The Role of Strategic Leadership in Organizational Development

  • Nickson Banda Faculty of Management and Organizational Leadership, Greenlight University, Zambia, May 2022.
Keywords: Strategic Leadership, Organizational Development, Strategic


The widely admissible phrase that everything rises and falls on leadership is true of every entity, but more attention today should be given to how strategic is that leadership. While leadership may be generic, drawing a distinction between ordinary leadership and strategic leadership may just prove to be the difference between high impact organizations and stagnant ones. Theories in contemporary literature regarding strategic leadership support the idea that strategic leadership has a significant impact on the decision-making process and thus facilitates the organization to implement effective strategies designed for optimum performance. The main purpose of this paper is to examine strategic leadership, with a focus on implementing strategy for organizational development. It builds upon the understanding of how strategic leadership becomes the process of transforming organizations into a successful firm through the high level and timely strategies. The study was conducted by means of a qualitative mode of inquiry using informant and in-depth interviews directed purposely to the lower and middle management levels of leadership as well as those closest to the leader in their organization.  The study finds that strategic leaders contribute to organizational development through the input of capacity, dynamism, effectiveness, management abilities and problem solving. These are applied to the environment in which organization operates and constantly develops strategies for each situation. The study also confirms that strategic leaders are builders of organizations, and that strategic leadership is oriented towards assimilation of workable and timely tested strategies and are designed to overcome organizational limitations. Both leaders and firms will have to recognize and learn from the fundamentals of strategic leadership.


A. A. Jaleha and V. N. Machuki, “Strategic Leadership and Organizational Performance” A Critical Review of Literature, University of Nairobi, Kenya, European Scientific Journal Vol.14, No.35 431, December, 2018. Available at : (Jan, 14 2022).

Ali, Bayad Jamal and A. Govand, Strategic Leadership Effectiveness and Its Influence on Organizational Effectiveness, International Journal of Electrical, Electronics and Computers, 6(2) Mar-Apr, 2021, Available at SSRN: (February, 2022).

B. Bajcara, J. Babiaka, & C. S. Nosal. “When leaders become strategists” A new look at determinants of leadership styles through their relationship with strategic thinking, Procedia Manufacturing, 3, 3669–3676, 2015.

B. Davies and B.J. Davies. “Strategic Leadership Reconsidered”, Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4:241–260, Taylor & Francis Inc. University of Hull, United Kingdom, 2005

B. M. Bass. “Executive and Strategic Leadership”. International Journal of Business, 12(1), 33 – 52, 2007.

C. Simmons, “Falling off the Apple cart.” Business Strategy Review, Autumn, pp. 34-38. 2007

D. C. Hambrick & T. J. Quigley. “Toward more Accurate Contextualization of the CEO Effect on Firm Performance”. Strategic Management Journal, 35 (4), 473– 49, 2014.

E.; Knies, C. Jacobsen, & L.G. Tummers. “Leadership and Organizational Performance” State of the Art and Research Agenda. In: Storey, J., Denis, J.L., Hartley, J. & Hart, P. (Eds.). Routledge Companion to Leadership (pp. 404-418). London: Routledge. 2016.

H. Mintzberg, “Strategic Thinking as Seeing”. In B., Garratt (Ed.), Developing strategic thought. London: McGraw-Hill, 1995.

Hirschi, Georg and Jones, Michael, "Effects of strategic leadership on business success - a cross-cultural analysis from a resource-based view”. Faculty of Business - Papers (Archive). 450. Available at, 2009.

J. Bolger, “Capacity development: Why, what and how.” Capacity development occasional papers 1(1). Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) policy branch, CIDA, Guatineau, Quebec, 2000.

J. J. P. Jansen, D. Vera, & M. Crossan. Strategic Leadership for Exploration and Exploitation: The Moderating Role of Environmental Dynamism, The Leadership Quarterly, 20 (1), 5–18, 2009.

J.P. Kotter. Leading Change. Boston, MA, Harvard Business School Press, 1996.

J.R. Meindl, & S, B. Ehrlich. “The Romance of Leadership and the Evaluation of Organizational Performance”. Academy of Management Journal, 30 (1), 91 – 109, 1987.

