The lived experience of successful managers from the point of view of scientific skills using the method of narrative analysis

Document Type : Original


Department of Sport Management, Faculty of Sport Sciences and Health, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.



The purpose of the present study is to describe the scientific skills of the country's sports managers in their career paths using the method of narrative analysis. The method of qualitative research and narrative analysis was based on the interpretative paradigm in social sciences. The statistical source is the senior sports managers of the country in different periods and the snowball sampling method was used. A total of 15 interviews were conducted and theoretical saturation was achieved in the 13th interview. In-depth interviews were used to collect data based on the research method. To analyze the data, the method of thematic analysis (methodical coding) was used. Codes were extracted using MAXQDA software. 134 codes were extracted from the scientific skills of sports managers in the country, which were placed in the two components of managerial and leadership characteristics. Cohen's kappa coefficient for the reliability of the research results is 0.80 calculated. The most important factors that can be seen in the field of managerial characteristics in the country's successful managers are attention to human resource management, strategic vision, risk management, conflict management, stability in management, attention to knowledge acquisition, and the presence of young and hard-working forces, jihadi management and organizational work. Jihadi spirit, systemic view, and attention to shared leadership were associated with effectiveness and efficiency.


Main Subjects


Peter Drucker writes in his most recent and latest work titled Management Challenges in the 21st Century: The most valuable assets of a 20th century organization were its production equipment; while the most valuable asset of a 21st century organization —both commercial and non-commercial— is its scientific staff and the productivity of scientific staff. The productivity of scientific personnel is the biggest management challenge of the 21st century. Increasing the productivity of scientific workers in developed countries is the key to their survival. Developed countries cannot hope to maintain their existence in any other way; let alone maintaining their management and leadership and maintaining their living standards... knowledge, wisdom and skill acquisition in various lands have been continuously sought after by peoples and nations for a long time. But today, in the first decade of the third millennium AD, knowledge is considered a strategic factor for the success of the individual, organization and society, and it is the only resource that has value in its application. Therefore, the creation of knowledge and its production and consumption is the axis of sustainable development and a knowledge-oriented society. By passing from the industrial society to the information society, building a knowledge-oriented society has become possible. The latest research findings show that learning is the key to entering a knowledge-based society (Brans Ford et al., 2001).

Therefore, organizations in today's world are capable of conquering the peak of knowledge and scientific skills in the pyramid of the iceberg and always seek to improve it. Undoubtedly, organizations that are exempt from this will taste the bitter taste of failure. Is that the reason why the acquisition of scientific skills plays a vital role in the success of an organization?

Who can bring the ship of an organization to the shore of success and pass through the terrible storms in crises at critical moments in organizations? Without a doubt, these are successful managers with a set of skills. And this highlights the importance of holding management positions and placing a worthy person in a management position. How managers should follow this path is one of the important factors and a factor in the superiority of the organization over other competitors.

The success of organizations is not possible without having a capable manager, and a capable manager necessarily benefits from the required skills. The successful practice of management goes beyond the applications of the scientific method of solving problems. Appropriate application of management knowledge depends on the skills and abilities of the manager and may be considered as the art of management. The skillful and masterful practice of management is dependent on the characteristics of innovation, technical, human, and perceptive creativity of managers and is just as necessary as the science of management in achieving harmony (Jahanian, 2012).

Maintaining creative and capable managers and employees is one of the most fundamental challenges facing organizations to overcome the difficult conditions of tomorrow. In such a situation, one of the most basic and important challenges organizations face is the increasing need for capable employees in the coming years. What can help the organization to a certain extent against these challenges is choosing a job and the path of career development. Despite the lack of attention or lack of attention, it must be said that the issue of career path and choosing the right job for most employees is one of the important and ponderable concerns that many organizations are dealing with. Perhaps the reason for this can be seen as the increase in the demands of the employees on the one hand and the lack of responsiveness of the organization to the demands and needs of the employees on the other. Therefore, in facing this challenge, various approaches have been proposed, and one of the best solutions is the implementation of the career path model (Afkhami Ardakani & Farhi, 2018).

