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In the article “Leading to Sustainable Organizational Unit Performance: Antecedents and Outcomes of Executives’ Dual Innovation Leadership,” Lukoschek, Gerlach, Stock, and Xin (2018) reveal the extent to which innovation leadership approaches influence organizational performance. These authors present the issue of ambidexterity as a factor that needs to be considered because focusing more on innovation, as opposed to efficiency, can destabilize the sustainability of organizational unit performance. This article introduces the dual innovation leadership theory, which is comprised of idea generation and concept actualization.
This model fosters an understanding of the influence of leadership characteristics on an organization’s productivity levels. Lukoschek et al. (2018) apply this framework as the focal construct to investigate leadership behaviors that influence the success of organizational units.
These researchers conduct two empirical studies whose data is gathered from 194 executives who have been overseeing organizational units that have the potential of realizing substantial profits or losses. Such information is aimed at evaluating the degree to which idea generation and concept implementation contribute to organizational unit innovativeness and constraint adherence. This article applies the structured equation modeling (SEM) technique to analyze results in line with the purpose of the study. Findings reveal that the significance of leaders’ goal orientations as facilitators of engagement plays an important role in fostering the efficiency of the dual innovation leadership concept.
Therefore, for an organization to realize the expected ambidexterity outcomes in its units, the refinement of existing leadership constructs in the context of innovation is crucial. As a result, executives need to support subordinates to integrate the aspect of idea generation by creating an environment that cultivates creativity, openness to new ideas besides providing appropriate resources and structures to facilitate idea generation.
Leadership and Organizational Performance
In contemporary organizational settings, innovation has been confirmed to be a key success factor. According to Ebrahimi, Moosavi, and Chirani (2016), this concept enhances efficiency in the manufacturing sector, an industry that plays a crucial role in facilitating the growth and development of the global economy. The article by Ebrahimi et al. (2016) emphasizes the need for companies in various industries to focus on non-financial indicators of organizational performance.
They consider aspects such as innovation, technology, and satisfaction with payment systems. Similarly, the study conducted by Lukoschek et al. (2018) concurs that innovative projects, as well as resource allocation decisions, go a long way in boosting organizational performance. Hence, in addition to agreeing on the impact of innovation on organizational performance as affirmed by Ebrahimi et al. (2016), Lukoschek et al. (2018) mention the importance of resource allocation decisions facilitated by leaders in an organization.
Furthermore, Lukoschek et al. (2018) argue that excessive concentration on organizational innovation without paying attention to efficiency can interfere with organizational success because it exposes an organization to excessive risks and wasteful operations. According to these two studies, innovation without proper leadership undermines the ability of a company to achieve remarkable results. Leaders’ decisions regarding innovation contribute significantly to the performance of an organization.
Ebrahimi et al. (2016) insist that it is crucial for companies to pay attention to the existing leadership styles whereas Lukoschek et al. (2018) underline the importance of refining the aspect of the dual innovation leadership theory. Therefore, leadership innovation turns out to be a key theme presented in the two articles.
Leadership and Exploratory Innovation
The leadership style adopted in a particular organizational setting determines the extent to which members embrace exploratory innovation. This goal is accomplished when an organization encourages members to constantly adopt new knowledge and engage in product and service development to meet consumers’ needs and market demands (Ebrahimi et al., 2016; Lukoschek et al., 2018).
On the other hand, the dual innovation leadership theory introduced by Lukoschek et al. (2018) presents the aspect of idea creation and concept actualization. The former element of idea generation entails the embracement of creativity, openness to new things, and eagerness to learn and explore things. Exploratory innovation is a factor that is crucial for organizational success since it ensures the creation of fresh ideas that enhance the competitiveness of an organization in any given industry (Ebrahimi et al., 2016; Lukoschek et al., 2018). As a result, these two articles consider the transformational leadership style the most suitable technique for enhancing exploratory innovation in an organization. Transformational leadership is greatly associated with exploratory innovation.
