Special Issue Call for Papers: Leading Entrepreneurial Ventures: Individual and Team-Based Perspectives

Leading Entrepreneurial Ventures: Individual and Team-Based Perspectives

Submission Deadline: 1st June 2018

Guest Editors:
Jon Carr, North Carolina State University
Andrew Corbett, Babson College
Crystal Hoyt, University of Richmond
Franz Kellermanns, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Brad Kirkman, North Carolina State University
Jeff Pollack, North Carolina State University

JMS Editor: Corinne Post, Lehigh University

Background to Special Issue

Although recent work has explored the topic of strategic leadership in entrepreneurial contexts at a more macro level (e.g., Special Issue in Journal of Management Studies; Simsek, Jansen, Minichilli, & Escriba-Esteve, 2015), there is a fundamental shortcoming that remains unaddressed with regards to leadership research within entrepreneurship. Research scholars have continued to treat the context of entrepreneurship as a special situation where mainstream leadership research can be applied. For example, findings have examined how CEOs behavior affects managers in an entrepreneurship context (Kang, Solomon, & Choi, 2015).

However, we contend that mainstream leadership research and approaches may not be ideally suited to studying what happens in the very early stages of nascent entrepreneurship, or what happens as the venture grows. For example, in the very early stages of the opportunity identification process, there are often no formal followers, yet the resource needs of the venture may require the engagement and leadership of informal partners to address opportunity-related requirements. Likewise, traditional views on leadership are not well-suited to exploring how an idea transforms into an opportunity. Overall, extant work falls short of being able to inform theory and practice about how an individual or team engages in leadership behaviors that take a venture from the opportunity identification stage, through the opportunity exploration and subsequent exploitation (e.g., launch) stages.

Scholars have worked to highlight the areas where leadership research and entrepreneurship research potentially intersect (e.g., vision, influence, leading in changing contexts, planning) as well as how the domains are similar and different (e.g., Cogliser & Brigham, 2004; Vecchio, 2003). Yet, the common thread in this line of thinking is that leadership research is a mature field, and can thus inform the newer domain of entrepreneurship in some novel way. We contend that it is time for the field of entrepreneurship to put forward new theories of leadership at the individual and team-level, both empirically supported as well as conceptually-focused, which can redefine leadership research (and entrepreneurship research) in the 21st Century.

Accordingly, the purpose of this special issue is to bring together the best minds across various fields to address the issue of what specifically constitutes the individual and team-related challenges, processes, and opportunities related to leading the entrepreneurial venture. We hope to attract exemplary empirical research—both quantitative and qualitative—that showcases unique empirical strategies and novel data sources. We are also very interested in research that develops provocative theoretical contributions and/or integrates findings and theories across multiple disciplines and perspectives. Overall, we hope this special issue in Journal of Management Studies will advance the field, both in terms of management theory as well as in practice. Some possible broad research questions that might be addressed by contributions in this special issue include:

  • What does it mean to lead a nascent venture in which there are no followers? How can one person, or a team, leverage the newness and smallness of the emerging venture to attract its earliest followers (e.g., customers, employees, suppliers, financiers)? What does leadership look like for emerging ventures where entrepreneurs have primarily external stakeholders and where no actual followers exist yet?
  • How does an individual need to adapt, over time, to lead a venture during the opportunity identification, opportunity exploration, and opportunity exploitation stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle. Can case studies, or other methods, provide insight into successful individuals (or teams) who have done this compared to those who have failed?
  • Why might an individual who is the founder be advantageous to have as a leader of a new venture? Why might an individual who is the founder not be an ideal candidate to run the venture once it is launched (Chen & Thompson, 2015; Pollock, Fund, & Baker, 2009)? Might different individuals play important leadership roles at different points along the entrepreneurial process?
  • How do the prosocial motivations of the founder in the venture and the procedural fairness of the founding individual or team influence followership (e.g., employees, customers, suppliers, financiers)? How might the lack of existing schemas for new ventures contribute to a leader’s ethical decision making?
  • What’s the role of risk-taking and confidence (actual and perceived) in leadership in entrepreneurial contexts? How do risk-taking and confidence differ among leaders in entrepreneurial ventures across different nations and cultures?
  • How might judgments of an entrepreneurial leader’s warmth and competence, two core dimensions in judging leaders, differ among and matter for various followers from financiers to employees? Do these dimensions hold across cultures and nations for the followers of leaders in entrepreneurial ventures?
  • What does leadership look like in ventures started by an individual entrepreneur versus those started by entrepreneurial communities? How might a compelling vision of the venture inspire leadership and followership?
  • How might identity-based expectations (for example, gender, nationality, and race) and affective displays influence the confidence that various stakeholders have in the entrepreneurial leaders’ ability to be successful?
  • How, and under what conditions, do leaders’ communication and management of their affective states impact the entrepreneurial process in terms of leadership?


Submission Process and Deadlines


Professional Development Workshop

Academy of Management, August 2017, Atlanta, GA

We are offering a Professional Development Workshop at the 2017 Academy of Management Meeting in August (Atlanta, Georgia) as a means by which scholars who focus on this area can craft a vision for the future of research related to leadership in the domain of entrepreneurship. This PDW participants the opportunity to 1) interact with experts in the field to learn about the state of the literature, 2) discuss, in small groups facilitated by experts, research ideas and potential methodological issues, and 3) network with researchers of similar interests and complementary skills to foster future collaborations. Please look for this PDW in the online program via http://aom.org/annualmeeting/. Attending this workshop is not a precondition for submission to this special issue.


Special Issue Workshop

February 2019 in Raleigh, NC

A Special Issue Workshop will be held in February, 2019 in Raleigh, NC. Authors of R&R manuscripts will be invited to present their papers and react to their colleague’s papers during the workshop. Presentation at the workshop does not guarantee acceptance of the paper. Likewise, attending the workshop is not a precondition for acceptance for the special issue.