Therefore, in recent years, the focus and attention of managers and successful organizations have been directed to this issue. However, the review of studies shows that the issue of career paths in the field of human capital has not had much history and there are many theoretical dispersions in this regard. Nevertheless, extensive theoretical and practical efforts in the early 1960s-1975s created a wave in organizations that focused on knowledge and enrichment of jobs and positions that could motivate employees and managers (Safarzadeh et al., 2012).

Today, the role of knowledge management and development in the growth of organizations and nations is undeniable. The main factor in this area is human resources. Human resources are considered the most valuable organizational capital. Becoming human-centered is the main transformation in organizations. To improve human resources, extensive arrangements are made in leading organizations. In today's business environment, organizations play an important role in career development path systems. Management of the career development path, which is also known as organizational support for the development of the career development path or organizational support, refers to the programs, processes, and assistance that the organization provides to support and increase the success of the career development path of its employees (Kong et al., 2011).

The important point is that in this regard, the research conducted in the country is often quantitative and the need for in-depth analysis in this regard in sports organizations can create a perspective for sports managers, since human capital in organizations is considered one of the greatest assets of an organization. A successful manager helps to create tacit knowledge in the organization.

The review of the background and records of the research shows that the studies and research conducted in the country as well as foreign research regarding the career path and success experiences of managers have been done quantitatively, which highlights the importance of taking a deeper look at the issue, especially in the country's successful sports managers. Therefore, according to the importance of management in sports, the researcher aims to explain the roots of managers' success by analyzing their success by analyzing the narrative and story of valuable experiences in their professional model.

It should be noted that the possibility of using the method of narrative analysis in sports management is always expanding, and researchers and specialists in sports management may gain knowledge from the narration of personal experiences. This type of research can be profound and its understanding can lead to structural changes in human resource management. Narrative analysis experiences in marketing, advertising, policy studies, and leadership training will be useful for sports management practitioners. In many of these narratives, the author chooses what is written. Thus, faulty or good memory, perception management strategies, and selective recalling (and reporting) are involved in the text. Sayings create a link between the speaker and the audience (Renihart, 2005).

On the other hand, most of the researches conducted in the field of career path have been carried out quantitatively and the approaches that qualitatively explain the skills of managers in their career path are less visible, therefore the researchers were trying to find a perspective for people whose goal is to achieve the career path of the managers who went through the steps of promotion in the highest sports levels of the country and their efforts were to find out how much the success rate of the country's successful managers depends on scientific skills and what are the components of these factors.

Kelp & et al. (2023) To review A Career Preparation Course for Biomedical Science Majors Focused on Skills for Diverse Career Paths. Training in career preparation is vital for biomedical science, microbiology, and related life science undergraduates to know the types of careers available in the field, to obtain employment after graduation, and to be successful in these careers. Therefore, they created a career preparation course for second and third year students in biomedical sciences, microbiology, biology and related fields and found that these courses are effective.

Nazari & Rafeeie (2023) to review the Classical Model of Strategic Behavior of Iranian Sports Managers. The findings of this study showed that the components of behavior including political, supportive, ethical, investment, entrepreneurial, innovative, mentoring, conservative and opportunistic behavior can be a suitable behavioral model for Iranian sports managers. Knowledge, strategic thinking and skills of managers complement this behavioral pattern. The findings also showed that in this pattern of behavior, which was ideal for participating managers, items such as organizational barriers and problems, managers' styles and individual differences are among the confounding factors in this model.

Rahimi kia et al. (2022) This research was conducted to design a career development model for physical education managers in Tehran municipality. The research method is qualitative and based on foundation data theory. The participants included 22 members of the university faculty in the field of sports management, mayors and deputy mayors of 22 districts of Tehran Municipality, and physical education managers of Tehran Municipality. Data was collected through in-depth and semi-structured interviews and to measure the validity of the instrument, acceptability, transferability, and verifiability were used became. Data analysis was done through three stages of coding (open, central, and selective). Based on the results of the obtained model of the career path development process in physical education managers the career path development concepts resulting from this research can have an impact on the final performance of the municipality to achieve the development of managers and superior organizational goals.

