The theory of collective influence: A grounded theory study of small business entrepreneurs' approaches to leader development

by Buford, John F., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2009, 165 pages; 3372783


In this study the views of 5 small independent business entrepreneurs in Transylvania County, North Carolina are explored. A substantive theory of small business entrepreneurs' approaches to leader development of their employees was developed. The researcher examined if and how small business entrepreneurs attempt to develop leader qualities, abilities, and behaviors in their employees and what enablers and inhibitors to those development efforts exist. The study used developmental research methodology, qualitative method, and grounded theory approach. The Theory of Collective Influence that emerged suggested that small business entrepreneurs' approaches to leader development of employees are collectively influenced by four principal processes: (a) their desire for leader qualities and abilities in employees; (b) their ability to conduct development activities, (c) their management perspective; and (d) the behaviors they expect employees to exhibit. From the study results, the researcher illuminated the difficulties and mitigating factors that small business entrepreneurs face in developing leadership potential in their employees.

AdviserStephen Hobbs
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEntrepreneurship; Management; Social sciences education; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3372783

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