Examining the influence of servant and entrepreneurial leadership on the work outcomes of employees in social enterprises

Alexander Newman (Lead Author), Cristina Neesham, Graham Manville, Herman Tse

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83 Citations (Scopus)
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The present study examines the relative influence of two distinct leadership styles, servant leadership and entrepreneurial leadership, on the organizational commitment and innovative behavior of employees working in social enterprises. Analyzing data from 169 employees and 42 social entrepreneurs, we found that, although servant leadership was positively related to followers’ organizational commitment, the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and organizational commitment was insignificant. In contrast, whilst we found evidence that entrepreneurial leadership was positively related to followers’ innovative behavior, the relationship between servant leadership and employees’ innovative behavior was insignificant. Our research contributes to the underdeveloped literature on leadership in social enterprises by exploring the relative effectiveness of different leadership styles (namely an entrepreneurial leadership style and a servant leadership style) in promoting follower work attitudes and behaviors in social enterprises. In addition, our research demonstrates the importance of leadership over and above followers’ individual differences such as pro-social motivation and creative self-efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2905-2926
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number20
Early online date29 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Social enterprise
  •  servant leadership
  •  entrepreneurial leadership
  • organizational commitment
  • innovative behavior

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