Entrepreneurial leadership in a developing economy: a skill-based analysis

Christian Harrison, Kevin Burnard, Stuart Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
164 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine entrepreneurial leadership and to determine the entrepreneurial leadership skills which are important for success in a developing economy environment. Specifically, the focus of this research was on entrepreneurial leadership within the retail pharmacy sector in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach - This study was guided by an interpretivist–constructionist perspective. By adopting a qualitative approach, the lived experiences of the retail pharmacy entrepreneurs could be understood. 51 semi-structured interviews were the mode of data collection, and data was triangulated via three sources: entrepreneurs, employees, and literature.

Findings - From the study results, a vivid picture of entrepreneurial leadership was formed, which in turn provides the basis for an empirical skill-based model of this phenomenon in a developing economy. This study identifies four distinct entrepreneurial leadership skill categories. These include technical/business skills, interpersonal skills, conceptual skills and entrepreneurial skills. The findings of this study also show the factors and conditions necessary for entrepreneurial leadership in a developing economy.

Originality/value - The findings of this study have implications in theory and practice. Its results provide an empirical, skill-based framework on entrepreneurial leadership in a developing economy, a subject area for which there exists a lack of background literature. In practice, the findings of this study serve as a useful reference for practitioners and policy makers of the skills and other factors required for people to succeed as entrepreneurial leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages53
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2017


  • Entrepreneurial leadership
  • African Entrepreneurship
  • Africa
  • Developing economy
  • Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Skills

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