I have a dream : the role of signalling in entrepreneurial leadership

Hefti, Jacques and Levie, Jonathan (2014) I have a dream : the role of signalling in entrepreneurial leadership. In: Rencontres St Gall, 2014-09-01 - 2014-09-02. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

We employ signalling theory to explore critical features of entrepreneurial leadership. Signalling theory emphasises the importance of transmitting a signal that is credible to the receiver. Entrepreneurial leaders must create and successfully cast a vision (the signal) to three different categories of receiver. The first category is the entrepreneurial leader him- or herself. We call this signal transmission ‘entrepreneurial self-leadership’. The second category is the team of founders and team members of the organisation. This signal transmission is ‘leading inside the organisation’. The third category is key stakeholders and the institutional context of the organisation. This signal transmission is ‘leading beyond the organisation’. A model of entrepreneurial leadership and organisational performance that incorporates the role of entrepreneurial vision is proposed. Implications of this view of entrepreneurial leadership for entrepreneurial leaders, their employees and stakeholders, and for entrepreneurship educators are discussed, and proposals are made for further research.