Particularly, according to Ebrahimi et al. (2016), it allows leaders to create an environment that fosters creativity and innovative ideas. Similarly, Lukoschek et al. (2018) reveal that leaders demonstrating behaviors that foster idea generation embrace inventiveness and modernization. The idea generation concept requires executives to create room for differences regarding subordinates’ thinking and behavior in the process of developing new ideas (Lukoschek et al., 2018).
Ebrahimi et al. (2016) share similar views following their argument that exploratory innovation facilitates organizational performance by creating a workplace environment, which encourages imagination, openness to new ideas, and novelty. As such, the two articles concur that the transformational leadership style supports idea generation, which helps to realize the goal of exploratory innovation. This latter aspect contributes to the attainment of organizational success.
Leadership and Exploitative Innovation
The leadership style practiced in a workplace environment influences exploitative innovation, which is a vital aspect of an organization’s ambidexterity and exploratory innovation. According to Ebrahimi et al. (2016), exploitative innovation is an approach that concentrates on existing knowledge resources and the expansion of products as well as services in the existing market. From the perspective of Lukoschek et al. (2018), exploitative innovation can be likened to idea realization of concept execution due to its focus on converting available theories into constructive projects. Hence, the utilization of the existing ideas in an organization entails the exploitative aspect of innovation in contemporary organizations.
Ebrahimi et al. (2016) argue that the transactional leadership style best suits the aspect of exploitative modernism, which allows leaders to apply their charisma and inspirational actions to influence workers’ performance beyond what is expected of them. Transactional leadership focuses on maintaining a situation that encourages leaders to meet employees’ needs by rewarding them for their positive contribution towards attaining shared organizational goals (Ebrahimi et al., 2016).
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The article by Lukoschek et al. (2018) equates transactional leadership to the notion of idea realization whereby managers concentrate on eliminating disparities observed in their subordinates’ thinking and the manner of acting when implementing new ideas. These two scholars agree that the transactional leadership style, which facilitates the implementation of new ideas, is instrumental in enhancing organizational performance, thanks to its exploitative innovation aspect.
Leadership is a central component of organizational performance in the contemporary business world. Hence, after reading the given articles, I believe that leaders who wish to realize outstanding performance levels through innovation and creativity should possess qualities that recognize subordinates as valuable organizational resources. Consequently, according to my judgment, the success of an organization is determined by the extent to which a leader is able to influence members’ thoughts and behaviors in the workplace environment. As revealed in the two scholarly works, inspiring subordinates to engage in idea generation fosters innovation, which is a key aspect of present-day business processes.
The adoption of innovation has been presented as an imperative strategy that boosts the sustainability of the corporate world. In my view, leaders need to encourage workers to develop creative and novel ideas that, in turn, can be converted into new products and services. Moreover, I regard the application of transactional leadership as vital towards the realization of benefits associated with the embracement of innovation in an organization.
The effective implementation of new ideas is an equally important component of innovation leadership. However, as demonstrated in the studies under investigation, unnecessary innovation creates the risk of inefficiency in an organization. Consequently, I believe it is crucial for leaders to discourage employees from going beyond the set expectations. This strategy results in organizational efficiency.
According to my judgment, the transactional leadership style is directly associated with the idea realization aspect of the dual innovation leadership framework. Hence, I believe that leaders should demonstrate diverse and exceptional qualities instrumental for inspiring personnel to embrace innovation and implement it selectively to attain remarkable organizational performance levels. An organization that seeks to achieve positive ambidexterity outcomes should uphold leadership structures that facilitate the generation and execution of creative ideas.
Ebrahimi, P., Moosavi, S. M., & Chirani, E. (2016). Relationship between leadership styles and organizational performance by considering innovation in manufacturing companies of Guilan Province. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 230, 351-358. Web.
Lukoschek, C. S., Gerlach, G., Stock, R. M., & Xin, K. (2018). Leading to sustainable organizational unit performance: Antecedents and outcomes of executives’ dual innovation leadership. Journal of Business Research, 91, 266-276. Web.