How successful entrepreneurs lead? : Multi-method Analysis of Entrepreneurial Leadership

Kassai, Ákos (2022) How successful entrepreneurs lead? : Multi-method Analysis of Entrepreneurial Leadership. PhD thesis, Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Gazdálkodástani Doktori Iskola. DOI

PDF : (dissertation)
PDF : (draft in English)
PDF : (az értekezés tézisei magyar nyelven)

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There has been recently an emerging academic debate on entrepreneurial leadership style and related contingency models No generally accepted model for entrepreneurial leadership style and its measurement has arisen so far. This research contributes to the debate by summarizing what scholars have achieved so far, but more importantly, it introduces a new approach with applying leadership competencies for constructing the model of entrepreneurial leadership styles. The ultimate objective of this research is to understand what leadership styles entrepreneurs employ to overcome challenges they face during the entrepreneurial process. This work aims to contribute both theory and practice by proposing a comprehensive model for entrepreneurial leadership styles by applying entrepreneurial competencies. The study relies on a multi-step research process that combines qualitative and quantitative elements and employs methodological triangulation. Successful entrepreneurs employ various leadership strategies and rely on a wide range of leadership competencies to achieve their goals. The paper presents the list of and ranking of the most critical entrepreneurial leadership competencies required for entrepreneurs to succeed. The research identified five leadership dimensions, four leadership styles, and the paper explains the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, common pitfalls, and development needs of entrepreneurs style by style. Four leadership competency dimensions (Imagination, Social, Execution, Organizational) found in the research help to explain how successful entrepreneurs apply diverse leadership styles to achieve their goals. A fifth leadership dimension (Personal) presents the leadership competency dimension that separates entrepreneurs from the rest of the World. This leadership dimension contributes to answering the question of who becomes an entrepreneur. The study also found that adapting their leadership style to the situation and the life phase of a venture is essential for selecting the appropriate leadership competencies. Entrepreneurial leadership is situational. It was shown that the appropriate entrepreneurial leadership style is contingent on the situation and the development life-stage of the venture is a relevant factor to that. Entrepreneurs with the style of “Lonely Wolf “may kick-start their business in the phases of “inception” and “survival”, but the leadership style of “Team Builder” and “Architect” is far more often observed at entrepreneurs who can scale their business and graduate their venture to the phases of “growth”, “expansion” and “maturity”. “Explorer” entrepreneurial leadership style is particularly useful when a venture develops or reinvents its product or service offering or makes a shift in its corporate strategy. A diverse and adaptable set of competencies is required to build a business; an entrepreneurial partnership of individuals with complementary leadership competencies is often the key for entrepreneurial success.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD thesis)
Supervisor:Bakacsi Gyula
Subjects:Management, business policy
ID Code:1170
Date:2 November 2022
Deposited On:14 Oct 2021 13:35
Last Modified:28 Nov 2022 12:20

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