Innovation in NTBFs: Does leadership really matter?


DOI: 10.1007/s11365-006-8690-2

Cite this article as:
O’Regan, N. & Ghobadian, A. Int Entrep Manag J (2006) 2: 299. doi:10.1007/s11365-006-8690-2


Innovation is considered to be a key contributor to both the long-term survival and development of superior competitiveness in New Technology-based Firms [NTBFs]. Many factors contribute to a firm’s differential innovation performance. According to the resource-based view of the firm, leadership is one of the key contributory resources. In this article, the relationship between innovation, leadership and performance is examined through a study of 194 NTBFs.

The results suggest that the level of innovation, the likelihood of success and the development of the competences needed for effective innovation are influenced by the firm’s leadership style. In particular, it was found that the transformational/human resources leadership style is more conducive to innovation and the introduction of new products, whereas transactional leadership tends to be associated with the modification of existing products. The findings outline the attributes of each leadership style associated with innovation and provide practical guidelines to enable senior managers to consider leadership in the formulation and deployment of their innovation plan. Finally, the analysis indicates the need to consider and align leadership and approaches to innovation in order to achieve sustainable competitive performance.


LeadershipInnovationOrganisational performance

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlesex University Business School, The BurroughsLondonUK
  2. 2.Brunel Business SchoolUxbridgeUK