The impact of strategic leadership on the operational strategy and performance of business organisations in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Hough, Johan en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Serfontein, Jacob Jacobus en_ZA
dc.contributor.other University of Stellenbosch. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Business Management.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-04T08:24:45Z en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2010-12-15T10:19:29Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-04T08:24:45Z en_ZA
dc.date.available 2010-12-15T10:19:29Z
dc.date.issued 2010-12 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/5187
dc.description Thesis (PhD (Business Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The turbulent and rapidly changing world, including South Africa, has created a society craving for speed and action. Future leaders, therefore, face incredible pressures to deliver immediate results, to do more with less and to manage an ever-increasing personal workload. The pace and urgency of daily demands can make it difficult to be more than the step ahead into the future. But in a world of changing conditions and priorities, leaders and individual contributors alike must be able to look beyond the ‘now’ and take a more strategic leadership approach to their work and responsibilities. Global mega-trends are leading to increasing levels of complexity, dynamism and uncertainty in the corporate environment. In an uncertain economy, organisations need effective strategies that will enable them to thrive. Traditional leadership approaches have been rendered insufficient by the rapid changes in the knowledge economy. Businesses need to practise systemic innovation in this fast-changing, knowledge-driven global business landscape in order to remain competitive. Despite heightened awareness and interest by both scholars and practitioners in the field of strategic leadership, the subject will always be an emerging field of inquiry. Furthermore, limited research has thus far been conducted on the impact of strategic leadership on the operational strategy and performance of business organisations in South Africa. A review of strategic leadership literature revealed a research gap that culminated in the following research question: “What is the impact of strategic leadership on the operational strategy and performance of business organisations in South Africa”? To address the research question stated above, a literature review on the impact of strategic leadership on the operational strategy and performance was conducted, and an empirical study was executed. The literature review emphasised the three interrelated strategic leadership constructs of action, coherence and discipline that explored the relationship between strategic leadership and the organisation’s operational strategy and performance. In this study, operational strategy includes strategic orientation as well as the operational excellence of the organisation. The factors which influence strategic orientation were identified as the organisation’s ability to create and formulate their strategy as well as the discipline of all people in the organisation to execute the strategy. Operational excellence, was influenced by product differentiation, cost management and integration. The literature review also emphasised the influence of adaptive leadership, autonomy, communication, knowledge, processes and systems, and values on self reported organisational performance which was directly related to strategic leadership. To address the research problem, empirical cross-sectional telephone surveys were conducted. The sample selected for the study was the top 200 listed organisations for 2008, as published in the Financial Mail. The key respondent was the chief executive officer (CEO), or a member of the executive team. The sample consisted of 200 organisations of which 118 valid responses were received with a response rate of 59 percent. Measurement instruments were adapted, developed and revised where necessary to ensure the reliability and validity of the data. The collected data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings of the study indicated that strategic leadership is directly and indirectly positively associated with operational strategy and organisational performance. It is positively associated with strategy orientation as well as operational excellence of business organisations in South Africa. Furthermore, strategic leadership can also be related to return on assets (ROA) and earnings per share (EPS). Self reported performance is also associated with higher organisational performance. Strategic leadership is unrelated to the size of the organisation, but is more likely to occur in a turbulent business environment. Product differentiation and cost management were also directly linked to strategic leadership. The most important contribution of this study is based on the testing of successful strategic leadership practices in business organisations in the South African context. Competition in the 21st century’s global economy will be complex, challenging and filled with competitive opportunities and threats. This study asserted that effective strategic leadership practices could help business organisations in South Africa to enhance their performance while competing in turbulent and unpredictable environments. Measurement instruments have also been developed, which may be used by executives, consultants and other researchers to measure these phenomena in future. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die turbulente en vinnig veranderende wêreld, Suid-Afrika inkluis, het ‘n gemeenskap geskep wat gewoond geraak het aan spoed en aksie. Toekomstige leiers is dus blootgestel aan oneindige druk om dadelik te presteer, resultate te lewer, om meer met minder te doen en om ‘n vootdurende en toenemende werkslading te bestuur. Die vinnige pas en dringendheid van daaglikse vereistes kan dit baie moeilik maak om ‘n stap voor die toekoms te wees. Maar, in die wêreld van veranderende omstandighede en prioriteite, moet leiers en individue oor die vaardighede en kennis beskik om verby die ‘huidige’ na die toekoms te kyk en daardeur ‘n meer strategiese leierskapsbenadering te volg ten opsigte van hulle werk en verantwoordelikhede. Die impak van globalisering het aanleiding gegee tot verhoogde vlakke van kompleksiteit, dinamika en onsekerheid in die korporatiewe omgewing. Organisasies het, veral in ‘n onsekere ekonomie, ‘n effektiewe strategie nodig om te presteer. Tradisionele leierskapbenaderings is nie meer voldoende in ‘n kundigheidsekonomie wat vinning besig is om te verander nie. Dit het dus noodsaaklik geword vir leiers in organisasies om effektiewe stelsels en ander innoverende praktyke te implementeer om kompeterend te wees in die toekoms. Nieteenstaande die verhoogde bewustheid en belangstelling van beide studente en persone wat in die praktyk werksaam is teenoor strategiese leierskap, sal dit altyd nodig wees om hierdie vakgebied verder te ontwikkel en te bestudeer. Voorts is daar tot op hede slegs beperkte navorsing gedoen oor die impak van strategiese leierskap op die operasionele strategie en prestasie van besigheidsorganisasies in Suid-Afrika. ‘n Oorsig van strategiese leierskapliteratuur het getoon dat daar ‘n navorsingsgaping bestaan wat aanleiding gegee het tot die volgende navorsingsvraag: “Wat is die impak van strategiese leierskap op die operasionele strategie en prestasie van besigheidsorganisasies in Suid-Afrika”? Om die bogenoemde navorsingsvraagstuk aan te spreek, is daar ‘n omvattende literatuuroorsig asook ‘n volledige empiriese studie gedoen ten opsigte van die impak van strategiese leierskap op die operasionele strategie en prestasie van besigheidsorganisasies. Die literatuuroorsig het beklemtoon dat die drie interafhanklike konstrukte van aksie, samehorigheid en dissipline, (wat strategiese leierskap verteenwoordig), ‘n nou verband het met operasionele strategie en prestasie in besigheidsorganisasies. In hierdie studie het strategiese oriëntasie van die organisasie sowel as die vermoë om die strategie uit te voer die beginsel van operasionele strategie verteenwoordig. Die faktore wat strategiese oriëntasie beïnvloed het, is geïdentifiseer as die organisasie se vermoë om ‘n strategie te ontwikkel en te formuleer, asook om die nodige dissipline te handhaaf om die strategie op alle vlakke suksesvol uit te voer en te implementeer. Operasionele uitnemendheid is beïnvloed deur produkdifferensiasie en die effektiewe bestuur van kostes. Die literatuuroorsig het ook die belangrike invloed van adaptiewe leierskap, outonomie, kommunikasie, kundigheid, effektiewe prosesse en sisteme asook gevestigde waardes bevestig as aspekte wat ‘n direkte en indirekte impak het op die selfgerapporteerde prestasies in besigheidsorganisasies, wat ‘n direkte verband getoon het met strategiese leierskap. Die navorsingsprobleem is aangespreek deur empiriese kruisseksionele telefoononderhoude te voer met gelyste besigheidsorganisasies in Suid-Afrika. Die geselekteerde populasie was die 200 top organisasies vir 2008, soos gepubliseer in die Financial Mail van 2009. As gevolg van die strategiese aard van die studie, was die sleutelrespondente die Hoof Uitvoerende Beampte (HUB), of ‘n lid van die uitvoerende bestuur van die organisasie. Die populasie het bestaan uit al 200 gepubliseerde organisasies waarvan 118 geldige vraelyste geprosesseer is, met ‘n respondentkoers van 59 persent. Die meetinstrument is aangepas, ontwikkel en verander waar dit nodig was om die geldigheid en toepaslikheid van die data te kon verseker. Die versamelde data is met beskrywende en inferensiële statistiek ontleed. Die bevindinge van die studie het aangetoon dat strategiese leierskap direk en indirek positief verbind kan word met operasionele strategie sowel as die self gerapporteerde prestasie van organisasies. Dit kan ook positief geassosieer word met strategiese oriëntasie sowel as operasionele uitnemendheid van besigheidsorganisasies in Suid- Afrika. Voorts kan strategiese leierskap ook verbind word met die opbrengs op bates sowel as die verdienste per aandeel. Selfgerapporteerde prestasie van die deelnemende organisasies kon ook direk verbind word tot verbeterde prestasie van hierdie organisasies. Daar is egter ook bevind dat strategiese leierskap geen verband het met die grootte van die organisasie nie, maar is wel geneig om ‘n positiewe impak te hê op die prestasie van organisasies in ‘n turbulente besigheidsomgewing. Produk- differensiasie en die effektiewe bestuur van kostes kan ook direk geassosieer word met effektiewe strategiese leierskap. Die belangrikste bydrae van hierdie studie is gebaseer op die toetsing van suksesvolle strategiese leierskapspraktyke in besigheidsorganisasies in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Kompetisie in die 21ste eeu in ‘n globale ekonomie gaan kompleks en uitdagend wees, gevul met kompeterende geleenthede en bedreigings. Hierdie studie het empiries bevestig, dat effektiewe strategiese leierskapspraktyke besighede in Suid- Afrika kan help om uitnemend te presteer asook om winsgewendheid te verhoog, alhoewel hulle deel is van ‘n turbulente en onvoorspelbare omgewing. Meetinstrumente is ook ontwikkel wat deur uitvoerende beamptes, konsultante en ander navorsers gebruik kan word om hierdie verskynsels in die toekoms te kan meet. af_ZA
dc.language.iso en_ZA en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch
dc.subject Corporate governance en_ZA
dc.subject Organisational performance en_ZA
dc.subject Strategic planning en_ZA
dc.subject Organizational effectiveness en_ZA
dc.subject Dissertations -- Business management en_ZA
dc.subject Theses -- Business management en_ZA
dc.subject.other Business Management en_ZA
dc.title The impact of strategic leadership on the operational strategy and performance of business organisations in South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA
dc.rights.holder University of Stellenbosch


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