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Book Chapter

Pulling the Group Together: The Role of the Social Identity Approach

Evans AL, Slater M, Coffee P & Barker J (2016) Pulling the Group Together: The Role of the Social Identity Approach. In: Thelwell R, Harwood C & Greenlees I (eds.) The Psychology of Sports Coaching: Research and Practice. Routledge Research in Sports Coaching. London: Routledge, pp. 265-280.

First paragraph: How do coaches successfully pull a group together? This chapter focuses on the role and importance of creating and maintaining social identities for group functioning and performance. Research documenting the role and importance of social identities has increased considerably over recent years, with over 200 research articles published across a variety of psychological domains in 2012 alone (Haslam, 2014). Given the wealth of empirical studies available, we have chosen to focus on key research articles within our review of social identity literature to highlight the role and importance of social identities in coaching contexts. Ultimately, social identity researchers recognise that groups are dynamic and have the capacity to change individuals which means that groups and organisations are much more than an aggregation of their individual parts (Haslam, 2004). Therefore, the key to successfully pulling a group together from a social identity perspective lies in the understanding and promotion of a shared sense of social identity among group members. For a coach to understand their role in optimising group functioning and performance, the social identity approach to leadership (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2011) contains four principles that can be implemented within coaching practice. This chapter will also explore each principle of social identity leadership for a coaching audience.

Author(s)Evans, Andrew L; Slater, Matthew; Coffee, Pete; Barker, Jamie
Title of seriesRoutledge Research in Sports Coaching
Publication date31/12/2016
Publisher URL
Place of publicationLondon
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