Smith (2020) conducted a narrative research in a fictional research about the professional identity of middle-level female managers through goal, role, context and system-oriented theory. The findings indicated that aligning and achieving goals, role and context, the basic principle is the pivot system. And also the results showed the professional identity of the participants including characteristics of leaders such as ambitious, motivated, ethical and authentic.

Shokri Amlashi et al. (2018) This research aims to investigate the effective role of integration and development of the career path (career path) in sports coaches, in which an overview of the career path development system (career path) is emphasized. In the field of management Career path, definitions and concepts of career path planning and management have been taken into consideration. Career path management functions including training, development, and evaluation of career paths in the sports coaching profession have the influence and role of athlete performance management, development, and success of sports organizations and have higher effectiveness. It causes and ensures a stable survival in the competitive market and leads to investment in human resources and the standard of human resource development in sports coaches of any country.

Foroghi Nematollahi & Deondri (2017) in their research, they understood and recounted the lived experience of successful managers in Bank Mellat and identified the factors that played a role in this success. The philosophical orientation of this research is interpretative and based on social structuralism, which was conducted with the narrative research method. The number of ten participants was selected purposefully and the research data was collected by the conversational interview method. The results show that career success can be defined in two distinct ways, career success as an achievement and career success as a blessing. In achieving this success, the role of the five human, social, motivational, psychological, and spiritual capitals is of special importance.

Pourezzat et al. (2017) investigated career path stories with the approach of narrative analysis (structural and content). The structural and content analysis of people's career paths indicates that 4 types of stories including ups and downs, indifference, and decline can be identified in the participants' career path stories. In addition, the themes of interpersonal relationships, control, preparedness, coping, job position, and psychological damage are also among the most important themes that have been repeated in the story of the participants' career paths. The results of this study show that narrative methods help to understand the meaning of people from the experience of the career path of dignity and provide the possibility of changing or improving it.

Considering whether successful sports managers progress their progress step by step and sometimes it is done quickly and non-stepwise, the question arises as to how this path can be followed and what skills this makes it important. In addition to the skills mentioned in general about career development in previous researches, it is possible to mention the weapon of science in cases where the researcher wanted to find out if scientific skills and education related to sports play a role in progress in the country. Is there a career path for successful managers or not?


Research Methods

The goal of the researcher is to understand the phenomena from the perspective of the participants in their own institutional and social context. The research has been started without an initial hypothesis and with the aim of discovery. The inductive approach to reach a general concept by resorting to mixed-field data and the narrative research method has been chosen to carry out the research. The goal of the researchers in choosing the narrative-biographical research design was the complete compatibility of this design with the general goals of the research. By using this approach, it is possible to collect people's experiences and their stories in the form of anecdotes. The main strength of this method is the ability to represent individual and social experiences and create meaning from them (Bluestin, 2017).

Narrative research is a research strategy based on which the researcher studies people's lives and asks one or more people to tell their life stories. It then recounts or reconstructs this information in the form of a chronological narrative. At the end of the said narrative, the researcher combines the views of the participant's life with his view of life in the form of a collective narrative. (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000, p. 5).

To analyze the data, the method of theme analysis (methodical coding) was used. The theme shows important information about the data and research questions and to some extent shows the meaning and concept of the pattern in a set of data and it is obtained through continuous back and forth between the set of data and coded summaries and data analysis, and as in Table 1, is considered, it has six stages (Braun and Clark, 2006).

Table 1- Phases of Thematic Analysis

4. Reviewing themes

1. Familiarizing yourself with your data:

5. Defining and naming themes:

2. Generating initial codes:

6. Producing the report:

3. Searching for themes:

Source: Brown and Clark (2006)


The current research seeks to briefly examine the career path and consider it as a mental phenomenon, to investigate the stories of people's career paths using narrative analysis methods. In other words, and in short, the paradigm shifts in career path research and the narrative view of career path, as a mental phenomenon that a person understands in the form of a story and gives meaning to it, has provided the ground for research with a narrative and narrative approach to career path. And this research also takes steps in this direction. From this point of view, subjectivity arises from the heart of the narrative. The subject comes into existence from the heart and through the expression of the narrative. This view of narration is considered the product of historical, social, cultural, political, and economic discourses. (Pourrezzat et al., 2017).

