How shared leadership and team personality composition interact to improve entrepreneurial team performance: Evidence from China

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22 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explore the contingency effects of personality composition on the shard leadership and entrepreneurial team performance relationship and second, to examine different contingency effects that team personality mean score and team personality diversity have on the shared leadership – entrepreneurial team performance relationship, using the person-team fit theory and the Big-5 framework. Design/methodology/approach: The sample consisted of 200 entrepreneurial teams in a technology incubator founded in 2009 in eastern China. Data were collected through an online survey. Findings: Team conscientiousness level and team openness to experience diversity were found to interact with shared leadership to influence team effectiveness in a supplementary way, such that the relationship between shared leadership and team effectiveness will be stronger when the team’s mean score on conscientiousness level is high and diversity score on openness to experience is low. Another finding from this study is that team diversity scores on emotional stability and agreeableness interact with shared leadership in a complementary way; that is, the higher the diversity score, the better influence shared leadership has on team effectiveness. Practical implications: First, this study provides policy implications for government agencies, foundations, and universities who provide support for start-ups in incubators. These institutions should know the importance of entrepreneurial team composition and team process to start-up performance and should provide entrepreneurial teams support in team development. Second, the study provides entrepreneurs with implications regarding team member selection. Originality/value: This is one of the first papers to study the interaction between personality composition and shared leadership and its impact on new venture performance. These findings advance the literature on moderators of shared leadership by demonstrating that team personality composition on conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability, and agreeableness moderates the relationship between shared leadership and entrepreneurial team performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-445
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 11 Aug 2017


  • Entrepreneurial teams
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Personality
  • Shared leadership
  • Team diversity


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