Entrepreneurial leadership in a mid-sizedfamily ﬁrm for its further growth anddevelopment
Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, London, UK, and
Leeds University Business School, Leeds, UK
– 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 familycontrol.
– The paper draws on distributed leadership as a theoreticalframework in exploring how a major corporate acquisition was conceived and undertaken to advancethe bank’s growth and development. Data were obtained through structured interviews withmanagers based on a three-part discussion protocol following a pre-interview questionnaire.
– An “extended” system of leadership involving different levels of managers is developedthat successfully completed the acquisition and produced signiﬁcant growth from the combinedbusinesses.
– Based on a single case, the paper does not claim that theobserved phenomena are typical of mid-sized family-controlled businesses (FCBs). However, forscholars, the paper suggests how studying leadership practice in such FCBs may produce insights thatchallenge the popular view of an all-powerful family leader by substituting a more nuancedperspective of a collaborative leadership system that facilitates entrepreneurial activity down the ﬁrm.
– For managers, the study suggests how deeply developed collaborationamong different levels of managers may produce competitive advantage for FCBs that seek furthergrowth and development.
– It is suggested how further research of the growth processes of mid-sizedFCBs 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 FCBsby articulating a process in which a unique competency is developed for their ongoing survival as afamily-controlled enterprise.
Family ﬁrms, Leadership, Entrepreneurialism, Entrepreneurs, Competitive advantage,Business development
Despite popular interest in family-controlled businesses (FCBs), little is known aboutwhy and how leadership matters in this form of organization. Notably, little isknown about how leadership practice in FCBs may help them survive, despitescholarly calls for case-based research of how entrepreneurial leadership may helpFCBs grow and survive under family control (Habbershon, 2006; Karra
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International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour &ResearchVol. 16 No. 5, 2010pp. 457-476
Emerald Group Publishing Limited1355-2554DOI 10.1108/13552551011071896