Driving Forces of Employees’ Entrepreneurial Intentions - Leadership Style and Organizational Structure

  • Jelena Erić Nielsen University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia
  • Verica Babić University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia
  • Vesna Stojanović-Aleksić University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia
  • Jelena Nikolić University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia

Abstract

Research Question: The purpose of this paper is to explore how leadership style and organizational structure characteristics influence employees’ intentions to start their own entrepreneurial ventures, ideas or projects, within an organizational setting. Motivation: The main goal is to learn how to prevent innovativeness declining in a traditional organization and make internal environment friendly for entrepreneurial initiatives and for employees with propensity to develop new ideas, aiming to create sustainable competitive position. Idea: The paper explores how identified leadership variables, initiative, pioneer, proactive behaviour and ability to communicate vision affect employees’ entrepreneurial intentions. We also analyze the organizational structure impact, testing organic design, level of centralization and formalization. For measuring employees’ entrepreneurial intentions, we use a previously validated scale and measurements, innovation, risk propensity and autonomy. Data: The data are collected using a questionnaire on a random sample of 208 respondents employed in nineteen Serbian companies. Tools: A quantitative study methodology was designed and implemented, appropriate statistical methods performed, including correlation and linear regression analyses. Findings: We have found evidence that appropriate leadership style has a positive influence on employees' entrepreneurial intentions. More specifically, there is a positive correlation between the leader’s initiative, pioneer and proactive behaviour, and the employees’ intentions to start innovative entrepreneurial ventures. The employees’ willingness to act autonomously is affected by leader’s initiative and proactive attitude, but also by ability to clearly communicate the vision. The study also reveals that organic organizational structure, decentralization and low formalization have a positive influence on employees' entrepreneurial intentions. Contribution: The study contributes to a significant degree by filling gaps in knowledge base, revealing new perspectives about relevance of both leadership style and organizational structure for encouraging organizational entrepreneurship. The analysis also provides a more fine-grained perspective about characteristics of organizational design and improves understanding of the employees’ actions depending on authority delegation, procedures and overall flexibility of organizational structure. Practical implications represent guidelines for practitioners as to how to set up structure and adjust leadership style in order to foster entrepreneurship among employees.

Author Biographies

Jelena Erić Nielsen, University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia

Jelena Erić Nielsen received her PhD at the University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia, where she works as Assistant Professor. Her current research interests include entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, leadership, organizational behaviour and corporate governance. She has published articles mainly in the field of entrepreneurship and leadership.

Verica Babić, University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia

Verica Babic is a full professor and head of the Department of Business Administration at the Faculty of Economics University of Kragujevac, Serbia. She teaches courses at undergraduate studies (Introduction to Management and Decision Theory) at the graduate level (Corporate Governance, Public Sector Management) and the PhD level (Corporate Governance Theory). Her current research interests are corporate governance, leadership, entrepreneurship, innovativeness and knowledge management. She is the author and co-author of eight books, and over 80 publications in scientific journals, monographs’ chapters, proceedings from international scientific conferences. During her academic career, she was awarded several national and international (Fulbright, Austrian Government, EU) research grants, employing over fifty researches. She was engaged in numerous projects that deal with higher education, innovativeness and entrepreneurship. Currently, she is a coordinator of international research project Innovativeness in Higher Education in Slovenia and Serbia: Comparative Research and Exchange of Good Practices, SL, RS grant.

Vesna Stojanović-Aleksić, University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia

Vesna Stojanović-Aleksić received her PhD from the University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia, where she works as Full Professor. Her research interests are related to leadership, organizational culture, organizational theory, organizational behaviour and change. She has published articles mainly in the field of leadership, organizational culture and change.

Jelena Nikolić, University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics, Serbia

Jelena Nikolić is an Assistant Professor on the following subjects: Introduction to Management, Decision Making Theory, Corporate Governance, at the Faculty of Economics, University of Kragujevac, Republic of Serbia. She received her PhD from the University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Economics. Her research focus is on strategic decision making, corporate governance and corporate entrepreneurship. She is the author/co-author of numerous scientific papers and monograph chapters.

Published
2019-10-17
How to Cite
Erić Nielsen, J., Babić, V., Stojanović-Aleksić, V., & Nikolić, J. (2019). Driving Forces of Employees’ Entrepreneurial Intentions - Leadership Style and Organizational Structure. Management:Journal Of Sustainable Business And Management Solutions In Emerging Economies, 24(3), 59-71. doi:10.7595/10.7595/management.fon.2019.0020
Section
Articles