LEADERSHIP AND STRATEGY
City and State
Organizational leaders play many functions among them contributing towards forming an organizational strategy that steers the firm through key operations. The study pays particular attention to the roles of organizational leaders in facilitating the adoption of a strategy that facilitates how the firm performs its operations. It explores various literacy works that examine the relationship between organizational leadership and strategy formation, and comes to a conclusion that organizational leadership and strategy formation are two inseparable concepts. However, the key concern is that many leaders are yet to acquire ideas that would help them develop effective strategies for their firms. The deficiency calls for increased interaction with sources that would advance how they develop a strategy that suits organizational operations. [A1]
Key words: Leaders, strategy, organizational, business, leadership
Leaders in any organization are a crucial elements for fostering good performance and steering the firm towards the right path. [A2] One critical roles that organizational leaders play is that they provide an idea of what the final objective looks like, and where the ultimate destination ought to be (Bryson et al., 2017, p. 320). Leaders deploy the concept of strategic management to offer the needed direction and resources, thus depicting such people as being fundamental to any business. One crucial role that organizational leaders play is that they provide suitable guidance in strategy formation. They have primary obligation to implement a particular work plan or strategy. Whereas an action plan entails various discrete operations, at the core the team leader must create a work environment that can adhere to and execute the strategy. Leaders, therefore, are crucial for building an organizational culture and fostering organizational capabilities for implementing strategy. Thus, this review focuses on peer-reviewed journal articles that address the idea of leadership and strategy, while paying considerable attention to how the two concepts relate. It is apparent based on the descriptions in these articles that the tow – leadership and strategy are inseparable and that one is less likely to exist without the other. The statement means that an organization that lacks active leadership is less likely to come up with effective strategies, and that a firm gains from the development of proper strategies when leaders are conversant with what it takes to excel in this area. A critical assessment of the identified articles and the lessons acquired challenge organizational leaders to embrace practices and ideas that would enable them to improve significantly their creation of business strategy[A3] . Nonetheless, paying inadequate attention to strategy formation as a leader creates numerous loopholes that could affect how an organization conducts its operations. [A4]
The paper by Rahman et al. explores the connection between strategic leadership and operational strategy and business performance of the Malaysian automobile sector. [A5] Rahman et al. (2018, p. 1388) argue that an escalating body of research has since the 1980s paid attention to strategic leadership, in contrast to visionary and managerial leadership. The paper by Rahman et al. (2018, p. 1388) begins by describing strategic leadership as the organizational leader’s capacity to foretell, and sustain flexibility and to empower other team members to enact strategic changes as appropriate as possible. Strategic leadership is multi-dimensional and encompasses managing people as well as dealing with the constraints of present day globalized business contexts. A leader who effectively contributes towards developing an effective organizational strategy according to Rahman et al. (2018, p. 1390) is one who has the competence to manage both the internal and external business environments and indulge in an intricate information processing. Rahman et al. (2018, p. 1391) contend that strategic leadership has made significant strides over the past two decades. Today, effective organizational leaders have the capacity to identify and mitigate challenges that are likely to affect normal business operations. Hence, the article confirms that leadership and strategy formation go hand in hand, and one is less likely to excel without the other[A6] . Asif and Basit (2020, p. 214) share the same ideology as Rahman et al. (2018) that strategic leadership serves an essential purpose in businesses functioning in dynamic business environments. Thus, Asif and Basit (2020, p. 215) examine the wide-ranging features for a person to qualify as operational strategic leader while referring to evidence from various secondary sources. [A7] The common view in the papers by Rahman et al. (2018) and Asif and Basit (2020) is that leaders have an obligation to foster the development or adoption of effective strategic measures that would help to improve overall performance.[A8]
