Leading Change – Leadership, Organization, and Social Movements

What is the role of leadership in a social movement? What are social movements? What is leadership? And what do they have to do with each other? Despite a lack of attention by social movement scholars, leadership plays a key role in social movements. Organizational structures that are decentralized, self-governing, and require volunteer commitment to do their work demand leadership with little or no access to means of coercive compliance.  Social movement efficacy thus depends on the broad development of leadership practice. Core practices include motivating, commitment, risk taking, and imagination by cultivating the experience of shared values, articulated as public narrative; building relationships to engage participants, discern common interests, and mobilize resources; creative strategizing based on inclusive, continual and recognized heuristic processes; and channeling collective resources into action based on commitment, intrinsic reward, and accountability for measurable outcomes. Understanding how social movement organizations meet this challenge – or don’t – can be of value to leaders who must learn to achievepurpose in a world of diminished hierarchy coupled with growing diversity, volatility, and dynamism. In this paper I devote particular attention to the motivational challenge, a key distinguishing feature of a social movement.

Read

About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Leadership, Self-organization, Social change, Social innovation, Social movements and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s