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Leadership among female National Intramural -Recreational Sports Association directors

Christie L Oelling, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to survey female National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) directors to determine what best reflected their perceptions of leadership dimensions within the field of recreation at four divisions of postsecondary institutions. This study used a quantitative methodological approach through a survey instrument to determine the most common leadership characteristics and qualities that define the current female NIRSA director. The population consisted of 215 women directors in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). ^ The findings of the study included: (a) The female NIRSA directors hold high standards of leadership with attitudes of passion, credibility, vision, and belief, with attributes of being prepared, being responsible, and being positive, and with skills/abilities to communicate, lead, and listen. (b) The female NIRSA directors have faced professional challenges of negative environments, equality issues, financial difficulties, and expectations of being a workaholic. (c) The female NIRSA director's leadership style is about being respectful towards their staff, empowering their staff, being good role models, taking the time to work one-on-one, fixing problems of their staff, and being demanding of their staff. (d) The female NIRSA director's purpose is about making a contribution to their institution, impacting students, leaving things better, providing opportunities to their staff, developing professional relationships, using their professional talents, instilling values, advancing the field of recreation, and working to make things happen. ^ The goal of the research was to inform the NIRSA membership (both men and women), current NIRSA leaders, and future female directors through various publications and presentations. The research results may also assist women in leadership roles guide and mentor young female professionals for future leadership. ^

Subject Area

Education, Physical|Recreation

Recommended Citation

Oelling, Christie L, "Leadership among female National Intramural -Recreational Sports Association directors" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3131552.