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 17: The rise of the underdogs: situating and storying ‘entrepreneurial leadership’ in the BrewDog business story

Robert Smith


This inspirational small business story is based on an ‘abstract’ form of entrepreneurial leadership demonstrated by James Watt and Martin Dickie, two young Scottish entrepreneurs who formed the hugely successful brewery BrewDog in 2007. Their rise has been rapid in the global recession. Their avowed ‘Punk business ethos’ flouts business convention but they are not entrepreneurial leaders in the accepted iconic, idolatry sense we expect from those so titled. This chapter examines entrepreneurship in a small or medium-sized enterprise context through investigating abstract phenomenon associated with this confusing concept. The author looks at the company and iconic brand as an abstract, protean form of entrepreneurial leadership. The theoretical basis used is that of Johnston and Scholes’s cultural web, to present stories and images associated with their particular ethos of leadership.

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