Strategic Management: Formulation and Implementation

Leadership, Power, And Organizational Culture - Summary

Successful strategyimplementers also exercise an important leadership role. Managers have two tools to encourage organizational members to put their full efforts into strategy implementation: strategic leadership and organizational culture.

Leadership is the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals. The major approaches to understanding leadership in organizations include:

  1. leader traits,
  2. leader behaviors,
  3. contingencies on effective leader behaviors.

In addition, the study of leadership has expanded to include recent perspectives that are not rooted in traditional leadership theories are leadership substitutes, charismatic leadership, and attributional perspectives. Each of these theory provides insight into leadership.

Regardless of the particular approaches to leadership the importance of leadership to organizational effectiveness cannot be overemphasized. Organization would be less efficient without leaders. The firm's leaders must articulate the organization's mission, goals and objectives and then inspire, motivate, and support the firm's members as they work together to implement the organization's strategies.

To influence the behavior of others, a leader must possess power. Power is defined as the ability to get things done in the way that one wants them to be done. French and Raven identified five different types of power: reward power (positive and negative reinforcement), coercion power (punishment and extinction), legitimate power (formal authority), referent power (charisma and attraction), expert power (knowledge).

Another approach proposes two sources of power: position power and personal power. Attempts to use power can result in commitment, compliance, or resistance. Yukl's guidelines detail how managers can use power to achieve commitment or compliance and to avoid resistance.

Power and politics are very closely related concepts. Political behavior occurs when legitimate authority cannot resolve disagreements. Pfeffer have identified a variety of political tactics for gaining power in organizations: outside experts, controlling the agenda, coalition, coaptation, committees.

Organizational culture is the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that govern behavior within a particular organization. Aspects of organizational culture are manifested by cultural symbols, heroes, rites, and values.

Organizational culture can affect employees behaviors and commitment to the organization. Moreover, an organization's culture can facilitate or hinder the firm's strategic actions.

Therefore successful strategy implementation requires a "strategically appropriate culture" one that is appropriate to, and supportive of, the firm's strategy.