Drivers of change: entrepreneurial leadership in the community college

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Jones, Barbara

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Community colleges currently face environmental challenges that are changing the way they do business. Primarily, these include declining state support, increasing student enrollment, impending retirements, and deteriorating facilities. Some community college leaders are looking to entrepreneurship as one possible solution to help overcome these challenges. In society, entrepreneurship is vital to the stability of the economy. It significantly contributes to jobs and innovations. With increasing competition in a global environment, there are many new frontiers to explore and opportunities that help reshape society and build a better future for all. Community colleges are well-positioned to respond to today’s challenges. As in business and industry, examples of entrepreneurial success can be found within the community college system; however, little research exists related to entrepreneurial leadership in community colleges. The primary focus of the study was to identify the entrepreneurial role of community college leaders and the opportunities and challenges associated with infusing entrepreneurship throughout the organization. To adequately address this issue, a number of factors were considered, including organizational structure, employee development, level of involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship, and characteristics of senior leaders. The researcher engaged in a case study of one community college nationally recognized as entrepreneurial, focusing on senior leadership and the role leaders play in transforming a college to support and sustain entrepreneurial activities. The research represents a timely and critical exploration of entrepreneurial leadership and transformation in a community college.