Efficient and effective performance of organisations of all types depends on excellent management and leadership capabilities which can be learned and developed and according to Boyatzis et al (1996) the global investment on leadership capabilities development program was $37 billion approximately (Burgoyne, et al., 2004). The development of business leaders in today's business environment is seen as a crucial factor for business success and research studies have shown that approximately 23% of organisational performance depends on best practice management development (Department for Business Innovation & Skills, 2013). This information is highly persuasive to believe that leadership is a fact for improving business performance. The capabilities of business leaders are a dynamic concept as with the dynamic business environment. Today's business environment is highly competitive and automated. New ideas and ways to doing work can bring competitive advantage for business therefore today's business leaders need to be very innovative and creative. Leadership capabilities also need to be consistent with future changing circumstances of business along with present.
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According to Porter and Karmer 2011 profit maximisation and shareholders value creation has long been considered the fundamental reason of business existence however maximising the common good and minimising social injustice and environmental impact is the order of the day (Greenberg, et al., 2011). The leaders therefore need to consider the social, economic and environmental wellbeing simultaneously while leading ad directing their organisations and entrepreneurial leadership is an evolving concept to consider this changing need. To be successful in today and in the future businesses need entrepreneurial, innovative and creative business leaders.
The aim of this paper is to consider some important issues of entrepreneurial, innovative and creative leadership.
1. Innovative, Creative and Entrepreneurial Business Leader
1.1 Describing an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial business leader
Although the words innovation and creativity are often used interchangeably; creativity means new ideas and innovation is the implementation of the ideas derived from creativity (Mann & Chan, 2011). Thus creative and innovative leaders are those having the quality of creativity and innovative. The business environment has drastically changed over the past decades and will continue to change and the business leaders need to deal with various challenges and complexity together with the intrinsic tasks of leadership of leading and controlling. According to (Palus & Horth , 2002) a leader needs two set of competencies in facing the challenges and complexity and first set of competencies include rationale skills such as planning, analysing and decision making and the second set include the creative leadership skills e.g. paying attention, personalising, imaging etc. which are typically not well known. According to (Palus & Horth , 2002) creative leadership is making shared sense out of complexity and chaos and the crafting of meaningful action. The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) uses the term innovation leadership which has two aspects; first innovative leadership and second leadership for creativity. Where the first one is involves applying innovative thinking to leadership tasks (Center for Creative Leadership, 2012). Innovative thinking is different from traditional business thinking which is not reliant on past experiences like business thinking and it requires a sense of vision and how to get there, it is intuitive but has possibilities, it doesn't look for right or wrong answer rather the goat is to find a better way.
According to Porter and Karmer the underlying purpose of business existence has been changed from maximising shareholders wealth to the social and economic wellbeing of the society together with environmental wellbeing. An entrepreneurial leader has the concerns for these changing needs and according to (Greenberg, et al., 2011) an entrepreneurial leader is an individual who through the understanding of himself and the context in which he/she works, act on and shape opportunities that create value for their organisations, their stakeholders and the wider society.
It is evident that innovative, creative and entrepreneurial leaders are the demand of time.
Justin King- "An innovative, creative and entrepreneurial leader" of J Sainsbury's Plc.
Sainsbury's is one of the four big retailer in the UK the company is headed by the chief executive Justin King. The company is headed by him based on five fundamental values which represent the social, economic and environmental wellbeing are; best for food and health, sourcing with integrity, respect for environment, making positive difference to the community, and a great place to work (J Sainsbury plc, 2012) hence no doubt Justin King is an entrepreneurial leader. Just king has taken many innovative and creative ideas for example sustainable farming, to adopt universal food labelling by the retail industry etc. (J Sainsbury plc, 2012). According to Dr David Llewellyn, Principal of Harper Adams; "Mr King's contribution to innovation, developing broad understanding in all aspects of the agri-food chain and rural issues is outstanding and it reflects their mission as a higher education provider (J Sainsbury plc, 2012)."
