This book integrates and assesses the vast and rapidly growing literature on strategic leadership, which is the study of top executives and their effects on organizations. The basic premise is that in order to understand why organizations do the things they do, or perform the way they do, we need to deeply comprehend the people at the top-- their experiences, abilities, values, social connections, aspirations, and other human features. The actions--or inactions--of a relatively small number of key people at the apex of an organization can dramatically affect organizational outcomes.
The scope of strategic leadership includes individual executives, especially chief executive officers (CEOs), groups of executives (top management teams, or TMTs); and governing bodies (particularly boards of directors). Accordingly, the book addresses an array of topics regarding CEOs (e.g., values, personality, motives, demography, succession, and compensation); TMTs (including composition, processes, and dynamics); and boards of directors (why boards look and behave the way they do, and the consequences of board profiles and behaviors).
Strategic Leadership synthesizes what is known about strategic leadership and indicates new research directions. The book is meant primarily for scholars who strive to assess and understand the phenomena of strategic leadership. It offers a considerable foundation on which professionals involved in executive search, compensation, appraisal and staffing, as well as board members who evaluate executive performance and potential, might build their tools and perspectives.