Introductio1

Introduction

Although stakeholders from the business, public administration, and educational

communities recognize that leaders in their communities should have some degree of mastery

over strategic leadership competencies, the nature, timing, and extent of the teaching and

learning of such competencies in university-based leadership educational programs varies across

the respective communities (Martin, Aupperle, & Rongxin, 1996; Stumpf & Mullen, 1991). A

study of academic presidents by Martin, Aupperle, and Rongxin (1996) revealed that such

presidents had limited strategic management experience and required limited prior training. The

study revealed that while 90% of the academic presidents indicated that they had experience in

formal strategic planning, 82% of them did not obtain such knowledge from a formal teaching

experience but obtained it through self-study (Martin, Aupperle, & Rongxin, 1996). In a more

recent study, the researcher concluded that at a community college, leaders learned to strategize

through previous experience (VanDenBerghe, 2010). At the Pre-K-12 level of education, states

like Idaho are taking a more proactive approach by providing funding to facilitate the training of

leaders via an organization that is not an institution of higher education (Idaho, 2016).

No current studies in the education community appear to exist that counter the fact that

the approach to teaching strategy to education leaders tends to be significantly different than the

approach to teaching strategy as utilized in the business community to prepare business leaders.

At the higher education level, the education community appears to rely on work experiences to

develop strategic competencies in leaders, but at the Pre K-12 level, at least one state facilitates

such competency development through training programs funded by state funds (Idaho, 2016). In

the business community, strategy as a course (formerly known as business policy) in business

education programs can be traced to second decade of the 20th century at Harvard Business

School (Thomas, 1983). Historically, strategic management (the current title for the applied

strategy discipline) courses have been integrated into the business curriculum of future business

leaders (Geiger, 2010).

In the public administration and education communities, experience with strategy can be

seen as beginning in the later part of the 20th century. The U.S. Federal Government, in 1993,

codified a mandate requiring government leaders to develop a capacity for strategic

management, and many states followed the federal lead (Streib, 2005). As Backoff, Wechler, and

Crew (1993) pointed out, “Strategic management of public organizations has been one of the

“hottest” topics of the past decade both in academia and in public management practice” (p.

127). At the federal level, this mandate was further strengthened and expanded in 2010, when

President Obama signed the GPRA Modernization Act (herein referred to as the GPRAMA) of

2010 into law (White House, 2011). The GPRAMA amended the Government Performance

Results Act of 1993 and requires, among other things, that governmental agencies periodically

produce strategic plans and publish performance reports (Office of Inspector General, 2016).

Although the education community (at least at the higher education level) has been using

strategic planning as a tool since the 1970s (Hinton, 2012), the first decade of the 21st century

was the period during which educational stakeholders began to consider strategic leadership and

strategic management more widely (Hallinger & Snidvongs, 2008). While the education

community recognizes that educational leaders should have strategic leadership competencies at

both the higher education (Freedman & Kochan, 2013; Man, 2010) and K-12 levels (Education

Commission, 2005; Wolak, 2007), barriers may exist that impede the broader integration of

effective strategy-related courses into the educational programs designed for educational leaders.

In this report, strategic leadership and strategic management literature from scholars in three

sectors (the for-profit, non-profit, and public sectors) and from scholars in the education industry

were considered in sufficient detail as to allow the reader to gain an understanding of the totality

of sectoral strategic leadership competencies as taught, learned, and practiced to date.

In addition, the need to conduct meta-studies of strategy research emanating from

scholars in the education community was highlighted. Scholars from the business and public

administration communities periodically conducted meta-studies of strategy research by scholars

in their respective communities. This research is useful, among other things, for identifying gaps

in strategy research and for encouraging researchers to conduct research in a particular strategyrelated

topic of interest to the community. In conducting the present study, gaps in strategy

research emanating from scholars in the education community were expected. Of particular

interest in the present study was the teaching of strategy to and the learning of strategy by future

leaders in education.

In order to achieve the aims of this study, a conceptual framework was developed to

facilitate the development of a Dissertation Profile, which is attached as appendix C. An updated

profile was necessary because the benchmark study conducted by Shrivastava and Gaik (1989)

did not accommodate the multi-sectoral strategy literature published since 1989, when their

article was published. With the development of the above-mentioned conceptual framework in

mind, Chapter 2 is organized into four sections. In the first section, the reader is introduced to the

concept of the sectoral enterprise and to select strategy-related competencies. This introduction is

achieved with reference to a model of a sectoral enterprise and with reference to an updated

Stumpf and Mullen (1991) strategic leadership competencies model. In the second section of this

chapter, the Stumpf and Mullen (1991) strategic leadership competencies model is made current

by considering post-1991 strategy related literature from business, public administration,

organizational behavior, and educational communities. Such literature is used to augment the

Stumpf and Mullen (1991) model and to make it contemporaneously relevant. Also, in the

second section of Chapter 2, strategic planning and strategic management are distinguished. In

the third section of this review of the strategy literature, academically-oriented strategy topics are

introduced and the remainder of sectoral strategy-related competencies are discussed. In the final

section, a holistic strategy framework is introduced and its intended use in the study is discussed.