The research environment of male sports managers of the country is in the organizational space of the Ministry of Sports, sports federations, the National Olympic Committee, and the Ministry of Education related to student sports. In general, sports managers have served in several positions in the mentioned organizations according to their careers. Considering the sensitive atmosphere of the country's sports and the country's political, economic, and cultural fluctuations, extensive sanctions in the years after the Islamic revolution and numerous problems in holding and the presence or absence of athletes in international arenas have given valuable experiences to the senior managers of the country's sports. In the form of tacit knowledge, it is not even written and these valuable experiences have been passed on to generations, although the presence and participation of women have increased in recent years, their qualitative participation has not reached the desired level and there has been no significant progress in this field. Among these, various factors cause women to lag in various fields of employment and managed positions (Mehrara et al., 2016).

The glass ceiling is the same obstacle in the way for women to reach the top level of the organization. What is obvious is that investing in women's education by increasing their skills and readiness to enter the labor market contributes to sustainable economic development based on knowledge and the application of technology (Malek Ara, 2019).

The statistical population is successful managers in the country's sports field. The statistical population of the research was conducted through in-depth interviews using the storytelling method in the method of narrative analysis about the success of managers in their career path and their professional model. A combination of snowball and theoretical sampling was used to select the samples, and the interviews continued until theoretical saturation was reached. It is necessary to explain that successful sports managers who have grown in the body of sports organizations and achieved significant success were the main audience of this research. These people were sports managers working in the Ministry of Sports, the National Olympic Committee, sports federations, and university sports managers.

Luthans (1988) discussed the difference between successful and effective managers. In this research, 450 managers were investigated. Using data analysis, networking had the highest relative share in successful managers and more importantly, human resource management activities had the lowest relative share. This research on real managers, in general, found that the greatest contribution to effective managers is due to communication and human resource management activities. However, the importance of these findings was that the least relative contribution to the effectiveness of real managers is due to networking activity. Network activity had the strongest relative relationship with success, while it had the weakest relationship with effectiveness. Therefore, the findings of successful managers operationally refer to managers who grow quickly in their career path and their progress in their career path in the organization is more than others. In the continuation of the research, it states that real managers who are both successful and effective have a relatively balanced approach in the field. They use their activities. In other words, real managers can create a fine balance between all four management activities including traditional management, communication, human resource management, and networking).

According to this, the selection criterion of the people who participated in this study and the interviews was not necessarily effective, the criterion of their selection is success in the career path, but according to the information collected from the interviews and the attention of the research team to the performance of the interviewees, their effectiveness in the organizations under their command could not be denied and it was evident in the investigation.

In this research, the participants were selected in a purposeful way and further based on the snowball logic, in such a way that people were selected based on the opinion of experts and interviewed with them. They introduced a person who was chosen by the opinion of the experts of the participants. The criteria of these selections included progress in the career path in the shortest time, holding a job position at the time of the interview and influencing the country's sports at the macro level of sports management.

It was noted to all the samples under investigation that all their information and answers are preserved in the research process and all ethical points including their demographic characteristics are observed.

Max QDA version 20 software was used for greater coherence and easier access in the analysis process. In the process of data analysis, unbiasedness has been observed by the researcher and the process of interviews continued until theoretical saturation. Later, two more interviews were conducted, but since no new code was extracted and theoretical saturation was achieved, the coding process ended with 13 participants.

In order to ensure the reliability of the research, in addition to having a research scenario, it was tried, based on the narratives of the interviews, data collection should be done from several different sources. Also, in the selection of the participants, an effort was made to consider the diversity of the participants in terms of demographic variables, cultural background.

In addition to the above, in the early stages of coding from the recoding method by two researcher was used and its reliability was determined with the help of Max QDA software.

