Strategic Management and Leadership

Topics: Strategic management, Management, Leadership Pages: 7 (2379 words) Published: March 1, 2011
Q1. Explain the link between Strategic Management and Leadership The strategic management process helps institutions identify what they intend to achieve and how they will accomplish outcomes. The term strategic management is used to refer to the entire decision-making process. Strategic management must evolve by predicting the future (more effective planning), thinking strategically (increased responses, evaluation of strategic alternatives and dynamic allocation of resources) and creating the future (strategic planning through orchestration of all resources to create advantage) (Gluck, Kaufman & Wallach, 1980). Therefore the orchestration of all resources within an institution, strategically driven by a flexible planning process that incorporates the institutional culture, means strategic management is at work. It serves as a mechanism to provide direction to an institution and at the same time has the potential to propel an HEI on a perilous course into uncharted waters. It helps coordinate organizational activities, but taken to excess can create “groupthink,” where the choreography is overdone. According to Certo and Peter (1991, 5), “strategic management is defined as a continuous, iterative process aimed at keeping an organization as a whole appropriately matched to its environment.” Stembridge (2001, 24- 25) states: “the continuous process of strategic management then, includes strategic planning, i.e., analysis, as well as strategy formulation, implementation, and control activities […].” Planning is a part or component of strategic management, but not a management substitute (Dunn, 1998). Leadership is about strategic management, discretionary decision-making and policy development. Ohmae (1982) represents leadership as a cornerstone in a triangle along with management and planning. Leaders are charged with the task of moving an institution forward in an effective manner; with taking the institution from its current mission-state to a new and better vision-state. As advocated by Clark (1983), HEIs evolve from the bottom up. Each adaptation moves up the hierarchy bringing growing degrees of change with it at each level. Other authors concur that leadership within higher education institutions is identified as a ‘shift in perspective’ (de Groof, Neave & Svec, 1998). Managing an institution is an enormous challenge. As stated by de Groof, Neave and Svec (1998, 129), “the university is a complex organization which has to accommodate a vast range of tasks, cross-cutting interests, demands and obligations, some of them imposed by law, others that arise from the usual friction which comes with large numbers of people working on widely different projects in the same surroundings […]. The maintenance of strategic vision, the cohesion necessary if the myriad different interest of teachers, researchers, managers, students and employees are to kept in a state of creative but balanced tension, call for a very high order of political skills, that is, the ability to reconcile conflict of interest around a common cause or objective.” Some would place leadership on top as the all-encompassing factor that orchestrates institutional management and planning (Anyamele, 2005). Certainly, planning and management are key functions of leadership. As Middlehurst (1993) points out, leadership sets values and direction and positions the institution strategically. Anyamele (2005, 367) states that their work "...involves making important decisions: resource generation and allocation, institutional acquisition, investment and disposal, about the recruitment of academic and other staff, about creation, closure and merger of departments, and about external roles and relationships." Decision-making processes, or ways to approach strategic issues depends on the commitment of leadership. Leadership ultimately is responsible and must be committed to the process (Mintzberg, 1994a).

Q2. Analyze the impact of Management and Leadership style...
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