Leadership in Private Sector Organisations: a brief literature review

By John Dudovskiy
April 8, 2014

Leadership in Private Sector OrganisationsThe nature of leadership in private sector organisations is directly impacted by the primary purpose of such organisations and this primary purpose is profit maximisation (DuBrin, 2012). This opinion is confirmed by Goldsmith et al. (2010), who perceive profit maximisation as the main assessment criteria for private sector organisational leaders.

According to Gold et al. (2010) constant search for competitive advantage can be justly specified as one of the most fundamental characteristics of leadership in private sector organisations. According to this stance, competitive advantage can be derived from a wide range of sources and business processes, and it is the responsibility of a business leader to be able to formulate the most appropriate competitive advantage, and ensure its efficient utilisation.

Stanfield (2009) explore the issues of ethics for modern business leaders and conclude that the level of ethical requirements have increased for business leaders in the last several decades contributed by increasing level of scrutiny business leaders are being subjected to.  Stanfield (2009) offers justification for this claim by stating that increasing role of viral media in the society makes any evidence of unethical behaviour hard to escape from.

Maintaining high level of flexibility and implementing changes in relation to various business processes in a constant manner is pointed to as a significant challenge to business leaders by Kezar et al. (2011) and Kreitner and Cassidy (2012). Moreover, Kezar et al. (2011) stress the role of assertiveness and communication skills for business leaders in order to be able to implement changes in an efficient manner.

The issue of talent management by business leaders comprehensively addressed by Bertocci and Bertocci (2009) reveals another important aspect of successful leadership practice. Specifically, according to Bertocci and Bertocci (2009) human resources need to be perceived as the most valuable business asset in the 21st century, and accordingly business leaders need to be able to motivate their workforce effectively through efficient use of tangible and intangible motivational tools.

As Gallos (2008) confirms, business leaders are in a more convenient situation to motivate their workforce compared to their colleagues in public sector, because business leaders generally possess greater range of tangible motivational tools.



DuBrin, A.J. (2012) “Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills” 7th edition, Cengage Learning

Bertocci, D, I. & Bertocci, D.L. (2009) “Leadership in Organisations: There is a Difference Between Leaders and Managers” University Press of America

Gallos, J.V. (2008) “Business Leadership: A Jossey-Bass Reader” 2nd edition, John Wiley & Sons

Goldsmith, M. Baldoni, J. & McArthur, S. (2010) “The AMA Handbook of Leadership” AMA

Kezar, A.J., Carducci, R. & McGavin, M.C. (2011) “Rethinking the “L” Word in Higher Education: The Revolution of Research on Leadership” John Wiley & Sons

Kreitner, R. & Cassidy, C. (2012) “Management” Cengage Learning

Stanfield (2009) “Defining Effective Leadership: Lead in Whatever You Do” Tate Publishing

Category: Leadership