strategic management are essential to ACCA SBL because they guide the creation

What are the theories of ACCA SBL?

November 6, 2023

One of the most important parts of the ACCA qualification is the ACCA Strategic Business Leader (SBL) exam, which greatly impacts future business leaders’ and decision-makers’ development. SBL evaluates the applicant’s capacity to apply theoretical knowledge to practical business problems in addition to technical proficiency. Candidates have to understand and do well on the exam. We will explore the ACCA SBL theories in this blog, offering a thorough preparation guide to assist students in becoming ready

Theory of Stakeholders

The idea of stakeholder theory is central to ACCA SBL. It implies that balancing the interests and expectations of numerous stakeholders, like shareholders, clients, staff, suppliers, and the general public, is essential to a business’s success and sustainability. In order to balance the frequently competing interests of various stakeholders, candidates must understand this notion.
In order to ensure moral and responsible business operations, candidates can better grasp how to match a company’s strategy with its values and mission by utilizing the stakeholder theory. Using this theory in practical situations is a major SBL exam component.

Theories of Corporate Governance

Since corporate governance deals with the direction and control of businesses, it is important to SBL. Candidates need to be familiar with the following corporate governance theories:

a. Agency Theory:

The interaction between managers and shareholders, or principals, is the main subject of this theory. It deals with problems related to conflicts of interest and the systems put in place to balance managers’ and shareholders’ interests.

b. Management Theory:

In contrast, this theory places a strong emphasis on the reliability and moral character of managers. It implies that managers behave in the way that best serves the company and its investors.

c. Shareholder Primacy vs. Stakeholder Primacy:

This argument focuses on whether maximizing shareholder wealth or taking into account the interests of all stakeholders should be a company’s top priority. The implications of these conflicting views in many business contexts must be understood by candidates.

Theories of Strategic Management

Theories of strategic management are essential to ACCA SBL because they guide the creation and application of company strategy. Here are a few important theories in this field:

a. SWOT evaluation:

Analyzing an organization’s internal and external influences is done through the common strategic management technique known as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis. Applicants must know how to conduct a SWOT analysis efficiently and apply the results to strategic decision-making.

b. Porter’s Five Forces:

Michael Porter created this framework to evaluate the forces of competition within an industry. An analysis of a company’s competitive situation requires an understanding of the five forces, which are supplier power, buyer power, threat of substitutes, and threat of new entrants. One of these forces is rivalry.

c. Resource-Based View (RBV):

This view contends that a company’s distinct resources and competencies provide it a competitive edge. In order to establish long-lasting competitive advantages, candidates must understand how to recognize, capitalize on, and safeguard these resources.

Theories of Leadership

Theories of leadership are essential to comprehending how people may direct and impact an organization. Among the well-known theories of leadership are:

a. Transformational Leadership: which emphasizes leaders who encourage and inspire their group to accomplish extraordinary outcomes. To analyze the effectiveness of leadership in SBL scenarios, one must have a solid understanding of transformational leadership principles.

b. Transactional Leadership: This style of leadership relies on exchanging rewards and punishments with staff members in order to inspire them. Applicants must be able to distinguish between transformational and transactional leadership and use the right approach depending on the situation.

c. Servant Leadership: This idea places a strong emphasis on leaders’ commitment to supporting their group and company. It is imperative that applicants understand the ways in which servant leadership can impact decision-making and cultivate a positive workplace culture.

Business Ethics Theories

The SBL test includes a lot of ethical material because candidates are frequently faced with moral conundrums in case studies. Among the pertinent theories of ethics are:

a. Deontological Ethics: This school of thought emphasizes the intrinsic morality of deeds rather than the effects of those deeds. It is imperative for candidates to comprehend the ways in which deontological concepts, like Kantian ethics, might direct moral judgment.

b. Utilitarianism: According to this theory, an action’s morality is determined by its total usefulness or advantage. When assessing the implications of different decisions and considering ethical issues, candidates must use utilitarian concepts.

c. Virtue ethics: This school of thought highlights the significance of a person’s moral character and qualities in making moral decisions. Candidates ought to be able to judge the moral fiber of people and institutions when faced with ethical problems.

Organizational Theories

Organizational theories provide light on the composition and administration of businesses. Among the pertinent organizational theories are the following:

a. Organizational Culture:

It is critical to comprehend how organizational culture affects strategy and decision-making. Candidates must take this into account on the SBL exam since diverse cultural backgrounds can produce different behaviors and results.

b. Organizational Change Theories:

To effectively manage and lead change within an organization, applicants must be knowledgeable about theories such as Lewin’s Change Model and Kotter’s Eight-Step Model. In the business world, change is unavoidable.

c. Organizational Structure:

Applicants should be knowledgeable about the many types of organizational structures, including matrix, network, divisional, and functional structures, as well as how they affect strategy and decision-making.

Financial Management Theories

SBL requires financial management, hence applicants should be knowledgeable about the following financial theories:

a. Capital Structure Theory:

Applicants must comprehend how a company’s cost of capital and risk are impacted by its capital structure, or the proportion of debt to equity. They must be competent to decide on funding solutions.

b. Capital Budgeting Theory:

The process of capital budgeting entails the assessment and choice of investment initiatives. To make wise investment decisions, candidates need to understand terms like net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), and payback time.

c. Theories of Dividend Policy:

These theories investigate how businesses decide how much of their profits to provide as dividends. Candidates need to be aware of how various dividend policies affect shareholder value.


The ACCA SBL is a demanding test in which applicants must apply a variety of theories in intricate business situations. Essential components of the SBL curriculum include corporate governance theories, financial management theories, leadership theories, strategic management theories, business ethics theories, organizational theories, and stakeholder theories.

In addition to understanding these ideas, applicants need to be able to apply them successfully in real-world scenarios in order to pass the ACCA SBL exam. As they become more adept at this skill, they will be better equipped to lead and make strategic decisions as future business executives. To grasp these theories and perform well on the SBL exam, extensive study, practice, and critical thinking are necessary.