AlGaN/GaN strained layer superlattices have been employed in the cladding layers of InGaN multi-quantum well laser diodes grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). Superlattices have been investigated for strain relief of the cladding layer, as well as an enhanced hole concentration, which is more than ten times the value obtained for bulk AlGaN films. Laser diodes with strained layer superlattices as cladding layers were shown to have superior structural and electrical properties compared to laser diodes with bulk AlGaN cladding layers. As the period of the strained layer superlattices is decreased, the threshold voltage, as well as the threshold current density, is decreased. The resistance to vertical conduction through p-type superlattices with increasing superlattice period is not offset by the increase in hole concentration for increasing superlattice spacing, resulting in higher voltages.