An exploratory study of entrepreneurial leadership: The perceived characteristics of entrepreneurial leaders
Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business / Centre for Innovative Practice
The concept of entrepreneurial leadership has begun to attract interest from leadership scholars although it remains a neglected area in entrepreneurship research. This exploratory study attempts to bridge these two fields by proposing a model of the common characteristics of leaders and entrepreneurs. Semi-structured interviews, supplemented by a questionnaire survey, were conducted with a purposive sample of 20 orporate managers and business owners. The findings suggest that entrepreneurial leaders have personal characteristics distinct from those of non-leader entrepreneurs. In particular, entrepreneurial leaders are perceived as visionary entrepreneurs who also have the motivation and ethics of a leader. The study concludes that leadership plays a critical role in venture growth and long-term entrepreneurial success, and requires greater research attention.