The Entrepreneur-as-Executive: A Suggested Comparison Lauren C. Wilkes Millsaps College
This paper was completed as an assignment for Dr. Ray Grubbs at Millsaps College. It became apparent as my research progressed that in order to truly explore all aspects of effective leadership as compared to the principles suggested by Peter Drucker, that a much more involved analysis would be necessary, beginning with existing theory and literature available from the field of economics, management and other available studies of leadership and effectiveness in the modern workplace. Additionally, I am inclined to a further exploration of entrepreneurial leadership theory as it applies to faith-based organizations. My apologies in advance if I have incorrectly interpreted any of the authors or citations used.
Abstract In 2011 and 2012, within a series of four articles written for the Stone-Adams Financial Partners corporate newsletters (www.stoneadams.us/Newsletters.html), an informal exploration was made of “The Portrait of the Entrepreneur” as offered by Naeem Zafar, and as highlighted by popular articles and theories. In the fourth article, application of Peter Drucker’s timeless deliberation on what truly makes an executive “effective” made for a very interesting conclusion to the series. Although Drucker’s book targets the working executive and the adoption of learned habits to be good decision makers, ergo, “effective,” these same applications to the entrepreneurial focus would do well to reinforce many parallels encountered by entrepreneurs. Particularly during the early stages of a new project or business, the “entrepreneur-as-executive” is faced with making many of the same decisions as any senior executive in a large corporation who is accountable to both colleagues and shareholders. By weaving together the features of Zafar’s “Portrait of an Entrepreneur” with Drucker’s enduring principles for the “Effective Executive,” the Entrepreneur-as-executive creates a safety net of wisdom and experience which can be relied on as he or she strives to create something new. Keywords: Entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, innovation, effective
The Entrepreneur-as-executive Introduction Peter Drucker, in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, states that, “…since [JeanBaptiste] Say coined the term almost two hundred years ago, there has been total confusion over the definition of “entrepreneur” and “entrepreneurship” (1985). Although there is substantial literature on “the entrepreneur” and “entrepreneurship;” most of this work is derived from within economic theories, is only helpful from certain theoretical or academic viewpoints; further, many critical analyses are largely based on dated business models and practices. Additionally, many of these economic theories are in conflict with one another over the true effect of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. There is a relatively large body of recent literature available from the economic theories of entrepreneurship, but that literature largely relates to studies and iterations of Austrian theories of the entrepreneur, such as those proposed by Schumpeter, Hayeck, Mises and more recently, Kirzner and Salerno (Acs & Audretsch, 2010; Gregoire, et al., 2006). There is, however, a developing view and focus on the “entrepreneurial process,” and an approach being modeled on the Austrian tradition which, “…may help ground the field of entrepreneurial study in a sound disciplinary tradition.” (Koppl & Minniti, 2010). For purposes of clarity and to keep an academic focus, from within the context of the Austrian theories, an acceptable working definition might be, “To be a successful entrepreneur, requires vision, boldness, determination, and creativity….There can be no doubt that in the concrete fulfillment of the...