Original Research

Investigating the expectations of business management students as future leaders regarding the influence of leadership on organisational strategy: A survey at a South African tertiary institution

Dawid A.J. Bornman
Acta Commercii | Vol 17, No 1 | a492 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v17i1.492 | © 2017 Dawid A.J. Bornman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2017 | Published: 17 October 2017

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Dawid A.J. Bornman, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Unpredictable technology changes challenge how organisations operate in the global competitive business environment. Organisational strategy needs to be flexible, a capability that is impossible to achieve without effective leadership.
Research purpose: To investigate the expectations of first year undergraduate business management students at a South African tertiary institution towards leadership and to what extent leadership influences organisational strategy.
Motivation for the study: The results of this study contribute towards: (1) providing insight as to how possible future business leaders are expected to behave in order to have an impact on organisational strategy, (2) providing a better understanding of upcoming leadership trends from future generations and (3) business leadership and organisational strategy’s interdependence.
Research design, approach and method: Empirical research through a quantitative survey, distributed to 200 first year undergraduate business management students at a South African tertiary institution.
Main findings: (1) That most important leadership style was transformational, (2) emergent strategies were preferred over deliberate strategies and (3) that leadership influence is important to have a successful overall organisational strategy.
Practical and managerial implications: An outline of leadership conduct in terms of the expectations of possible future business leaders and that leadership had an influence on organisational strategy.
Contribution or value added: If effective leadership training and development gets implemented on an early level (i.e. first year undergraduate studies), then future leaders might be able to develop their followers and inspire them to develop as leaders themselves, which could possibly create a longevity of leadership and organisational success.

Keywords

Business management; deliberate strategy; emergent strategy; expectations organisational strategy; survey; transactional leadership; transformational leadership; undergraduate students.

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