Further analysis indicate that leaders and organizational strategy go hand in hand, and what a leader does in developing the work strategy goes a long way into determining how the firm would perform. [A9] In the paper by Jaleha and Machuki (2018, p. 126), the authors argue that effective strategic leadership is deemed a crucial requirement for the fruitful performance of any firm functioning in the increasingly intricate and dynamic environment. Based on the argument by Jaleha and Machuki (2018, p. 126), leaders have the obligation to come up with strategies on how to counter or address resource scarcity and uncertainty. Moreover, Jaleha and Machuki (2018, p. 127) believe that leaders are responsible for creating strategies that make it possible to address the realities of environmental disturbance and to encourage a continuous urge for suitable organizational transformation with the objective of attaining performance objectives. One of the key findings in this paper is that leaders who deploy strategic approaches contributes towards developing a work strategy that influence performance[A10] . What Jaleha and Machuki (2018) report in their article is similar to the argument by Nyong’a and Maina (2019, p. 128) who contend that a well-created strategy, a competent and effective set of skills, and workforce are very essential resources for a leader to promote the development of effective work strategies. Leaders can contribute towards developing a work strategy by motivating, inspiring, and deploying a competent team to conduct their respective duties with the objective of achieving the targeted organizational and strategic goals[A11] . Thus, based on the scholarly findings by the authors of the respective articles, it is evident leadership and strategy go hand in hand and that the approaches a leader embraces to guide their firms determine the ultimate performance. [A12]
Additional evidence prove that leaders are a critical part of strategy development and implementation, and separating the two would leave a considerable gap in the organization. [A13] Khan and Khalique (2014, p. 53) assert that in today’s intricate and uncertain environments and conditions throughout the globe; the urge for strategic planning is increasingly gaining momentum in many firms to achieve smooth and prosperous operations of all forms of business firms. Khan and Khalique (2014, p. 53) argue that strategy development forms a vital path to prosperous business activities and is an aspect of every enterprise, big or small. Khan and Khalique (2014, p. 54) contend that leaders have the sole responsibility to steer strategy formation by realizing, understanding, and executing strategic planning in diverse forms. The researchers inform that leaders deploy strategic management approaches to achieve impressive results when creating and applying strategies that would guide the firm towards the right path while increasing its competitiveness. Leaders, based on the paper by Khan and Khalique (2014, p. 55) must engage in regular planning, assessment, evaluation, and testing of all requirements a company wants to achieve its aspirations. Mjaku (2020, p. 915) agrees with the argument that leaders should take the responsibility of ensuring strategy development and implementation happens in the most effective manner. Mjaku (2020, p. 915) informs that transformations in business settings will require organizational leaders to repeatedly examine the company’s strategies for accomplishment. [A14] It is evident depending on the argument by these scholars that leaders play fundamental functions in fostering strategy development and enactment. [A15]
Various scholar believe that leaders will become more effective if they gain relevant information about it takes develop strategies effectively and to enact them in a way that benefits the organization. [A16] For example, Mubarak and Yusoff (2019, p. 33) whereas leaders are faced with the duty of fostering organizational performance using proper planning and effective implementing techniques in order to gain competitive advantage on its competitors, more needs to happen in terms of research and innovation to equip leaders with more effective skills on how to excel in this area. Davies and Davies (2004, p. 34) also imply that in order for organizational leaders to develop strategies that foster organizational processes, they require advanced awareness regarding what the practice requires. The latter part of Davies and Davies’ article urge present and future researchers to generate more informative ideas that would enable leaders to take over the duty confidently[A17] . Otherwise, leaders may not be as competent as desired to guide their companies in strategy development.
