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volume 4, issue 1 | Summer 2012
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About JSL

The Journal of Strategic Leadership (JSL) provides a forum for leadership practitioners and students of strategic leadership around the world by publishing applied articles on topics that enhance knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of strategic leadership at all levels within a variety of industries and organizations.

The JSL is published in electronic format and provides access to all issues free of charge. [subscribe]

Editor's Note

Virtually every veteran leader will agree with the common aphorism, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” Should we then belittle or give up on the development and engagement of strategy in organizations? Or, is it an important role of leaders to align corporate culture and strategy so that it has the greatest positive impact? This issue of the Journal of Strategic Leadership (JSL) considers these important questions.

To do so, we consider leaders, corporate policies and procedures, and organizations, all in an effort to define the intersection of strategic leadership and organizational success. William Bishop examines how culture and personality affect leadership styles, and Moises Aguirre Mar interviews leaders to detail the extent they use strategic thinking and planning. Daniel McCauley considers five trends that require strategic thinking from our military leaders to effectively engage the future, and Hyun Sook Foley and Bramwell Osula survey the rocky landscape of Internet-age ethics and transparency. John Price explains successful organizational designs from the early Christian church, John Lanier shows how transformational organizational design appeals to new generations of employees, and David Burkus and I outline a new model entitled “noncommissioned work,” which supports and encourages corporate creativity and innovation.

May these articles clarify our vision of how strategic leadership and corporate culture work together to build and sustain successful organizations worldwide.

— Dr. Gary Oster, Editor

Please Note

Views and opinions expressed in the articles published in the Journal of Strategic Leadership (JSL) represent each author's research and viewpoint and do not necessarily represent JSL or its sponsors. JSL and its sponsors make no representations about the accuracy of the information contained in published manuscripts and disclaims any and all responsibility or liability resulting from the information contained in the JSL.


Why Ethics Has No Place in 21st Century Organizations: How Transparency and the Internet Have Sent Watchdogs to the Pound
Hyun Sook Foley & Bramwell Osula

In the 20th century, high marks from government inspectors and watchdog agencies was all it took for an organization to receive social trust. Today, even the highest such marks are becoming increasingly irrelevant in a world where ordinary citizens are considered more trustworthy evaluators of an organization’s ethics than watchdog agencies. Such agencies operate under a cloud of public skepticism due to lapses in vigilance and even complicity in wrongdoing made public by the ubiquity of technology. This paper argues that, in the 21st century, transparency, more than official regulation and expert approval, has become the main criteria of evaluation embraced by the public. The point is made that organizations seeking to be regarded as ethical must do more than meet the standards of official regulators. They must continually expose their finances, policies, and plans to the full range of interested individuals and social networks, which now function as the de facto regulators of a new ethical order. It is concluded that governments and churches are not exempt from this arrangement and must learn how to inform and manage multiple public constituencies, including some hostile ones, in order to secure the participation and trust of the public.
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Go Bold or Go Old: At the Nexus of Opportunity and Need
Daniel McCauley         

As the U.S. draws two major conflicts to a close and a national budget crisis looms, President Obama and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey are seeking new ways of operating and partnering in emerging and proven capabilities. To remain the world’s pre-eminent military, the U.S. must seek ways for innovation as a massive recapitalization of military hardware and other capital assets and resources must be undertaken. In most circumstances, this would be cause for alarm, especially as legacy weapon systems and their proposed replacements have price tags that are adding to the nation’s insolvency. The U.S. government and the military, however, are in a position to make a bold move into the future capitalizing on the global strategic environment of the next few decades. Strategic thinking, leveraging insight and foresight, will maintain U.S. military capabilities unmatched in the world for decades to come. Over the next decade, the U.S. military must focus its efforts on the five strategic trends of multiculturalism, urbanization, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and cyberspace to chart a bold, new course. This new course will shield the U.S. from the unintended consequences of ceding the future to potential adversaries by investing in the “old” way of operating.
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Transformational Organizational Design: Appealing to Successive Generations of Workers
John A. Lanier    

Organizational design is among the competitively differentiable variables. Companies enjoy a material degree of latitude in such designs. Potentially gratifying options are abundant. One of the prevalent organizational design issues is the disparity between generational norms of senior management and their subordinates, particularly entry-level new hires. This phenomenon rightly affects choices aimed at sustaining corporate momentum. Wise leaders adjust their modus operandi to avoid a generation gap trap. Organizational designs must appeal to the best and brightest of succeeding generations. This tactic bodes better than demanding that new hires accede to legacy norms. The omnipresent reason is that new hires have choices. Accordingly, this effort endeavors to examine organizational design from the perspective of Generation Y employees. Juxtaposed against strategy, the categories parsed are: process, people, and tools.
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Structured to Flourish: Organization Design Lessons from the Early Church
John F. Price, Jr.     

Imagine a small-scale but expanding, semi-autonomous, networked organization with aspirations for global countercultural influence, populated by devoted members willing to die for their cause. While today many would think of the transnational terrorist organization Al Qaeda, this is actually a description of the fledgling Christian church in the first century. Despite the drastic differences between the two organizations, organizational design has played a key role in the success and survival of each group. While there is always danger in attempting to extract practical organizational lessons from a divinely empowered movement, it is clear the early church provides a rich case study in organizational design. The chronicles of the early church provided in the book of Acts provide key reminders on how to approach the design process, including keeping to the leader’s intent, ensuring senior leadership empowers the design/redesign process and aligning structure decisions with the organization’s mission. Once on the right structural path, the lessons of the early church remind us to employ structural concealment when necessary, limit structural components to essentials, make design decisions with internal and external resistance points in mind, and make strategic grouping decisions to optimize the structure for execution. Taken together, the lessons of the early church provide a great primer on how to approach and execute organizational design.
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Noncommissioned Work: Exploring the Influence of Structured Free Time on Creativity and Innovation
David Burkus & Gary Oster        

We examine the growing trend whereby organizations give employees structured periods of autonomy during their work time. We call this practice noncommissioned work time. This article 1) establishes a definition for noncommissioned work, as well as a classification of the two observed methods of implementation, 2) explains how organizations across industry sectors and around the world are using noncommissioned work, 3) argues for why noncommissioned work enhances employee creativity, by using the available scholarly literature, 4) considers the linkage among noncommissioned work, creativity, and innovation, and, 5) discusses implications for practitioners and scholars.
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Leadership: An Ulterior Motive?
William H. Bishop    

The styles of leadership are as numerous as there are people. Although personality is a critical factor in choosing a style, external factors are not without their influence. The culture of an organization will often dictate the nature of relationships and influence the style used. Similarly, situations present a unique requirement for a particular leadership style. The two are directly impacted by the personality of the leader. These factors are directly influenced by the motives of the leader and will have a direct impact on the leadership style used. As these factors change, so will the motives of leaders. Therefore, it is critical for leaders to be aware of how these factors affect their leadership style.
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The Journal of Strategic Leadership is a publication of the Regent University School of Business & Leadership | © 2013
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