Innovation and entrepreneurship are the themes of this era. In the field of entrepreneurship, existing research focuses on organizational strategies such as entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial orientation and entrepreneurial learning. Employees are the primary elements of achieving strategic goals, and how to lead employees to effectively implement organizational strategy is the key to successful launching of entrepreneurial activities. However, entrepreneurial leadership, based on the integration of entrepreneurship and leadership, has been neglected in entrepreneurship research （Antonakis and Autio, 2007）. The core characteristics of entrepreneurial leadership lie in the recognition and development of entrepreneurial opportunities, and the obtainment of competitiveness through launching entrepreneurial activities to cope with environment uncertainty in order to promote sustainable development of enterprises. Entrepreneurial leadership research is in its infancy and there are many shortcomings. Firstly, as a cross field of entrepreneurship and leadership, the existing research is mainly from the perspectives of peculiarity and process to explore the concept and connotation of entrepreneurial leadership, but these two perspectives are not effective enough to interpret the integration mechanism of entrepreneurship and leadership, exposing a fragmented disciplinary basis and a lack of theoretical principle（Harrison, 2015）. Secondly, the existing research mostly uses a deductive method to integrate the cross section of the entrepreneurship and leadership to explore the structure framework and measurement tools of entrepreneurial leadership; however, because the conception and connotation are not unified and the research perspectives & investigative objects are different, it results in a variety of structures including single dimension（Renko, etc., 2015）, two dimensions（Gupta, 2004）and multi-dimensions（Siddique, 2007; Hezaji et al., 2011）, and in consequence, the measurement tools of entrepreneurial leadership are inconsistent and ambiguous, impeding the development of empirical research to some extent. Finally, although there are already some positive research achievements on the factors and effects of entrepreneurial leadership, the results are often confused and are not convincing enough. Entrepreneurial leadership has similarities with entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial orientation and other constructs in entrepreneurial study field, and is also partly in common with transformation leadership and charismatic leadership in leadership research area. As a result, it is unable to highlight the unique characteristics, opportunity recognition and development of entrepreneurial leadership. In view of this, according to the above limitations, the primary contributions of this paper are as follows: firstly, through a literature review, we explore the formation process of the concept of entrepreneurial leadership, sort out its connotation and the concept from the perspectives of peculiarity and process, and combine two views to tentatively conclude the definition of entrepreneurial leadership; secondly, by way of comparing motivation and influence effects of common types of leadership on followers, we argue that entrepreneurial leadership resembles transformation leadership, charismatic leadership and knowledge leadership, and explore the similarities and differences between them respectively to further clarifying the concept and connotation of entrepreneurial leadership; thirdly, through reviewing the structure framework and measuring tools of entrepreneurial leadership in the prior literature, we analyze the limitations of data sources and application; fourthly, we sort out the factors influencing the formation of entrepreneurial leadership in individual and scenario aspects respectively, arrange the effects of entrepreneurial leadership at individual and organizational levels separately, and propose an integration framework of entrepreneurial leadership through carding the related antecedent, dependent, mediating and moderating variables, to provide supportive reference for the further research; finally, according to the review and analysis above, we propose the prospects for further entrepreneurial leadership research in the aspects of concept & connotation, structure & measurement, influencing factors & effect mechanism, and indigenous study.
A Literature Review of Entrepreneurial Leadership and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 40, Issue 04, pp. 84 - 95 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2018.04.007
Cite this article
Wang Hongyu, Liu Bolong. A Literature Review of Entrepreneurial Leadership and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2018, 40(4): 84-95.