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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Alex Kevill, Kiran Trehan, Mark Easterby-Smith and David Higgins

The purpose of this paper is to provide small business and entrepreneurship researchers with insights to help them undertake life story interviewing, in order that this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide small business and entrepreneurship researchers with insights to help them undertake life story interviewing, in order that this can subsequently advance understanding within the field.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors describe, and reflect upon, the use of a life story interview approach that formed part of the data collection process for a research study into dynamic capabilities in micro-organisations.

Findings

The life story interview approach the authors utilised can generate benefits for both the purposes of the research study and the interviewee. Nevertheless, “unexpected lack of time” and “owner-managerial control”, two common contextual factors within micro-organisations, are factors that may raise challenges for successfully undertaking life story interviewing in such organisations. Ultimately the interviewer needs to respond to such challenges by making “stick or twist” decisions with regard to the interview format being used.

Research limitations/implications

The authors provide an example of an interview approach that researchers can use for future research within the field of small business and entrepreneurship. The authors also prepare interviewers for challenges they may experience within the field and the potential need for them to make “stick or twist” decisions.

Originality/value

The authors explicate a specific life story interview approach which is new to the field of small business and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the authors highlight potential complexities in undertaking this interview approach within micro-organisations. Prior work within the field has tended to give little consideration to challenges of undertaking life story interviews.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Boas Shamir and Galit Eilam-Shamir

In this paper, we first develop the concepts of authentic leaders, authentic leadership, and authentic leader development. We suggest a definition of authentic leaders…

Abstract

In this paper, we first develop the concepts of authentic leaders, authentic leadership, and authentic leader development. We suggest a definition of authentic leaders, which is based on the leader’s self-concept: his or her self-knowledge, self-concept clarity, self-concordance, and person-role merger, and on the extent to which the leader’s self-concept is expressed in his or her behavior. Following, we offer a life-story approach to the development of authentic leaders. We argue that authentic leadership rests heavily on the self-relevant meanings the leader attaches to his or her life experiences, and these meanings are captured in the leader’s life-story. We suggest that self-knowledge, self-concept clarity, and person-role merger are derived from the life-story. Therefore, the construction of a life-story is a major element in the development of authentic leaders. We further argue that the life-story provides followers with a major source of information on which to base their judgments about the leader’s authenticity. We conclude by drawing some practical implications from this approach and presenting suggestions for further research.

Details

Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-200-0

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Article
Publication date: 30 December 2019

Stig-Börje Asplund and Héctor Pérez Prieto

The purpose of this paper is to explore what conversation analysis has to offer when analysing a series of life story interviews aiming to capture how reading and texts…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore what conversation analysis has to offer when analysing a series of life story interviews aiming to capture how reading and texts are used in a rural working-class man’s identity construction.

Design/methodology/approach

The conversation analysis methodology with its explicit focus on embodied social action, activity and conduct in interaction is integrated with a life story approach when analysing and describing the identity constructing processes that take place in life story interview settings.

Findings

Through a close and detailed analysis of the interaction between interviewer and interviewee, and by focusing and highlighting the phenomena and identities that are oriented to in the face-to-face interaction here and now (and in relation to there and then), descriptions of the complex and dynamic identity constructing processes that are set into play in the life story interview are possible.

Research limitations/implications

It is argued that the approach has a lot to offer when approaching life story data, and thus is a method that can increase the transparency in life story interview research.

Originality/value

The paper explores the intersection of what is often seen as diametrically opposed forms of analysis: conversation analysis and narrative inquiry.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

Jane Turner and Sharon Mavin

The purpose of this paper is to explore subjective life histories and leadership journeys of senior leaders, drawing upon elements of an authentic leadership framework …

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore subjective life histories and leadership journeys of senior leaders, drawing upon elements of an authentic leadership framework (life trigger events, values and emotions). The paper surfaces partial life histories and the often unheard of individual experiences of becoming a leader, offering stories to others as a media for learning and extending authentic leadership theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon a qualitative empirical study engaging 22 UK senior leaders in semi‐structured interviews, involving a life‐history approach to generate subjective narratives of how individuals establish and sustain leadership.

