strategic interventions
cultural change
strategic leadership
organisational learning

How to Cite



The study examines how strategic interventions mediate in the relationship between strategic leadership behaviors and firm performance of SMEs in Nigeria. A survey of 834 registered operators of SMEs through structured questionnaire was used and data were analysed using mediation analysis through structural equation modeling. The results showed that strategic leadership influence performance through strategic interventions decomposed into organisational learning and cultural values. It showed that the mediator exerts stronger effect on performance than the independent variable. It revealed further that strategic interventions are significant in its causal effect on performance of SMEs than strategic leadership. The implication is that the operators should not only encourage employee to be optimistic in future accomplishment and stimulate a sense of logic to create the notion of problem solving, but also must inculcate the culture of paying attention to employee talents and needs for performance improvement.


AbdulRazaq, M. N. (2010). Keynote address by the Honorary Prime Minister at Invest Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Abu-Jarad, I. S., Yusof, N. A., Nikbin, D. (2010). A review paper on organizational culture and organizational performance. “International Journal of Business and Social Science”, 1(3).

Ahmad, F. A. (2014). Leadership and performance: The case of Malaysian SMEs in the service sector. “International Journal of Social Science”, 4(3).

Ahuja, G., Lampert, C. M. (2001). Entrepreneurship in the large corporation: A longitudinal study of how established firms create breakthrough inventions. “Strategic Management Journal”, 22.

Akeke, N. I. (2019). Strategic interventions and performance of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. “International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies”, 3.

Arasa, R., K'Obonyo, P. (2012). The relationship between strategic planning and firm performance. “International Journal of Humanities and Social Science”, 2(22).

Bedeian, A., Hunt, J. (2006). Academic amnesia and vestigial assumptions of our forefathers. “Leadership Quarterly”, 17(2).

Bollinger, S. A., Smith, R. D. (2001). Managing organizational knowledge as a strategic asset. “Journal of Knowledge Management”, 5(1).

Cummings, T. G., Worley, C. G. (2009). Organisation Development and Change. Mason: South Western.

Davies, J., Hides, M., Powell, J. (2002). Defining the development needs of entrepreneurs in SMEs. “Education and Training”, 44(8/9).

Dibella, A., Nevis. E. C., Gould, J. M. (1996). Understanding organizational learning capability. “Journal of Management Studies”, 33.

Dyer, W. (1985). The cycle of cultural evolution in organisations [In:] Kilmann, R., Saxton, M., Serf, A. R. ed., Gaining control of corporate culture. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 200–229.

Finkelstein, S., Hambrick, D. C. (1996). Strategic leadership: top executives and their effects on organisations. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN: West.

Fitza, M. (2017). How much do CEOs really matter? Re-affirming that the CEO effect is mostly due to chance. “Strategic Management Journal”, 38(3).

Fitzsimmons, J. R., Steffens, P., Douglas, E. J. (2005). Growth and profitability in small and medium sized Australian firms. Melbourne: Paper presented at AGSE entrepreneurship exchange.

Fiol, C. M., Lyles, M. A. (1985). Organisational learning. “Academy of Management Journal”, 10.

Garcia-Morales, V. J., Jimenez-Barrinonuevo, M. M., Gutierrez-Guttierrez, L. (2011). Transformational leadership influence on organizational performance through organizational learning and innovation. “Journal of Business Research”, 65.

Glynn, M. (1996). Innovative genius: A framework for relating individual and organizational intelligences to innovation. “The Academy of Management Review”, 21(4).

Hambrick, D. C., Mason, P. A. (1984). Upper echelons: the organization as a reflection of its top managers. “Academy of Management Review”, 9.

Hambrick, D. C. (2007). Upper echelons theory: An update. “Academy of Management Review”, 32.

Harbone, P., Johne, A. (2003). Creating project climate for successful product innovation. “European Journal of Innovation Management”, 6(2).

Haveman, H. A. (1992). Between a rock and a hard place: Organizational change and performance under conditions of fundamental environmental transformation. “Administrative Science Quarterly”, 37(1).

Hitt, M. A., Keats, B. W., DeMarie, S. M. (1998). Navigating in the new competitive landscape: Building strategic flexibility and competitive advantage in the 21st century. “Academy of Management Executive”, 12.

Hurley, R. F., Hult, G. T. (1998). Innovation, market orientation, and organizational learning: an integration and empirical examination. “Journal of Marketing”, 62.