Based on the analysis of the various sources, an evident problem that emerges is that many business leaders are yet to fully embrace practices that enable them to entirely improve their strategy formation and development[A18] . The challenge is largely due to lack of information and skills among some leaders.[A19] The deficiency calls for effective mitigation measures to mitigate the loopholes that deny firms an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of strategic leadership. Consequently, team leaders should be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to strategy development and embrace practices that would enable them to make significant improvement in this area. The importance of strategic leadership as identified in literature suggest that organizational leaders cannot afford to fail in this very crucial area that greatly contributes towards achieving competitive a
dvantage. It is the reason why Al Khajeh (2018, p. 2) believes that leaders need to pay considerable attention to the provisions of strategic leadership theory, which urge organizational leaders to use diverse approaches to management, create a vision for their firm that allows it to acclimatize to or maintain a competitive edge in a transforming technological and economic environment. Moreover, the analysis indicates the need to be conversant with the various leadership approaches to be in a position to effectively develop the organizational strategy. For example, Al Khajeh (2018, p. 2) recommends the need to be conversant with leadership approaches such as transactional, transformational, and charismatic leadership that are all essential when it comes to creating an organizational strategy that is effective and competitive. Nonetheless, failing to embrace such measures could derail how leaders attempt to develop strategic approaches for their organizations. [A20]
Moreover, based on the analysis, the evident knowledge gap is that more scholars are yet to come up with empirical findings that help leaders to understand their role in improving strategy development[A21] . A considerable number of scholars have come out to illustrate the relationship, but the constraints leaders encounter suggest that more need to happen to improve how team leaders contribute towards strategy formation. Scholars such as Rahman et al. (2019), Hao and Yazdanifard (2015), and Rahman and Al-Amin (2014) have provided elaborate description on how leaders can improve how they contribute towards strategy development. The findings from these scholarly researches should form the basis of more similar researches to eradicate the gap that deter team leaders from contributing significantly towards creating organizational strategies.
According to Rahman et al. (2019, p. 19), creating and presenting concepts is a fundamental skill for strategic leaders. Even more essential is the capacity to link the ideas to the way the firm builds value. On the other hand, Hao and Yazdanifard (2015, p. 2) believe that leaders can contribute towards strategy formation by effectively managing the firm’s resource portfolio and by nurturing positive organizational culture where every member is welcome to give their views about issues that could improve outcome. On their part, Rahman and Al-Amin (2014, p. 17) give information that may help leaders to improve how they contribute towards strategy formation by stating that leaders have primary obligation for implementing the adopted strategy. Rahman and Al-Amin (2014, p. 17) inform that whereas a task plan entails different discrete functions the important thing is that the manager must develop an organization that can implement the strategy. Besides, Rahman and Al-Amin (2014, p. 19) argue that the leader creates both an organizational culture and ability for executing the chosen strategy. Whereas such scholars give valuable insight into the path that leaders ought to take to improve their contribution towards decision making, it is apparent that more research would contribute significantly to enhancing strategy formation. [A22]
Thus, future researchers should provide guidance that they believe will improve how leaders facilitate strategy formation to encounter more efficiency amongst corporations. [A23] For example, more research is needed on how leaders can improve their contribution towards strategy development by having or displaying some of the fundamental skills a strategic leader must have. Brock and Azar (2012, p. 62) and Zeps and Ribickis (2015, p. 932) share the same perception that strategic thinking and strategic planning are necessary requirements for a leader who aspires to improve their strategy development skills. Strategic thinking is important because it allows a leader to engage in rational and intentional thought processes that pays attention to the analyses of key variables and factors that will impact the long-term prosperity of an individual or the entire team (Dionisio 2017, p. 47; Goldman & Casey 2010, 124). On the other hand, strategic planning is important because it equips a leader with the capacity to create particular strategies, executing them, and assessing the outcomes of implementing the strategy, in regard to an organization’s overall short and long-term objectives and desires (George et al. 2019, p. 815; Aziz and Rahman 2019, p. 144). Furthermore, more emphasis is needed on the importance of being able to manage and execute strategies to become more effective in strategy formation and implementation as a leader (Asobee 2021, p. 69). Some of the management skills that leaders need to sharpen to excel in this area, include motivation and communication skills and mentoring and interpersonal skills (Kabeyi 2019, p. 30[A24] ). However, failing to come up with more scholarly works and research findings that illustrate how leaders can contribute towards strategy formation, it would be difficult to understand how the two relate or impact on each other. [A25]
Al Khajeh, E 2018, ‘Impact of leadership styles on organizational performance’, Journal of Human Resources Management Research, doi: 10.5171/2018.687849
Asobee, M 2021, ‘Exploring the importance of strategic thinking to strategic planning in the
strategic management process’, Journal of Business and Management Sciences, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 68-70.
