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A new harmonised approach to sustainability: implications for entrepreneurial leadership in the Middle East and globally

, Iman El-Kaffass, Felicity Healey-Benson
Published: 19 July 2022
 by  Emerald

Abstract: Purpose: The study considers how entrepreneurship and its leaders need to adapt to address the sustainability challenge.Design/methodology/approach: It adopts a grounded theory style approach and is based on a case study derived from non-participant observation and secondary data.Findings: The research findings suggest that to address the sustainability challenge requires a new approach to entrepreneurship that is based on systems thinking and the principle of harmony. It suggests the need for less emphasis to be placed on “making as much money as possible” and that there should be broader focus on the development of community entrepreneurship and the creation of civic entrepreneurs.Research limitations/implications: The research introduces a new approach to entrepreneurship in order to address the sustainability challenge and this has implications for entrepreneurial leadership.Practical implications: The concept, known as Harmonious Entrepreneurship, requires the integration of the four main approaches to entrepreneurship (economic, eco, humane and social), abandonment of the Friedman (1970) mantra that the responsibility of business is to make as much money as possible and a change in the mindset and competence requirement of the entrepreneurial leader.Social implications: The findings imply the need to change the way entrepreneurship is taught and entrepreneurial leaders are trained and developed. Also they suggest the need to focus on community entrepreneurship and the creation of Civic Entrepreneurs.Originality/value: The article introduces a new, more holistic approach to entrepreneurship in order to address the sustainability challenge. It is based on a study of the vision and achievement of an Islamic entrepreneur and has implications for entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial leadership and entrepreneurship education and training. It will be of interest to entrepreneurship scholars, educationalists and those concerned with the promotion and development of entrepreneurship, as well as all agencies and individuals concerned with the future of the planet and its people. Recommendations are made for further research and verification.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial leadership / Sustainability / New approach / Harmony / Middle East / Egypt

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