Case Study 5 Kent Lampert

Module/Week 6: Case Study 5 Kent Lampert


Each Case Study assignment is designed to help the student make application of course content to a real world situation. Read the assigned case study and connect the key issues in the case to assigned readings and presentations. Respond to the questions with direct, thorough responses.

Each case study assignment should include the following:

· Title Page in APA format

· Introduction to the case summarizing the situation

· Questions converted to sub-headings – responses to each question

· Strong conclusion that summarizes the ideas

· APA Style Reference page (as needed)

Submit each Case Study by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned module/week, except for Case Study 7, which is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.

Kent Lampert Case Study

One year ago Kent Lampert achieved his primary professional goal. At age 42, he was named athletic director of the third largest university in his state, StateUniversity. It was quite an accomplishment, considering that his background in athletics was modest and the university has had a history of hiring well-known high-profile former athletes to lead its athletic program.

As a child, Kent dreamed of playing professional sports, particularly basketball or golf. Ever since he could remember, sports were a big part of his life ,and he never doubted that he would someday be involved in the management of a sport organization. After high school, Kent attended a small private university where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While in college, Kent played on the basketball and golf teams, lettering in golf during his last two years. Upon graduation, Kent worked as a salesman for a small golf manufacturing company. He traveled to golf pro shops and sport stores throughout the midwest, promoting and selling the company’s golf equipment.

After seven years of golf equipment sales, Kent decided to go back to school at a local university to purse an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. While earning his MBA, Kent got involved with the intercollegiate athletic office by providing extra help for event management. In addition, he worked with the sport marketing department, using his skills in marketing the golf and soccer teams. When he earned his MBA, the university’s athletic director, recognizing Kent’s leadership traits, offered him a position as an assistant director of athletics to oversee minor sports. Kent enjoyed his new job, and coaches liked his leadership style. He worked with each coach and let the coaches participate in the marketing strategies for their particular sports. The coaches respected Kent’s marketing expertise and sought his advice regarding their operations. Word spread quickly of Kent’s success as an assistant athletic director, and it was apparent to many people that Kent had promise to be a good athletic director.

At the end of Kent’s fifth year as assistant athletic director, he received a phone call from StateUniversity asking if he was interested in interviewing for their position of athletic director. Kent was surprised yet honored by the call. After all, StateUniversity had a reputation of hiring former athletes, often alumni of the university. StateUniversity explained that they needed some new blood—fresh thoughts and ideas to improve their entire athletic program. Kent agreed to an interview; shortly afterwards he was offered and accepted the position of athletic director.

Kent had reached his goal of becoming an athletic director. Shortly after taking the reins, Kent learned that about 90 percent of the athletic administrators in the athletic department differed from him in one basic way: They had been promoted to their current positions within the organization. In fact, many had never worked for another university’s athletic department. This information was significant with regard to the dismissal of his predecessor, for he too had worked his way up through the university system, and his dismissal was opposed by most of the administrative staff.

Kent speculated that there would be some resentment toward him as an “outsider.” He was comforted, however, by the knowledge that the entire athletic board supported his appointment. Kent decided that he first had to convince the administrative staff that he could provide leadership. He prepared an official statement outlining his position on key issues. Included were the following points:

· His administration is focused on the future. He is not interested in the ways things were done in the past or in previous relationships or allegiances.

· He expects the administrative staff and coaches to function as a team, in order to accomplish department goals.

· The first goal of his administration is to review all of the programs from top to bottom and to come up with a strategic plan to improve all programs.

Before distributing the statement to all of the administrative staff and coaches, Kent had his associate and assistant athletic directors read it. As a group, they thought Kent was making a big mistake. They warned, “The rest of the administrative staff and coaches are not going to like your approach. That is not the way things have been done around here in the past. Coaches are used to reviewing their own programs and not receiving mandates from the athletic director.” Kent decided to send out the statement anyway.

1. Based on Kent’s progression through his career, how do you think his experiences might have shaped his leadership style?

2. What leadership traits does Kent have which might make him successful as an athletic director? What leadership traits might Kent need to improve in order to be successful in his new position as athletic director?

3. Using the various leadership models presented in Chapter 11, analyze Kent’s leadership style. What changes in style would you recommend to him that might result in acceptance of his official position statement?

4. According to Fiedler’s views on leadership, how might the university change the situation to make it more favorable to Kent? Do you think Kent can be successful in his new role as athletic director, assuming no major changes are made?

5. Which types of power does Kent have in his new role as athletic director? Which types of power would be most beneficial for anyone accepting the role of athletic director?

6. If you could find the “perfect” athletic director for State University, what leadership traits, characteristics, and style(s) would this type of person have?

7. Go online and find websites for three university intercollegiate athletic departments. After reviewing these sites, can you determine the type of leadership style of the athletic directors? Do there appear to be any visible trends in what makes a particular athletic director and department successful or not in terms of leadership traits, behaviors, and so forth?

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