Introduction to the Sectoral Enterprise and Strategic Competencies

In this section, the concepts of sectoral enterprise and the strategic leader are introduced.

A sectoral strategic leader is expected to have strategy related competencies that include, among

other things, knowledge of strategy content, strategic processes, technical strategy-related

competencies, and psychological strategy-related competencies (Stumpf & Mullen, 1991). Each

of these competency areas are discussed in the pages that follow and are embodied in the applied

discipline, which is referred to as strategic management (Cox, Daspit, McLaughlin, & Jones III,

2012). Although the roots of strategic management as a discipline can be traced to the early 20th

century (Thomas, 1983), the starting point of this section of the literature review is 1991, which

is the year that Stumpf and Mullen’s (1991) article, titled “Strategic Leadership: Concepts,

Skills, Style and Process,” was published. In the article, Stumpf and Mullen (1991) presented and

discussed a strategic leadership competency model. The Stumpf and Mullen (1991) model

presented four elements of strategic leadership competencies by depicting the elements as four

legs of a table upon which a business plan rests. In this literature review, the literature that that

served to update these strategy-related competencies is discussed. In addition, the Stumpf and

Mullen (1991) table model of strategic leadership competencies is updated using a literary

evolutionary walk forward approach, which resulted in a revised model of strategy-related

competencies that can accommodate sectoral differences.

Before discussing competency modeling, a model of a sectoral enterprise is introduced

with the aim of distinguishing strategy as something that an organization “has” from the concept

of strategy being something that people “do,” as anticipated by contemporary strategy research,

which is identified as strategy-as-practice (Johnson, 2007).

Figure 3. Sectoral enterprise as an open system.

Figure 3, above, depicts the sectoral enterprise as a system and updates the Stumpf and

Mullen (1991) model of strategic leadership competencies. The original Stumpf and Mullen

(1991) strategic leadership competency model was augmented in Figure 1 to include a)

consideration of the environment and strategic management tools, b) consideration of industrial

and sectoral contexts, c) consideration of sectoral strategic enterprises, resources, and expected

outcomes, d) consideration of strategic leadership competencies, and e) consideration of a

strategy management office and the balanced scorecard. Each of the above listed augmentations

to the Stumpf and Mullen (1991) is considered throughout this chapter.

It is important to mention here that the model of a sectoral enterprise, which was

presented as Figure 3, serves two purposes. First, the systems graphic and approach facilitates

the discussion of a complex subject that “requires significant time to understand” (Martin,

Aupperle, & Rongxin, 1996, p. 147). A systems approach was chosen to give deference to a

growing body of scholarly work in the area of strategic thinking (Pisapia, 2012) that anticipates

the utilization of systems thinking (Liedtka, 1998). The second purpose for including Figure 3 is

that the systems-based conceptual framework is useful for identifying and organizing industrial

and sectoral features that are unique to the education industry and that may affect the teaching,

learning, and practice of strategy-related competencies. In discussing the unique features of the

education industry, the notion of the sectoral diversity of the education industry is considered in

section two of this chapter.

According to the strategy literature, which is discussed throughout this dissertation, each

sector has unique features that impact the strategic management process and practice elements

when adapted for use in each of the sectors (i.e., the for-profit sector, non-profit sector, and

governmental sector) (Nutt & Backoff, 1993). Given this multi-sectoral consideration, the word

“sectoral” was added to the labels set forth in Figure 3 (above) and it is added to other strategyrelated

terms determined to be relevant and applicable in any sectoral setting. Notwithstanding

such universal application, sectoral differences that affect the deployment of strategic

management processes and practices were identified and considered for this dissertation.

In the pages that follow, each augmentation of the original Stumpf and Mullen (1991)

model is considered, starting with the environment. The environment is one of five elements

(inputs, the black box, outputs, the environment, and feedback) of an open system (Lunenburg,

2010). Figure 3 was designed with each element in mind. For this literature review, the

environment was considered first. In starting with the environment, an external-to-internal

sequential approach to discussing the model open systems theory was utilized to facilitate the

strategy discussion in this chapter, which ends by opening the black box. Opening the figurative

black box facilitates a discussion of sectoral strategy-related competencies that a sectoral leader

must master to be an effective strategic leader. For the purposes of this dissertation, an externalto-

internal approach was also adopted to present and discuss the unique features of the education

industry, which must be considered by current and future educational strategic leaders and other

interested stakeholders. This consideration begins with the environment and the sectoral context.

While the original Stump and Mullen (1991) model does not specifically account for the

environment or sectoral contexts in their strategic leadership competencies model, their singular

focus on the strategic leaders of for-profit enterprises allowed the authors some liberty to focus

on only one sector (the for-profit sector) and to have unwritten expectations regarding the

importance of environment to strategic leaders.

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