K. Anwar, & H. Balcioglu. “The relationship between transformational leadership characteristics and effectiveness”: A case study of construction companies in Erbil. International Journal of Science Technology and Management, 5(2), 250-256. 2016.

K. Anwar. “The Role of Effective Leadership in Crisis Management:” Study of Private Companies in Kurdistan. Qalaai Zanist Scientific Journal, 2(4), 326-338. 2017.

M. Fitza. “How Much Do CEOs Really Matter? Reaffirming That the CEO Effect is Mostly Due to Chance”. Strategic Management Journal, 38 (3), 802–811, 2017.

M. Gupta. “Strategic Leadership:” An Effective Tool for Sustainable Growth, SIBM Pune Research Journal, Vol XV, 00-00, Uttarakhand, India, June 2018.

P. J. H. Shoemaker, S. Krupp & S. Howland, “Strategic Leadership:” The Essential Skills. Harvard Business Review, 91 (1 – 2), 131 – 134, 2013.

P. Morgan. “Capacity and capacity development—Some strategies”, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Policy Branch. CIDA, Guatineau, Quebec, Aug. 1, 1998.

R. D. Ireland, & M. A Hitt. “Achieving and Maintaining Strategic Competitiveness in the 21st century:” The Role of Strategic Leadership. Academy of Management Executive, 13 (1), 63 – 72, 1999.

R. Hoskisson, M. Hitt, and R. D. Ireland. Strategic Leadership. In Competing for Advantage. South Western: Thompson, 2004.

R. House, and P. Podsakoff. “Leadership Effectiveness” Past Perspectives and Future Directions for Research. Cited in Greenberg, J. 2011. Behaviour in Organisations (10 Edition), 1995.

R. J. House & R. N. Aditya. “The Social Scientific Study of Leadership”: Quo Vadis? Journal of Management, 23 (3), 409 – 473, 1997.

R. L. Tung. “Dimensions of Organizational Environments:” An Exploratory Study of their Impact on Organizational Structure. Academy of Management Journal, 22 (4), 672–93. 1979

R. M. Grant. “The resource-based theory of competitive advantage:” Implications for strategy formulation, California Management Review, 33(3), 114-135, 1991.

R. S. Kaplan & D. P. Norton. “The Balanced Scorecard” - Measures that Drive Performance. Harvard Business Review, 70 (1), 71-79, 1992.

S. M. Carter, & C. R. Greer. “Strategic Leadership:” Values, Styles, and Organizational Performance. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 20 (4), 375 –393, 2013.

S. Robbins, T. Judge, and T. Campbell. Organizational Behaviour. Harlow: Pearson, 2010

S. Singh, T. K. Darwish & K. Potocnik. “Measuring Organizational Performance:” A Case for Subjective Measures, British Journal of Management, 27 (1), 214– 224, 2016.

T. J. Quigley, & D. C. Hambrick. Has the “CEO Effect” Increased in Recent Decades? A New Explanation for The Great Rise in America’s Attention To Corporate Leaders. Strategic Management Journal, 36 (6), 821–830, 2015.

T. J., Quigley, & S.D, Graffin, Reaffirming the CEO effect is significant and much larger than chance: A comment on Fitza (2014). Strategic Management Journal, 38 (3), 793– 801. (2017).

T. O. Jacobs, Strategic Leadership: The Competitive Edge. (Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.: Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 2000), 46.

V. N. Machuki & E. Aosa. The Influence of the External Environment on the Performance of Publicly Quoted Companies in Kenya. Prime Journal of Business Administration and Management, 1 (7), 205 – 218, 2011.

V. Van Dut. “The Effects of Local Business Environments on SMEs' Performance: Empirical Evidence from the Mekong Delta”. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 20 (1), 101– 122, 2015.

W. G. Rowe, Creating Wealth in Organizations: The Role of Strategic Leadership. Academy of Management Review, Volume 15, No. 1, 2001.

W. M. Guillot, “Strategic Leadership: Defining the Challenge,” Air & Space Power Journal (Winter 2003): pp, 67-75.

} W. W. Burke G. H. & Litwin. “A Causal Model of Organizational Performance and Change”. Journal of Management, 18 (3), 523 – 545, 1992.

How to Cite
Nickson Banda. (2022). The Role of Strategic Leadership in Organizational Development. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research (IJSBAR), 62(2), 141-152. Retrieved from