Although the nature of the research data is narrative and systematic and the nature of the analysis is hermeneutic, it can be valid and reliable. They are presented as the criteria for evaluating the quality of research (Kelchtermans, 1994).

Validity (credibility) the purpose of the validity process of research is to convince the readers and confirm the adequacy of the strength of the research claim so as to be placed as a basis for understanding and action in the relevant field. Narrative research claims about the meaning of people's life experiences and how people perceive themselves, others and the situation. Like most qualitative research, narrative research consists of two main activities. 1) Collecting evidence and data 2) analyzing and changing data (Polkinghorne, 2007).

In order to ensure the validity of the research, various measures have been considered in the data collection section; first, the systematic design of the information gathering tool (interview framework) and its modification and completion using the opinion of experts in two stages, before the start of the interviews as well as after conducting the first two to three interviews. Second, accurate and targeted selection of interviewees and third, re-reviewing the original text and the points extracted by the interviewees and completing and modifying them in order to confirm the interpretations and perceptions. The most important technique to ensure the validity of the research is communicative validity, in such a way that the initial text of the interview (implemented) as well as the interpretations extracted from each interview are provided to the participants in separate stages and the impressions are completed and modified upon receiving feedback (Kelchtermans, 1994).

According to the explanations given in the data analysis and interpretation stage, an attempt was made to increase the validity of the research by using methodical analysis (multi-stage thematic analysis).



Scientific management skills

Scientific management skills were one of the factors that were calculated from the in-depth interviews with the successful sports managers of the country. During the last century and recent years, management has progressed significantly from a scientific point of view. According to the in-depth interviews, the research team concluded that scientific skills, and management in sports a skills and capital that must be acquired because sports, due to special sensitivities, need more for managers to learn the scientific aspects of sports management.

A point that should not be neglected according to Luthans (1988) findings, in this research, the selection of successful managers has been based on the progress of their career paths, and the performance of managers, including effectiveness or efficiency, and such things can be investigated in other studies.

Today, one of the relative, important, and fundamental advantages of organizations in a competitive and uncertain environment is their management, therefore, without a doubt, one of the relative, important and fundamental advantages of organizations in a competitive and uncertain environment is their management, therefore, without a doubt, effective and efficient management guarantees the organization's success in achieving its goals and strategies. Every organization is (Hunt, 2003).

Peterson (2004) believes that management skills improve managed performance and help the organization achieve its goals. According to Katz (2009), skills show abilities that can be developed and show themselves in performance and rarely in the form of It is potential. Hasko (2006) states the skills needed for leadership as one of the main requirements of teamwork. He believes that proper teamwork requires having the necessary skills that managers acquire by delegating responsibility to team members and subordinates. Scientific management skills for successful managers were calculated from two components of leadership and management characteristics.

According to the codes extracted from the interviews, the components that lead to the component of scientific management skills of the country's successful sports managers are shown in Table 2.

Table 2- Codes extracted from management science skills



Scientific management skills



Management features





In the following, the tree diagram extracted from the MAX QDA software is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Tree diagram of management science skills



From thirteen coded interviews, 134 codes were counted, of which 108 codes were related to the management characteristics component and 26 codes were assigned to leadership skills.

Management features are related to the manager's ability to perform his managerial duties. Successful sports managers have managerial characteristics including management of organizational behavior and human resources, strategic management, risk management, managerial stability, acquisition of managerial skills, effective and efficient management, performance management, jihadi management, participatory management, talent management, a delegation of authority, system management and contingency management was considered important factors in organizational management. Which is specified in table 3.