Ireland, R. D., Hitt, M. A. (1999). Achieving and Maintaining Strategic Competitiveness in the 21st century: The Role of Strategic Leadership. “Academy of Management Executive”, 13(1).

Janicijevic, N. (2012). The influence of organizational culture on organizational preferences towards the choice of organization change strategy. “Economic analysis”, 47 LVII(193).

Jones, G. (1983). Transaction costs, property rights, and organisational culture: An exchange perspective. “Administrative Science Quarterly”, 28.

Joseph, K. E., Dai, C. (2009). The influence of organizational culture on organizational learning, worker involvement and worker productivity. “International Journal of Business and Management”, 4(9).

Kamariah, N., Rahman, A., Kadir, I. A. (2018). Mediation effect of dynamic capability in the relationship between knowledge management and strategic leadership to organizational performance accountability. “International Journal of Law and Management”, 60(2).

Katila, R., Shane, S. (2005). When does lack of resources make new firms innovative? “Academy of Management Journal”, 48.

Knies, E., Jacobsen, C., Tummers, L. G. (2016). Leadership and Organizational Performance: State of the Art and Research Agenda [In:] Storey, J., Denis, J. L., Hartley, J., Hart, P., eds., Routledge Companion to Leadership, London: Routledge.

Kotter, J. P., Heskett, J. L. (1985). Corporate Culture and Performance. New York: The Free Press, 1992

Markman, G., Gartner, W. (2002). Is extraordinary growth profitable? A study of incorporated. 500 high-growth companies. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(1).

McDermontt, R., O’Dell, C. (2011). Overcoming cultural barriers to sharing knowledge. “Journal of Knowledge Management”, 5(1).

Namada, J. M. (2017). Organisational learning and firm performance: An empirical investigation in an emerging economy context. “International Journal of Business, Social Sciences studies and Research”, 1(1).

Oladele, P. O., Akeke, N. I., Adebisi, S. O., Adeusi, S. O. (2013). Effects of strategic leadership styles on organizational development of SMEs in Lagos, Nigeria. “Net Journal of Social Sciences”, 1(2).

Papadakis, V., Bourantas, D. (1998). The chief executive as corporate champion of technological innovation: An empirical investigation. “Technology Analysis and Strategic Management”, 10(1).

Phipps, K. A., Burbach, M. E. (2010). Strategic leadership in the non-profit sector, opportunities for research. “Journal of “Behavioural and Applied Management”, 11(2).

Quigley, T. J., Graffin, S. D. (2017). Reaffirming the CEO effect is significant and much larger than chance: A comment on Fitza (2014). “Strategic Management Journal”, 38(3).

Safarzadeh, T., Dahghan, E., Pazireh, M., Pouraskari, F. (2015). Checking the relationship between strategic leadership, competitive advantage and organizational performance with mediating role of innovation. “International Journal of Business and Behavioural Science”, 5(1).

Senge, P. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organisation. New York: Doubleday.

Sethi, R. (2000). New product quality and product development teams. “Journal of Marketing”, 64.

Slater, S., Narver, J. C. (1995). Market orientation and learning organization. “Journal of Marketing”, 59, July.

Slawinski, N. (2007). Strategic leadership [In:] Rowe, W. G., Oaks, Th., eds, Cases in leadership. CA, New York: Sage Publications.

Strand, R. (2017). Strategic Leadership of Corporate Sustainability. “Journal of Business Ethics”, 123(4).

Waldman, D., Ramírez, G., House, R., Puranam, P. (2001). Does leadership matter, CEO leadership attributes and profitability under conditions of perceived environmental uncertainty. “Academy of Management Journal”, 38(4).

Yazdani, M. (2009). Offering process model to application of knowledge management, based on organizational learning. “Journal of IT management”, 1.

Yesil, S., Kaya, A. (2013). The effect of organizational culture on firm financial performance: Evidence from a developing country. “Procedia- Social and Behavioural Sciences”, 81.

Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in organisations. New Jersey: Pearson.

Zollo, M., Winter, S. G. (2002). Deliberate learning and the evolution of dynamic capabilities. “Organisation Science”, 13.

All texts published in the Journal "Modern Management Review" are available in the full version on the website of MMR. Digital IDs have also been entered from number 19 (3/2012) (DOI: 10.7862/rz.2018.mmr.1)

Open Access – CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 PL

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.


Download data is not yet available.