1.2 Evaluation of innovative, creative and entrepreneurial business leader and their advantages
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Innovation and creativity is the wheel of today's business. The business environment is highly competitive than ever before and is highly automated. Innovation and creativity gives competitive advantages. Innovation and creativity also gives ideas of new product development or the use of new technologies in the business which is one the key success factors in business. The traditional leadership had the focus mainly on how employees can be motivated, how to improve interpersonal behaviour etc. only can no longer sufficient for improved business performance. Business leaders now need more capabilities for effective and efficient business performance. Leaders now need innovative and creative thinking skills for successful business operation.
Like the traditional traits approach to leadership, entrepreneurial leadership is not based on the innate qualities of human being rather it is based on a unique mental model (Greenberg, et al., 2011). The mental model of entrepreneurial leadership is based on three fundamental principles; cognitive ambidexterity, responsibility and sustainability and self and social awareness (Greenberg, et al., 2011). The cognitive ambidexterity is the leader's ability to make decision in both familiar and uncertain situation. The entrepreneurial leader makes decision in a familiar situation using the traditional analytical techniques and in uncertain situation creating a future through action and experimentation. The changing world views of business also require the leader to be socially, economically, environmentally and sustainably responsible since the value base of business has shifted to these features. Self and social awareness requires the entrepreneurial leader to make decision in uncertainty through insightful understanding of their sense of purpose and the surroundings those affect them. There is no doubt that entrepreneurial leadership is far different than of traditional leadership skills which are more relevant for the improved performance of business.
Comparative Leadership strategies and motivational styles:
Effective leadership depends on a sound leadership strategy which is the choice of leadership styles to carry out the functions of leadership. The most common leadership styles are; autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire styles of leadership. The traditional managers would adopt the autocratic leadership styles due to the attitude they would hold towards the employees e.g. the supporter of theory X where the assumption about people is that people are lazy and they need to be directed and controlled. However an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial leader requires following a democratic leadership styles which encourages participation of the employees in the innovation and creativity for improving organisational performance.
The most important role of a leader is to motivate his/her employees. According to Mitchell motivation is the extent an individual wants and chooses to engage in certain specified behaviour (Mullins, 1999, p. 406). The driving forces to pursue specified objectives emerge from various needs of human being. The traditional leader's focus is primarily on fulfilling the economic needs of employees to motivate them which are considered as the primary and most important needs of employees. However an innovative and entrepreneurial leader will focus on other sorts of needs and the long term benefits of the employees to ensure the maximisation of common goods and minimising the social injustice. Moreover such a leader will emphasise on the needs which according to Maslow is the self-actualisation needs which is the need of human being for the development and realisation of one's full potential (Mullins, 1999) which is the strong ground for creativity and innovation of employees.
1.3 Motivation of innovative, creative and entrepreneurial business leader
People have various needs and expectations and these are very dynamic which result various driving forces. Motivation is a very complex concept and it is very personal and is affected by many variables (Mullins, 1999). The Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a good theory of motivation to understand the driving forces of creative, innovation and entrepreneurial leaders and their team. Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggest five different types of needs among which at the top last is the self -actualisation needs and this is the desire of human being to develop and realise his/her full potential. Although according to (Mullins, 1999)'s interpretation of this hierarchy this is not necessarily a creative urge however it is the desire of human being to use their creativity which can introduce innovative ideas. In fact such needs are the motivation of innovative and entrepreneurial business leader.
Case in Sainsbury's:
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Justin King the chief executive of Sainsbury's has been awarded a fellowship by the international Visual communication Association (IVCA) for his work in leading a company which is effective in colleague engagement and promoting corporate responsibilities values (J Sainsbury plc, 2012). According to Mr Justin King it is a great achievement to obtain recognition for their leadership in colleague engagement and CSR from a prestigious organisation like IVCA. The need of self-actualisation is the driving force of Justin King for innovative and entrepreneurial
1.4 Distinguishing features of innovative, creative and entrepreneurial business leaders from others
Creative, Innovative and Entrepreneurial Leadership
Emphasise on pay, remuneration etc.
