Strategic Management Involves A Skilled Execution Management

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Establish the relationship between strategic management and leadership in relation to achieving an organizations performance using relevant academic resources (30 references Harvard style)

The Role of strategic management in leadership/ (what is it all about and its place in contemporary business)

Businesses generally involve the setting up of goals and strategies in the interest and upon the approval of stakeholders. Strategic management has the objective of assessing these goals and strategies as implemented by top level management as well as how these are performing against external factors; and therefore has the purpose of identifying the goals and action of an organization. According to Lamb (1984:ix) [2] strategic management is a process that goes on constantly especially since it involves a high level of decision making as they arise rather than for the future (Steiner, 1979).

In addition, strategic management involves a skilled execution of strategies that are usually set up the board of directors of a company. In turn, the skill to execute the strategic plan of a company requires solid leadership. Among the trades of leadership one can find the ability to motivate other employees within the company in order for them to act on and perceive the goals of a company in a positive way. Leadership also requires knowing the organization well and this brings with it the ability to put forward suggestions for business strategies which usually cater for priority concerns and provide a solution for them and then the leader has to sell them to the Board.

Optimal and high standard performance is the goal/reward behind strategic management. In a few words, strategic management and leadership are the heart behind an organization's success. Like in all other fields the level/ability of strategic management employed can make or break a company.

The role of strategic management in establishing organizations goals and objectives (long term) with emphasis on the leadership as the driving factor behind the org performance (the link between and leadership) (apply theories)

Strategic management takes a look at the objectives, goals and strategies of an organization. A meticulous analysis of the organization's strong and weak points usually takes place on a hierarchical level. Alongside this assessment a plan of action establishing short as well as long-term objectives bearing the period dates within which and details of how they should be accomplished is drawn up. The unstable environment and likeliness of its change including unforeseeable market conditions are also acceptable criteria for a strategic leader. Therefore, it is the method adopted to assess the operative element of an organization to its targets that makes a difference. Hence, the leadership approach applied assumes paramount importance as the method applied invariably depends on its promulgator. According to Dr. Jagdish Sheth while strategic planning may be looked upon as a business tool, it cannot replace sound leadership. In case of strategic management therefore, a charismatic or transformational leader are required as the success of strategic management ultimately depends on how well an organization answers to change and a dynamic environment. Alternatively, a transactional leader is suitable best for stable economic and work scenario. This is therefore, the fundamental link between strategic management and leadership.

While the starting point, in all cases might be to look at whether the strategies applied will solve the issue at hand, the leadership approach will make a huge difference. For instance, in case of transactional leadership, the leader cannot expect his employees to work faster or to come up with ideas if the work atmosphere is one of routine without much challenge. The latter would require top level management to change the strategy or sub-strategies if their intentions are to succeed. Likewise, a transformational leader cannot be expected to perform at his best in a slow de-motivating work scenario. Resultantly, strategic management requires the desire and ability to adapt to situations and changes as they come along. Not every leader is able to adapt and to improvise. This is where an assessment of leadership types is called for, ensuring that the organization has the right direction/leader to allow to see its targets through despite the downhill faced on a daily basis. Indeed, the organization should aim at having it strategy consistent with the organization's plan of action, management's expectations and the external environment as such (Arieu (2007))

Critical analysis of a chosen style of leadership and compare it against 2 or more leadership styles (the analysis must be in-depth linking the two concepts and their implication for policy and practice)

In the past decade research has shown that constant individual differences in leadership exist (e.g., Judge, Bono, Ilies, & Gerhardt, 2002). Resultantly, different leadership styles arise. Current leadership research and theory makes a strong emphasis on the charismatic or transformational models of leadership as opposed to transactional leadership models as referred to by Burns (1978) and Bass (1985).

The main objective of transactional leaders is to keep the smooth running and stable functioning of the organization running smoothly by rewarding the efforts, motivation and loyalty through commitment of the organization's employees. It is the main characteristic of transactional leaders to influence others through task-focused behaviours. The notion of control is heavily strong on transactional approaches whereby compliance with the organizations' policies and procedures (Fry, 2003) as well as external requirements such as the regulators' rules are warranted. This influence is best implemented by the clarification by the same leaders of results that are expected, of rules and procedures that are to be followed as well as by placing strong emphasis with their subordinates (Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978; House, 1996). Due to the fact that goes and policies need to be clarified and certain, the transactional leadership approach is commonly found in stable atmospheres (Bass (1985)).

Similarly, charismatic leadership is said to go beyond transactional leadership although the main framework of leadership approach subsists with some differences in the way they are perceived (Yulk, 1999). In fact, charismatic leadership is perceived as leaders who build on and augment the impact of transactional leadership, thereby expecting to motivate followers perform ahead of expectations (Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978; House, 1977).

Both charismatic and transformational leadership's styles are perceived as being able to change the status quo of an organization by adding a significant meaning to the employees' regular job description. This has the domino effect of obtaining a quick and effective response by the employees to the exigencies of the organization (e.g., Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978; House, 1977; Pawar & Eastman, 1997; Waldman, Ramirez, House, & Puranam, 2001). According to Bass (1985), Conger (1993) and Shamir & Howell (1999) charismatic leadership is highly present in challenging and dynamic work environments which also offer opportunities leading to or necessitating change. Consequently, a stable work scenario tends to reap the opposite effect of a scenario that is rapidly changing such as the technology market (Bass and Avolio (1993); Shamir and Howell (1999, p. 264). This is because a stable work scenario does not induce employees to try new more challenging things.

