Strategic Leadership

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・MLA ・17 Sources

Understand an organization’s ethical and value-based approach to leadership

1.1 Analyze the impact of the organization’s culture and values on strategic leadership

A company's distinctive social environment is greatly influenced by its organizational culture, which is a collection of values and practices. Employee attitudes and values are clearly reflected in the organizational culture. The type of culture present in an organization can also be greatly influenced by the organizational norms. Economic performance of a corporation is correlated with the strength and kind of organizational culture (Schein 9).

The style of management that managers utilize is determined by organizational culture (Nolan 34). Contrastingly, leadership style determines how power and information flow through the organization and the extent to which employees make decisions, express themselves and even contribute ideas to the leadership. Further, it is a determinant of the way the business is run and how the employees treat the suppliers, customer and even the society at large. The success of an organizational leadership is mostly determined by the knowledge of the specific organizational culture. This knowledge will more or less dictate some leadership approaches taken. Managers should make efforts to have at least minimum knowledge of the organization’s culture and norms, especially when faced with complex issues in the process of developing organizational goals and achievements (Lutz et al. 32). Most leadership challenges emanate from lack of understanding, evaluation, and assessment of the existing organizational culture.

Qatar petrochemical company (QAPCO), which is owned by Industries Qatar (80%) and TOTAL Petrochemicals (France) [20%] (QAPCO.Com), has a clearly developed organizational paradigm. The company has a well-articulated mission and vision statements that intermarry well with the set values and professional ethics. The organizational structures are well defined and so are the control systems. With over 115 employees in the country and way over 300km pipeline, the company has to put in place a well-coordinated leadership structure that includes the input of all heads of departments (Maritz, Pretorius and Plant 101). The organization has a board of directors that acts as the umbrella management unit which oversees approval of all strategic business decisions and acts as the overall management. The CEO sits in the board meetings and is tasked with the responsibility of day to day running of the business activities in consultation with departmental heads. Qatar petrochemical company (QAPCO) employs a well-organized mixed-strategy between bureaucratic and democratic leadership styles in which CEO makes the decisions after consulting with the departmental managers (Crowne 214).

The top management makes strategic decisions, tactical decisions are made at middle level, while the employees are allowed to make quick decisions in their specific tasks and projects. QAPCO raises its leaders from the multicultural background for easy adaptability in new markets as they understand the customers’ demands. Apart from hiring and developing individuals from diverse cultures, the firm also identifies the most talented and skilled people for management positions. Rising from one rank to a higher one has been used as a motivation for the employees (Owen 24). Those in management levels are encouraged to engage the junior employees accordingly to build their skills and keep them motivated. The company has a culture of developing employees from the junior staff to the management positions and it is known for giving the workers freedom to perform their duties. As such, individuals get motivated and tend to own up the business projects.

Appreciation is given to the employees’ personal and career development and the company offers scholarship programme to promising students and staffs. Further, the organization has led from the fore-front in safeguarding the environment. It is actively involved in environmental awareness campaigns and sponsoring events such as tree planting, environmental workshops both in schools and in the community. It has further facilitated removal of waste materials in the ocean and runs several programs to conserve and protect valuable natural resources such as mangroves, marine, and wild animals (QAPCO.Com).

The organizational culture and leadership are two sides of a coin (Schein 12). If these two are in harmony positive results are clearly visible. Specifically, the leadership should continuously monitor the organizational values and culture and ensure that they effectively communicate the directions, goals, and objectives of the company. Through such, QAPCO is rated among the world leaders in the industry in addition to being one of the largest most successful producer of low-density polyethylene (QAPCO.Com). The transformational leadership style in the heart of QAPCO culture has contributed immensely towards the growth and resilience of the firm. The leadership creates employees’ confidence in the company’s brand (Owen 24) and thus accepts and supports its policies (Crowne 214).

Qatar Petrochemical Company’s (QAPCO) values include integrity, responsibility, commitment to clients’ needs, provision of best services and respect for all stakeholders and is guided by its vision that “envisages dynamic and sustainable growth targeting the prosperity and well-being of our employees, society and to contribute to Qatar’s ever-growing economy” (QAPCO.Com).

