Abstract

It is generally accepted that leadership and particularly top-level leadership is related to organizational performance outcomes (e.g., see Yukl, 2004; Smith, Carson & Alexander, 1984). Sashkin and Tarabishy (2007) found that that for a selective sample of relatively young, relatively small, entrepreneurial organizations all in the same high-technology industry, leadership scores assessed by leaders’ direct reports using The Leadership Profile (Sashkin & Rosenbach, 1998) predicted organizational performance a year later, with 85% of the correlations significant and above .50. These organizations’ entrepreneurial orientation or EO (Miller & Frisen, 1983; Covin & Slevin, 1989) was also strongly and significantly predictive of the same performance measures. Because a specific measure of the CEO leader’s culture-building activity was available in the Sashkin and Tarabishy data set, we were able to conduct a mediating analysis (Baron & Kenny, 1986) to test the hypothesis that the effects of the leader’s culture-building behavior on performance are mediated by organizations’ EO. Exploration of this issue is the central focus of the present paper.

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