Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An interpretive phenomenological study investigating the perceived impact of role models on founders' entrepreneurial process and leadership development in German digital startups
Author: Jauch, Philipp Christian
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 3957
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This phenomenological study investigates the perceived impact of role models on founders' entrepreneurial process and leadership development. The study addresses practical and theoretical challenges in entrepreneurship based on the conditions of entrepreneurs, as described in social capital theory, with an emphasis on role models. In the context of digitalisation and low interest rates, increased interest has been shown in startups. An ongoing role for startup founders is to provide sustainable company growth. However, over 90% of new ventures fail. Consequently, a key question in the domain of entrepreneurship concerns why some individuals succeed while others do not. This qualitative study uses an interpretive phenomenological design with data collection techniques taking the form of 12 semi-structured interviews in the sample of entrepreneurs, each a founder of a respective German digital startup. With an underpinning from a social constructionist perspective, all interviews were recorded, subsequently transcribed, and analysed using framework analysis. The outcome of the analysis is a conceptual framework that broadens the understanding of how founders reflect on and make use of role models; the conceptual framework comprises the startup proximal outcomes of role modelling. For the founders, their role models must be of personal relevance. Having role models to turn to can help entrepreneurs during the entrepreneurial process by giving them entrepreneurial expertise, especially in recognising the importance of entrepreneurial leadership during this process. Therefore, outcomes regarding company growth in the founders' context are a shaped company culture towards scale and a leadership methodology enabling growth. Role models emerge as a source to which entrepreneurs can turn when tackling the challenge of growth in their startups, and the study helps entrepreneurs to better cope with the challenges of growing their startups by recommending that entrepreneurs utilise role models as learning point and growth enablers.
Supervisor: Osowska, Renata ; Matthews-Smith, Gerardine Sponsor: Edinburgh Napier University
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: entrepreneurship ; role models ; leadership ; German digital startups