Exploring leadership into the future: a tourism industry

Literature Research Case Study Report


Business leaders face a worry list of issues that is unprecedented in modern times. The global list of issues include: environmental sustainability, climate change, financial crisis, shifting economic and political balance, a renewed intensification around European debt problems, Japan’s possible return to recession, high oil prices, monetary policy tightening in China and other emerging countries, slowing growth indicators in the US, the US debt situation. At a national level in Australia, the worry list includes: the introduction of a carbon tax in 2012, rapidly rising energy, water and raw material costs, trade skills shortages, a high Australian dollar, and the fundamental shift in business operations and activities resulting from technology advances.


When an organization faces a serious crisis, leadership is required to guide the organization through this phase and ensure its survival (Mumford et al., 2007). In situations such as this, however, leadership cannot simply be a repetition of practices previously regarded as ‘good leadership’, as these may well have contributed to the failures that led to the crisis or a failure to respond adequately to the crisis. The new context imposed by a crisis situation transforms not only the social milieu in which leadership is embedded (Osborn et al., 2002), but also the cognitive processes, resources and strategies that must be utilized by leaders to resolve the crisis (Mumford et al., 2007). These changes create a significant impact on what is required for leadership effectiveness, and thus they need to be addressed in leadership development if leadership development activities are to increase the capability of organizations to deal with crisis situations (Probert & James, 2011, pp. 137-138)


Initially, familiar leadership practices may be the default position that enables the organization to deal with challenging events. However, over a longer period, these old leadership patterns, which may even have contributed to the crisis, and may be unsuitable for the future of the organization, require review. A crisis, whilst initially reinforcing tried and tested leadership practices, may paradoxically provide the impetus for this review as the residual anxiety generated by the crisis may be sufficient to prompt the organization to re-think several assumptions, including its leadership model (e.g. Balogun and Johnson, 2004). We suggest that renewing the organization’s leadership concept, which comprises all the assumptions an organization has embedded in its culture about leadership, is the most important role of leadership development initiatives (Probert & James, 2011, p. 146) 


Business leaders need new thinking, practice and paradigms in the face of such crisis situations if businesses are to survive in the new environment as result of the global and national issues mentioned above.



 Your group is to select one industry to research.  Research the industry and write a case study report that:


1.     Describes the current state of the industry you have chosen;

2.     Describes the existing leadership from the lens OF PERSON, PURPOSE, POSITION and PROCESS within the industry;

3.     Reviews current national and global crisis issues confronting the industry.

4.     Discusses the impact of these issues on the industry over the next 5-10 years. Your concept(s) must be justified and supported; 

5.     Discusses the future shape of leadership for your chosen industry resulting from 2 and 3 above.

6.     Provides recommendations as to how these leadership challenges could be responded to;

7.     At least 20 relevant references must be cited in the report.


Report Requirements

1.       The group is to prepare and deliver a report which discusses the findings of your research. The report length is not to be less than 2500 and not more than 3500 words.


  1. The report may take a number of different formats for submission.  However, the report is an academic piece of writing and requires that you form a case and put forward an argument.  You are required to demonstrate your understanding of the topic/issue, and ability to state an argument for a particular point of view or justify your analysis, the findings reached, recommendations made, and conclusions reached. You are required, as in any piece of academic writing, to provide theory references to support your report where required and appropriate.

Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used to mark the report.

Task No.





Describe the current state of the industry you have chosen.

·       Describe the industry in terms of size, complexity, organisations in the industry, context, environment and conditions.



Describe the existing leadership within the industry.

·       Describe/explain existing leadership from a Person lens.

·       Describe/explain existing leadership from a Purpose lens.

·       Describe/explain existing leadership from a Position lens.

·       Describe/explain existing leadership from a Process lens.



Review current national and global crisis issues confronting the industry.

·       What are the likely key issues the industry is likely to face over the next 5-10 years?



Discuss the impact of these issues on the industry over the next 5-10 years. Your concept(s) must be justified and supported.


·       What are the likely impacts of 2 and 3 above on the industry in the next 5-10 years? Develop a clear concept of the challenges and issues that organisations could face over in next 5-10 years



Discuss the future shape of leadership in the industry resulting from 2 and 3 above.


·       Discuss how leadership is likely to be shaped in the next 5-10 years as a result of 4 above.



Provide recommendations as to how these leadership challenges could be responded to.


·          Describe how the challenges may be responded to.

·          Demonstrate evidence of:

o    wide reading; and

o    Application of leadership thinking.

·          Your argument must be justified, future focused and supported.



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