1.2 Discuss how organizational specific, legal, regulatory and ethical requirements impact on strategic leadership demands

Strategic leadership is anchored on various pillars. Apart from structure, culture, and values, other aspects of strategic management are the legal and ethical elements (Covey). Rules and regulations play a crucial role in governing the behaviors and decisions of the leaders (Owen 24). Furthermore, an organizational, legal framework and ethical policies inform the procedure of employee development and growth within a company (Crowne 214). They also help not only in recruiting but also in retaining the highly skilled personnel who has undergone training within the firm.

Rules and regulations contribute significantly in allocating roles, responsibilities, and accountability of employees (Nolan 34). Moreover, the employers require guidelines necessary for directing the way in which they treat their workers. Qatar national policies on employment are essential in establishing conflict resolution framework between the company owners, leadership and the entire labor force (Crowne 214).

Numerous other issues are fundamental to creating strategic leadership in business; one of such factors is the need to safeguard people from all sorts of abuses and harm (Crowne 214). At Qatar, the welfare of the workers is safeguarded by the staff unions. QAPCO adheres to set conditions that include provision of health insurance for their workers and offering them competitive remunerations that meet the governments recommended minimum. The employees are provided with secure and comfortable working environment. This ensures that employees are highly motivated and they go through their work offering the customers and the suppliers with quality services. The organizational policies also ensure that the shareholders get sufficient dividends at the end of a profitable financial year. The community should have a clean environment and gain from the operations of the business in the region. As such, QAPCO continues facilitating a variety of environmental protection awareness campaigns and activities. Qatar being a member state to the Paris convention on climate changes, has set conditions that oil producing organizations must adhere to. To this end, QAPCO have limited harmful emissions through uptake of clean energy such as biofuel in addition to ensuring all waste material are well recycled or treated.

There also lies a need for proper data handling techniques in the organization (Elçi, Şener and Alpkan 57). QAPCO have upgraded their systems with latest technology to ensure accurate data collection, reporting and maximum protection of the strategic information in the business environment thus retaining its competitive advantage. A good leadership model should commit to making and dealing with comments, suggestions, and complaints from clients and the employees to improve services (Crowne 214). For instance, QAPCO has established a hotline and free email address dedicated to customer’s feedback. This strategy provides a strong background for enhancing customer’s experience in the organization.

1.3 Evaluate current and emerging social concerns and expectations impacting on strategic leadership in the organization

Changes in the business environment are inevitable. Current social concerns that are influencing change in business leadership include; wars, terrorism and instability, transportation revolution, global economy, political reforms, discoveries, IT advancements, globalization, changing customer habits, growing competition and climate change among others. Events such as the 9/11 really shook the world and changed the way companies handled risks. The event led to a financial recession that saw collapse of some firms as investors took fright and moved their cash out of stock exchanges into more reliable investments such as government bonds. Prices of oil hit the ceilings as the world feared for a long-drawn-out war. Technological advancement may drive in new opportunities but can as well lead to job insecurity. Likewise, technology can be considered beneficial when it brings new opportunities through creation of avenues for development of new skills.

Globalization has also impacted, both positively and negatively, on the leadership styles used by the companies’ managers (Kempster, Higgs and Wuerz 150). With most companies going global, inter-boundary polarity, limiting policies and different economies are just some of the concerns that the organizational leaders need to consider, analyze and react accordingly. They can work for or against the organization depending on the approach taken. For example, a company can be based in one country and have its manufacturing wing operating in a cheaper economy.

A business has to pro-actively predict and manage changes occurring or expected. (Armstrong and Taylor 162) calls for change management if a smooth transition or implementation is to occur in an organization. The dynamism of business environment has led to various immerging issues affecting strategic leadership in companies (Maritz, Pretorius and Plant 101). Leaders and managers should encourage continuous improvement, culture and processes that ensure adaptability and capacity to handle changes.

At Qatar Petrochemical Company’s (QAPCO), the management is actively building business in the face of increasing globalization and competition. For instance, in the year 2017 QAPCO re-aligned its Corporate’s strategy, business plan, and future direction (QAPCO.Com). Further, the QAPCO leadership led a very high-level delegation to China to discuss cooperation in the energy field in the wake of increasing global demand for clean energy. These are just some of the many pro-active strategies the organization is undertaking for future growth and resilience.

