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

Authors

  • Karise Hutchinson Ulster University
  • Rachael Fergie Ulster University
  • Emma Fleck Susquehanna University
  • Georgann Jouflas Colorado Mesa University
  • Zen Parry Trepademics, LLC

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.

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Author Biographies

Karise Hutchinson, Ulster University

Cromore Rd, Coleraine BT52 1SA, United Kingdom, kc.hutchinson@ulster.ac.uk

Rachael Fergie, Ulster University

Shore Road, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB, United Kingdom, r.fergie@ulster.ac.uk

Emma Fleck, Susquehanna University

514 University Avenue, Selinsgrove, PA 17870, USA, flecke@susqu.edu

Georgann Jouflas, Colorado Mesa University

1100 North Ave, Grand Junction, CO 81501, USA, gjouflas@coloradomesa.edu

Zen Parry, Trepademics, LLC

Trepademics, LLC, Polson, Montana, USA, zenparry@gmail.com

Published

2021-11-16

How to Cite

Hutchinson, K., Fergie, R., Fleck, E., Jouflas, G., & Parry, Z. (2021). Flexing the Leadership Muscle: An International Study of Entrepreneurial Resilience in Rural Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 31(4), 100–112. Retrieved from https://libjournals.mtsu.edu/index.php/jsbs/article/view/2134

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Articles