Strategic Thinking and Strategic Leadership

All the learning outcomes will be assessed through a single assignment of 6000 words.

The assignment should integrate theory and practice, and give practical examples of innovation or change.

Your assignment should include:

1. A literature review of key theories of how strategy is developed and implemented, and the relationship between strategy, innovation and change

2. A critical analysis of selected strategic processes within your organisation, or an
organisation of your choice, related to relevant theories

3. An assessment of the extent to which people within the organisation are engaged with and contribute to a selected strategy

4. Recommendations about how strategic processes within the organisation could be improved.

Word limit: 6000 words.

The assignment must also include a clear structure with abstract, bibliography, appendices, and diagrammatic representation where appropriate. You must make

appropriate use of journal articles, research papers and texts.

The aim of the module is to build awareness and understanding of strategic thinking and strategic leadership and its contribution to business performance by reviewing

relevant theories, models and concepts. You will develop an appreciation of the complexity of relationships and tensions associated with designing and leading

strategy. You will be encouraged to use your own experience to inform both oral and written work.


By completing this module, you will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate a variety of theories, models and concepts of strategic thinking and strategic leadership
2. Evaluate the links between strategy, innovation and change in organisations.
3. Critically evaluate the contribution to strategy of leaders at all levels of the organisation.
4. Research and monitor external influences and trends concerning strategic formulation.


1. Strategic thinking and strategic leadership: theory, process and practice.
2. Processes of strategic leadership
3. 21st century product/market strategies
4. The role of the Board in strategy formulation
5. Strategy in complex environments

Reading resources

Core Reading

If you were to buy one book to support your work on this module, we would recommend:

#Gerry Johnson, Richard Whittington and Kevan Scholes 2011 Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases, Pearson Education Ltd: Harlow
or an earlier edition, such as:

*Gerry Johnson, Kevan Scholes, Richard Whittington 2008 Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text & cases 8th ed FT/Prentice Hall

The 8th edition is available as an e-book, through the University library – so check on your ability to access it early in this module.

The texts by Johnson and his colleagues also contain material that will be useful for the Organisational Culture module.

Recommended Reading

*Michael Beer 2009 High commitment, high performance : how to build a resilient organization for sustained advantage Jossey Bass: San Francisco

#Claire Capon 2008 Understanding Strategic Management Pearson Education: Harlow

Jim Collins 2001 Good to Great Random House: London, summary available at

#Bob de Witt and Ron Meyer 2005 Strategy Synthesis, Thomson

*Paul Elkin 2007 Mastering business planning and strategy : the power and application of strategic thinking, 2nd ed, Thorogood

#Bob Garratt 2010 The Fish Rots from the Head, Profile Books: London

#Robert M Grant 2008 Contemporary Strategy Analysis 6th ed Blackwell: Malden, MA

*Harvard Business Review 2002 Harvard business review on advances in strategy, Harvard Business School Press

*Robert Hooijberg 2007 Being there even when you are not : leading through strategy, structures and systems, Elsevier JAI

*Richard Hughes 2005 Becoming a Strategic Leader: your role in your organization’s enduring success Jossey Bass: San Francisco

*Robert Kaplan and David Norton 2001 The strategy-focused organization: how balanced scorecard companies thrive in the new business environment Harvard Business School

Press: Boston

*Edward E Lawler and C Worley 2006 Built to change: how to achieve sustained organizational effectiveness Jossey-Bass

#H Mintzberg, J Lampel, JB Quinn & S Ghoshal 2003 The Strategy Process Prentice Hall

#Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph Lampel 1998 Strategy Safari FT Prentice Hall

*Geoff Mulgan 2009 The art of public strategy: mobilizing power and knowledge for the common good OUP

#John A Pearce III and Richard B Robinson Jnr 2009 Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation and Control, 11th ed McGraw Hill; Boston


A number of journals contain useful material for this module, including: Harvard Business Review, Journal of Business Strategy, Management Decision, Learning

Organization, Organizational Dynamics, Public Administration, Journal of Leadership and Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, British Journal of


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