Senate Hall Academic Publishing


Leading in an Entrepreneurial Context: Present and Future Perspectives

Submission deadline: September 1, 2022


Special Issue Editors:

Dr Christian Harrison, University of the West of Scotland, UK,

Dr Kingsley Omeihe, University of Aberdeen, UK,

Dr Veronika Gustafsson, University of Uppsala, Sweden,



There is a considerable body of research in the fields of entrepreneurship and leadership spanning several decades. Despite work across both domains, entrepreneurship and leadership remain ambiguous concepts. There exists considerable overlaps and parallels, both historically and conceptually (Cogliser and Brigham, 2004; Galloway et al., 2015; Harrison et al., 2020), with some researchers defining entrepreneurship as leadership within a narrow context (Vecchio, 2003). This research has led to the emergence of a new paradigm known as “Entrepreneurial leadership” (Clark et al., 2019; Cogliser and Brigham, 2004; Fernald et al., 2005; Harrison et al., 2016a; 2016b; Harrison et al., 2018; Kuratko, 2007; Omeihe et al., 2020; Roomi and Harrison, 2011).

Nowadays, businesses exist in environments which are both complex and turbulent. Entrepreneurial leadership has been proposed as a concept which entrepreneurs should embrace to maintain their competitiveness in a dynamic business environment (Fernald et al., 2005), and researchers have shown that entrepreneurial leadership is positively related to business performance (Hmieleski and Ensley, 2007; Van Zyl and Mathur-Helm, 2007). Due to the recognition of the value of this new form of leadership in enhancing organisational performance, interest in entrepreneurial leadership has increased among scholars.

Several scholars (Flamholtz and Kannan-Narasimhan 2013; Hejazi et al., 2012; Renko et al., 2015) have extended this view and emphasized the importance of recognising and exploiting entrepreneurial opportunities. By their focus on innovation and opportunity recognition, specifically in highly complex, turbulent and uncertain environments, entrepreneurial leaders not only create innovative ideas to overcome the challenges of their business but also direct the process of innovation and opportunity recognition in their business (Chen, 2007; Flamholtz, 2011; Flamholtz and Kannan-Narasimhan 2013; Harrison et al., 2018; Karol, 2015; Omeihe et al., 2020; Swiercz and Lydon, 2002)

However, despite the growing interest and developing perspectives related to entrepreneurial leadership, empirical development of the concept has been hindered by the lack of focussed research and the absence of adequate tools towards assessing a leader’s entrepreneurial characteristics and behaviours (Renko et al., 2015). Notwithstanding the growing body of literature from both empirical and conceptual standpoints on entrepreneurial leadership (for example, Ahmed and Harrison, 2020; Bagheri and Harrison, 2020; Chen, 2007; Cogliser and Brigham, 2004; Fernald et al., 2005; Flamholtz, 2011; Flamholtz and Kannan-Narasimhan 2013; Flamholtz and Randle, 2021; Gupta et al., 2004; Kempster and Cope, 2010; Nicholson, 1998; Renko et al., 2015; Swiercz and Lydon, 2002), there is limited consensus on the conceptualisation of entrepreneurial leadership.

Within the small firm context, the ways in which entrepreneurs learn to become leaders of their organisations has received little in-depth analysis (Kempster and Cope, 2010). Several theorists    maintain that entrepreneurs are leaders by virtue of their position (Jensen and Luthans, 2006; Vecchio, 2003). However, it is vital to examine how entrepreneurs relate to the phenomenon of leadership and the extent to which they actively identify themselves as leaders.

Furthermore, if entrepreneurial leadership is important in enhancing organisational performance, it is paramount that this concept is also integrated in education programmes especially at the MBA and executive education levels, where you have students with post experience education. Entrepreneurial leadership research in these programmes will provide the platform for creativity, innovation and opportunity recognition (Roomi and Harrison, 2011).

Through this special issue, IRE aims to promote the progress of this field by deepening our knowledge of leading in an entrepreneurial context. In doing so, we invite submissions that will enhance our present and future perspectives of leading in an entrepreneurial context. We welcome ‘research for’ rather than ‘research about’ entrepreneurial leadership. Studies that also promote the value of entrepreneurial leadership in education programmes are encouraged.

In this context, this Special Issue aims to attract state-of-the-art manuscripts that bring together multidisciplinary knowledge on the intersection between entrepreneurship and leadership, from a wide range of business and management disciplines. We invite submissions that draw upon theories and concepts from a variety of disciplines, as well as papers that explore contextual factors and conditions surrounding the special issue topic. We especially seek empirical papers, both quantitative and qualitative as well as conceptual, theory building and review papers that fit the Special Issue topic.

Potential papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Leading in an entrepreneurial context
  • Methodological issues in entrepreneurial leadership research
  • Entrepreneurial leadership education
  • The role of context in entrepreneurial leadership
  • Leadership development in SMEs
  • Entrepreneurial leadership learning
  • Management and growth of entrepreneurial organisations
  • Which theoretical and empirical frameworks might be successfully used to investigate entrepreneurial leadership?
  • Conceptualisations and literature reviews on entrepreneurial leadership
  • Measurement of entrepreneurial leadership and venture performance
  • Characteristics and motivations of entrepreneurial leaders
  • Gender and entrepreneurial leadership
  • Opportunity recognition in entrepreneurial leadership
  • What are the antecedents of entrepreneurial leadership? How can we define them?
  • How does entrepreneurship processes facilitate leadership development? To what extent?
  • New approaches to entrepreneurial leadership

Important Dates:


Manuscript submission deadline is September 1st 2022 

Submission procedures:

Manuscripts must be submitted by sending an email to the Special Issue Editors.

