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The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development :
Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Conceptual Examination
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Entrepreneurial leadership involves the core process of leading in the entrepreneurial situation of creating new values. The study of entrepreneurial leadership in many ways parallels the study of leadership in organizational settings. Like the leadership research, the multiple approaches adopted in the study of entrepreneurial leadership include the trait approach, the contingency approach and the new-genre approach in explaining the effectiveness of entrepreneurial leadership. An eclectic approach to entrepreneurial leadership by drawing upon the key process of other perspectives presents a holistic view of effectiveness. Entrepreneurship and leadership are complementary to each other that there is no entrepreneurship without leadership and all leaders are necessarily entrepreneurs in their leading and entrepreneurial activities. However, in theory and practice, there is a lack of consensus among researchers as some give importance to the entrepreneurial facet of entrepreneurial leadership, and yet others prefer to deal with the leading processes of entrepreneurship. In this study, an attempt is made to understand the concept of entrepreneurial leadership in a holistic framework.

 
 
 

The two activities that bind entrepreneurship and leadership are the process of influencing others and indulging in innovative or discovery-driven activities (Vecchio, 2003). Surveying the literature on leadership, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial leadership produces striking semblances that justify the similar approaches being followed in leadership and entrepreneurial leadership (Cogliser and Brigham, 2004).

Entrepreneurship and leadership (alternatively, an entrepreneur and a leader) are the distinct, interrelated and interacting components of entrepreneurial leadership wherein entrepreneurship is defined as “A field of business that seeks to understand how opportunities to create something new… arise and are discovered or created by some specific person(s), who then use various means to exploit or develop them, thus producing a wide range of effects” (Baron and Shane, 2005, cited by Ensley et al., 2006). Entrepreneurship, according to Ma and Tan (2006) is “the process in which pioneers, innovators or champions of innovation, immersed in and guided by the creativity-oriented perspective, engage in the practice of creation and innovation-driven activities, which lead to a certain level of performance as indicated by the realized creation and innovation”. In yet another definition, that is, more akin to understanding the concept of entrepreneurial leadership, Kuratko and Hodgetts (2007, cited by Kuratko, 2007), define entrepreneurship as “a dynamic process of vision, change, and creation. It requires an application of energy and passion towards the creation and implementation of new ideas and creative solutions. Essential ingredients include the willingness to take calculated risks in terms of time, equity, or career; the ability to formulate an effective venture team; the creative skill to marshal the needed resources; the fundamental skill of building a solid business plan; and, finally, the vision to recognize opportunity where others see chaos, contradiction, and confusion”. This definition highlights the fact that entrepreneurship and leadership go together.

 
 
 

Entrepreneurship Development Journal,Entrepreneurial Leadership Grid, Shared Relational Leadership, Eclectic Model of Entrepreneurial Leadership.