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Strategic Leadership essay战略领导力论文
What Is Strategic Leadership Commerce Essay
Strategic leadership is about providing an organisation with vision and direction. It entails creating purpose and context for growth that lead to organisational success. Strategic leadership promotes 'out-of-the-box' thinking that is the cornerstone for a business' future growth. Strategic leadership is not about micromanagingÂ business strategies; its purpose is to provide the umbrella under which organisations think up appropriate strategies andÂ create value (Adair, 2002).
It would be odd discussing strategic leadership without mentioning strategy and strategic management within the same context. Strategic management as a field of study emerged during the 1960s. Mintzberg (1990) located 10 'schools' of strategy research which developed from that period and he placed Porter within what he referred to as the 'positioning school'. The positioning school views strategy formation as an analytic process.
According to Mintzberg (1990), Porter's Competitive Strategy (1980) was considered 'a watershed' in the development of strategic management thought as it met the needs of both academics and managers who were looking for a 'theory of strategic management'. Porter's generic strategies and five forces industry framework presented academics with models which could be empirically tested. Porter presented the possibility of selecting a strategy based on a well-defined position in the economic market-place backed-up by 'analysis' rather than 'prescription' (Rumelt 1974).
On the other hand when we look at strategy, we are able to trace its origins to military tradition. In classical strategy the world is a rigid hierarchy where a solitary general is entitled with the final decision making. To form modern business strategy, this military model adaptation is complemented by an intellectual inheritance from economics. Classical strategy therefore places great emphasis on the willingness and capability of managers to adopt profit maximizing strategies through coherent long term planning. Porter's model is easily placed in the classical mould, especially since his books offer advice on obtaining 'above average industry profits' (Harfield, 1998).
Though strategic leadership contains attributes that are similar to the military tradition of strategy, it is important to note that today business leadership affects the moral capability and performance of organizations (Finkelstein and Hambrick, 1996). Strategic leadership involves sketching out a road map that will allow the business to unleash its full potential for example by fashioning the organisation's portfolio of businesses and by defining the organisational culture,Â structure and values needed to achieve overall corporateÂ visionÂ and goals (Adair, 2002). Additionally, these strategic business leaders are now called upon to influence the scope and character of formal ethics programs and the integration of ethics into everyday organizational life (Dukerich et al., 1990) especially after the indiscretions of Enron, Parmalat, and World Com etc. Strategic leadership calls for responsibility in managing integrity capacity as a strategic organizational asset.
Strategic leadership goes beyond Porter's 'strategic guide' to obtaining above average industry profits. Adair (2002) asserts that strategic leadership concerns itself with fulfilling three broad functions, namely: achieving the organisation's common task, building and maintaining the organisation as a team and finally motivating and developing the individual. This trio of functions are intertwined and can be subdivided into seven role functions as follows: vision, strategic thinking and planning, administration, organisational fitness to situational requirement, corporate energy and morale, relating the organisation to allies and partners and finally leading the organisational learning and teaching by example.
In the wake of the global recession attributed to the avaricious behaviour of the world's major financial players, strategic leadership must now cater for an inclusion of capacity for repeated alignment of process to moral awareness, character, deliberation and conduct that demonstrates balanced judgment. It also needs to enhance a sustained moral development process that promotes supportive systems for making moral decisions (Petrick and Quinn, 2000). This is referred to as the integrity capacity for an organisation. Driscoll and Hoffmann (1999) claim that business leaders and organizations with high integrity capacity are more likely than competiÂtors to be aware of and more rapidly respond to stakeholder moral concerns, arrive at balanced decisions that form sound policies, and build supportive systems that sustain excellence.
Strategic leadership recognises that fifty-one of the world's largest economies are corporations; therefore as Karliner (1997) states, corÂporate leaders need to be held accountable for adverse impacts of their decision making, such as deepening poverty, social disintegration and environmental destruction. Korten (1999) further adds that many current U.S. CEOs would concur with the aphorism that "what's good for Microsoft is good for the world," when in fact "what's good for corporate leaders may be highly injurious to the world," e.g., widespread corporate leadership endorsement or condoning of migration of "dirty industries" to developing countries.
Strategic business leadership goes beyond Porter's industry competition angle as it seeks to increase awareness of accountability for protecting orgaÂnizational integrity capacity as a strategic asset and of accountability for developing judgment integrity that arrives at balanced moral decisions at the microeconomic operational level and the macroeconomic strategic level (Petrick & Quinn 2001).
In a nut shell, strategic leadership encompasses leadership development, change management, strategic planning, performance management and accountability practices, to ensure that effective plans are successfully and ethically implemented.
National cultural values and effects on strategic leadership for organizations development
Schein (1985) claims that one unique and essential function of leadership is the manipulation of culture yet most scholarly analyses of leadership address organizational cultures only peripherally (House and Singh 1987) while conversely, many analyses of organizational cultures give minor attention to leadership (Snyder 1988).
Like any individual, executives who are charged with the duty to give strategic leadership maintain a wide array of values e.g. religious, political and social values (Guth & Tagiuri 1965). Researchers contend, however, that a select subset is especially germane to strategic leadership and decision making, and many agree that among the most influential are the social values embedded in national culture (Finkelstein & Hambrick 1996). Cultural values are central to shaping managerial views of the environment and appropriate organizational responses (Schein 1985). Consequently, cultural values are posited to influence the strategy formulation process and its outcomes (Hambrick & Brandon 1988).
Among the earliest and most enduring influences on executive value development is national culture (England 1975). National culture is defined as that set of shared assumptions and culture representing the system of socially constructed meanings and preferences a group develops as it collectively negotiates environmental forces and the complexities of internal integration (Hofstede 1991; Schein 1985).
Restated, national culture can be interpreted as a common frame of reference or logic by which members of a society view organizations, the environment, and their relations to one another. Scholars have surmised that national culture is likely to yield important effects on the process by which the environment is known and responded to by an organization (Schneider 1989). An important volume of strategy research is founded on the premise that to remain viable, organizations must adapt to changes in their environment. Thus, it is presumed that as the firm's strategic leaders, top managers monitor the external environment for developments of relevance to the organization and its strategic policies, and initiate adjustment as needed (Hambrick and Mason 1984).
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