Transformational Leadership and the Corporate Entrepreneurial Spirit

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    Introduction: Transformational leadership is hailed by many academics as a way of improving human capital and increasing productivity. In the same way, corporate entrepreneurial spirit is seen as a road to innovation and transformation. Productivity, innovation and transformation are often cited as drivers of development, which could be important in promoting such activities in Africa. Objectives: To determine the extent to which an environment where transformational leadership is practised coincides with an environment that is conducive to the practice of corporate entrepreneurship. Method: Data was collected from 868 employees from 17 Southern African organisations. The respondents were asked to complete a series of questionnaires, including one on transformational leadership and one on corporate entrepreneurship. Informed consent was obtained before the questionnaires were administered. As well as descriptive statistics, correlations were also calculated. Results: The reliability coefficients measured were acceptable (transformational leadership, alpha = .870; corporate entrepreneurship, alpha = .810). The results indicate that transformational leadership correlates significantly (p < .001) with the elements of entrepreneurship. The strongest correlations were with the domains of Rewards/Reinforcement (r = .523) and Management Support (r = .405), while the weakest were with Time Availability (r = .107) and Work Discretion (r = .233). Conclusions: Although an environment in which transformational leadership is practised coincides with important elements conducive to the practice of entrepreneurship, transformational leadership does not facilitate all these processes. Transformational leadership may thus be important, but it is not sufficient for the development of entrepreneurial spirit. Methods of boosting corporate entrepreneurial spirit are suggested for transformational leaders.