Not Another Study of Great Leaders: Entrepreneurial Leadership in a Mid-Sized Family Firm for its Further Growth and Development
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Vol. 16, No. 5, pp. 457-476, 2010
20 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2011
Date Written: November 30, 2010
The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature and process of leadership in a mid-sized, family-controlled bank in Singapore in order to understand how it grew and developed under family control. The paper draws on distributed leadership as a theoretical framework in exploring how a major corporate acquisition was conceived and undertaken to advance the bank’s growth and development. Data were obtained through structured interviews with managers based on a three-part discussion protocol following a pre-interview questionnaire. An “extended” system of leadership involving different levels of managers is developed that successfully completed the acquisition and produced significant growth from the combined businesses. Based on a single case, the paper does not claim that the observed phenomena are typical of mid-sized family-controlled businesses (FCBs). However, for scholars, the paper suggests how studying leadership practice in such FCBs may produce insights that challenge the popular view of an all-powerful family leader by substituting a more nuanced perspective of a collaborative leadership system that facilitates entrepreneurial activity down the firm. For managers, the study suggests how deeply developed collaboration among different levels of managers may produce competitive advantage for FCBs that seek further growth and development. It is suggested how further research of the growth processes of mid-sized FCBs may maximize the value of entrepreneurial opportunities for their “extended” family of stakeholders, specifically for their customers with whom FCBs typically enjoy close relations. The paper fills an empirical gap in the literature on competitive, mid-sized FCBs by articulating a process in which a unique competency is developed for their ongoing survival as a family-controlled enterprise.
Keywords: Family Firms, Leadership, Entrepreneurialism, Entrepreneurs, Competitive Advantage
JEL Classification: M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation