Friend or Fearsome Leader: Autocracy in Coaching Team Sports

Packianathan Chelladurai

Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of the Manchester United Football Club made the above statement in his interview with Harvard Business Review. He is not the only or the first coach to say that a coach needs to be authoritarian and autocratic in dealing with the team. The image of the “autocratic coach” is well illustrated throughout the entertainment world. For example, in the 2000 film titled “Remember the Titans,” Coach Boone declared to his team “This is no democracy. It is a dictatorship. I am the law” (IMDb, 2014).