IN LIGHT OF THE growing interest in the use of corporate entrepreneurship to assist organisations to enhance the innovative abilities of their employees and increase corporate success, it is essential to understand the impact of this approach on the company’s leadership. The topic of leadership has fascinated people for centuries and much of the literature indicates that disagreements on definitions of leadership vest in the fact that leadership involves complex interactions between the leader, the followers, and the situation (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004:595).
Amidst the many different views on leadership the common thread, however, is influence. Thus it is not necessarily the individual who possesses the most formal authority who is the leader in an organisation (Fernald et al., 2005:3). The leader can be anyone who exerts influence over others. The view that the leader may be an employee at any level of the organisation has emerged as an alternative to a traditional management approach in which management was seen as planning, organising and controlling the work of other people.
Subsequently, the term ’entrepreneurial leader‘ now refers to two different groups of people in the organisation with distinct roles. These are, (1) the people who reside at the top of the organisational chart and who have broad responsibilities across the organisation, and (2) those at all levels of the organisation who work to uncover and pursue opportunities for constructive change and unlock and effectively utilise human potential for the enhancement of creativity to gain commitment to visions and goals.
The most important function of an entrepreneurial leader is thus not to find new opportunities or to identify the critical competitive