It has been recommended by a number of authoritative figures in the area that charismatic or transformational leadership should also aim at empowering employees or followers. Empowerment can take place by delegation of responsibilities, enhancing of independent thinking ability and encouragement to put forward innovative and creative ideas. Resultantly, one is more likely to spot charismatic leaders in a dynamic environment whereas transactional approaches can be found in less dynamic ambiences (Ployhart et al., 2001).

Charismatic leadership theories are attributed to have lead to effective leadership (Yukl, 1999) with both charismatic or transformational leadership styles seen as contributory approaches to enhancing positive moral and also as increasing the financial performance and measures within an organization. It seems that the relationships that evolve under a charismatic or transformational leadership approach are sturdier than those that emerge as a result of a transactional approach (e.g., Bycio, Hackett, & Allen, 1995; Fuller, Patterson, Hester, & Stringer, 1996; Howell & Avolio, 1993; Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996; Waldman et al., 2001).

Another theory in this area is the personality theory and it has been widely accepted that personality can be perceived by five characteristics (Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1990) which are agreeableness(McCrae & Costa, 1987; Costa & McCrae, 1992a)., neuroticism (Bass, 1990; House, 1977)., extraversion(McCrae & Costa, 1987, (Shamir & Howell, 1999).), openness to experience (Woodman, Sawyer, & Griffin, 1993) and conscientiousness ( Costa & McCrae, 1992b; Bass, 1985, Digman & Shmelyov, 1996; McCrae, Costa, del Pilar, Rolland, & Parker, 1998) and these personality traits are usually inherited (Jang, McCrae, Angleiter, Riemann, & Livesley, 1998).

Another leadership approach is for the leader to adapt to the situation. This leadership approach is known as the trait activation theory. Consequently, the approach can be said to be circumstantial (Tett & Burnett, 2003; Murray (1938), Allport (1966), Bem and Funder (1978) Chatman et al. (1999)) McClelland, Atkinson, Clark, and Lowell (1958). It is argued that the personal traits of an individual are more visible in his/her behaviour when the situation is as such that it calls upon the personal characteristics of the same. (Tett and Guterman (2000).

Similarly, personality and circumstance may play an important role in relation to whether a leader will apply the charismatic or transactional approach (akin to the trait activation theory). The type of leadership approach applied will depend on the circumstances the leader and the organization are in.

Evaluation of strategic HR resource model

Strategic management has also to take into account of the human resources department and the strategic with which this department is to be managed in order for the HR Department to contribute towards the overall organization's strategy as established by its constituent and authorized members. In line with this various strategic HR resource models have been implemented.

Generally an HR organizational model has to be strong and needs to start with the assessment of the Company's strategies, goals and objectives. This assessment is normally done by the leader in charge of the organization such as the chief manager, director or chief executive officer (CEO). These leaders are then to transcend the organization's strategy to the HR unit of the company. HR is then in charge of communicating the goals in a strategic way to the employees for instance through workshops, training sessions and one-to-one with their staff. Applying different yet adequate HR strategies here is vital since as discussed under the leadership types' subtitle of this paper, individuals have different personalities. However, HR's hands are usually tied up by the direction taken by the leader him/herself. For example, during a period of crisis, HR is made to cut on human resources. The retained staff will undoubtedly absorb the additional work of previous employees. If HR adapts an open door policy and also with HR's own experience, HR realizes that the staff retained are under a considerable amount of pressure and feel that they are underpaid, it is the duty of HR to apply the rightful strategy perhaps by creating what are known as 'perks' for the employees in order to motivate them to keep up the workload and ensure employee retention. However, it is important that HR keeps to the business strategy adopted by the organization and consequently needs to ensure that its financial planning is in line with the strategic plan. It would be opportune therefore to seek the advice of the organizations' financial controller as well as that of the leader.

HR, however, does not exist on its own. The HR manager will need to communicate its strategy to other line managers and if possible to all employees (through email for instance). Previously HR was not involved much in important decisions and its role used to be reduced to payroll. HR was not consulted in the recruitment process until later when the candidate was selected. In the past decade the perception of HR has been changed and now HR has also become responsible for implementing the company's strategy among other functions such as recruitment.

Evaluation of strategic positions and their importance in businessProvide recommendations for leaders in achieving objectives/goals (quality recommendation)

The starting point for leaders to achieve their goals is the organizations' own selection of the leader. The organization must first know what it stands for and then upon a thorough personality test of the prospective leader, it chooses the best man for the job. If the organization already has a leader who perhaps does not fit in the organization's momentum, it should provide training and constant support.

Also many organizations are not up-to-date with their current situation. They either have an outdated strategy or a strategy that does not serve to reach the intended goals. [49] In addition, while the strategy might be the right one, the means to achieve this strategy such as an incorrect choice of leader, wrong control structures; one that is heavy on finances as well as an inadequate human resources approach which results in failure to retain key employees in the organization.

Unfortunately, most organizations do not like to write their strategy. This results in difficulty in communicating the strategy of the company to other employees. It also leads to unfettered managerial/leader discretion which might create a feeling of instability within the organization in the absence of proof that a particular direction was given. Hence, a written strategy is warranted. However, the strategy should be one that is flexible so that it can be adapted to the circumstances within which the organization operates, enabling leaders to reach the intended objectives.

Clear and coherent conclusion

Evidence of research to support point of view/discussion

Applications of concepts and useful scenarios

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