Development of Leadership through eSports

Dissertation Outline

The dissertation “Development of Leadership through eSports” examined the influences of multiplayer online gameplay on leadership behaviors, and concluded its potential as didactic tool for leadership development. The dissertation is divided into nine chapters.

  • Chapter 1 discussed the research questions, motivation and objective. The chapter provided research background on video game industry in Thailand, gamification, and the video games studied.
  • Chapter 2 discussed essential literature for constructing the theoretical framework of this study. Particularly, the behavioral leadership theory, the universality of leadership, and the contingency leadership theories. It has also reviewed the situational priming and social learning theory.
  • Chapter 3 proposed a theoretical framework for leadership development through competitive multiplayer online gameplay or eSports. The theoretical framework is divided into three phases. The firstly is the existence of leadership behaviors in both real and virtual scenarios. Second, the relationship between the leadership behaviors in the two worlds. Finally, the causality proposition that video gameplay influences the development of leadership behaviors
  • Chapter 4 presented the research design and methodology designed to test the theoretical framework. This chapter elaborated on the use of the questionnaire and the scripts of interviews with professional Thai eSports players. The statistical models used for analyzing structured data include principle component analysis (PCA), multinomial logistic regression (mlogit), propensity score matching (PSM), doubly robust estimation, and sensitivity analysis. The qualitative method for unstructured data involves direct content analysis.
  • Chapter 5 empirically explored the first phase of the theoretical framework. The existence of leadership in the socio-cultural-environment of Thailand was investigated. Using the concepts of leadership derived from Western literature, the applicability of the leadership behaviors described is tested in both the real- and the virtual-world scenarios. The questionnaire data was analyzed using the PCA.
  • Chapter 6 investigated the relationship of real-world leadership and the roles in games. The theoretical framework of this chapter includes major leadership styles and game roles, and incorporates the contingency model of leadership into the framework. The chapter quantitatively analyzed the questionnaire data using mlogit. Then, it qualitatively analyzed the interview statements of Thai professional eSports players and their video game competition replays.
  • Chapter 7 is the final phase of the theoretical framework. This chapter incorporates the situational priming and social learning theories into the framework to describe the process whereby game players learn leadership behaviors through gameplay. This chapter adopts the non-experimental statistical technique of PSM for testing the hypotheses.
  • Chapter 8 summarized the key findings and answered the research questions. The implications were made for game players with regard to how games should be played, for game developers concerning their social responsibilities, and for researchers regarding video game industry impact on society.
  • Chapter 9 addressed the study’s limitations, and will make recommendations for future researches. Then it discussed the implications and complete the dissertation by providing the overall conclusion.

This dissertation concluded that the continuous practice of game roles in multiplayer online games facilitates the development of real-world leadership skills. Future video game development based on its framework can aid in the improvement of its players’ leadership capabilities.


  • Date - 11 July 2016
Theoretical Framework for Leadership Development through eSportsGameplay Strategy Decision Tree

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