The perceived personal characteristics of entrepreneurial leaders
Taylor & Francis Group
School of Business and Law
Although the concept of entrepreneurial leadership has begun to attract interest from leadership scholars, it remains a neglected area in entrepreneurship and SME research. This exploratory study attempts to bridge the fields of entrepreneurship and leadership by proposing a model of the characteristics common to entrepreneurs and leaders and showing how entrepreneurial leaders (ELs) differ from entrepreneurs and leaders. Semi-structured interviews and a short-structured questionnaire were used to gather data from a purposive sample of 20 corporate managers and business owners. Respondents considered ELs to have personal characteristics different from those of non-leader entrepreneurs. ELs were specifically perceived as visionary entrepreneurs who also have the motivation and ethics of a leader. The findings suggest leadership plays a critical role in venture growth and long-term entrepreneurial success, and therefore requires greater research attention. Implications for developing leadership in entrepreneurs and the conceptual development of entrepreneurial leadership research are identified.