The paper 'The Influence of Leadership on Market Performance' is a wonderful example of a Management Case Study. Over time, numerous studies have been conducted in a bid to determine the factors that influence the performance of companies in the market. Some studies suggest that organizational culture plays a significant role in determining the market performance of companies (Chan et al 2004) Denison et al 2004; Hartnell, Ou & Kinicki 2011). Other studies have linked market performance to effective human resource strategies (Sims 2002; Burke & Cooper 2008) and employee motivation (Chew 2005; Peterson 2007).
Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence in the literature that suggests that leadership is one of the overarching factors that significantly influences the market performance of companies (Chi, Lan & DorjGotov 2012; Igbal 2011; Yukl 2008; Wang, Tsui & Xin 2011). In essence, there is compelling evidence in the literature that suggests that leadership significantly enhances aspects that determine market performance such as innovation, employee productivity, effective service delivery, employee satisfaction, and commitment among many other factors (Chi et al 2012; Simosi & Xenikou 2010). A critical look at the nature of leadership exemplified in companies listed in the Business Review Weekly magazine’ s Fast 100 companies list for 2013, it is evident that leadership plays a significant role in influencing market performance.
The companies in this list such as Aussie Commerce Group, Schnitz, and Real Institute among others have over the years managed to enhance and maintain incredible market performance in the various industries that they operate in. Much of their success can be attributed to effective leadership (BRW 2014). Drawing on the leadership exemplified in some of these companies, this paper seeks to critically discuss the extent that leadership is responsible for market performance.
Firstly, it will briefly examine what leadership entails. Secondly, through a critical review of relevant literature, this paper will explore the extent to which leadership influences the market performance of companies. Subsequently, this paper will explore the nature of leadership exemplified in companies listed in the Business Review Weekly magazine’ s Fast 100 companies list for 2013 and determine the extent to which leadership has over the years influenced their market performance. What is Leadership? Essentially, leadership is a multidimensional concept that lacks a definite or standard definition.
There are different views and perspectives on what leadership entails. According to Northouse (2007) leadership is an ongoing process that largely involves an individual (i. e a leader) influencing a group of individuals so as to achieve mutual goals. Similarly, Ciulla (2004) argues that leadership entails exerting influence so as to achieve a common purpose. He further argues that leadership is an influence relationship between leaders and their followers with the aim of achieving certain outcomes or objectives.
On the other hand, O’ Neil (2011) notes that leadership involves guiding commanding and exerting power over others so as to attain certain goals. Although these definitions vary in the terminologies used, it is apparent that they have a certain common ground. They all emphasize that leadership entails influencing others in order to achieve goals. In this regard, Wart (2005) argues that in order for an individual (leader) to effectively influence others towards the achievement of goals, they must possess certain traits or characteristics. He argues that some of the distinctive traits of leadership include; charisma, effective communication skills, confidence, emotional maturity, confidence, and flexibility.
The Trait model or theory of leadership also accentuates that in order for leaders to be able to influence others towards the attainment of goals they must possess distinctive characteristics such as dependability, self-confidence, persistence, decisiveness, and adaptability and ambitiousness among other qualities (Clawson 2011). Babcock-Roberson & Strickland (2010) argues that such leadership traits play an invaluable role in influencing employee performance and the overall success of the organization.
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