The Discourse of deputies: communicating co-leadership in a rugby club

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This paper examines leadership discourse in a small, non-commercial organisation with a hierarchical structure, a rugby club. The focus of the research is the captain of the club and the way in which he discursively constructs his identity as a deputy leader. The notion of covert leadership (Mintzberg 1998) is explored and extended by linking it to the concept of Relational Practice. The analysis demonstrates how, using covert leadership strategies, the captain accomplishes both relational and task-oriented leadership. Using an interactional sociolinguistics framework, three extracts of the captain's discourse are analysed in detail. These extracts were part of a larger corpus of data gathered from six months participant observation of a rugby club in Edinburgh, Scotland. The extracts show how the captain, as a deputy, helps the coach to provide effective leadership during the team in training sessions, and how he constructs different identities in order to achieve this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-98
Number of pages26
JournalTe reo
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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