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Entrepreneurial leadership in SE account managed firms

Summary

Aims

The study focused on entrepreneurial leadership, its presence in Scottish Enterprise (SE) account managed firms and its impact on business performance and growth. The draft report summarises the overall investigation and its key findings in relation to the prevailing characteristics, attitudes and behaviours associated with effective entrepreneurial leadership, and considers the managerial/business consulting and further research implications.

Methods

The methodology consisted of data collection using a mixed method approach. Qualitative data was collected from six case studies of SE account managed firms, and quantitative information was gathered from a company survey of 133 SE account managed firms to model the extent and impact of entrepreneurial activity.

Findings

The study found that innovativeness and creativity, being passionate and sharing that passion to motivate followers, being a risk taker and encouraging risk taking for opportunity exploration and exploitation, as well as being the evangelist of the company’s vision by ensuring its clear communication and connection with respective strategies, are important for leaders who identify their style of leadership as being entrepreneurial. Access to and quality of entrepreneurial capital, as well as the levels of dynamism and hostility within the external environment, were identified as potential explanatory variables of entrepreneurial leadership. The findings concerning resource management identified that mobilisation, development and strategic management of resources is important to the leader’s vision of growth. With regard to the external environment, it was found that a dynamic environment may enhance entrepreneurial leadership, whereas a hostile, competitive environment may discourage it. The sample identified social and human capital deployment as responsible for improving the level of entrepreneurial leadership, contradicting the common understanding that financial capital is what facilitates engagement in entrepreneurial activities. However, the report notes that this may be sample-specific as a result of SE’s strategy of investing in developing networks of entrepreneurs. Quantitative findings suggested the potential of entrepreneurial leadership as a business development strategy in helping to create business growth conditions. Business growth indicators were found to be affected by behaviours and attitudes that constitute entrepreneurial leadership, suggesting the need to cultivate relevant leadership behaviours and attitudes.

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Record metadata
Documents
Report (1 MB, PDF)
ConsultantHunter Centre for Entrepreneurship
Published year2017
Pages59
Document TypeResearch
Theme/SectorEntrepreneurship/new firm formation, Enterprise, Leadership/management development, Sectors