Achieving and Maintaining Strategic Competitiveness in the 21st Century: the Role of Strategic Leadership

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Achieving and Maintaining Strategic Competitiveness in the 21st Century: The Role of Strategic
Author(s): R. Duane Ireland and Michael A. Hitt
Source: The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005), Vol. 19, No. 4, Classic Articles from
AME (Nov., 2005), pp. 63-77
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL:
Accessed: 10-05-2015 07:37 UTC
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When the activities called for by these components are completed successfully, the firm's strategic leadership practices can become a source of competitive advantage. In turn, use of this advantage can contribute significantly to achieving strategic competitiveness and earning above-average returns in the next century.

economy is a major irrevocable event whose existence has already had a major influence on today's strategic leadership practices and offers insights about practices that should be used in the future.
By examining appropriate and often innovative strategic leadership practices currently being used successfully by visionary organizations, it is possible to identify and understand practices that will be effective in the next century. This analysis is important, because strategic leadership may prove to be one of the most critical issues facing organizations. Without effective strategic leadership, the probability that a firm can achieve superior or even satisfactory performance when confronting of the global economy will be the challenges greatly reduced.2
Strategic leadership is defined as a person's ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others to initiate changes that will create a viable future for the proorganization.3 When strategic leadership cesses are difficult for competitors to understand and, hence, to

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