Table 3- Codes extracted from the management features component

Management features



Management of organizational behavior and human resources



Strategic Management



risk management



Management stability



Acquisition of management skills



Effective and efficient management



performance management



Jihadi management



Participatory Management



talent management



delegation of authority



System management



contingency management




Human resources management

In the era of new phenomena and innovations, rapid environmental changes, the process of globalization, and the significant growth of technologies compared to the past, the market conditions have become more competitive, and the emergence of a new type of organization that pays attention to the macro and fundamental dimensions of organizations to survive in this competition. On the other hand, in the organizations of the third millennium, where we are witnessing moment-to-moment changes and developments, the formation of active and empathetic groups and teams is necessary for survival, and project-oriented organizations are a clear example of these types of teams and the solution to the problems of today's organizations. Organizations that want to survive in the current era must be agile and have the ability to thrive in a changing, unstable, and unpredictable environment. In fact, organizational agility is a new paradigm for engineering organizations and competitive enterprises today. Organizations active in the field of construction, as project-oriented organizations, are not excluded from this case, and in order to achieve success and appear in the competition scene, they focus on the factors that lead to their success. To successfully complete and complete their multiple projects, these organizations have the most focus and attention on the activities of workshops and project sites, and perhaps the position and role of human resources management is ignored in many of these organizations, if Human resource management is based on effective and efficient actions and services that can achieve individual and organizational goals with the effective use of people (Heidari Kurd Zanganeh & Jafari, 2022).

In the management of organizational behavior, hiring skilled human resources, respecting employees, motivating employees, trusting human resources, and timely implementation of headquarters actions were among the things that were mentioned. In the strategic management section, the use of time and place opportunities, attention to the organization's strengths and weaknesses, and having a vision were mentioned. To manage the risk, the foundation of new and correct administrative systems was mentioned. Other valuable codes in this department can be mentioned as trusting the youth in the talent management department - Jihadist spirit and organizational work in the Jihadist management department.

Table 4- Parts of the interview component of behavioral characteristics

Interviewee number (2) Human resource management

I think that a manager who can have good and skilled employees by her side can get good results

Interviewee number (1) Human resources management

First of all, I had trust in the employees that some people say that people should be trusted, but I don't accept that they don't. I believe that all the people of Iran may be an exception, but the majority are interested in the progress of the country.

Interviewee number (9) strategic management

Our football was suspended. At that time, I was in charge. Our duty was to prepare the constitution of the federation. This was a threat from outside that we had to turn into an opportunity.

Interviewee number (3) Jihadi management

In my opinion, a manager who wants to work in the field of sports should definitely have a jihadist spirit and jihadist work.



Leadership is the process of influencing followers to achieve expected results. The manner of this influence is explained based on the behaviors and inherent characteristics of the leader, the perceptions of the followers, and the context in which the influence process occurs. Leaders create culture and their main role is to influence others. In such a way that they eagerly follow the predetermined goals (Politis, 2001, p. 356).

Leading the process of guiding and exerting influence on the activities of the group or members of the organization. Such a definition has three important uses. First: Leadership is brought up about subordinates or other people (such as subordinates or followers) because these people or followers must accept the leader's orders, determine the percentage of his position and dignity, and as a result, make the process possible, all the qualities and characteristics of leadership without the presence of followers. And the subordinate will become nothing. Second: Leadership requires an unequal distribution of power between the leader and group members, although group members are not powerless and can shape group activities in multiple ways. But there is no doubt that leadership power is usually greater. Third: the leadership aspect is his ability to use different forms of power to influence the behavior of followers in different ways (Rezaian, 2012, p. 389-388).

 In Table 5 below, the components of the leadership component are mentioned. and in figure 2 the tree diagram of the leadership component can be seen.

Table 5- Codes extracted from the leadership component




Direct reference to leadership



Team building and teamwork



The art of guidance and leadership



Collaborative leadership



Influence others




Team building and teamwork were other factors that were obtained from the interviews. Teamwork and team building were some of the things that the country's successful sports managers expressed as one of the success factors in their careers.

The important challenge of every team is to create a balance between the selection and training of people, so that a means to gather a complete set of complementary skills needed, to fulfill the team's goal, is provided. For team building, it should be considered how the characters in the team should solve real problems and make decisions about them, as well as how to interact with other team members. Finally, and most importantly, the methods of identifying the right people and selecting them for innovative teams. On the other hand, to build innovative teams, knowing successful team-building behaviors is a basic requirement, and managers who are equipped with this knowledge will be successful in performing dynamic teamwork (Maharti et al., 2012).

