Leadership Article Critique

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  932 Words
Date:  2022-05-12


The ability to critique an article is a necessary skill for all researchers in any filed. The article "The role of organizational development in understanding leadership in achieving sustainability practices in small to medium enterprises" was written by Rod Gapp an experienced organizational development lecture and Heather Stewart also a lecturer with experience in management. The article was written under the Journal of organization development and aimed to investigate how situational leadership is practiced in the small to medium-sized enterprise.

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The main issue to be discussed in this article is how sustainable management practices (SMP) can impact various small to medium-sized enterprise culture. Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) unlike other large organizations are operated and owned by one individual, and this makes sustainable management practices not to be distance processes but rather their become direct activities. According to Buvaneswari et al. (2015), sustainable management is the "incorporation of social, economic and environmental factors for business decisions." Integrating these factors when making a decision concerning Small to medium Enterprises assists in avoiding and identifying future costs related to unsustainable business practices. Additionally, the assist in planning for "changes in consumer expectations to capitalize on emerging markets and industries and practicing corporate social responsibility and business ethics" (Buvaneswari et al. 2015). This article continues with previous research which showed that there is a positive impact on SME's culture. The theoretical framework of this journal article is based on qualitative case study, and they utilize the limited literature available on the link between Small to Medium Enterprises and sustainable management practices.

In this study, the authors realized that a leader and his or her style of leadership significantly influence organizational development. The authors based their research on situational leadership theory (SLT) and the connection it has to organization development within Small to Medium Enterprises. In analyzing this theory, the authors found a link between the situational leadership theory and organization development that led them to develop two research questions. One question being why is sustainable management practices operationalized when there is a business with a situation leader. The second research question was how situational leadership theory influences development an organization. This article does significantly well to concentrate on the effect that sustainable management practices have on SME's since even as much as these enterprises dominate businesses all over the world, there is less research that shows the link between them and sustainable management practices (Wesselink et al. 2015). Much of the research done concentrate on large organizations leaving SMEs under-researched. Therefore researching on this topic can help broaden this area bringing in more solutions.

The methodology of this article involved a reflexive approach that aimed at boosting the results of the interpretive case study. This approach which is qualitative is very effective and has several advantages related to "constructing social reality and focusing on the interactive events versus measuring objective facts" (Stewart & Gapp, 2017). Additionally, this qualitative case study lead to gaining an in-depth and rich understanding of the relationship between SMEs and sustainable management practices. Furthermore, the use of interpretive case study as the main method was the right choice especially considering the research involved investigating and examining real-life situation within the various business. The authors also used observations and semi-structured interviews which are also effective methods as they allow them to get more personalized experience relating to the research questions. Interviews and observation can be effective in that they show how real people in businesses perceive the effect of sustainable management practices on their SME's also allowing the situational leadership theory to be well interpreted.

Another major advantage of the method used in this research is that both the authors were involved data collection and this gave them a chance to nurture credibility and also get a first-hand response from the participants they were examining.

Data analysis was done using the Leximancer software that joins similar words and phrases from the interviews allowing the authors to have less work during the analysis. Leadership styles of various leaders were observed and analyzed by comparing it to the success and achievement of a leader within that particular Small to Medium Enterprises. The findings of this article showed that situational leadership theory is capable of developing sustainable management practices (SMP) outcomes and behaviors within a Small to medium Enterprise context.


From its research questions, methodology and data analysis, this article presents significant points into how sustainable management practices can be undertaken in small to medium-sized enterprises. One of the strengths I find in this article is the methodology that the authors used when conducting their research. The method involved a reflexive approach and doing observation and interviews which allowed the authors to get more effective data and response from the participants. Considering their research questions, I think the authors choose the right method. Additionally, the findings of this article to support the path-goal leadership theory in that it shows that those leaders that use this kind of approach in SMEs do end up having better results. The situational leadership theory discussed in this article can be closely related to path-goal leadership theory as they all aim to motivate the employees to achieve a particular goal.


Buvaneswari, P. S., Shanthi, R., Desti, K., & Ragavan, N. (2015). Sustainable Management Practices: Trends, Issues and Challenges.

Stewart, H., & Gapp, R. (June 01, 2017). The role of organizational development in understanding leadership to achieve sustainability practices in small to medium enterprises. Organization Development Journal, 35, 2, 33-57.

Wesselink, R., Blok, V., van Leur, S., Lans, T., & Dentoni, D. (2015). Individual competencies for managers engaged in corporate sustainable management practices. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 497-506.

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Leadership Article Critique. (2022, May 12). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/leadership-article-critique

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