Entrepreneurs as authentic leaders: impact on employees' attitudes

Entrepreneurs as authentic leaders: impact on employees' attitudes Purpose – The leadership of entrepreneurs/business founders, as perceived by their employees, has received limited research attention. Using the Authentic Leadership Model as a guiding framework, this study seeks to provide an exploratory examination of the linkage between employees' perception of the business founder as an authentic leader and the employees' attitudes and happiness. Design/methodology/approach – Participants are employees ( n =179) of 62 newer, smaller businesses. Each business represented in the study had been founded by a single owner still active in the daily operations of the company. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze the two levels of data (individual and business level) gathered in the study. Findings – As hypothesized, the employees' perception of authentic leadership serves as the strongest single predictor of employee job satisfaction ( t =6.453, p =0.000), organizational commitment ( t =6.665, p =0.000), and work happiness ( t =5.488, p =0.000). Research limitations/implications – A convenience sampling method limits the generalizability of results. Experimental and longitudinal future research is needed to assess issues of causality as well as the strength and duration of relationships noted. Future research should focus on how the authentic leadership of the founder/entrepreneur impacts not only employee attitudes, but also the performance and long‐term viability of the emerging organization. Originality/value – This exploratory study offers the first application of the Authentic Leadership Model within the context of entrepreneurial ventures, and provides new insights into the relationship between entrepreneur/leader behavior and employee attitudes. Findings indicate that if employees in newer, small organizations view their founder/entrepreneur as an authentic leader, it can have a positive impact on their work‐related attitudes and happiness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leadership & Organization Development Journal Emerald Publishing

Entrepreneurs as authentic leaders: impact on employees' attitudes

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-7739
D.O.I.
10.1108/01437730610709273
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The leadership of entrepreneurs/business founders, as perceived by their employees, has received limited research attention. Using the Authentic Leadership Model as a guiding framework, this study seeks to provide an exploratory examination of the linkage between employees' perception of the business founder as an authentic leader and the employees' attitudes and happiness. Design/methodology/approach – Participants are employees ( n =179) of 62 newer, smaller businesses. Each business represented in the study had been founded by a single owner still active in the daily operations of the company. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze the two levels of data (individual and business level) gathered in the study. Findings – As hypothesized, the employees' perception of authentic leadership serves as the strongest single predictor of employee job satisfaction ( t =6.453, p =0.000), organizational commitment ( t =6.665, p =0.000), and work happiness ( t =5.488, p =0.000). Research limitations/implications – A convenience sampling method limits the generalizability of results. Experimental and longitudinal future research is needed to assess issues of causality as well as the strength and duration of relationships noted. Future research should focus on how the authentic leadership of the founder/entrepreneur impacts not only employee attitudes, but also the performance and long‐term viability of the emerging organization. Originality/value – This exploratory study offers the first application of the Authentic Leadership Model within the context of entrepreneurial ventures, and provides new insights into the relationship between entrepreneur/leader behavior and employee attitudes. Findings indicate that if employees in newer, small organizations view their founder/entrepreneur as an authentic leader, it can have a positive impact on their work‐related attitudes and happiness.

Journal

Leadership & Organization Development JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2006

Keywords: Leadership; Entrepreneurs; Employee attitudes; Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Leaders

References

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