Jerry M. Harper
The Business Enterprise
Dr. John Mitchell
January 18, 2011
Not unlike its sister field of leadership, entrepreneurship has long struggled to identify a coherent theoretical and conceptual framework capable of explaining the phenomenon known as “entrepreneurship” and more importantly the role of the “entrepreneur.” The focus of this paper is to examine similarities and differences between the fields of leadership and entrepreneurship and create a working definition of the “entrepreneurial leader.” The field of entrepreneurship has long held that there is a symbiotic bond between the creation of the new venture and the role of the entrepreneurial leader-founder. The entrepreneurship leader lends his/her vision, leadership style and strategy to the very essence or the core of the business. The individual is a major independent variable influencing the outcome and success of the business.
The function of leadership and the role of the leader is a constant point of debate among scholars, researchers, and practitioners. Issues abound regarding whether leaders are “born” or “made.” The early literature on entrepreneurship focused on trait theory and the role of the individual. More recent studies have examined the characteristics and intentions between those entrepreneurs who start “lifestyle” business versus growth or “gazelle” entrepreneurs. The concept of “entrepreneurship leadership” is raising the intellectual debate to a new plane. This paper seeks to rise to the challenge be presenting arguments supporting the “entrepreneurial leadership” concept.
1. Discuss the common elements described in the theories/philosophies for Case, Kouzes, and Drucker including how their principles/strategies relate to the new definition of entrepreneurial leadership presented in Understanding Entrepreneurial Leadership...