Staffordshire University logo
STORE - Staffordshire Online Repository

Leading Us To Well-being: Applying Identity Leadership To Structured Group Exercise Contexts

WOOD, Joanne (2023) Leading Us To Well-being: Applying Identity Leadership To Structured Group Exercise Contexts. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

WOOD Joanne PhD Thesis - final thesis.pdf - Submitted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (3MB) | Preview
[img] Text (EThOS Agreement)
J WOOD EThOS-Deposit-Agreement.doc - Other
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (111kB) | Request a copy

Abstract or description

The identity leadership approach, which states that leadership is a dynamic process involving influencing to achieve common goals (Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2020), has been applied to a variety of organizational and group contexts, and there is evidence to suggest that it can influence several outcomes including that of performance (Miller et al., 2021) and wellbeing (Steffens et al., 2017). Considering this potential and the acknowledgement that exercise leaders can positively influence exercisers (Killingbeck et al., 2017), the question of identity leadership within exercise settings seems worthy of further investigation; therefore, this thesis aimed to examine and apply the identity leadership model in structured exercise groups. Three studies are reported in three empirical chapters. Chapter 2 considered the relationships between identity leadership, mental well-being, and physical health, and the extent to which group identity and mobilisation of effort may mediate these relationships with a population of group exercisers (n =243). The findings indicated positive relationships between all variables and that most of the identity principles were significant predictors beyond group identity in hierarchical regressions; in addition, the relationship between identity leadership, mental well-being, and physical health was serially mediated via group identity and the mobilisation of effort. Extending these findings further experimentally, Chapter 3 utilised a quasi-experimental design (n =102) and tested the effect of exercise leaders engaging in the four principles of identity leadership (vs. not) on the group identity, mobilisation of effort, positive/negative affect and the intention to return of exercisers and non-exercisers. Significant differences were found across the four principles, with participants responding to the high identity leadership condition (compared to the control), indicating more significant levels of group identity, mobilisation of effort, positive affect, and intention to return to class, together with lower levels of negative affect. Building on these experimental results, the four principles of the approach were then applied in the form of an intervention study in Chapter 4. Here, two group exercise instructors were trained to deliver the original 5Rs programme with older adult exercise groups (n = 27) over an eight week period. A pre and post-design was utilised to test the efficacy of the approach and identity leadership’s impact on group identity, mobilisation of effort, mental well-being, physical health, affect, and fitness markers. Only fitness markers showed a significant change; however, all variables indicated positive shifts, producing small to large effects (Cohen’s d between 0.2 and 0.7), reflecting potential practical significance. Chapter 5 discusses the overall theoretical and practical implications of the findings, together with the strength and limitations of the programme of study. Overall, this thesis makes an original and significant contribution to the literature by suggesting that identity leadership has the potential to enhance the well-being of group exercisers through group identity and mobilisation of effort, by considering and applying the four identity leadership principles experimentally and via the 5Rs programme in group exercise settings, as well as extending leadership research within exercise psychology.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 15:15
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 15:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

DisabledGo Staffordshire University is a recognised   Investor in People. Sustain Staffs
Legal | Freedom of Information | Site Map | Job Vacancies
Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2DE t: +44 (0)1782 294000