Role Played By Leaders In Achieving Effectiveness In Managing 21st Century Organisations Essay


Discuss bout the Role Played by Leaders in Achieving Effectiveness in Managing 21st Century Organisations.



Background Information
Every organization has goals and objectives for its prosperity, and improved prosperous future (Hamill, 2011). However, establishing goals, objectives and mission statements are not in themselves sufficient. Every organization needs to establish practical actions and steps to achieve these goals, objectives and mission statements; these aspects require various and distinct type of skills, knowledge and talent to be prosperous (Dyos, 2005). Indeed, to obtain the level of unrelenting performance and sustainability organizations will require to vehemently review and re-evaluate their way of operations. While considering these steps and actions for an organization, scholars, researchers, and practitioners have asserted that such organizations have to initially identify, understand, adopt and implement reforms in their business models (Caetano, 2012; Bass, Stogdill, and Stogdill, 2013). Such models should conform to changing technologies, trends, markets and customers’ preferences and future concerns.

While organizational change as described by Caetano (2012) is a necessity of time to endure business prosperity, Bennis and Nanus (2011) and Boston (2012) asserts that change is crucial for the long-term performance of the organization. Apparently, organizations may lose their market share and product or service reputation if they failed to adeptly prepare for the changing situations and working environment (Boston, 201). Further, different scholars have described the significance of organizational change differently (Caldwell, Hasan, & Smith, 2015). However, there is the consensus that for continued performance and sustainability, organizational change will be an indispensable ingredient.

While advocating organizational change is a singular element, the next remains on who is to initiate such changes in the organizations; take up practical actions and steps; who is the individual(s) in charge Ahmad. Researchers and scholars have had similar ground that the functions of the leader or leadership is important while resolving the concern of organizational change or managing organizations. Kilkelly (2014) observed that the functions of leadership is a primary while pursuing and managing organizational change. Additionally, Kilkelly observed that an effective leader could be the source of effective organizational change. Senior and Fleming in ‘Organizational Change’ discussed the role of leadership for current and future changing working environments. They perceived that an organization’s leadership is that organizations change agent, and was responsible for initiating change. As noted, leadership is vital and especially its implication for organizational change; change that is a need of the time aimed at continued performance and sustainability (Kattan, De Pablos Heredero, Montes Botella, and Margalina, 2016). Indeed, a leader could play a requisite role in determining the anticipated shape of an organization and assuming the required actions and steps, which are ingredients for the process.

As such, it is important to address the concern of what type of leadership is then feasible to elicit the needed change in this 21st-century organizations. At that point, Hamill (2011) categorically counted that the function of the leader was as fundamental for handling organizational change, as was for enduring the process to achieve organizational performance and survivability. Considering the complexity and how challenging the process of change may be as observed by Encombe (2008), it essential to have an effective and competent leadership that will adequately man the process and manage the situation (Bennis, 2011). Bennis further acknowledges that exceptional attributes, characteristics, and qualities are needed to develop a leader to bring forth organizational change and success in the long term.

Problem Statement

With globalization, the world has gradually transformed into a small global village; where there is an upsurging incidence of competitions and contentions amongst organizations (Gesell, 2010; Kwangduck Park, 2016). The scenario has become so vicious that only the most effective and prudent approach for organizations seeking performance and / or survival is by establishing and implementing innovative strategies in their operationalization, that are change oriented (Gesell, 2010). Markedly, organization change depicts today’s necessity. It is vital to any organization’s survival (Lo, Ramayah, Isa, and Jais, 2013). Indeed, originations are not only aware of this glare necessity but are also keen to equip themselves for the current and future changing trends as they pursue performance and sustainability. However, Yahaya and Ebrahim (2016) note that despite its significance, the pursuit of organizational change is remarkably very complex, challenging and gradual (Bennis and Nanus, 2012). The empirical review has indicated that more than 70% of organization-initiated changes have failed to achieve their goals (Nolan, 2007). Undeniably, leadership plays an indispensable role in realizing such organizational change, and thus the needed transformation. The pursuit of organizational change will need very highly competent and efficient leadership, which is well-versed and capable of achieving the most anticipated shape for the organization (Weidman, 2002; Northouse, 2004; Nolan, 2009). Additionally, leadership will help appropriately address the concern of organizational change.

