Severalscholars have been interested in the aspect of ethical decisionmaking. Naturally, a great leader is defined by his decision-makingtraits. Most individuals use the decisiveness of their leaders togauge their leadership abilities. For instance, very few individualswill visualize a successful leader standing before people in a mannerthat suggests that he is unclear and uncertain. In its place, leadershave been viewed as people who are able to arrive at their decisionsquickly and the same time pass the message to others. In most cases,leaders are faced with challenging decisions to make. For, instance,they have to make decisions on the directions the organization’sneed to take, keeping and firing of employees, and sharing of badnews with the organizational stakeholders among many others. One ofthe exemplary qualities that great leaders should possess in relationto decision making is the ability to balance emotions with logic toreach decisions that will have a positive impact on themselves, theirworkers, their clients, the stakeholders, and the organization ingeneral (Foster, 2002). Making quality decisions in the complicatedsituations it is not a small task in both collocated and virtualorganizations as most of such decisions lead to changes and reactionsfrom others.
Leadersshould also be able to tell when to proceed quickly with theinformation available rather than taking and spending more timecollecting extra information. However, when they choose to gatherextra information they should know when to stop. In this paper, I amgoing to focus on the role that leaders play in the strategicdecision-making within the organization, evaluate a leadership styleand a behavioral theory that supports the style, and wrap up bydiscussing the differences between collocated and cultural virtualorganizations, in strategic decision making.
Leader`srole in organization`s strategic decision-making
Oneof the pertinent issues facing several organizations, both collocatedand virtual, is the leadership crisis. The only viable remediestowards addressing this crisis are through proper identification,developing, and deploying senior strategic leaders. Furthermore,apart from concentrating on the skills and competencies that areessential for leadership accomplishment, it is also necessary for usto acquaint ourselves with the situations that need to be addressedand the strategic roles that the leaders ought to assume. Competencyshould, therefore, be linked to leadership strategic roles indecision making.
Navigationis one of the major roles that should be played by a competentleader. In this aspect, the leader has the responsibility ofanalyzing huge amounts of information that in some cases may beconflicting (Phil, 2013). He should aim at understanding the rootcause of certain aspects and how they can affect the organization. It is after this that he can incorporate the information collectedfrom various sources. The leader, further, should establishapplicable opportunities to address the challenges that may arise.Additionally, such a leader should provide an applicable setting forthe tasks.
Strategizingis also another role of a leader as a strategic decision maker. Inthis case, the leader should lay emphasis on putting in place futureplans. The plans may involve both capitalizing on the contemporaryopportunities and forthcoming developments and familiarizing himselfwith the multifaceted information that touches on future actions.Leaders should make a continuous look ahead of the current year andalso have a clear perception of the driving force of the business.They should be able to recognize the risks and take actions that aretackling the risk. The decisions taken should conform to theorganizational vision and values.
Leadersplay an entrepreneurial role (Phil, 2013) hence, their decisionsshould be founded on identified and exploited opportunities. Theyshould ever be aware of resourceful and novel ideas. The ideas may beproduced by themselves or by the adoption of the already establishedideas or even proposals from other employees. Leaders, asentrepreneurs, should observe certain ideas from a unique angle andcome up with beneficial decisions. The leaders should be able to turnthe threats facing the organization into development opportunities.
Mobilizationis also another typical role played by leaders in the strategicdecision-making process (Staples, 2006). The leader ought to activelybuild and align the stakeholders, competencies, and the resourcesavailable to get things done faster and achieving complicatedorganizational goals. Leaders need to amass the support and resourcesneeded to meet the goals of certain decisions made. They should beable to effectively incorporate the competencies from all angles tomake challenging decisions within the organization. Further, theyshould be able to make use of the available networking tactics torecognize contacts of individuals who can be of great help in thedecision-making process.
Effectiveleaders should also play the role of integrating facts and numeroussources to cultivate well-informed, diversified decisions that can beemployed in the optimization of the organization performance. Thisrole is known as global thinking. They should be able to consider theimpact of certain issues, decisions, and opportunities that lieoutside the country, culture, or even the continent. Additionally,they should also be conversant with different perspectives to makecross-cultural decisions in effective manners.
Otherroles played by leaders in strategic decision making includecaptivation, acting as the organizational guardian, advocating forcertain talents and abilities in the decision-making process, andacting as change drivers in the organization (Staples, 2006).
Effectiveleadership style and a supporting behavioral theory
Iam of the opinion that the democratic leadership style is the mosteffective approach when it comes to accomplishing competitivenessadvantage. As a leadership style, it calls for the leader to sharedecision-making capabilities with the employees by championing forthe interests and the ideas of the employees and also carrying outsocial equality (Martindale, 2011). This style of leadership isfounded on the idea that each employee, by the virtue of humanity,has a right to participate in decision-making. Though there areequality and freedom of participation, leadership is still felt sincethere must be control and guidance from a particular party. Leadersdecide on who is selected in the larger group and who is bestowedwith a privilege to participate in the decision-making process.
Thestyle calls for the leaders to remain honest, competent, setvisionary goals, inspire the employees, display intelligence whenlistening to the employees decisions, treat the employees in a fairmanner, have a diversified approach to issues, display some levels ofconfidence, be innovative, and above all remain straightforward inall the dealings he partakes with the employees (Martindale, 2011).The style, backed up by several studies, has proved to the mosteffective, increases productivity, and enhances employees’participation subsequently increasing the morale among them. Thestyle also gives room for innovation since the workers are free toshare their ideas. It works best in an organization that has highlyskilled employees who are self-driven and ready to share.
Thetransformational theory is an ideal theory in relation to thedemocratic style of leadership. The theory points to the need of theleader to involve the employees in the identification of changes,creation of visions through practices like inspiring and implementingthe changes by the help of the employees. The core objective of thistheory is to motivate and enhance job productivity among members byraising their interest at work.
Differencesin strategic decision-making in collocated versus cross-culturalvirtual organizations
Advancementsin technology have resulted in the rise of novel opportunities thathave replaced the traditional setup of the organizations. Theseopportunities have brought down the communication barriers thatexisted between dispersed teams. The advancements have also impactedon the strategic decision-making process (Woods, 2010).
Oneof the differences is on the basis of influencing the outcome of thedecisions made (Hambley, 2007). In a collocated environment it iseasier for an individual to influence others to take on the certaindecision since the interaction is on close range it incorporates aface to face interaction.
Thereis also a difference when it comes to placing of competitive bets incollocated organizations and in the virtual ones (Hambley, 2007). Incollocated organizations, one can easily relate how the other firmsare doing directly and come with the decision to counter thecompetition. This is, however, complex to tell in virtual setup.
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