The implementation of a strategy requires a team effort that needs to be supported and headed by an organizational management team. Each person from the management involved in the process of strategic change has his own responsibility. However, often it is seen that even after each individual performing his task properly, a new strategic change may not gather enough momentum and thus, fails. On the other hand, a leader often can help in the successful implementation of a strategic initiative, with or without the help of management.
Though the terms leadership and management are interchangeably used by many people, there are many differences existing between the two essentially. The main difference that sets leaders and managers apart is that managers have subordinates working under them, whereas leaders have followers. Managers undertake the responsibility and the position of authority that have been vested in them by the organization. As part of their superior position, they have a number of subordinates reporting to them. The subordinates do as the managers tell them. Managers follow the transactional style of leadership in which they promote compliance through rewards and punishment (Changing Minds, 2014). For instance, if a subordinate employee accomplishes the yearly goals and performance targets that the manager set for him, then the employee might get rewarded with a good performance bonus. Similarly, if the employee bungles a work or fails to meet the yearly targets, then he might receive a bad performance rating due to which he might face the threat of being fired from the job.
Leaders, on the other hand, do not have subordinates. They have followers. In order to lead effectively and earn the confidence of the followers, a leader needs to inspire them. Following is a voluntary activity in which leaders cannot force the followers to follow him. People follow a leader when they feel inspired by his actions. Therefore, leadership style is transformational and charismatic in which a leader through his charisma earns respect from the followers and motivates and inspires them to follow him (Changing Minds, 2014). No authoritarian control is involved in true leadership. However, from the organizational perspective, there are many organizational leaders who practice authority and have a plenty of subordinates working under them, but it is essentially because these leaders are also managers.
Any strategic implementation in an organization is a huge process of change requiring participation from all. Many of us are resistant to change, and therefore, the simple transactional managerial process may not help in the case of strategic changes. Organizations require leaders who can motivate and inspire people in adapting to a new strategic environment. Leaders should not only be identified at the top management level, but also be identified at each level of the organization to ensure that employees are motivated by great leadership at every level of the organizational structure (Fuller and Green, 2005). It has been seen in many organizations that great leaders like Jeff Immelt, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jack Welch have exhibited different leadership styles to bring great strategic changes in their respective organizations with huge success.
The management faces a number of ethical issues in an organization. First of all, the management has the responsibility to behave in the most ethical way as all the employees look up to them. Secondly, the management not only should ensure that employees are aware of ethical standards and their consequences, but also should bear the ethical responsibility to provide the employees with a safe and healthy work environment. Thirdly, the management should be well aware of the ethical issues involved in dealing with suppliers and customers (Jamnik, 2011). For example, the management should be considered whether or not it is ethical to do business with unethical suppliers. The managing consultants should provide sound advice without the influence of money and other incentives. Finally, the management faces huge ethical dilemma in the area of hiring and firing. It should create a sound process to eliminate the chances of favouritism in the hiring process.
Fuller, J.N. and Green, J.C. (2005). The Leader’s Role in Strategy. Vol 8 (2). Graziadio Business Review. Retrieved on 28th October 2014 from <http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/2010/08/the-leaders-role-in-strategy/>
Jamnik, A. (2011). The Challenges of Business Ethics - Management and the Question of Ethics. Vol 17 (1). Tourism and Hospitality Management. Retrieved on 28th October 2014 from <http://hrcak.srce.hr/file/103308.html>
Changing Minds. (2014). Leadership vs. Management. Retrieved on 28th October 2014 from <http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm>