Strategic Leadership

An analysis of the nature and function of strategic leadership and a review of some key issues and themes.

This paper discusses how the complex, interrelated and dynamic processes and structures which define the global market at the beginning of the 21st century, necessitate a greater understanding of the process of strategic leadership and how it is therefore not surprising that equally complex frameworks are required in order to gain a full understanding of the organisational effects of the phenomena. It attempts to show how the different frameworks examined through a literature review are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive frameworks and how they are clearly indicative of the types of leadership behaviours and approaches which can ?lead? to fundamental and permanent changes in organisational culture.
“Finkelstein & Hambrick (1996) in developing their model of strategic leadership argue that decision making logic of top managers is framed by a “bounded rationality” which hinges on the premise that leaders are confronted with more stimuli from both within and outside the organisation that they can assimilate, and that such stimuli are often ambiguous, contradictory and overly complex. Hence, strategic leaders will construct their own view of reality, leading to decision making through a staged process of; limiting the field of vision, selective perception and interpretation. This filtering process is determined by a strategic leaders “executive orientation” which is dependent on psychological factors such as personal values, their cognitive model of reality, and other personal factors such as the need for power or achievement; and determinants of observable experiences such as age, tenure, educational background, functional background etc.”