Nonetheless, leadership in its sole state is insufficient (Weidman, 2002); but the effective and competent leadership that will adequately man the change process and manage the situation is what is needed to comprehend, appreciate, formulate and execute the most appropriate and needed change for the 21st century organizations (Senior and Fleming, 2006). But, the concern stands on what exceptional attributes, characteristics, skills, talent, competencies, and qualities are a prerequisite for an effective leadership that is looked up to bring the needed change (Caldwell, Hasan and Smith, 2015). Notably, visionary leadership executed under an innovative approach is vital in making this changes occurs successfully (Gesell, 2010; Bass, 2013). Significantly, it will also be necessary to understand the relationship between such effective leadership and the anticipated organization performance (Pardey, 2008). Previously, scholarly and research efforts have been driven towards the role of leadership paying attention to leadership characteristics and competencies to solve various organizations’ issues. They engaged various theories and styles to handle and manage the various organizations’ issues. However, they failed to address the relationship between effective leadership and organizational change.

As such, to narrow this gap, this study will examine the role that organizational leaders execute while seeking organization effectiveness; through performance and survivability, especially now and in the future. The study will assume the leader as the individual responsible for organizational change or one who is bestowed with overseeing institutional transformation; being a change agent. The leader is perceived as possessing not only the leadership capability but also, the competence quality. Indeed, the 21st century is marred with rapid transformations in technology, advancements in markets, changing consumer preferences and attitudes; thereby compelling the existent organizations to re-evaluate and re-view their way of business. Particularly, it is vital for these organizations to identify, understand, and adopt transformations in their business models as a response to the continued global and market changes noted above.

Research Objectivess

The study will evaluate the role played by leaders in achieving effectiveness in managing 21st-century organizations. To achieve this core objective, the study will also;

Assess the concept of effective leadership and the various types of effective leadership behaviourb.Examine the major competencies (Cognitive, Functional, and Social) practices important for developing an effective organizational leaderc. Evaluate the influence of effective leadership on organizational changed. Determine to what level the achieved organizational change contributes to organizational performancee. Determine the challenges faced by global leaders in the 21st century organizationsResearch QuestionsThe study will also seek k to address the following questions;

In what manner does leadership behaviour relate to organizational change?

In what manner does leadership behaviour relate to organizational performance?

Justification of the Project

In order to meet the ever-changing business environment and the highly competitive trends, organizations need to transform their business models based on the technologies, trends, and future concerns. The dire necessity requires the most effective and competent leadership for organizations (Nolan, 2009). As stated by Hamill (2011) it should be a leadership that is not only well-versed and capable of understanding and analyzing the 21st century’s business trends, but also proves effective and helpful to achieve management effectiveness. There is much significance of leadership when it implores vision and foster change through an innovative approach to achieving that vision prosperously. Hence, noting the essentiality of this background, the study will, therefore, explore this assertion through analysis of theoretical and empirical literature as well as engage case-study analysis in the study’s sample population. It will immensely draw inferences from the realms of organizational change, leadership competencies, and sustainable performance. Thus, a model entailing visionary and innovative leadership will be developed highlighting the relationship between leadership and sustained organizational performance anchored upon leadership characteristics, especially vision and innovativeness.

