Leadership and Entrepreneurial Success : A Study of SMEs in Malaysia

Ahmad Fadhly Arham, Carlene Boucher, Nuttawuth Muenjohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A review of literature suggests that there is a lack of understanding in regards to leadership behaviours among Malaysian business leaders. This study is significant in providing a clear understanding of this issue. First, the authors aim to investigate the forms of leadership behaviours being practiced by leaders of SMEs in Malaysia and whether these leadership practices are applicable within the scope of Malaysian SMEs. Second, this paper intends to explore whether leadership is important within the context of SMEs in Malaysia. Based on semi-structured interviews, it was found that leadership is important towards the success of entrepreneurial firms. Entrepreneurs who possess effective leadership behaviours tend to enhance their entrepreneurial success. It can be concluded that leaders of SMEs in Malaysia tend to practice more of transformational leadership than transactional leadership qualities and the vast transformation that the country has went through allows for adaptability of western management theories into Malaysian business practices. The originality of this paper lies on being the first to examine the leadership behaviours of Malaysian SMEs from a qualitative perspective. 1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-130
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Journal of Social Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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