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Leadership and Innovation in the Organization

The contemporary world of business has gone through multiple stages of evolution with the help of innovation. Creativity and talent are some of the main characteristics that entrepreneurs are looking for in their subordinates to ensure that innovation within the company will lead to business growth. Leadership, in its turn, is a regulator of innovational processes since the employees are the main elements in transforming the company’s performance and implementing the proposed innovational strategies. Leaders use their skills and characteristics to inspire and motivate the employees to engage in the continuous improvement of the company. The complex nature of innovations requires leaders and employees to collaborate in the process of implementing innovational strategies. I selected the topic of leadership and innovation to understand the mechanism of the company’s growth and development. The interest in the organizational success and achievements of global companies has inspired numerous people to explore ways of boosting organizational productivity. The company’s expansion and evolution co-exist with innovation and leadership that comprise a single system of business processes. A detailed review of current literature on the connection between leadership and innovation is a reliable way to recognize the importance of both terms in the field of management science.

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Literature Review

The topic of leadership and innovation in the organizational context has a deep meaning that relates to multiple processes comprising a complex business system. Various authors have dedicated their research to the identification of the connection between leadership and innovation to define reliable ways of fostering the company’s productivity. According to Ikinci (2013), organizational change is impossible without effective leadership implemented with innovational context since the improvement of the organizational performance is possible strictly in case of continuous movement toward excellence. Leaders are supposed to have an outstanding sense of the business environment, including both external and internal forces that help to utilize the available resources to motivate subordinates and inspire them to follow changes. In addition, Ikinci (2013) mentions that change management and innovation are inseparable terms that leaders envision in their performance. Innovation requires the efficient usage of human resources since the employees are the key toward the implementation of changes. The contemporary business settings recognize the importance of human resources in the continuous improvement of the quality of products and services. As a result, training is an element of change management and leadership that helps to achieve success. In their research, Stowe and Grider (2014) focused solely on the process of innovation in terms of the company’s performance and ways of advancing it. The authors also considered that innovation requires the training of personnel since creativity and fresh vision are attributes that every employee can gain through training sessions. In fact, the innovational process requires the employees to share organizational vision and mission along with current management strategies. Nanjundeswaraswamy and Swamy (2014, p. 57) support the ideas of other researchers by defining the diversity of leadership styles that can foster innovation according to organizational needs, peculiarities of the employees, and strategic orienteers. The authors emphasized the importance of selecting an appropriate leadership style that can satisfy the diversity of the outlined needs. Moreover, innovational leaders are the main contributors to the company’s progress and evolution associated with the implementation of creative decisions and readiness to adopt new patterns of organizational behavior (Alsolami, Cheng, and Twalh 2016, p. 33). Innovation cannot take place without effective leadership since both terms have an interrelated nature. Kesting, Ulhoi, Song, and Niu (2015, p. 25) supported the crucial role of leadership in the innovational process. In fact, different leadership styles can foster innovation within an organization to a different extent.

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Innovation in the organizational context has a broad meaning that requires integrating the management of innovations as a separate field of activity. According to Razavi and Attarnezhad (2013, p. 227), the adaptability and flexibility of the organization are key indicators formulating the core of innovation. The authors added that technological changes and ever-changing societal values make it impossible for organizations to avoid the need to integrate innovation. Urbancova (2013, p. 84) contributed to the research of innovation and leadership by presenting the idea that innovation provides the company with an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage that other companies cannot achieve. Innovation enhances organizational uniqueness that consumers desire to see in the quality of products and services. Chang and Wang (2013, p. 206) stated that the development of competitive advantages has a dynamic nature, which means that the companies should continuously search for ways of enhancing their performance through innovation to attract and retain customers. Anderson, Potocnik, and Zhou (2014, p. 1299) contributed to the research on the topic by emphasizing the role of teambuilding in supporting creativity and innovation within the organization. Business settings should recognize the nature of creativity that takes birth during active discussions, brainstorming, and the development of new strategies. Hao and Yazdanifard (2015) claim that multiple change factors including organizational climate, human resource management (HRM) practices, trust between the employees, and other internal phenomena have a significant influence on the readiness of the company to accept changes. The success of guiding the company toward innovation lies in its desire to recognize the importance of transformation.