Expected Research Output/Outcome

The study expects to develop an analytical framework that will help evaluate the concept of effective leadership and the various types of effective leadership behavior as well as blend the various major skills, behavior and practices important for developing an effective organizational leader. Moreover, it expected that with effective leadership, there is increased organizational change; thereby leading to innovation for the organization that is an indispensable ingredient for long-term performance and sustainability.
Conceptual Framework and Research Hypotheses
With globalization, it has not only resulted in the globe turning into a small village but also led to changing humankind mindsets and thus, organization trends. The shift has also seen the emergence of rapidly transforming technologies, trends, business environments, markets and customers’ preferences and future concerns (Encombe, 2008). Resultantly, the expectations and needs of customers are very high towards organizations as well as very dynamic (Hamill, 2011). Thereby, it is amicable for these organizations to not only address these current consumers’ expectations and demands but also, forecast into the future trends and to ensure they prepare ahead of time. Purposively, these organizations should adopt and transform their business models. Organizational change entails the deliberate effort by the organization’s headship to foster the business towards improvement. With change, organizations are better placed with the ability to respond to current and future trends, social and economic changes, technological changes, in addition to offering a competitive edge in the 21st-century business’ environment characterized with dynamism and high competition (Senior & Fleming, 2006). Change then further influences the performance of the organization incredibly and possible long term sustainability.Leadership and its considerable roles are so far the most concerning aspect of the management of organizations and organizational change (Northouse, 2004). Scholars have previously asserted that managerial leadership has a primary function in evolution and nurturing an organization (Northouse, 2004; Dyos, 2005; Nolan, 2007; Kilkelly, 2014; Ahmad et al, 2015). It helps curb management challenges and also facilitate achievement of organizational goals. Considering the complexity and how challenging the process of change may be, it essential to have an effective and competent leadership that will adequately man the change process and manage the situation (Encombe, 2008). A leader being human may possess various leadership characteristics and competencies. These attributes as presented in leadership theories and practices may enhance leadership effectiveness. Some attributes are relatively more significant than others. Particularly, vision is vital in perceiving the future and future trends and innovativeness may enhance an organization’s pathway to sustainable success through the efficient formulation of the strategy for a desirable organizational future (Kwangduck Park, 2016). Despite vision and innovativeness being the far most vital effective leadership competencies, there are still other vital capabilities and competencies of leadership that are prerequisites for efficient leadership. Hence, the study will settle on explorative studies, especially theoretical and empirical reviews as pertains efficient leadership. In this case, a model entailing visionary and innovative leadership will be developed highlighting the relationship between leadership and sustained organizational performance anchored upon leadership characteristics, especially vision and innovativeness. The aforementioned relationship is summarized as illustrated below;

Figure 1 Conceptual Framework

The above framework will help the study evaluate the role played by leaders in achieving effectiveness in managing 21st-century organizations.

Research Hypotheses

From the above depiction, the study will also test the following Null Hypothesis;

H (1): Leadership competencies have no influence on effective leadership

H (1): Effective leadership has no influence on organizational performance


Notably, the study will engage a set of research techniques. Firstly, it will review previous literature, including theoretical and empirical review relevant to the subject matter (Bryman and Bell, 2007; Sharples, 2011). The descriptive research design will also include both qualitative and quantitative approaches (Sahin et al., 2011). The two approaches embed the blueprint for data collection, data measurement, and data analysis as related to the study objectives and questions. In so doing, for the data collection techniques, the study will employ case studies, surveys, and questionnaires. Data sources will include personal interviews, questionnaires, observations and interviews for primary data and library searches for secondary data (Smallbone et al., 2012). Further, data analysis will take the form of frequency and descriptive characteristics to characterize the study’s sample. This will include frequency distributions (tables, graphs, means, pie-charts etc.). Additionally, the study will employ a linear regression analysis (Cooper and Schindler 2001; Babbie 2013) to evaluate the relationship between effective leadership and sustained organizational performance anchored upon leadership competencies.

Moreover, the study research process will be hierarchical in nature taking into consideration the research stages as advanced by Kumar (1998) to explain the phenomenon of effective leadership as influencing organizational change, and thus organization performance (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2003). The resultant outcome will offer an explanatory illustration of the subject matter, especially for the 21st-century organizations.

Organization of the Study

The study will involve;

Chapter One - that will present the background of the study, research problem, objectives and research questions, justification and the scope of the study

Chapter two – that will present the theoretical and empirical review, conceptual framework, and a critique of the review of literature

Chapter Three – that will present the research methodologies; including research design, data collection techniques & tools, data analysis techniques, data validity & reliability

Chapter Four – will present the research findings from analysis

Chapter Five – will present the summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations as pertains effective leadership and its role in achieving organization change, and eventually organizational performance.

Gantt Chart

The study will be performed based on the following schedules;

Research Task

Duration (Days)

Chapter One

April – June 2016

Chapter Two

June 2016

Chapter Three

July 2016

Chapter Four

August – September 2016

Chapter Five

September – October 2016

Final Report

October 2016

Project Budget and Budget Justification

To achieve the study’s objectives and address the various research questions, the study will have to stick to a budget projection.

Research Task

Duration (Days)

Budget Projection

Chapter One

April – June 2016


Chapter Two

June 2016


Chapter Three

July 2016


Chapter Four

August – September 2016


Chapter Five

September – October 2016


Final Report

October 2016





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