Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)


Strategic Leadership Capabilities and Sustainable Competitive Advantage in Private Universities

Author(s): Omar Rabeea Mahdi, Islam A. Nassar, Mahmoud Khalid Almsafirc

Purpose: Strategic Leadership (SL) has been established to be significant to organizations. However, the theories and researches in SL were not able to contribute to establishing academic strategic leadership ASL’s importance in the achievement of sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) in higher education. Also, there is insufficient curiosity on the effect of human and social capital development to sustain competitive advantage. This study aims to determine the effect of strategic leadership capabilities (SLC) in achieving SCA from a strategic perspective in private universities.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Literature has supported the need for the formulation of a hypothesis to achieve a specific objective. In this study, the methodology used was a quantitative survey design. A deductive approach was used to be able to utilize SEM in examining the relationship among the study variables. 44 private universities composed in Iraq the statistical population of this study. The respondents are 525 academic leaders from various positions.

Findings: There is a significant relationship that can be observed between SLC and SCA, from the results of the statistical analysis of this study. To be specific, results showed that there is a need for private universities to utilize, maintain, and develop the human and social capital of their respective universities to produce greater SCA.

Research Limitations/Implications- This study may provide future researchers a basis for further investigations and studies regarding subjects that are related to this study, for it added substantial evidence and framework for great group’s view of strategic leadership and resource-based view (RBV). The results of this study also established the effect of RBV as a subordinate theory that links the study variables, SLC and SCA, to each other.

Practical Implications: This study may provide awareness to the heads of organizations about the implementation of SL not just in a local setting, but also internationally, regardless of the environment, whether general or academic.

Originality/Value: There is an abundance of studies on this topic, but only on a qualitative approach. This study may contribute to solving the problem of scarcity of SL and SCA literature that is quantitative.

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