Skip to main content

Leadership in Small Firms—The X Factor

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Leadership and Small Business
  • 1361 Accesses

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the importance of leadership in small business, which has been identified as the X factor for survival and growth (Barnes et al. 2015). While there is merit in understanding the distinctiveness of the small business organisation (Chap. 2), there is a greater need to understand the pivotal role of the owner in order to make sense of the whole story. Taking into account the different aspirations of business owners, Hutchinson provides a much needed and detailed discussion of the leadership capability of small firm leaders encompassing entrepreneurial leadership theory, alongside the rationale for intervention measures that improves organisational and economic impact.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 44.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

References

  • Barnes, S., S. Kempster, and S. Smith. 2015. LEADing small business: Business growth through leadership development. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beaver, G. 2003. Small business: Success and failure. Strategic Change 12 (3): 115–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bennis, W. and Thomas, R. J. 2002. Crucibles of Leadership. Harvard Business Review 80 (9): 39–45.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bolden, R. 2001. Leadership development in small and medium sized enterprises: Final report. Centre for Leadership Studies, University of Exeter, July 2001.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bridge, S., and K. O’Neill. 2013. Understanding enterprise: Entrepreneurship and small business, 4th ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Butler, T. 2017. Hiring an entrepreneurial leader. Harvard Business Review 95 (2) March–April: 85–93.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chen, M-H. 2007. Entrepreneurial Leadership and New Ventures: Creativity in Entrepreneurial Teams. Creativity and Innovation Management 16: 239–249.

    Google Scholar 

  • CMI. 2015. Growing your small business: The role of business schools and professional bodies. London: Chartered Management Institute Publication, September.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cope, J., S. Kempster, and K. Parry. 2011. Exploring distributed leadership in the small business context. International Journal of Management Reviews 13 (3): 270–285.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). 2012. Fixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation. Policy paper, 10 July.

    Google Scholar 

  • Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). 2015. Leadership and management skills in small and medium-sized businesses. Research paper, 3 March 2015, Ref: BIS/15/95.

    Google Scholar 

  • Devins, D., J. Gold, S. Johnson, and R. Holden. 2005. A conceptual model of management learning in micro businesses: Implications for research and policy. Education and Training 47 (8/9): 540–551.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eurostat, 2012. One, three and five year survival rates of enterprise.

    Google Scholar 

  • Federation of Small Business. 2016. Leading the way: Boosting leadership and management in small firms. Discussion paper, March 2016.

    Google Scholar 

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

    Google Scholar 

  • Gibb, A.A. 1988. Towards the building of entrepreneurial models of support for small business. Paper presented at the 11th national small firm’s policy and research conference, Cardiff.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goffee, R., and R. Scase. 1995. Corporate realities: The dynamics of large and small firms. London: International Thompson Business Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Goldman Sachs. 2015. Unlocking UK productivity—Internationalisation and innovation in SMEs. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Businesses. Online available at: http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-small-businesses/UK/news-and-events/gew-2015-f/unlocking-uk-productivity.pdf.

  • Gupta, V., I. MacMillan, and G. Surie. 2004. Entrepreneurial leadership: Developing and measuring a cross-cultural construct. Journal of Business Venturing 19: 241–260.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hornaday, R.W. 1990. Dropping the E-word from small business research. Journal of Small Business Management 28 (4): 22–33.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ireland, R.D., M.A. Hitt, D.G. Sirmon. 2003. A model of strategic entrepreneurship: The construct and its dimensions. Journal of Management 29 (6): 963–989.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jensen, S. M., and Luthans, F. 2006. Entrepreneurs as authentic leaders: Impact on employees' attitudes. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal 27(8): 646.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, O., A. Macpherson, and R. Thorpe. 2010. Learning in owner-managed small firms: Mediating artefacts and strategic space. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 22 (7): 649–673.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kempster 2009. “Observing the Invisible: Examining the Role of Observational Learning in the Development of Leadership Practice.” Journal of Management Development 28, 5: 439–456.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kempster, S., and J. Cope. 2010. Learning to lead in the entrepreneurial context. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research 16 (1): 5–34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leitch, C., and T. Volery. 2017. Entrepreneurial leadership: Insights and directions. International Small Business Journal 35 (2): 147–156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leitch, C., C. McMullan, and R.T. Harrison. 2009. Leadership development in SMES: An action learning approach. Action Learning: Research and Practice 6 (3): 243–263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leitch, Claire M., Christel McMullan, and Richard T. Harrison. 2013. The development of entrepreneurial leadership: The role of human, social and institutional capital. British Journal of Management 24 (3): 347–366.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McGrath, R.G., and I.C. MacMillan. 2000. The entrepreneurial mindset. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nicholson, N. 1998. Personality and entrepreneurial leadership: A study of the heads of the UK’s most successful independent companies. European Management Journal 16 (5): 529–539.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perry, C.S. 2001. The relationship between written business plans and the failure of small businesses in the US. Journal of Small Business Management 39: 201–209.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pink, D. 2010. Gainful employment. RSA Journal 156 (Spring): 26–29.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rae, D. and Carswell, M. 2000. Using a life-story approach in entrepreneurial learning: The development of a conceptual model and its implications in the design of learning experiences. Education and Training 42, 220–227.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rae, D., and M. Carswell. 2001. Towards a conceptual understanding of entrepreneurial learning. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 8 (2): 150–158.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rae, D., L. Price, G. Bosworth, and P. Parkinson. 2012. Business inspiration: Small business leadership in recovery? Industry & Higher Education 26 (6): 473–489.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Renko, M., A.E. Tarabishy, A.L. Carsud, and M. Brannback. 2013. Understanding and measuring entrepreneurial leadership style. Journal of Small Business Management 53 (1): 54–74.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scott, M., and P. Rosa. 1996. Has firm level analysis reached its limits? Time for a rethink. International Small Business Journal 14 (4): 81–99.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smallbone, D., J. Kitching, R. Blackburn, and S. Mosavi. 2015. Anchor institutions and small firms in the UK. Rotherham: UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, L., and S. Robinson. 2007. Leading enterprise and development: Report on the design and delivery of a programme to engage and motivate small businesses in leadership and management development. Lancaster: IEED, Lancaster University Management School.

    Google Scholar 

  • Storey, D. 2004. Exploring the link among small firms, between training and firm performance: A comparison between UK and other OECD countries. International Journal of Human Resource Management 15 (1): 112–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • UKCES. 2015a. Developing leadership and entrepreneurship skills in small firms: How can anchor institutions support the development of small firms in their local economy? Rotherham: UK Commission for Employment and Skills, March 2015.

    Google Scholar 

  • UKCES. 2015b. Anchor institutions and small firms in the UK: A review of the literature on anchor institutions and their role in developing management and leadership skills in small firms. Rotherham: UK Commission for Employment and Skills, March.

    Google Scholar 

  • Valdiserri, G.A., and J. Wilson. 2010. The study of leadership in small business organisations: Impact on profitability and organisational success. Entrepreneurial Executive 15, ISSN:1087-8955.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vecchio, R.P. 2003. Entrepreneurship and leadership: Common trends and common threads. Human Resource Management Review 13: 303–327.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Young, Lord. 2013. Growing your business: A report on micro firms, May 2013. BIS/13/729, Crown copyright.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karise Hutchinson .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Hutchinson, K. (2018). Leadership in Small Firms—The X Factor. In: Leadership and Small Business. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-64777-7_3

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics