Role of Relationship in Leadership, Organizational Culture and Structure, and Strategic Decision-making

Download PDF


In perusing and discussing literature on the subject of this study, I paid particular attention to the ideas that tie into the fundamental concepts of this study. Of particular significance to this study, as I considered the need to succeed and achieve set outcomes, were the ideas or postulations which shaped my thinking and which I believed would influence thoughts and my actions in the course of the research. Therefore, it was not a matter of reading a mass of literature for the sake of it, but learning to gather ideas, concepts and critical issues which would guide me in researching the subject and in deciding on further reviews with the view of improving action and learning in the process.

The key concepts or topical issues regarding my research are leadership, organisational culture and structure, and strategic decision-making. These tie into the subject of this research, and I considered it imperative to review and discuss these topics and the debates around them with the view of picking out points and insights which would significantly shape my thought processes and actions. In this regard, I picked out the key and relevant arguments in the literature. The areas picked may look very broad, but I focused on the key debates which are central to the subject of this study and which would expose me to the insights and ideas that would positively influence actions and processes in constructing, planning, taking action, and evaluating the project and reflecting on results and outcomes. It was also with the view of being reasonably equipped to build a veritable research design and be guided towards matching theory with practice and ultimately deliver quality outcomes. It is for these reasons that I have focused on leadership theories, organisational structure and culture, the leadership culture and decision-making theories. In looking at the literature on these subjects and investigating key points, I have not ignored other possibilities; I took on board any significant points and perspectives that came from other areas and I found this approach rewarding, especially in my ongoing literature reviews throughout the study.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

Articles reviewed have been limited mostly to recent studies to assure currency of findings, except for a few which involved issues and arguments regarding definitions, which are considered relevant to contemporary problems in the subject area.

Conceptual Framework

I consider the conceptual framework as the bedrock of the literature review effort, as it presents the opportunity for exposing the insights and ideas relevant to this study and which would guide action and learning, consistent with the plan for the research.

Organization Structure

In discussing the leadership culture, it is essential that a view of organisation structure is taken, as organisation structure types determine the dimensions of the leadership culture (McGuire & Rhodes, 2009). A structure may be extensively centralised or decentralised or a matrix of both. McGuire & Rhodes (2009) argue that the leadership culture is anchored on an organisation structure as a determinant of the way leaders should behave. The views by McGuire and Rhodes (2009) on how the organisation structure impacts the leadership culture was a significant insight, and it was not difficult to discern the relationship between the structure and culture and to exploit it in planning and in taking action.

Greenberg (2011) refers to the organisational structure as the formal relationship between individuals, their responsibilities, and authority in the organisation. Ajagbe (2007) asserts that organisational structure is the formal system of task and relationships that depict control, methods of coordination and the way employees are motivated to cooperate to achieve an organisation’s goals. There is a central tendency in the arguments by Greenberg (2011) and Ajagbe (2007) with regards to detailing responsibilities and delivering authority and, of course, control, but the extension of the argument by Ajagbe (2007) to the methods of coordination and employee motivation and cooperation, stretches further the significance of collaboration and a productive leader-follower relationship as espoused by Avolio (2007). The explanation by Ajagbe (2007) thus succinctly captures the significance of an organisation structure as a determinant and an expression of the leadership culture, as well as stress the significance of paying close attention to the organisation structure in examining and changing the leadership culture.

Organisational Strategy

The organisational strategy involves developing goals, setting targets and making efforts or driving activities to achieve successful outcomes. It is a plan of actions to be taken towards achieving organisational goals and objectives (Powell, 2017). Two main facets of the process are strategy formulation and strategy implementation, both of which involve decision-making except that implementation requires day-to-day decisions on resource allocation among other decision objects (Palladan, Abdulkadir & Chong, 2016). The central point canvassed is that strategy manipulates resources available to an organisation towards achieving set goals.

Successful outcomes depend on effective planning and the attitude of those who conceive and take decisions on strategic issues. Attitudes and behaviours are central to strategic decision-making and it is no surprise that McGuire and Rhodes (2009) posited that without the right culture, strategy fail, as the right attitude, beliefs and inclinations must be present for success to be secured. The authors paid due attention to the roles or intervention of leadership in the processes, including the decision-making process and argued that the leadership culture impacts strategy. As the organisational strategy is vital to transforming organisations, it is essential to put measures in place to ensure that the process of strategy formulation, especially the decision-making facet, is effectively and efficiently organised. The views expressed by McGuire and Rhodes (2009) and Powell (2017) underpin the significance of strategic decisions, and the views have had a significant influence on processes in this study.

Strategic Decision-Making

The strategic decision-making process is considered a critical process in organisational management. Newell and Shanks (2014:2) define decision-making as “the mental processing that leads to the selection of one among several actions (choices).” According to Kaschner (2016:2), “decision-making ‘is the process that leads to the selection of a course of action from more than one alternative option”. Often, leaders of organisations make choices in the face of competing for strategic demands at the same time (Smith, 2014). It is argued that strategic decisions are large-scale and risky. Leaders must learn from the failures of their strategic plans, especially those which result from an imperfect decision-making process or poor decisions, and they should give more significant attention to action (Da Silva & De’ A Roglio).

It is important to recognise the reasons for the individual’s attitude during the decision-making process (Christopoulos et al. 2017). Schwartz (2016) argued that the individual elements which impact the strategic decision-making process include ego, strength, values or personal experiences and what the author referred to collectively as “ethical infrastructure”, defined as ‘‘…the organisational elements that contribute to an organisation’s ethical effectiveness’’ (Schwartz, 2016:10). Leaders should make right decisions which should be aided by the availability of sound information and sound reasoning (Kaschner, 2016) and as argued by McGuire & Rhodes (2009), it is essential to engage employees in the strategic decision0making process to secure their commitment and loyalty.

The arguments of the authors, especially McGuire and Rhodes (2009), (Schwartz, 2016), and (Kaschner, 2016) are significant in the face of the discussions on the subject of this research, the key points being the need to avoid imperfect decision-making, collaborate with employees and pay significant attention to action. It is appropriate to surmise that these go to the root of the leadership culture and, no doubt, are vital considerations in examining the leadership culture and establishing ways and means of transforming the leadership culture.

Leadership Theories


Researchers have, over several years, studied the concept of leadership from different perspectives. According to Antonakis (2017), leaders, in some cases, dominate or influence the strategic decision-making process of the organisation, and choose what they considered the best alternative (Shepherd and Rudd, 2014). Decision-making is at the heart of the organisational process (Aravopoulou & Malone, 2016). Views of leaders and the systems of leadership can have a significant impact on the corporate decision-making processes and plans as, for instance, some leaders promote values which are at cross-purposes with the values of the organisation (Madu, 2011).

Avolio (2007) approached leadership from the perspective that there are leaders, and there are followers. He argued that it was important to view the interrelationships between leaders and followers to understand leadership. Hernandez et al. (2011) argued that leadership activity involves the leader and followers and how leadership influences behaviours or affects events. Eberly et al. (2013) examined leadership from the perspective of interaction through event cycles which engender the leadership process. Dansereau et al. (2013) approached leadership from a different perspective. They argued that “self-expansion theory” explains or touches on close relations, whereby individuals recognise others as important resources in the process of leadership. Dinh et al. (2014) viewed leadership through the perspective of the process, especially how processes evolved in leadership. Other researchers include Storsletten and Jakobsen (2015), Datta (2015), Avolio, et al. (2009), Lee (2016), and Northouse (2013). The central themes of the arguments are the relationship between leaders and followers and collaboration. It is particularly interesting to note the point by Dansereau et al. (2013) namely for individuals in the leadership process to recognise other persons in the process as critical to success and this goes to the root of the discussion on having in place a leadership culture necessary for delivering the strategic a and values of the organization.


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.