Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business
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Handbook on Responsible Leadership and Governance in Global Business

Edited by Jonathan P. Doh and Stephen A. Stumpf

Ethics, social responsibility, leadership, governance. These terms are heard in the classroom, in the boardroom, and viewed on the front page of newspapers and magazines. Yet serious attention to the relationships among these concepts is lacking. Although commitments to leadership, ethics, and social responsibility are evident, individuals and companies are falling short in combining these duties into policies and cultures that guide behavior and decisions. The missing element is a broad-based and integrated approach to responsible leadership and governance. This volume provides the leading thinking on these issues and includes a discussion of emerging areas that require future attention.
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Chapter 2: Strategic Leadership: Strategy, Resources, Ethics and Succession

Michael A. Hitt, R. Duane Ireland and Glenn W. Rowe


Michael A. Hitt, R. Duane Ireland and Glenn W. Rowe Introduction For some time, many business scholars and practitioners have been interested in understanding why some firms perform better than others (c.f. Barnett et al., 1994; Miller, 2003). While there may be many reasons for one firm performing better than another, we argue that a prominent reason for differences in performance is the effectiveness of the leadership exhibited throughout an organization (Hitt and Ireland, 2002). Our focus in this chapter is on strategic leadership. Ireland and Hitt suggest that strategic leadership is the ‘ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others to initiate changes that will create a viable future for the organization’ (Ireland and Hitt, 1999, p. 43). Complementary to this definition, Rowe (2001) suggests that strategic leadership involves a synergistic combination of managerial and visionary leadership to influence those with whom they work to make decisions on a voluntary basis. Such leadership, Rowe notes, enhances the long-term viability of the organization while simultaneously maintaining its short-term stability. Clearly this ability must be developed and exhibited by people in leadership positions at all levels and in all areas of the organization. Thus it is necessary not only for maintaining current levels of performance but also for ensuring survival of the organization and superior performance over time. Leaders throughout the organization are responsible for developing and communicating a vision for the organization and for designing a strategy that specifies the actions necessary to...

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