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Entrepreneurial leadership in high‐tech firms: a field study

Paul Michael Swiercz (Department of Management Science, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
Sharon R. Lydon (Department of Management Science, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 November 2002



There are many known reasons why hot start‐ups fail – new technologies, new markets, new distribution channels, inexperienced management teams, etc. – but an unquestionably critical factor is the leadership ability of the entrepreneurial CEO. Conventional wisdom states that professional managers should replace founders because they customarily do not have the necessary leadership skills and experience to further the continued growth of the organization. Recent research, however, has found no evidence that professional managers perform better in high‐growth firms than the original founder. This investigation analyzed the experiences of 27 entrepreneurial CEOs who successfully defied conventional wisdom by leading their organizations from tenuous start‐up to professionally managed enterprise. The research revealed two distinct sets of leadership competencies – labeled self competencies and functional competencies – required of entrepreneurs aspiring to remain at the helm of growth‐driven high‐tech firms.



Swiercz, P.M. and Lydon, S.R. (2002), "Entrepreneurial leadership in high‐tech firms: a field study", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 23 No. 7, pp. 380-389.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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