Social changes are important processes in society (Fine, 2006). This paper examines how organizational changes and leadership contribute to social changes. The paper also looks at two of the recent trends in organizational changes and leadership and the impact they are likely to have on my professional organization.
Social Changes: The Role of Organizational Changes and Leadership
Leadership and social changes have significant effects as far as social changes are concerned (Hickman, 2009). Different types of leadership have different effects on society. According to Thiagarajan (Hickman, 2009), this has been observed in non-profit organizations. In this case, a leader has the task of influencing his or her followers to focus on the causes of an organization, which may involve the direct provision of services to the members of the society (Edwards, 2008; Russel, 2005). For instance, leaders who work in a library context may motivate their followers to encourage a reading culture among the local community members. This helps in improving community literacy levels thereby achieving social changes (Kriel, 2010). In this case, the role of a leader in organizational and social changes is very crucial.
When an organizational change takes place, the lives of people are significantly impacted. It is important to note that, because people who work in organizations come from society, any organizational change that affects individuals also affects the society at large (Diener, 2011; Githens, 2008). For instance, as organizations strive to structure their working practices with customers, who actually represent a wide variety of organizational structures and styles, they persistently strive to achieve innovative and respectful means that enhance positive changes within the society as a whole (Githens, 2008).
More specifically, there are organizations whose main focus is to influence the way people live; in the process, they affect social changes. For instance, non-profit organizations are often formed to engage in social processes. This implies that the organizational changes they undergo also promote social changes in general. It is argued that the nature of social causes promoted by nonprofit organizations attracts special groups of individuals who derive satisfaction from serving or pursuing those causes. To explain this point, it is worth pointing out that there are a number of organizations whose main focus is community development (Hickman, 2009).
When organizations work with communities in achieving development goals, social changes are achieved. For instance, a number of organizations collaborate with financial institutions to extend loans and other financial products to self-help groups. The loans and other products are used in achieving specific development goals, which in turn result in significant social changes. In this case, every change effected in such organizations is geared towards influencing changes in society at large (Hickman, 2009).
Recent Trends in Leadership and Organizational Changes
It is important to note that the roles and challenges faced by leaders and organizations have become so complex that there have been new trends in leadership and organizational changes, which are geared towards managing the complexities (Gabel, 2001; Schein, 2010).
One of the recent trends in leadership and organizational changes is based on the increasing complexity of organizational challenges and tasks (Karp & Helgo, 2008; Sims, 2002). This scenario has resulted in the need for the renewal of leadership competence (Saksvik, 2009). Therefore, the recent trend is that leadership competence must be renewed according to the needs of an organization. The trend has been necessitated by the need for leaders to devise innovative and creative strategies to meet newly emerging organizational challenges (Saksvik, 2009).
This implies that leaders should have flexible skills and competence. For instance, due to the new changes that have recently taken place within the Clayton County Library System, which involved the increased library capacity and the adoption of a fiber optic technology, only flexible and competent leaders can help in meeting organizational challenges that the changes are meant to address; here the emphasis is that organizational changes result in new challenges that need leaders with flexible intelligence and competence (Saksvik, 2009). The impact is that Clayton County Library System has to invest in leadership development so as to equip its leaders with flexible leadership competence. This will help the library to effectively deal with any complex change.
Another recent trend in leadership and organizational changes is the use of social media to interact with team members within an organization. With the advent of Web 2.0, many organizational leaders are increasingly adopting the use of social media to interact with the employees and other stakeholders within an organization (Li, 2010). For instance, for Clayton County Library System, this trend is likely to enhance the process of communication between the organizational leadership and the employees.
Leadership and organizational changes play a very significant role in social changes. The role of a leader is to inspire strategic organizational operations that result in social changes. Besides, some organizations also focus on social developments, which have the overall impact of social changes (Hickman, 2009). One of the recent leadership trends has been the growing need for leaders with flexible skills and competence. The other trend is that leaders have been adopting the use of social media to interact with their followers (Li, 2010).
Diener, R. (2011). Positive Psychology as Social Change. New York, US: Springer.
Edwards, J. R. (2008). Development of the Survey of Transformational Leadership for Application to the Substance Abuse Treatment Field. Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest.
Fine, A. (2006). Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.
Gabel, S. (2001). Leaders and Health Care Organizational Change: Art, Politics, and Process. New York, US: Springer.
Githens, R. (2008). Education, Organizational Change, and Social Organizing Strategies: LGBTQ Employee Groups in a University Setting. Ann Arbor, Michigan: ProQuest.
Hickman, G. R. (2009). Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a New Era. London UK: SAGE.
Karp, T., & Helgo, T. (2008). The Future of Leadership: The Art of Leading People in a “Post Managerial” Environment. Foresight, 10(2), 30-34.
Kriel, G. (2010). Leadership and Social Change: A South African Model for Transforming Business in Developing Countries. Johannesburg, South Africa: Xlibris Corporation.
Li, C. (2010). Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.
Russel, L. (2005). Leadership Development. New York, US: American Society for Training and Development.
Saksvik, P. (2009). Prerequisites for Healthy Organizational Change. Bergen, Norway: Bentham Science Publishers.
Schein, E (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership. Winchester, Hampshire: John Wiley & Sons.
Sims, R. R. (2002). Managing organizational behavior. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.