Developing a conceptual framework of entrepreneurial leadership: a systematic literature review and thematic analysis

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Entrepreneurial leadership is a relatively emergent paradigm. Whilst in its infancy it has amassed a reasonable, yet fragmented literature base which has created limitations inciting paradigmatic challenges including definitional disparity and an absence of a conceptual framework. This paper addresses the challenges faced by entrepreneurial leadership through the systematic review and thematic analysis of 112 papers. Eight themes of entrepreneurial leadership were identified: the intersection of leadership and entrepreneurship, the gendered approach, the psychological approach, entrepreneurial leadership development, entrepreneurial leadership skills, entrepreneurial teams, the context approach, and entrepreneurial leadership and performance. A prominent finding from the thematic analysis was the influence of papers to multiple themes thus illuminating relationships within the paradigm. A conceptual framework is presented which identifies the influencing variables of entrepreneurial leadership and the relationships between them. This framework aims to provide a theoretical foundation of entrepreneurial leadership on which further research can be cogitated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-384
Number of pages38
JournalInternational Review of Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2019



  • Entrepreneurial leadership
  • Thematic analysis
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership
  • Systematic literature review

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