Fixed teams made up of people who have learned to work well together over time can be powerful tools; but today, in most cases, due to the speed of changes, the intensity of competition in the market, and the unpredictability of customer needs, there is not enough time to build such teams. On the other hand, for team building, organizations should not only gather their dispersed employees from different fields and departments, but also gather external experts and stakeholders, after reaching the goal for which the team was formed, or dissolve it until a new opportunity arises. Team building helps people acquire knowledge, and skills creates communication networks, and allows companies to speed up the delivery of current products and services while responding quickly to new opportunities. Team building is a way of doing things while understanding how to do them better. Team building, execution, and learning are at the same time. Situations that require team building are complex, uncertain, full of unexpected events, and require rapid changes during work. No two projects are the same, therefore, people must constantly have the latest knowledge and information on completely new topics. Since solutions can be provided from anywhere in the organization, team members can also be from anywhere in the organization. When it is not possible to identify the appropriate skills and knowledge in advance and trust that the conditions will not change, the leader's emphasis should change from the formation and management of teams to the formation and development of dynamic team building (Edmondson, 2012).

Leadership component

Pierce and Adams (2009) consider participative leadership as an interwoven process with a horizontal structure that is democratically distributed among people to achieve the goals of the team or organization through the influence of group members on each other, and they state that this model is right in It is opposed to the traditional leadership with a vertical structure that indicates the one-sided rule of the leader over the subordinates. Shared leadership is an interactive and dynamic process that occurs between people in a group or organization and each person influences the other to achieve the goals of the group or organization (Kazemi & Alavi, 2013).

Hoch & Dulebohn (2013) conducted research to use Shared leadership in planning organizational resources and implementing a human resource management system and concluded that Shared leadership in the organization increases the participation of employees in various programs of the organization. Increasing participation has led to the identification of various abilities of employees and this will lead to the optimal allocation of human resources in different parts of the organization (Bagharian Far, 2016).

Shared leadership represents a form of team leadership where the team members, rather than only a single team leader, engage in leadership behaviors Hoch & Dulebohn (2013).

Charismatic leadership

To understand charismatic leadership, it is important to realize that it is an attribution based on followers' perceptions and interpretations of their leader's behavior. There are a set of leader behaviors which distinguish charismatic from non-charismatic leadership, and these are presented in a stage model of leading others. In addition, the behaviors associated with charismatic leadership are a constellation. The expression or presence of a single behavior associated with charismatic leadership is rarely sufficient in itself to engender the attribution of charisma. Instead a critical mass of behaviors must be present (Conger, 2015).

Figure 2. Leadership component tree diagram


Some of the interviews conducted from the leadership component are listed in Table 6.

Table 6- Parts of the component interview (leadership)

Interviewee number (7) leadership

An example of all these features is perhaps the choice of the word leadership. A person who is involved in all matters, first to understand the situation, define himself before everyone else in all work and activities, can be a successful manager.

Interviewee number (12) influence in others - charisma

In the project of the champion school in the student competitions, we had to make the manager our own. What happened was that we had 700 supervisors in this plan and this influence on the managers helped us a lot.

A support system (and financial support) was formed from the school and parents.


One of the best methods to measure validity is to get the opinion of experts, if the questions that target the subject of the research are approved by the experts, the validity of the research is also confirmed, which was achieved in this research.

Different methods have been introduced to measure reliability, including percentage agreement, Holstein's method, Krippendorff's alpha, Cohen's kappa, and Scott's pie (Neondorff, 2002).

In these methods, coding can be repeated in two ways. Either coding by the researcher himself and with a meaningful time interval or asking another person who is an expert in this work and after that, comparing the results of these two coding’s. In this research, it was used to determine the reliability of coding. Through this coefficient, the amount of interviews can be evaluated from the intra-subject kappa coefficient of agreement between two measurements (by two people or two tools or at two time points). To calculate the reliability of coding in this method, after a period of time, a number of interviews were coded again (Pourezzat et al., 2016).

In conclusion, according to the explanations that have been said in the field of reliability.

The kappa statistic is as follows:

The reliability of the research was obtained through Cohen's Kappa coefficient method using MAXQDA software version number 20. In this way, a few months later, coding was done again on part of the interviews, the output of the software is given below. The kappa coefficient obtained was calculated as 0.80.

