This is the fifth in a series of five posts on the topic of integrity of game play. The first post in the series was about the negative impact of player misconduct on sportsmanship and game outcomes. The second post pondered whether tanking can ever be ethical and judged numerous examples of the practice in different sports to assess potential morality of these actions. The third post covered referee bias in different sports, analyzing its prevalence or presumptions of it and how this type of bias may relate to overall ethical decision-making and choice theory. Last week’s post discussed examples of organizational cheating operations by teams. Today’s post, the fifth and final in the series, will delve into examples of unethical leadership by coaches.
Coaches are some of the most popular, visible, and influential leaders in society. Their tone and conduct can have a ripple effect on the behavior by and achievements of the players and teams they influence. To the public, coaches often provide the institutional identity for the team, expressing their mission and values in the media as well as defining the terms on which the organization wishes to compete and be known. Within team organizations, coaches are the most important people managers, tasked with both developing individuals and demonstrating operational commitment to the team’s strategy for the game, season, and beyond.