Azar, O, & Brock, D 2012, ‘The development of strategy research: Evolution of topics and article characteristics’, Contemporary Management Research, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 61-84.
Aziz, A, & Rahman, A 2019, ‘The impact of strategic planning on enhancing the strategic performance of banks: Vvidence from Bahrain. Banks and Bank Systems, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 140-151.
Bryson, J, Edwards, L, & Slyke, D 2017, ‘Getting strategic about strategic planning research’,
Public Management Review, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 317-339.
Davies, B, & Davies, B 2004, ‘Strategic leadership’, School Leadership and Management, vol.
24, no. 1, pp. 29-38.
Dionisio, M 2017, ‘Strategic thinking: The role in successful management’, Journal of
Management Research, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 44-57.
George, B, Walker, R, & Monster, J 2019, ‘Does strategic planning improve organizational
performance? A meta-analysis’, Public Administration Review, vol. 79, no. 6, 810-819.
Goldman, E, & Casey, A 2010, ‘Building a culture that encourages strategic thinking’, journal of leadership & organizational studies, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 119-128.
Hao, M, & Yazdanifard, R 2015, How effective leadership can facilitate change in organizations through improvement and innovation’, Global Journal of Management and Business Research: A Administration and Management, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 1-6.
Jaleha, A, & Machuki, V 2018, ‘Strategic Leadership and Organizational Performance: A Critical Review of Literature,’ European Scientific Journal, 14(35), 124-149.
Kabeyi, M 2019, ‘Organizational strategic planning, implementation and evaluation with analysis of challenges and benefits for profit and nonprofit organizations’, International Journal of Applied Research, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 27-32.
Khan, M, & Khalique, M 2014, ‘A holistic review of empirical studies of strategic planning and future research avenues’, International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 53-72.
Mjaku, G 2020, ‘Strategic management and strategic leadership’, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, vol. 10, no. 8, pp. 914-918.
Mubarak, M, & Yusoff, W 2019, ‘Impact of strategic leadership on strategy implementation’, British Journal of Management and Marketing Studies, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 32-43.
Nyong’a, T, & Maina, R 2019, ‘Influence of strategic leadership on strategy implementation at Kenya Revenue Authority, southern region in Kenya’, International Academic Journal of Human Resource and Business Administration, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 128-159.
Rahman, H, Dey, T, & Al-Amin, M, 2019, ‘Relationship between organizational strategy and
leadership style in performance efficiency’, Asian Business Review, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 17-
Rahman, N, Othman, M, Yajid, M, & Rahman, S 2018, ‘Impact of strategic leadership on organizational performance, strategic orientation and operational strategy’, Management Science Letters, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 1387-1398.
Zeps, A, & Ribickis, L 2015, ‘Strategy development and implementation – process and factors
influencing the result: Case study of Latvian organizations’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 213, pp. 931-937.
[A1]The abstract provides an overview to the entire report.
[A5]Introducing the article.
[A6]Key arguments in the article.
[A7]Comparison with another paper.
[A10]Key arguments by Jahela and Machuki (2018).
[A11]Comparing the argument with Jaleha and Machuki (2018).
[A14]Describing connection between leaders and strategy.
[A16]Introducing evident deficiency.
[A17]Explaining the deficiency using evidence.
[A19]Identifying the first challenge.
[A21]Introducing the gap.
[A22]Explaining the gap using scholarly evidence.
[A23]A call to future researchers.
[A24]In-depth description on the way forward.
[A25]Consequence of failing to act.
[A26]Harvard referencing requires author’s name, year, title, journal name, volume number, issue number, and page numbers when referencing a journal article.