To address climatic changes and the need for environmental conservation, there is use of smart technology and clean energy. QAPCO for instance is shifting towards production of biofuels in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

2. Understand strategic leadership styles

2.1 Evaluate the relationship between strategic management and leadership

Strategic Management refers to the identification and description of the strategies to be undertaken by management in achievement of better organizational performance and competitive advantage (Management Study Guide Content Team). It has been viewed by scholars as the plan by the organization to ensure smooth and long-term operationalization of the business vision (Elçi, Şener and Alpkan 57). Strategic leadership on the other hand, can be said to be management’s ability to drive a strategic vision for the organization, or a part of the organization, through motivating and building people’s ownership on the vision (Management Study Guide Content Team). The motivational theory dictates whether the leadership is reactive or proactive where hygiene factors call for transactional leadership and the motivation factors going for transformational leadership.

Strategic management requires transformational leadership styles to ensure that everyone can adapt to the new plan (Maritz, Pretorius and Plant 101). At QAPCO strategic decisions especially those that affect future productivity of the organizations are made at the highest level. The board of directors, CEO and the various stakeholders including the government and regulatory boards meet to discuss such especially if the decisions affects the citizens. It is essential for the administration to create a rapport with all the stakeholders and be ready to read and respond to different situations accordingly (Elçi, Şener and Alpkan 57). It is significant for leaders to be action centered, especially during a time of emergencies to make sure that there is continuity in business operation.

The QAPCO leadership further borrows into the Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs motivation model in their approach to ensuring people buy into the organizations strategic goals. Managers and leaders can identify and exploit these needs in driving strategic goals for the organization. The CEO involve the departmental heads who likewise involve the various team leaders under them. The employees are kept informed and involved on the relevant matters and this ignites their imaginations while still letting them participate in the realization of the vision.

In a nutshell, QAPCO’s organizational goals and objectives are well linked with those of the departments and it’s evident that strategic leadership and management are top priority. Key performance indicators are developed and adopted at different organizational levels to ensure efficiency and continuous progress.

2.2 Evaluate leadership styles and their impact on strategic decisions

Laissez-Faire Leadership Style

This is a concept where the team leader of a team allows his/her team to work in discretion without hands-on supervision or specific direction. This type of leadership is most useful in a group where the workers are highly experienced and intrinsically motivated to perform (Li et al. 37). In most cases, the manager monitors the work progress and communicates to team members appropriately. However, some leaders may end up ignoring their control function resulting in lack of commitment among the employees.

Democratic Leadership

This kind of leadership style opens up the stage for a participatory approach where the leader invites suggestions and ideas from the rest of the team members (Burnes and Hughes 18). This strategy not only makes the employees satisfied with their work but also creates the impression that they are in control of their destiny thus motivating them to work harder (Elçi, Şener and Alpkan 57). Furthermore, workers are encouraged to be more innovative as they believe that the new ideas will be considered in the decision-making process. Nevertheless, despite all these benefits of democratic leadership style, their method of participation is time-consuming and may slow down the decision-making process. The shortcoming makes the model less efficient in cases of emergency.

Autocratic leadership

In this approach, the leader has absolute power and practices his/her abilities to the extreme. It may also be referred to as dictatorial leadership in which the manager has the final say in the decision-making process (Burnes and Hughes 18). There is always no room for a suggestion from group members even if such ideas are in the best interest of the organization (Kotter 121). This style demotivates the team leaving most of them upset. It results in the high level of absenteeism and low morale among employees (Bennis 113). However, it is suitable for jobs involving unskilled personnel who needs maximum control.

Servant Leadership

Under this style, the leadership takes more supportive role. Robert Greenleaf first suggested this model in the 1970s where the leaders are not formally recognized but aim at satisfying the needs of the team (Li et al. 37). Proponents of this model argue that it is crucial in the case where individuals are bestowed to the leadership based on their values whereas the opposed to it asserts that such leaders may find themselves lagging behind in a competitive scenario (Nolan 34). In strategic management, this form of leadership may work to influence others to work hard towards achieving the dream of the manager.

2.3 Discuss why leadership styles need to be adapted indifferent situations

Different scenarios and circumstances may call for use of different leadership styles. It is important to factor in emotional intelligence in the choice of style to incorporate as a leader (Goleman). Emotional Intelligence is the awareness of personal emotions and those of the other people so as to be able to exercise good judgement and leadership skills in driving them towards the organization’s goals.

