Flexing the Leadership Muscle: An International Study of Entrepreneurial Resilience in Rural Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Karise Hutchinson, Rachael Fergie, Emma Fleck, Georgann Jouflas, Zen Parry

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Abstract

The COVID-19 global crisis and the ensuing lockdown of large parts of society and economic life has been an exogenous shock to society (Kuckertz et al., 2020). It is predicted the impact on the small business sector is likely to be severe (Fairlie, 2020). The findings of this international qualitative study offer a first-hand and real-time account of the adversity encountered by small rural businesses during the first lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic and insight into how their leaders exercised resilience. Drawing upon the evidence from 38 small business entrepreneurs and four business support organizations, the data pointed out three main challenges in terms of adversity relating to business model change, information flow and sense-making, and weak strategy. The study also brings new insight into five leadership practices and behaviors that help exercise entrepreneurial resiliency: personal and business experience of crises, positive mindset, personal faith, learning and leading, and relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-112
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Small Business Strategy
Volume31
Issue number4
Early online date16 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Small Business Institute. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Leadership
  • resilience
  • rural businesses
  • crisis
  • pandemic
  • Rural businesses
  • Pandemic
  • Crisis
  • Resilience

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