Mind Map

The mind map above presents the diversity of elements that the literature review revealed through precise analysis of research reports that authors have carefully introduced to the audience. It became clear that leadership and innovation are inseparable since it is impossible to innovate without the employees who require outstanding leaders to guide them toward continuous improvement. Excellence is the key element that guides the branches of leadership and innovation. Four areas of leadership and innovation include training and development, organizational climate, creative environment, and change management. Organizational performance depends on the effective usage of every area to the fullest and utilization of the available resources to meet the requirements of the strategic development. First, the literature review emphasized the importance of an organizational climate that encourages the person to accept changes and follow their leader in the implementation of the selected strategy. Social interactions, organizational structure, and teamwork define organizational climate and areas that may potentially cause problems in the innovational process. The beneficial point in the literature review lies in the systematic approach that the authors applied to collect and organize information to make the strategies of leadership and innovation transparent. Mind mapping contributed to the understanding of the interdependence between the elements that enhance the connection between leadership and innovation. In addition, the same practice can help to target the gaps in the performance of the organization that prevents it from the implementation of changes.

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Secondly, the creative environment is another crucial element in the phenomena of leadership and innovation that contributes to the potential of an organization to reach its strategic orienteers. If the employees are willing to engage in the innovational process, they will take on challenging tasks and engage in intellectual debates. However, the organization can teach the employees to innovate by assigning challenging tasks to them and inspiring them to use creativity to complete them. As a result, these initiatives lead to training and development, which are other milestones in the establishment of effective leadership and innovation practices. The employees can learn how to accept change and use it as a new stage in their professional growth. In addition, change management will become more effective under the influence of the acquired skills and knowledge. All these phenomena have a systematic background that the mind map has successfully reflected. Leadership and innovation benefit from the aforementioned elements as per the literature review and the diversity of the researcher’s opinions.

Analysis and Critique of the Research Methods

The article by Kesting, Ulhoi, Song, and Niu (2015, p. 22) focused on the implementation of qualitative research along with the structured analysis of the collected information. The article became a remarkable example in the pool of the available literature since other sources included in the current discussion imply a similar approach to the synthesis of main ideas. The authors of the article used qualitative research and structured their results according to four generic dimensions, including people, means, effects, and goals (Kesting, Ulhoi, Song, and Niu 2015, p. 22). These criteria helped to define current trends through the literature discussing the effects of leadership on the innovational processes within the organization.

The authors selected an appropriate method of organizing research since it helped them avoid chaos and confusion in the research results. Before presenting their main findings, the authors introduced main definitions, including those of innovation and leadership, to enhance the understanding of the readers. The main topic of the article penetrated every paragraph, having logical structure and contributing to the complex nature of the other passages. Afterward, the authors started presenting the results of their research according to the selected generic domains. It was easy to read and understand the scope of the research along with the opinions of the authors, considering the role of the reviewed literature in the field of management. In addition, the selected method emphasized the importance of the research in building a theoretical background. A brief review of the profiles associated with leadership and innovation management helped to detect the current platform of managerial knowledge. As a result, the article has become a guide navigating readers toward further research.

In my opinion, the authors did not leave any gaps in their research. Instead, they created a research platform that other researchers can use for collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing information. The article has become a perfect example of the exploration of the selected field of management. In the future, the researchers should continue to identify trends and tendencies in the influence of leadership on innovation management through the lenses of various domains that are crucial for organizational sustainability.

Conclusion

Leadership and innovation are inseparable terms that organizations use to achieve success and gain excellence in their performance. Productivity and strategic development require the implementation of changes that reduce organizational weaknesses, emphasize strengths, and create new opportunities for the organization, regardless of threats in the external environment. A complex literature review with a mind map and brief analysis of one of the articles contributed to my personal understanding of the selected topic. In my opinion, contemporary organizations cannot perform effectively without the unity of leadership and innovation. Both terms require mutual support and integration within a single business system that will foster positive changes. A complex approach toward the understanding of leadership and innovation revealed the crucial roles of training, organizational climate, creative environment, and change management. Business evolution requires careful implementation of the strategic plan and coordination of the employee’s performance to reach impressive productivity and financial sustainability using innovation.

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