This study focuses on the political perspective of the process and context of\ud strategic leadership, in three top international Business Schools, IMD, INSEAD and\ud London Business School. It remedies three inadequacies in the current literature. These\ud are: first, the scarcity of empirical studies on strategic leadership with a processual\ud perspective, despite the interest demonstrated in theoretical studies on leadership in the\ud last decades, second, the lack of links between the leadership and strategy fields; third,\ud scholars' call for studies on leadership from a political perspective.\ud Longitudinal and comparative case studies were conducted with the purpose of\ud describing the Strategic Leadership Process (SLP) in each and across the three Business\ud Schools, over the period 1990-2004, through strategic agenda-building and -executing, in\ud relation to a specific strategic initiative: Becoming a top international Business School.\ud Findings show firstly, that among the three key actors (Board, Dean and Faculty),\ud the Dean is the main key actor in the SLP because of his critical role of building and\ud executing the School's strategic agenda. Secondly, for the Dean to succeed, it is crucial to\ud deliver an inclusive approach with regard to the other key actors' (Board and Faculty)\ud interests and priorities. Thirdly, Performance represents a precondition for the Dean to be\ud credible and receive support from Faculty and Board. Fourthly, for an effective direction-setting,\ud the Dean's capacity to scan and understand the external voice, signals and trends\ud and raise them to the School's strategic agenda is fundamental. Fifthly, the ability to\ud articulate and communicate vision through coalition-building combined with adequate\ud delegation, represent critical competences to raise and execute breakthrough initiatives\ud for the School
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