Emphasise on the needs of self-actualisation e.g. creative thinking
Perception of Business Existence
Maximising shareholders wealth
Maximising common goods and Minimising social injustice.
Basis of Decision Making
Imagination of desired future states.
2. Hofstede's Five Cultural Dimensions and Diverse Workforce
People differ in age, race, sex, culture, social, psychological, physical characteristics. According to Bassett - Jones diversity is a distinguishable source of innovation and creativity for diversity management to achieve competitive advantage (Price, 2007) and diversity management also ensures the minimisation of social injustice therefore diversity management is one of the important role of a creative, innovative and entrepreneurial leader. A systematic way needs to be followed by the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial leader to assimilate the diverse workforce. Hofstede's five cultural dimensions is a popular theory to aid an organisation to assimilate the diverse workforce into a strongly motivated team to achieve an organisation's corporate strategic objectives here is an evaluation and explanation of Hofstede's five cultural dimensions;
Social orientation: This aspect reflects an individual's belief about the relative importance of individual and the group to which he/she belongs. The two extremities are individualism and collectivism. Individualism is common in western countries where is collectivism is common in former communist countries. Individualism gives priority of the person him/herself than the group whereas in collectivism group consensus is important than individual priority (Ajami, et al., 2006).
Power orientation: This is the belief of people of different cultures about power. The two extremities are respect for power and tolerance for power. People with respect for power accept power based on the position and do not question authority and common in countries for example France, Spain, Italy and Japan whereas power tolerance people question the authority and common in USA, UK and Israel (Ajami, et al., 2006).
Uncertainty orientation: People of some cultures are not bothered by change called the uncertainty acceptance for example; USA, Canada etc. The other extremity is the uncertainty avoidance and those people like rigid systems and this culture represents the people of the former Soviet bloc countries.
Goal orientation: People of some cultures e.g. USA, Germany, and Japan are very materialistic and highly motivated to work towards goals. People of some cultures mostly of Nordic countries e.g. Sweden, Norway, Finland tend to place higher value on social relationship and quality of life (Ajami, et al., 2006).
Time orientation: This is the two cultural perspective of short and long term view on life, work, and other issues. Some cultures for example Japan and China have long term view where people are more concerned about future where as some cultures for example Pakistan, Bangladesh, and countries of Western Africa tend to place short term out-look and concerned about the present and past.
Although Hofsted's five cultural dimensions have many shortcomings such as; the theory is out dated since the business and global business environment is very dynamic. However the theory can be used by business leaders in developing leadership and motivational styles by analysing characteristics and beliefs of people from various cultures. For example people with respect for power might require a democratic leadership styles whereas people with power tolerance might require an autocratic leadership styles however there might be a difficulty of over generalisation that American people are power tolerance and French people are respectful to power.
Today's organisations are full with diversified work force and there is always a risk of maintaining a harmonised working environment to avoid conflict among diversified people. Hofsted's five cultural dimensions however give a primary basis for analysing the attitudes of people from across the world which can be used to design an effective working culture and environment, however it should be taken into account the over generality of the theory.
Leadership is intrinsic to group situation however the skills and capabilities of leaders are dynamic as with the business environment. Although in the past certain traits would make people leader and successful however today it does not hold true. Creativity and innovation are crucial to today's business success and the leaders need to be him/her-self creative and make a culture where creativity and innovation are fostered. Wealth maximisation has long been the underlying basis of business decision making which possibly has raised issues of social injustice and other issues like intolerable economic growth and environmental crisis. The demand for entrepreneurial leadership is thus the demand of time and the future success of businesses will rely on an entrepreneurial leader.