A Core Value of Pride in Winning: The All Blacks’ Team Culture and Legacy

By Tom Johnson, Andrew John Martin, Farah R Palmer, Geoffrey Watson and Phil L. Ramsey.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 11, 2013 $US5.00

Former Green Bay Packers' coach, Vince Lombardi, is renowned for his comments on the perceived fulfillment of winning and analogy to victory on the battlefield. Lombardi also noted that if it doesn't matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score? Sustaining its winning ethos over an extended period of time is a defining feature of the New Zealand men’s national representative rugby team, commonly known as the All Blacks. Their winning record, a 75% success ratio in test matches, reflects their organizational culture, which has been developed, nurtured and sustained since their first official international in 1903. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the core values of the All Blacks that have sustained the winning culture between 1950 and 2010 from a leadership perspective. Primary data was obtained through the use of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with past and present All Black captains and coaches. Findings suggest that the key core values are the pride in the All Blacks legacy, pride in selection and pride in winning, which are also constant factors in their success. The article concludes with some reflections on the transferability of the core values identified in the paper.

Keywords: Values, Culture, Winning, Legacy, Team

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 11, 2013 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 387.601KB)).

Dr Tom Johnson

Massey University, New Zealand

Dr. Johnson is recently retired. His career has been in a variety of senior executive positions in New Zealand businesses.

A/Prof Andrew John Martin

Associate Professor, School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, Palmerston North, Manawatu, New Zealand

Dr. Martin is an associate professor teaching sport management and coaching in the School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, New Zealand. His research interests are focused on experiential education in particular work integrated learning through internships.

Dr Farah R Palmer

Massey University, New Zealand

Dr. Farah Rangikoepa Palmer is a senior lecturer in the School of Management, Massey University. Her research focuses on leadership and governance.

Dr Geoffrey Watson

Senior Lecturer in History, School of the Humanities, Massey University, New Zealand

Dr. Watson is a senior lecturer in history in the School of Humanities, Massey University. His research focus is sport history.

Dr Phil L. Ramsey

Senior Lecturer, School of Management, Massey University, New Zealand

Dr. Ramsey is a senior lecturer in the School of Management, Massey University. His research is focused on organizational learning and leadership