Strategic leadership and the understanding of ethical issues

 A leader’s success depends, to a great extent, upon understanding organizational culture. Most of the problems confronting leaders can be tracked to their inability to analyse and evaluate organizational cultures. Many leaders, when trying to implement new strategies or a strategic plan leading to a new vision, will fail in their strategies if they are not consistent with the organization’s culture. A CEO who comes into an organization prepared to “shake the place up” and institute great changes, often experiences resist to changes and failure. Difficulties in organizational transformations arise from failures to analyze an organization’s existing culture

Strategic leaders have an additional set of challenges. They have to create the different ways and the opportunities to inspire their employees with new ways of looking at themselves and their capabilities. Leaders’ new ideologies and values need to be communicated effectively, internalised by employees, and then translated into productive methods of thinking and working. The useful techniques for overcoming these challenges is nothing different but fall within the domains of evaluating and transforming organizational cultures.

Leaders in the organizations are being challenged to think differently, to :

Reconceptualise, the goals of their organization and how people in their organizations will work together to achieve these goals.

Organizational culture has shown that the formation and preservation of culture requires interpersonal interaction within subgroups of organization. The three most important of it were:

* Interaction with peers

* Interaction with their supervisor

* Interaction with senior co-workers

Interaction with peers on the job is considered as most important tool in helping newcomers becoming effective employees. Interaction is important for the assimilation of newcomers. However, to get a grasp on how cultures are formed and promulgated the leader need to ask: “what is the content of interpersonal interaction in work settings?”

An understanding of culture, and how to transform it, is a crucial skill for leaders who are trying to achieve strategic outcomes. Strategic leaders have the best perspective, because of their position in the organization, to see the dynamics of the culture, what should remain in the organization exiting culture, and what needs transformation. This is the essence of strategic success.

1.2 Discuss how organisational specific, legal, regulatory and ethical requirements impact on strategic leadership demands:

Regulation, inspection requirements, codes of practice and conduct, standards and guidance for employers and employees, relevant to:

• Provision

• Roles, responsibilities and accountability

• Roles, responsibilities and accountability of others are relevant in relation to measuring the provision’s performance

• Need to achieve positive outcomes for people is also relevant for strategic leader

• Need to safeguard and protect people from all forms of danger, harm and abuse is also should be considered

• Employment practices for the provision and service

• Data protection, recording and reporting

• It should also include making and dealing with comments and complaints to improve services

• Whistle-blowing is other dimension

• The partnership and other types of working

• Promoting the provision’s services and facilities

• Target setting and performance management is also very important

• National strategic and service priorities for performance

1.3 Evaluate current and emerging social concerns and expectations impacting on strategic leadership in the organisation:

The concept of strategic leadership as a specific stream of strategy is a source of core competence and sustainable competitive advantage. During recent times, there has been considerable relevance in effectiveness of strategic leadership,

especially in managing organizational change and continuing new forms of organization structures. In the recent past, several forces such as collapse of

major corporations, the death of lifetime employment and fiduciary irresponsibility have forced to bring more focus on the introduction of strategic leadership in an organization culture. In order to get a better understanding of the functioning of organizations, it seems essential to understand essential characteristics of a top leader that would make a difference in terms of how strategy is made and executed.

Previous strategic leadership studies have taken heavily from other fields, mainly organizational behaviour and psychology. While providing deep understanding into leader characteristics and behaviour, such studies have not been integrated into an excellent framework that can be used to create a strategic focus and predict quantifiable organizational outcomes. Emerging global dynamics have not been integrated into the framework. Strategic leadership provides a possible link between the dynamics of globalization and internal organizational variables like culture, values, and ethics. Through effective leadership, the organization can effectively process and prove the better effects of globalization. Strategic leadership challenges require specific characteristics for a strategic leader to be more effective in creating a focus that will meet organizational objectives while directing the global economy

2. Be able to understand strategic leadership styles 

2.1 Evaluate the relationship between strategic management and leadership:

Strategic management is considered in business as a set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of an organization.

It includes:

• A vision statement.

• An environmental scanning of external factors that will affect the operationalization of the vision in the future;

• A strategic plan and policies based on the results of the external scanning in comparison with the strengths and weaknesses of the organization;

• Tactical and operational plans which are required to implement the strategic plan; and

• A monitoring system which will provide timely, valid, and reliable information by which to harmonize the activities within the organization.

Strategic leadership is the process used by a leader to affect the achievement of a desirable outcomes and clearly understood vision by influencing the organizational culture, allocating resources wherever is required, directing through policy and directive, and building consensus within a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous global environment which is marked by opportunities and threats of the environment.

2.2 Evaluate leadership styles and their impact on strategic decisions:

There are different types of leadership styles –

Autocratic leadership

Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of leadership, where leaders have absolute power over their workers or team. Staff and team members have little and almost no opportunity to make suggestions, even if these would be coming in the team’s or the organization’s best interest.

Most people tend to upset being treated like this. Therefore, this leadership style often leads to high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. However, for some routine and unskilled jobs, the style can remain effective because the advantages of control may balance the disadvantages.

So decisions should be taken considering the above situations

Bureaucratic leadership

Bureaucratic leaders work “by the book.” They follow rules always, and ensure that their staff follows procedures perfectly. This is a very appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks (such as working with machinery, with toxic substances, or at dangerous heights) or where large sums of money are involved (such as handling cash).

