Charismatic leadership predicts performance of pre–founding teams

Entrepreneurial teams often struggle with simultaneous task and team challenges in the pre–founding phase. The way in which teams shape their teamwork is key in leveraging performance at this critical stage of the new venture.

In a study of 58 pre–founding teams, the Chair of Research & Science Management investigated team reflexivity and charismatic leadership as facilitators of entrepreneurial performance. In identifying opportunities in the environment, communicating a clear vision, and empowering all members of the team to achieve this vision, charismatic leadership of the lead entrepreneur predicted the quality of business planning and performance in an elevator pitch. Charismatic leadership behaviors were found to encourage and guide team learning–which is key at an early stage of the new venture.

The research findings will help start up teams to shape their teamwork in an effort to reduce the risk of early failure, educators to design entrepreneurial leadership training with real impact, and stakeholders to recognize high-potential teams.

Dr. Kristin Knipfer and Dr. Ellen Schmid use their findings and other latest research to facilitate the personal development of leaders’ in the EMBA Innovation & Business Creation.



The paper is now available in print:
Knipfer, K., Schreiner, E., Schmid, E., & Peus, C. (2018). The performance of pre-founding entrepreneurial teams: The importance of learning and leadership. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 67(3), 401–427.

Learn more:

This research was conducted by Knipfer KristinEmanuel SchreinerEllen Schmid, and Claudia PeusTUM School of Management.

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