Findings

The empirical data highlights that elements of authentic leadership theory resonate in practice. Senior leaders' life histories and in particular negative trigger events are significant to their approach as leaders. The values of honesty and integrity were important to the leaders, with some able to sustain their values uncompromisingly. The leaders openly expressed emotion and vulnerability when re‐telling their stories, but whether they do so as leaders in relationships with others, requires further research. Authentic leadership theory may be over simplified in terms of emotion and vulnerability in practice.

Practical implications

Elements of authentic leadership offer alternative understandings of experiences of leaders. The life history approach enables important insights into leaders' subjective realities and should be integral to leadership development approaches.

Originality/value

The paper offers empirical data from UK senior leaders, highlighting the unheard of strutting and fretting of leadership and contributing empirical research to authentic leadership theory.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2017

Robert Smith

The literature of entrepreneurship has an urban focus and despite the emergence of the rural entrepreneurship literature, we know little about the characteristics…

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1394

Abstract

Purpose

The literature of entrepreneurship has an urban focus and despite the emergence of the rural entrepreneurship literature, we know little about the characteristics, philosophies, operating practices and growth strategies of ordinary village entrepreneurs’ in a UK context. As a concept, the “village entrepreneur” is contentious as theoretically there should be little difference between urban and rural entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, there is! The concept is important because many villages are in decline and are marginal places in terms of entrepreneurial opportunity. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the fragmented literature is conducted to synthesise and develop greater understanding. Drawing on a “life-storyapproach the empirical strand comprises of an analysis of five ethnographic interviews with village entrepreneurs.

Findings

The respondents did not consider themselves entrepreneurs whom they characterised as flash, rogues and even crooked. Their embedded village entrepreneur persona was constructed around tales-of-character, hard work and perseverance. They prided themselves in making “slow-money” which they retain over their lifetime. Embeddedness, self-efficacy, character and morality were key themes encountered.

Research limitations/implications

From a research perspective the findings are based on a limited sample and the study was not specifically designed to capture data on characteristics, philosophies and operating practices. Further research on a larger scale is necessary to validate the findings.

Practical implications

From a practical perspective policy makers require to consider the notions of embeddedness, self-efficacy, character and morality when considering implementing growth strategies in rural areas.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the growing literature of rural entrepreneurship by expanding the typology of rural entrepreneurs and by detailing philosophies, operating practices, and growth strategies suitable and appropriate for small village and rural businesses.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2016

Karin Klenke

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in the Study of Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-651-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Shankar Sankaran

The purpose of this paper is to glean leadership lessons of megaproject managers through the life stories of four purposefully selected managers from two contemporary and…

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1486

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to glean leadership lessons of megaproject managers through the life stories of four purposefully selected managers from two contemporary and two landmark megaprojects.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative inquiry approach applying thematic analysis is used to capture lessons learnt from these stories with a focus on leading megaprojects. Narrative analysis has been used in organization studies and this paper is an attempt to use it in project management research.

Findings

Common strategies used by all four megaproject managers to be successful include: selecting the right people and building their capability; building trust with stakeholders; dealing with institutional power and politics effectively; and having the courage to innovate. There were also some differences in the approaches used by these managers due the times in which these projects were implemented.

Research limitations/implications

The use of narrative inquiry is new to project management literature. As the life stories were not presented in the same way it was difficult to analyze them in the same manner, and further data had to be collected. This could have been avoided if it were feasible to collect narratives directly from the megaproject managers. This is being planned in future research emerging from this paper.

Practical implications

This study helps megaproject managers to exhibit leadership attributes that would be required to execute such large complex projects that have wide implications for the society, economy and the environment.

Social implications

Megaprojects are often considered major displacements that cause social and geophysical issues that affect the environment. Lessons learnt from these stories could be useful to avoid such issues. The stories analyzed showed the human side of the megaproject managers toward people related, health and societal issues.

