting the study participants, face-to-face interviews were  scheduled but due to Covid-19 few of the interviews were conducted through video call. All interviews were audio recorded. Each of the interviews last at least 60 minutes and was later  transcribed. Notes were taken during the interviews. The audio recordings were transcribed and then coded using the NVivo software package.   



  • Kemmy Business School


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Juliet Mac Mahon

Second supervisor

Sarah MacCurtain

Department or School

  • Work and Employment Studies

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