Not another study of great leaders: entrepreneurial leadership in a mid-sized family firm for its further growth and development

Ng, W. and Thorpe, R. 2010. 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. 16 (5), pp. 457-476.

TitleNot another study of great leaders: entrepreneurial leadership in a mid-sized family firm for its further growth and development
AuthorsNg, W. and Thorpe, R.
Abstract

Purpose – 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.

Design/methodology/approach – 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.

Findings – 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.

Research limitations/implications – 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.

Practical implications – 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.

Social implications – 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.

Originality/value – 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.

JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Journal citation16 (5), pp. 457-476
ISSN1355-2554
Year2010
PublisherEmerald
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1108/13552551011071896
Publication dates
Published2010

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