Charismatic leadership

A charismatic leadership style can seem similar to transformational leadership, because these leaders infuse lots of enthusiasm in their teams and act as a very energetic style in driving others forward. However, charismatic leaders can tend to believe more in themselves than in their teams, and this creates a risk that a project, or even an entire organization, might collapse if the leader leaves. In the eyes of the followers, success is directly connected to the presence of the charismatic leader if he is there success is there otherwise failure. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and it needs a long-term commitment from the leader.

Democratic leadership or participative leadership

Although democratic leaders make the final decisions, they invite other members of the team to share their views before the decision-making process. This not only increases job satisfaction by involving team members, but it also helps to develop people’s skills. Team members feel that they are controlling of their own destiny, so they’re motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward.

Because participation takes longer time, this approach can take longer time, but often the end result is better. The approach can be most suitable when working as a team is essential part of project or organization, and when quality is more important than speed to market, or productivity.

Laissez-faire leadership

This French phrase means “leave it be,” and it’s used to describe leaders who leave their team members to work on their own. It can be effective in the organization where the leader monitors what’s being achieved and communicates this back to the team regularly. Most often, this leadership is effective when individual team members are very experienced and skilled self-starters i.e. they don’t need continuous monitoring. Unfortunately, this type of leadership can also occur when managers don’t apply sufficient control.

People-oriented leadership or relations-oriented leadership

This is the opposite of task-oriented leadership. With people-oriented leadership, leaders are completely focused on organizing, supporting, and developing the people in their teams. It’s termed as participative style, and it also tends to encourage good teamwork and creative collaboration.

In practice, most leaders use both task-oriented and people-oriented styles of leadership.

Servant leadership

This term, created by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. When someone, at any level within an organization, leads simply by meeting the needs of the team, he or she is described as a “servant leader.” It may be called as servant leadership is a form of democratic leadership, because the whole team tends to be involved in decision making.

Supporters of the servant leadership model suggest that it’s an important way to move ahead in a world where values are increasingly important, and where these leaders achieve power on the basis of their values and ideals. Others believe that in competitive leadership situations, people who practice servant leadership can find themselves left behind by leaders using other leadership styles.

Task-Oriented leadership

Highly task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done by any means, and they can be quite autocratic. They actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, plan, organize, and monitor. However, as task-oriented leaders don’t tend to think much about the well-being and welfare of their teams, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, with difficulties in motivating and retaining staff.

Transactional leadership

This style of leadership starts with the point of thought that team members agree to obey their leader totally when they accept a job. The “transaction” is usually the organization paying the team members in return for their effort and compliance. The leader has a right to “punish” team members if their work doesn’t meet the stated standard.

Team members can do little or sometimes nothing to improve their job satisfaction under transactional leadership. The leader could give team members some control of their income/reward by using incentives that encourage even higher standards or greater productivity. Alternatively, a transactional leader

could practice “management by exception” rather than rewarding better work, the leader could take corrective action if the predetermined standards are not met. Transactional leadership is really a type of management, not a completely a leadership style, because the leaders focus is on short-term tasks. It has serious limitations for knowledge-based or creative work, however it can be effective in other situations.

Transformational leadership

People with this leadership style inherited are true leaders who inspire their teams constantly with a shared vision of the future benefited in both organization interest and team member interest. While this leader’s enthusiasm is often passed onto the team, he or she can need to be supported by “detail people.” That’s why for this reason, in many organizations, both transactional and transformational leadership are needed. The transactional leaders or managers ensure that routine work is done reliably, while the transformational leaders look after initiatives that add new value to the organization.

2.3 Discuss why leadership styles need to be adapted in 

different situations and evaluate the impact on the organisation 

3. Be able to understand leadership strategies and their impact on organisational direction 

3.1. Evaluate two differing leadership strategies

There are two general types of leadership strategies

Prescriptive strategies are those that communicate and reinforce directions and behaviours that the leader expects or desires on the part of others

Restrictive strategies are those that constrain or prohibit directions and behaviours that the leader does not want others to pursue

While both types of strategies are important, prescriptive have a more positive type of impact on others

3.2 Determine situational variables, which could cause a change in leadership strategy:


3.3. Analyse a leadership strategy to support organisational 


Objectives of Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership provides the vision, direction, the purpose for growth, and context for the success of the corporation. It also initiates “outside-the-box” thinking to generate future growth. Strategic leadership is not about micromanaging business strategies. Rather, it provides the umbrella under which businesses devise appropriate strategies and create value.2

In short, strategic leadership answers two questions:

What – by providing the vision and direction, creating the context for growth, and

How – by sketching out a road map for the organization that will allow it to unleash its full potential; by crafting the corporation’s portfolio, determining what businesses should be there, what the performance requirements of the business are, and what types ofalliances make sense; and by defining the means (the culture, values, and way of working together) needed to achieve corporate vision and goals.


1. T. Owen Jacobs, Strategic Leadership: The Competitive Edge (Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.: Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 2000), 24.

2. US Industrial College of the Armed Forces, chap. 1, “Overview,” Strategic Leadership and Decision Making: Preparing Senior Executives for the 21st Century (Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 1997),

3. Edgar F. Puryear Jr., American Generalship: Character Is Everything: The Art of Command (Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 2000), 232.

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