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Entrepreneurial Leadership as Creative Brokering: The Process and Practice of Co‐creating and Advancing Opportunity

Elizabeth Long Lingo

Journal of Management Studies, 2020, vol. 57, issue 5, 962-1001

Abstract: How does entrepreneurial leadership drive the process of forming and advancing opportunity? Drawing from an ethnographic field study of Nashville music producers, I develop a model of entrepreneurial leadership as creative brokering – the practices and process by which entrepreneurs lead and mobilize a complex network of actors in co‐creating and advancing opportunity. I find that entrepreneurial leaders encounter three tensions as they advance this process: 1) generating novel ideas and fitting them within the competitive landscape; 2) incubating opportunity and seizing the moment in the market; and 3) fostering experimentation and navigating hyper‐competition. I show when these tensions arise and identify six creative brokering practices through which leaders leverage their brokerage role to navigate these tensions in order to move opportunity forward. The paper offers a model of entrepreneurial leadership as creative brokering, extends extant creative brokering scholarship to consider more distal market actors, and shows how creative brokering and leadership towards creative outcomes involve iteratively stepping forward to infuse market perspective and exert control, and stepping back to let others shine and co‐create ideas.

Date: 2020
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