An experimental investigation of perceived differences in personality and leadership attributes of social entrepreneurs compared to for profit entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations leaders

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Social enterprises (SEs) strive for the fulfilment of a social mission based on an elaborated income strategy. Consequently, they are largely conceptualised as hybrid enterprises combining logics of traditional non-profit organisations (NPOs) and for-profit enterprises (FPEs). This is sound on the organisational level; however, it remains unclear to which extent the perception of SE leaders on the personal level mirrors this hybridity as previous studies are limited in scope and methodology. Our work examines perceived personality traits, work-related values, leadership styles and leader attributes of SE leaders compared to FPE and NPO leaders. Using a vignette-based, comprehensive experimental design with a sample of business students (N = 170), we find that whereas notable differences in personality and leadership comparing SE and FPE leaders exist, SE and NPO leaders were perceived as not different. Based on our findings, theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-110
Number of pages36
JournalThe Journal of Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85152463583


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • for-profit enterprises, leader attributes, leadership, non-profit organisations, personality traits, Social entrepreneurship, work-related values

Library keywords