Leadership styles in SMEs - a quantitative study of the leadership styles exhibited by managers of SMEs in Sweden through the use of the multifactor leadership questionnaire

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Despite the large quantity of studies done on the field of leadership and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), current literature lacks the link between these two topics and very little research has actually been done to examine the relationship between leadership styles and management within SMEs operating in Sweden. Taking into account the relevance of this research topic, this thesis aims to recognise and understand leadership styles in SMEs as observed by the employees of the company. In doing so, this thesis further aims to explore which leadership style is the most common amongst managers of SMEs. To achieve this, a quantitative approach was applied in Swedish SMEs. Data were obtained through the use of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). Through this study the conclusion was made that transformational leadership was the most displayed leadership style amongst managers as seen by their employees. The topics of the role gender and industry have on leadership are also analysed and the results discussed. The practical implications of findings are also presented.

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