Team culture and leadership : a case study of the Northern Mystics netball team : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Sport and Exercise at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. EMBARGOED until 31 December 2020
A winning culture has been defined as “one in which everyone on the team is committed to creating a performance-focused environment, which in turn, provides the opportunity for the team and every individual on that team to win” (Goldsmith, 2007, p. 42). This case study examines the team culture and leadership of the Northern Mystics netball franchise team throughout the ANZ Championship competition between 2008 and 2014. It focuses on what past and present factors of the team culture and leadership have influenced the team’s perceived lack of success (41wins, 45%: 50 losses), and also what factors are important in creating a successful winning team for future seasons to come. Primary data was obtained through the use of in-depth, semi-structured interviews with both past and present Northern Mystics coaches (N = 4) and senior players (N = 3). The rich description provided by these interviews, combined with the lack of scholarly studies completed in this specific area of study, increased the credibility of this qualitative research. A case study analysis was chosen as it allows for the integration and contrasting of different perspectives to provide a detailed understanding of a context (Yin, 2009). Findings indicate that there is a need to re- establish, reinforce and commit to team values each season, and adopt a transformational and collective leadership approach involving informal and formal leaders to align cultural values. Whilst it is acknowledged that there are other aspects that affect team performance, it is hoped that these findings could potentially provide a catalyst and be of significant use to the Northern Mystics netball franchise, along with other high-performing sports team environments which will support the development and sustaining of a winning team culture.