When driving innovation, a leader may give the employees room to table ideas and express themselves. Offering support and encouraging feedback are some of the ways of building the employees’ confidence and skills. Elements of transactional leadership, that promote reward on work well done may be incorporated especially when there is a quite a large amount of work to be accomplished. In times where there is critical and sudden decisions to be made, a leader may be forced to react immediately with minimal consultations for the bigger good of the organizations.

Every leadership style must be integrated into the current situations in the business since globalization has transformed the management landscape thus necessitating the establishment of ways to keep up with such changes (Li et al. 37). Multidisciplinary approaches have proved to work best for large organizations which tend to deal with a range of cultural diversity. QAPCO introduced a new integrated ERP system that affected almost all areas of the organization. The change necessitated different styles of leadership. Change-action-plans were made and a Business Excellence team developed to assist the departmental managers drive the change successfully.

2.4 Evaluate the impact of leadership styles on the organization

The leadership style employed by the management of any organization will have a significant influence on the productivity of its workers. (Burnes and Hughes 18) Democratic leadership approach motivates employees and makes them feel valued thus promoting creativity and hence the output of the firm. On the contrary, autocratic model discourages the workforce leading to decline and massive exit of employees (Kotter 121). A company should, therefore, adopt a leadership style that allows for maximum employee engagement and retention to provide stability and standardization of an output. Moreover, it is imperative to apply a leadership mix that will give room for readjustment to fit in the prevailing situation in the organization.

3. Understand leadership strategies and their impact on organizational direction

3.1 Evaluate two differing leadership strategies

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is the kind of leadership that works within a culture and is more responsive that proactive. It mostly based on carrot and stick theory and the leadership makes employees achieve their goals through rewards and coercions. It basically motivates workers by appealing to their own self-interest. It requires clear goals and well-articulated instructions. High task performance receives bigger rewards while the low task performer receiving legitimate and coercive power. In this approach, the leader has absolute power and practices his/her abilities to the extreme. It may also be referred to as dictatorial leadership in which the manager has the final say in the decision-making process (Burnes and Hughes 18).

Transformational Leadership

This leadership is proactive and works to change the organizational culture through encouraging and implementation of new ideas. It motivates employees to share new ideas and making them feel like they are part of the change. It empowers the employees to achieve the organizational objectives by appealing to higher ideals and moral values. It further, encourages them to transcend their own interests for those of the group or unit.
In this type of leadership, everybody has a part to play and there is mutual trust between the team members and their leader. The superiors are more of mentors than managers. This strategy not only makes the employees satisfied with their work but also creates the impression that they are in control of their destiny thus motivating them to work harder (Elçi, Şener and Alpkan 57). Furthermore, workers are encouraged to be more innovative as they believe that the new ideas will be considered in the decision-making process. Decision making under this style is time-consuming and makes the model less efficient in cases of emergency. In big organizations, practicing autocratic leadership is a challenge and therefore, QAPCO culture calls for amicable and approachable leadership.

3.2 Determine situational variables which could cause a change in leadership strategy

There are various situations which may result in a change in leadership strategy of the individuals in the management position (Burnes and Hughes 18). One such situation is the expansion of the company which brings new roles and cultural diversity into the leadership dimensions (Kotter 123). With the introduction of new departments and subsidiaries, there will need to alter the management structure of a firm and use a more participative approach to ensure that every sector is catered for appropriately (Nolan 34). Another primary situational variable is a merger of two organizations which calls for a realignment of roles and cultures to a single unit of leadership. As such the new firm may choose to adopt the strategy of one business or integrate the two models to come with a hybrid style for management.

3.3 Analyze a leadership strategy to support organizational direction

To support organizational direction, a Charismatic leadership work effectively. The charismatic leadership has excellent communication skills which are paramount in persuading people for a change (Lawrence 51). They easily convince people to embrace new strategies and culture in the organization that is intended to propel to the next level. In the process of managing cultural change in a company using this approach, leaders use tools of cultural change which include appreciative inquiry (AI) where different departments collaborate with each other with the aim of achieving a common goal (Maritz, Pretorius and Plant 101). AI also involves identifying the strengths of a firm and establishing a plan to further develop such powers for the benefit of the organization.


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