Strategic management refers to the coordination of material, human, financial and technological resources of an organisation to enable it and all its stakeholders to achieve their stipulated goals in an effectively and efficiently. Leadership is the process of organising, supporting and directing the individuals in an organisation with the aim of influencing them to work in pursuit of the goals and missions of an organisation. The two terms are inseparable and are therefore used interchangeably in strategic management.
Strategic management and leadership are closely linked hence making it difficult to differentiate between the two. Strategic management involves proper planning, organisation of activities, controlling of the organisations activities so that the missions and goals can be met effectively and motivation of the employees and other stakeholders for the success of the organisation (Adeniyi 36). All these activities are impossible without a proper leadership in the organisation. The leaders are delegated with the duty of setting the goals of an organisation and making decisions on the best way of achieving them.
They also organise the resources and staff group activities in the best way possible for proper performance. The leaders correct and monitor the activities going on in the organisation to ease the process of goal attainment. It is the duty of leaders to motivate the employees so that they can perform their duties with the interest of the organisation at heart. They make decision on the best leadership style to be implemented in the performance of the various activities so as to meet the expected results. Under strategic management the employees work just to comply with the goals directed by those in the authority.
Although the employees achieve their expected goals, it is evidenced that majority of them comply externally and fail to internalise the goals into their own value system (Adeniyi 20). Leadership comes in at this point to ensure that the employees internalise the goals through enhancement of private acceptance which is achieved by increasing the willingness of the followers. The management can enhance this by electing leaders who are in close contact with the employees thus can easily influence them as they work.
It is also possible to increase willingness by electing employee’s representatives who will attend the meetings on behalf of the other staff thus involving every individual in the process of decision making. Management and leadership have a variety of impacts on the strategic decisions made by the organisation. Proper management enables an organisation to become more efficient since it enhances the adoption of various forms of management skills that facilitate coordination, communication and participation of all the members at all levels of performance (Adeniyi 32).
In majority of organisations the CEOs have adopted the management styles that magnanimously equip the employees with a wide range of information thus ensuring that all the stakeholders contribute effectively in the growth of the organisation. The leadership style plays a major role in the organisational behaviour and activities. Authoritarian leadership style is only effective when applied on a new employee since they are learning and have to follow certain directives. It is also beneficial when the managers have to make an emergency decision and has no time for consultations.
Managers utilising participative leadership style are good strategic decision makers since it involves all the stakeholders in the process of decision making though the final decision is maintained by the authority. This leadership style helps in improving the performance since every individual makes the efforts to be informed, knowledgeable and skilful to compete effectively with the others as well as give viable suggestions which are of benefit to the entire organisation.
Laissez faire leadership style has a positive impact in those organisations that emphasise on creativity, invention and innovation. This is because the leader gives directives of what ought to be done and the employees take the initiative of analysing the situation and make a decision on what ought to be done and the way to do it. This type of leadership is important in identification of potential future leaders since some tasks require the workers to work together to achieve the set targets.
A leader among the workers can be identified by fellow workmates to ensure that the entire task is completed effectively. According to Lussier& Achua (79) proper management and utilisation of the right leadership styles have a great contribution in self motivation and embracing change. Self motivation is essential in the growth of an organisation since it enables the workers with dependency personality to be inspired so that they can effectively work with the independent minded workers for the benefit of the organisation.
Self motivated workers embrace creativity, invention and innovation since they focus on meeting their goals other than putting emphasis on reward and recognition. The level of technology is changing drastically and all the organisations have to respond positively to these changes for good performance. This is achieved through proper management and leadership strategies which offer training to employees thus equipping them with the necessary information required in achievement of their goals.
Although autocratic leadership is not the best in management, there are certain situations in which it can be utilised effectively. It can be used when training new employees so that they can know the procedures to follow, when the organisation is under pressure to produce large volumes, when the time for decision making is limited, when an employee attempts to challenge the authority unnecessarily and also in poorly managed departments (Lussier& Achua 111). The managers have to utilise their power without consulting and even use punishments in these situations for effective running of the business.
Bureaucratic leadership style can also be used when everything in the organisation must be carried out in accordance with a certain policy or procedure such as in the police force. It is effective if the organisation performs tasks by following a certain routine over and over again, if they have to meet certain standards, if the employees are using delicate and dangerous equipments which have a strict procedure of operation and also in tasks that involve handling cash.
Banks, police force, security firms and micro finance institutions are a good example of those firms that have to employ bureaucratic style for proper performance Democratic leadership is essential if the employees have to be at par with the issues affecting their work and if they are delegated with the responsibilities of problem solving and decision making.
It should be applied if it is essential for the employees to be informed on the matters affecting the business, if the leader wants to share the problem solving duty with employees, if the problem at hand requires lots of input for a solution to be obtained, when one wants to encourage team building and when the managers intend to change their ways of operation. This style can be applied in a manufacturing firm that intends to improve on quality of the product.
Another common style is the laissez faire leadership. It is adopted in those companies that have creative, inventive and innovative individuals who enjoy working with full freedom and are delegated with the duty of making decisions, determine goals and solve the problems by themselves. It is effective in organisations with highly educated, experienced and skilled employees, if the employees are committed to their work and have self motivation which enables them to successively run their errands.
It can be employed by managers with trustworthy employees or when working with experts and specialists hired from outside to (Lussier& Achua 78). Proper strategic management goes hand in hand with the leadership style applied by an individual. For an organisation to successfully meet its goals, the managers have to employ the right leadership styles so as to enhance the employee’s self motivation. The various leadership styles should be applied in the right situations to avoid conflicts, immature resignations, absenteeism and other irresponsible behaviours by the employees.