Contrasting perspectives on strategic leaders: Toward a more realistic view of top managers Academic Article uri icon


  • Previous empirical studies of top managers tend to draw from either positive agency theory or strategic leadership theory. This manuscript reviews and critiques these two approaches, outlining their advantages and inherent limitations. Because each is inherently limited, we suggest that developments in personality theory, transformational leadership theory, and visionary leadership theory can contribute to a more realistic view of top managers. Consequently, we contrast these three alternative perspectives with the two more dominant approaches in this manuscript. As a result, we identify future research directions for scholars interested in studying strategic leadership.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Cannella, A. A., & Monroe, M. J.

citation count

  • 197

complete list of authors

  • Cannella, AA||Monroe, MJ

publication date

  • June 1997