The output of the software regarding the Kappa coefficient can be seen in Table 7.

Table7- Cohen's Kappa coefficient


Coder 1







Coder 2


a = 46

b = 5



c = 6











If there is an unequal number of codes per segment or if only one code is to be evaluated:

P(chance)=Pc=Number-of-codes/(Number-of-codes+1)2 =0.04

Kappa = (Po - Pc) / (1 - Pc) = 0.80



Career path success is one of the important and influential factors for taking long steps toward building and productivity of a country (Santoz, 2016). Training efficient and effective human resources as well as proper planning in their education is one of the main duties of universities; Because students are the precious capital of a country and one of their most important concerns is finding a job and success in that country. Through success in education, students can reach a position where they can use their maximum internal and external power to achieve the goals of higher education and obtain the necessary conditions for a successful social and professional life. Since the success of the career path reduces negative consequences and increases job performance (Naami & Piryaei, 2012). Therefore, in addition to the country's sports managers, this research is also useful for students of sports management and physical education branches.

Acknowledging that the country's sports managers have expertise in sports is one of the most important achievements of this research, and the country's officials should keep in mind the importance of using sports managers in the selection of sports managers. Managers who are proficient in technical knowledge know very well what the concerns in the country's sports are. What are the needs of athletes? Or what should be the correct view of national and international sports? Unfortunately, the presence of non-sports managers is one of the biggest complaints of managers in sports in the country. Because being in the sports environment and touching the problems of an athlete makes the correct factor in decision-making.

The most important factors that can be seen in the field of managerial characteristics in the country's successful managers are attention to human resource management, strategic vision, risk management, conflict management, stability in management, attention to knowledge acquisition, and the presence of young and hard-working forces, jihadist management and organizational work. Jihadi spirit, systemic view, and attention to contingency management were associated with effectiveness and efficiency.

Also, in the field of leadership, influence, and charisma, the art of guiding and leading, shared leadership and teamwork were prominent factors in the codes mentioned by the country's successful managers.

This type of research is a step in clarifying the implicit knowledge of managers that is never written and will be a legacy for organizations and people who achieve success in sports organizations.

One of the most important factors mentioned by the country's successful sports managers in the success of their career path was the role of scientific skills in advancing their goals and the organization under their command. Being up-to-date in terms of science, communication with scientific and academic centers, as well as studying and increasing the level of knowledge. One of the important things mentioned by successful managers was sports.

According to the results obtained, sports managers need to learn management characteristics, including management of organizational behavior and human resources, strategic management, risk management, management stability, acquisition of management skills, effective and efficient management, performance management, jihadi management, Participatory management (Shared management), talent management, delegation of authority, system management, contingency management, and learning its principles is one of the requirements of managers. In these fields, increasing the level of knowledge and scientific ability is very important.

In the leadership section, learning tips that cause greater impact and influence on employees and are acquired are among other things worth mentioning for the country's sports managers, which include learning the acquired skills of leadership, team building and teamwork, the art of guidance and leadership, collaborative leadership and the ability to influence others is one of the requirements of managers in their learned skills. It is very clear that a manager who has the mentioned abilities has the ability to lead and supervise the organization and has more capabilities during his career path.



It is recommended that according to the existence of sports managers in the country and their experiences, researchers use their tacit knowledge by using the method of narrative analysis. Due to the fact that narrative analysis depends on time and place, organizations and conditions, different results are obtained in other organizations and areas and even in other times. It is important to expand the method of narrative analysis in different situations.

Learning that part of scientific management and leadership skills that is acquired is recommended for the development of the career path of managers, and increasing the level of knowledge and staying up-to-date is also a requirement for the development of the career path. Conducting qualitative research of the narrative analysis type at the macro level of the country's administration in other sectors can also have huge achievements in clarifying the career path for the finders and seekers of this path and enlighten their path.



The authors are grateful to everyone who helped in conducting this research.


Conflicts of Interest

There is no conflict of interest.



The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.


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