Achieving high performance in small firms under organic leadership

Gayle C. Avery, Harald Bergsteiner, Fenwick Feng Jing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Small firms are central to many economies but the contribution of leadership to small business performance is currently poorly understood. Reporting on a study of small Australian firms, this paper investigates the effects of organic or distributed leadership on six measures of firm performance – staff and customer satisfaction, financial outcomes, productivity, and staff and manager tenure. Findings show that organic leadership is associated with higher performance on all measures than the traditionally-high performing visionary leadership paradigm. The paper discusses why the emerging organic paradigm can outperform more traditional paradigms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Sustainable Leadership, 2015
EditorsGayle C. Avery, Marie-Laure Bouchet
Place of PublicationPymble NSW
PublisherInstitute for Sustainable Leadership
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780987461858
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (10th : 2015) - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 2 Jun 20155 Jun 2015


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Sustainable Leadership (10th : 2015)
CityDubrovnik, Croatia


  • organic leadership
  • performance
  • small business
  • staff and manager tenure
  • productivity
  • staff and customer satisfaction


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