Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Developing Economy: The Retail Pharmacy Sector

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Objectives: The dynamic nature of the business environment and the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and owner managers has led scholars to embrace entrepreneurial leadership. The study seeks to uncover the challenges facing entrepreneurs in a developing economy, using the retail pharmacy sector in Nigeria as a case study. Furthermore, the entrepreneurial leadership attributes
that have proved to be valuable in combating the challenges faced in this vibrant sector will be identified.

Prior Work: Though, there has been some body of literature on entrepreneurial leadership, (Cogliser and Brigham, 2004; Fernald et al., 2005; Gupta et al., 2004.), none have addressed the nexus of leadership and entrepreneurship (Cogliser and Brigham, 2004) from the retail pharmacy sector of a developing economy. Only a limited number of such studies have emanated from developing
countries (Hejazi et al., 2012; Chen, 2007) but these studies did not investigate entrepreneurial leadership from a dual perspective of the leader and their followers. In addition, the extent to which entrepreneurial leadership attributes identified by previous studies are relevant in particular contexts are unclear. Indeed, there is a lack of consensus on the theoretical and conceptual basis of
entrepreneurial leadership.

Approach: The study investigates the challenges that entrepreneurial leaders in the retail pharmacy sector of a developing economy face. It seeks to understand how entrepreneurial leadership attributes are valuable in combating such challenges and the way they make sense of their actions. Therefore, since the study is exploratory, an inductive approach which incorporates a qualitative method is more appropriate. Data collection is based on semi-structured interviews with retail pharmacy entrepreneurs and their employees and data collected will be analysed thematically.

Results: The research is in its early stages and there are no definite results available. However, preliminary findings from research has shown that retail pharmacy entrepreneurs in a developing economy are faced with challenges such as inadequate capital, poor infrastructural facilities, political instability and corruption.

Implications: By the participants sharing their experiences, the study will help identify the prerequisites of succeeding in this sector, hence motivating other retail pharmacy entrepreneurs. This study is the first qualitative study to explore and describe the impact of entrepreneurial leadership in the retail pharmacy sector in Nigeria. It offers new insights with rich information about entrepreneurial leadership in this sector.

Value: By taking this perspective and investigating Nigeria, the study complements past research works on entrepreneurial leadership (Gupta et al., 2004; Chen, 2007; Hejazi et al., 2012; Swiercz and Lydon, 2002). The reflection of this reality is important because developing economies have differing
characteristics from developed economies, hence requiring special consideration. Furthermore, findings will be used to re-examine the key theoretical models on entrepreneurial leadership (Gupta et al., 2004; Hejazi et al., 2012).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventISBE 2014 - 37th Annual Conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship - Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Nov 20146 Nov 2014


ConferenceISBE 2014 - 37th Annual Conference of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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