Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership
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Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Edited by Richard T. Harrison and Claire Leitch

This Research Handbook argues that the study of entrepreneurs as leaders is a gap in both the leadership and the entrepreneurship literatures. With conceptual and empirical chapters from a wide range of cultures and entrepreneurship and leadership ecosystems, the Research Handbook for the first time produces a systematic overview of the entrepreneurial leadership field, providing a state of the art perspective and highlighting unanswered questions and opportunities for further research. It consolidates existing theory development, stimulates new conceptual thinking and includes path-breaking empirical explorations.
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Chapter 15: Entrepreneurial leadership competencies and motivation to learn: a focus on student entrepreneurial leaders

Afsaneh Bagheri and Zaidatol Akmaliah Lope Pihie


Entrepreneurial leadership studies have attempted to identify the competencies required by the leaders of new ventures as well as organizational leaders to successfully lead entrepreneurial activities. Prior research has also investigated the motivation to learn and develop entrepreneurial businesses. Yet, research is scarce on the competencies of entrepreneurial leaders and their motivation to learn and develop their personal entrepreneurial leadership competencies, essential for facing the challenges of successfully performing entrepreneurial tasks and roles in contexts other than entrepreneurial companies and small businesses. This chapter concentrates on examining entrepreneurial leadership and motivation to learn in a particular context that of university entrepreneurship clubs and projects. Specifically, the authors explore the challenges which the student leaders face in creating entrepreneurial ideas, recognizing entrepreneurial opportunities, marshaling essential resources and mobilizing a group to successfully fulfill a project’s objectives. Using a qualitative research method, they present the experience of 14 entrepreneurial student leaders, to explore their constant practices in learning and developing entrepreneurial leadership competencies and their motivations to learn and develop the competencies. The findings revealed two specific types of competencies: personal competencies (entrepreneurial leadership self-efficacy, love of challenges and versatility) and leadership competencies (creating a caring interpersonal relationship, employing an enabling task delegation approach and building self-efficacy of the group members). Furthermore, a combination of intrinsic (personal interest and self-development) and extrinsic factors (learning opportunities and programs and entrepreneurial leadership task demands and challenges) emerged as the influential motives driving the students to learn and develop these competencies.

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