The Influence of Entrepreneurial Leadership on Financial Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises: The Mediating Roles of Intellectual Capital and Customer Satisfaction

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Kulteera Thongyai
Wisanupong Potipiroon


Past research indicates that entrepreneurial leadership can have a positive influence on firm performance; however, few studies have examined the theoretical rationale that can explain this positive effect. This research aims to study the influence of entrepreneurial leadership on the financial performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to examine the mediating roles of intellectual capital and customer satisfaction in the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and financial performance. This study employed quantitative research, in which data were collected from 105 CEOs or top executives and 1,001employees in 105 SMEs in the manufacturing sector located in the southern region of Thailand. Based on stratified sampling, survey questionnaires were distributed to the SMEs by mail. In particular, entrepreneurial leadership was evaluated by employees, whereas intellectual capital, customer satisfaction, and financial performance were evaluated by the CEOs or the executives. Structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses confirmed the study hypotheses. The results showed that entrepreneurial leadership had an indirect influence on SMEs’ financial performance via the mediating roles of intellectual capital and customer satisfaction. The results from this research show that business owners of SMEs can play an important role in fostering their firms’ intellectual capital, which, in turn, influences customer satisfaction and financial performance.


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