Influence of Strategic Leadership on Innovation among Mobile Service Providers in Kenya
Wakere, Samuel G.
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A firm’s ability to continually produce relevant inventions, and convert them into marketable products, has a profound influence on its competitiveness and the pathways toward future success that are open to it. Strategic leaders who shape their companies to become extraordinary innovators are lauded in the popular press and practitioner journals. Innovation has been stated as implementation of practices such as brand-new and developed product, process, and marketing method inside and outside of the organization. It is understood from these views; leadership approaches are needed to create work environment innovativeness supporting and properly manage processes in managerial aspects. The main objective for this study was to investigate the influence of strategic leadership on innovation among mobile service providers in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to: Establish the influence of transformational leadership on innovation among mobile service providers in Kenya; determine the influence of transactional leadership on innovation among mobile service providers in Kenya, determine the influence of distributed leadership on innovation among mobile service providers in Kenya and to assess the moderating role of environmental dynamism on the relationship between strategic leadership and innovation among mobile service providers in Kenya. The theoretical lens applied to this research was the Upper Echelons Theory (UET), contingency theory and path-goal theory. The study adopted a descriptive research design; the target population in this study was the three mobile service providers namely Safaricom ltd, Airtel Kenya Ltd and Telkom Ltd while the target respondents were the 117 senior managers from the firms’ head offices in Nairobi County from which a sample size of 93 respondents was selected. A semi-structured questionnaire was utilized to gather primary data that were qualitative and quantitative in nature and were analyzed by content analysis and descriptive analysis. Inferential analysis involved use of regression analysis and correlation analysis to establish the strength of the relationship. The descriptive statistical tools such as SPSS version 21 and MS Excel helped in describing the data. The study results indicated that transformational leadership, transactional leadership and distributed leadership were positively and highly correlated with innovation. Environmental dynamisms was found to moderate the influence of strategic leadership on innovation among mobile service providers in Kenya. It was recommended that transformational leaders should use inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation which are critical for organizational innovation, transactional leaders to not only employ rewards and punishments, but focus more on goal-setting and control and base incentives on ‘contingent rewards’ (rewarding good performance and recognizing accomplishments) and ‘management by exception’ (active and passive search for deviations from existing rules and standards. Regarding distributed leadership, team leaders should allow shared leadership and collective leadership, should ensure that leadership is a form of empowering leadership where leadership activities or roles are ‘distributed’ by the formal leader more widely to team members. The CEO’s should make use of empowering leadership behavior specifically focuses on the encouragement of leadership from below.