Transformational and entrepreneurial leadership: A review of distinction and overlap

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Ravet-Brown, T., Furtner, M., & Kallmuenzer, A. (2024). Transformational and entrepreneurial leadership: A review of distinction and overlap. Review of Managerial Science, 18, 493-538. (ABS_2021: 2; VHB_3: B)


Beitrag in wissenschaftlicher Fachzeitschrift


Entrepreneurship represents a key motor of economic growth, and entrepreneurial leadership (EL) represents a vital constituent thereof. However, its examination remains factious, and integration with the wider leadership literature is fragmentary. EL is claimed by some as representing a construct distinct from extant leadership styles, even though the major contribution made by transformational leadership (TL) theory remains under-researched and under-reported. Furthermore, TL is often used to measure leaders in entrepreneurship, resulting in a lack of clarity regarding the relationship between TL and EL. Our study seeks to contribute to the literature by elucidating the distinction and overlap between the two leadership constructs, as currently defined by available questionnaires. To this end, conceptual work, current findings, and research practice are reviewed. Drawn from a final sample of 25 articles, our findings show appreciable conceptual divergence. However, questionnaires of EL overlap significantly with TL and are subject to validation and discriminant validity issues; many researchers furthermore continue to use TL questionnaires to measure EL. Very little compelling empirical evidence for divergent validity was found, though strong correlations between EL and TL were observed. Our study contributes an overview of EL from the viewpoint of leadership science, providing recommendations to entrepreneurship researchers examining EL. We suggest that future work should satisfy two main goals: the establishment of a conceptualization of EL which can empirically demonstrate divergent validity versus other, accepted measures of leadership, and the creation of a cogent and a specific theoretical model to support it.



  • Liechtenstein Business School
  • Entrepreneurship & Leadership

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