Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Case Study of U.S. Accelerator Executives




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This study explores the style of leadership and entrepreneurial philosophy of United States accelerator executives. Through the use of the case study method and follow on Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire, four distinct leadership styles emerged. Unique patterns and differences between non-profit and for-profit leaders in the accelerator population emerged, such as primary focus and outcome measurement. The goal of this study was to identify and explore further the styles and differences among accelerators. Twenty-one leaders were interviewed representing major geographic hubs and regions of entrepreneurial activity. The interviews were coded and a two-axis framework emerged identifying four styles of leadership. One axis balances concern for people with concern for process and the other axis balances a preference for financial outcomes with a preference for community outcomes. The result of these interviews is a new entrepreneurial leadership framework with four styles: Lean Leader, Problem-Solving Leader, Teaching Leader, and Service Leader. These four styles were also considered against recent research in transformational leadership and the MLQ was used to further explore connections among the styles of leadership.



Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Public administration, Industrial management, Political science



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