Coach Knight and Coach K Case Study

Topics: Leadership, Management, Organizational studies and human resource management Pages: 3 (1009 words) Published: October 2, 2011
MANA 6100 Organizational Behavior
Write-up: Coach Knight& Coach K
Xiaoyu Chang (Sherry)

Background: Comparison between Coach Knight and Coach K
Looking into the stories of two most successful college basketball coaches and their distinct leadership management, we can figure out the basic assumptions about preferred leading styles, motivation, and human nature. I think a good question may be asked on the basis of the case, “To be loved or to be feared, which is better in leadership?” Coach Knight’s leadership style

The commendatory terms that appeared most frequently in Coach Knight’s story are like: passionate, demanding, extraordinary accomplishment, prepared, disciplined, meticulous, planned, flawless, legendary and so on. However, there is also a bunch of opposite description on his controversial leading practice like: accused, unacceptable, intimidate, profanity, fury, tyrant, outraged, foul-mouthed, foul-tempered, bully, and even beast. I would say that Coach Knight is just like a taskmaster and he performed the leadership in a manner of discipline and intimidation. Even he was eventually fired by the IU for violating the policy of Zero Tolerance. Coach K’s leadership style

In contrast, Coach K, who has made the similar successful record in his coaching career, performed a positive leadership style by relying on reinforcement, sincere and warm communication, and supportive encouragement. Coach K’s philosophy is about care, trust, and sense of family. According to the leadership theory in Nelson& Quick’s book, the leadership style can be influenced by one’s belief in motivation and human nature. I think the similarities between Knight and K lie in the facts that they both are passionate, disciplined, and technically competent. As well, the main difference is the way they influence people. For Coach Knight’s style, he probably assumed that people are fundamentally inferior, which means he believed his players would not...
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