Originality/value

Narrative inquiry is new to project management literature. In the past, project management literature has focused on extracting lessons learnt from historical and classical projects, but lessons from life stories of project managers have not been used for the same purpose.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2021

Damian Ruth, Frances Gunn and Jonathan Elms

The purpose of this paper is to explore the everyday tasks and activities undertaken by retailer entrepreneurs and owner/managers when they strategize. Specifically, it…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the everyday tasks and activities undertaken by retailer entrepreneurs and owner/managers when they strategize. Specifically, it interrogates the nature of the intuitive, idiosyncratic strategic agency of a retail owner/manager.

Design/methodology/approach

Through adopting a combination of phenomenological and narrative approaches, focussing on illuminating the everyday operational and strategic practices of one retail entrepreneur and owner/manager, a richly contextualized, ideographic account of the procedures and outcomes of their strategizing is provided.

Findings

By revealing narratives that are seldom obvious – often kept behind the counter, and not on display – the authors are able to unravel the social reality of the retailer's decision-making, and the influences of identity, connections with customers and community, emotions and the spirit, and love and family. This study also illuminates how entrepreneurs retrospectively make sense out of the messiness of everyday life particularly when juggling the melding of personal and business realities.

Research limitations/implications

This paper explores the experiences and reflections of the decision-making of one retail entrepreneur manager within a particular business setting. However, the use of an ideographic approach allowed for an in depth investigation of the realities of strategic practices undertaken by a retail owner that may be extrapolated beyond this immediate context.

Originality/value

This paper develops original insights into the retailer as an individual, vis-à-vis an organization, as well as nuanced understanding of the actual nature of work undertaken by retail entrepreneurs and owner/managers. To this end, this paper contributes to the “strategy-as-practice” debate in the strategic management literature, and to narrative analysis and advances insights to the perennial question: “what is a retailer?”.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Cara A. Pouchly, Louise H. Corbett and Kati Edwards

This is a discussion paper which aims to explore issues of consent and confidentiality when using life story work in clinical settings with older adults with dementia.

Abstract

Purpose

This is a discussion paper which aims to explore issues of consent and confidentiality when using life story work in clinical settings with older adults with dementia.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a discussion paper reviewing current research, policy, guidance from regulating bodies and government recommendations.

Findings

Life story work can be used in clinical practice without violating consent and confidentiality clauses in mental health practice when used appropriately.

Originality/value

This paper provides insights overcoming issues of consent and confidentiality with life story work in clinical practice, reducing the challenges reported by staff. Clinical recommendations are offered to both support and empower clinical staff, enabling the full benefits of this person‐centred tool to be utilised.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Shaista E. Khilji, Brian Keilson, Farah Yasmine Shakir and Binod Krishna Shrestha

Scholars have argued that it is important to investigate how authentic leadership is manifested in different cultures (Avolio et al., 2005; Gardiner, 2011; Shamir and…

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Abstract

Purpose

Scholars have argued that it is important to investigate how authentic leadership is manifested in different cultures (Avolio et al., 2005; Gardiner, 2011; Shamir and Eilam, 2005). Hence the purpose of this paper is to capture a cross-cultural view of authentic leadership, using a sample of South Asian leaders.

Design/methodology/approach

Because of a dearth of qualitative empirical evidence, the authors adopted a “life storyapproach to collect data. A total of 14 leaders from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were interviewed to share their leadership experiences.

Findings

Findings indicate that the concept of authentic leadership is culturally relevant. It emerged as a multi-dimensional construct constituting self-concept, follower development, organizational outcomes and culture (Meacham, 2007), and contextual knowledge. The authors propose a cross-cultural model of authentic leadership.

Research limitations/implications

Research limitations include researchers’ possible biases in design of data and an assumption that leaders interviewed were authentic. Despite these limitations, the study provides valuable insights about authentic leadership to strengthen its theoretical foundation.

Social implications

Organizational and social problems in South Asian are often attributed to a leadership deficit (Khan, 2014; Khilji, 2013; National Post, 2014; Sardesai, 2013). This study provides evidence of transformative authentic leaders in South Asia who are engaged with their and followers’ authentic growth, and are building authentic cultures for positive organizational outcomes.

Originality/value

The value of the present research is in providing qualitative empirical evidence from South Asia, and proposing a cross-cultural model of authentic leadership.

Details

South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-4457

Keywords

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