All papers submitted to the IRE will undergo a double-blind peer review process.

Manuscripts should be original, unpublished, and not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. All submissions must follow the instructions to authors that can be found on the journal homepage: ulsTF2Z3Gf


Ahmed, F. and Harrison, C. (2021), “Challenges and competencies of entrepreneurial leaders in driving innovation at DIY laboratories”, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, forthcoming. Published online 29 March 2021.

Bagheri, A. and Harrison, C. (2020), “Entrepreneurial leadership measurement: A multi-dimensional  construct”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 27(4), 659-679.

Clark, C., Harrison, C. and Gibb, S. (2019), “Developing a conceptual framework of entrepreneurial leadership: A systematic literature review and thematic analysis”, International Review of Entrepreneurship, 17(3), 347-384.

Cogliser, C.C. and Brigham, K.H. (2004), “The intersection of leadership and entrepreneurship: Mutual lessons to be learned”, The Leadership Quarterly, 15(6), 771-799.

Fernald, L.W., Solomon, G.T. and Tarabishy, A. (2005), “A new paradigm: Entrepreneurial leadership”, Southern Business Review, 30(2), 1-10.

Flamholtz, E.G. (2011), “The leadership molecule hypothesis: Implications for entrepreneurial organizations”, International Review of Entrepreneurship, 9(3), 159-182.

Flamholtz, E. and Kannan-Narasimhan, R. (2013), “Examining the leadership molecule: An empirical study of key leadership roles in rapidly growing entrepreneurial businesses”, International Review of Entrepreneurship, 11(2), 31-54.

Flamholtz, E. and Randle, Y. (2021), “How entrepreneurial leaders can navigate a crisis successfully: Lessons and hypotheses”, International Review of Entrepreneurship, 19(2), 225-272.

Galloway, L., Kapasi, I. and Sang, K. (2015), “Entrepreneurship, leadership, and the value of feminist approaches to understanding them”, Journal of Small Business Management, 53(3), 683-692.

Gupta, V., MacMillan, I.C. and Surie, G. (2004), “Entrepreneurial leadership: Developing and measuring a cross-cultural construct”, Journal of Business Venturing, 19(2), 241- 260.

Harrison, C., Paul, S. and Burnard, K. (2016a), “Entrepreneurial leadership in retail pharmacy: Developing economy perspective”, Journal of Workplace Learning, 28(3), 150-167.

Harrison, C., Paul, S. and Burnard, K. (2016b), “Entrepreneurial leadership: A systematic literature review”, International Review of Entrepreneurship, 14(2), 235-264.

Harrison, C., Burnard, K. and Paul, S. (2018), “Entrepreneurial leadership in a developing economy: A skill-based analysis”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 25(3), 521-548.

Harrison, C., Omeihe I., Simba, A. and Omeihe, K. (2020), “Leading the way: The entrepreneur or the leader?”, Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, forthcoming. Published online 23 November 2020.

Hejazi, A.M., Maleki, M.M. and Naeji, M.J. (2012), “Designing a scale for measuring entrepreneurial leadership in SMEs”, International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, 28(1), 71-77.

Hmieleski, K.M. and Ensley, M.D. (2007), “A contextual examination of new venture performance: Entrepreneur leadership behavior, top management team heterogeneity, and environmental dynamism”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 28(7), 865-889.

Jensen, S.M., and Luthans, F. (2006), “Entrepreneurs as authentic leaders: Impact on employees’ attitudes”, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27(8), 646-666.

Karol, R.A. (2015), “Leadership in the context of corporate entrepreneurship”, Journal of Leadership Studies, 8(4), 30-34.

Kempster, S. and Cope, J. (2010), “Learning to lead in the entrepreneurial context”, International Journal of       Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 16(1), 5-34.

Kuratko, D.F. (2007), “Entrepreneurial leadership in the 21st Century”, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 13(4), 1-11.

Nicholson, N. (1998), “Personality & entrepreneurial leadership: A style of the heads of the UK’s most successful companies”, European Management Journal, 16(5), 529-539.

Omeihe, I., Harrison, C., Simba, A. and Omeihe, K. (2020), “The role of the entrepreneurial leader: A study of Nigerian SMEs”. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, forthcoming.

Renko, M., Tarabishy, A., Carsrud, A.L. and Brannback, M. (2015), “Understanding and measuring entrepreneurial leadership”, Journal of Small Business Management, 53(1), 54-74.

Roomi, M.A. and Harrison, P. (2011), “Entrepreneurial leadership: What is it and how should it be taught?”, International Review of Entrepreneurship, 9(3), 183-226.

Swiercz, P.M. and Lydon, S.R. (2002), “Entrepreneurial leadership in high-tech firms: Field study”, Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 23(7), 380-389.

Van Zyl, H. and Mathur-Helm, B. (2007), “Exploring a conceptual model, based on the combined effects of entrepreneurial leadership, market orientation and relationship marketing orientation on South Africa’s small tourism business performance”, South African Journal of Business Management, 38(2), 17-24.

Vecchio, R.P. (2003), “Entrepreneurship and leadership: Common trends and common threads”, Human Resource Management Review, 13(2), 303-327.