When we think about corporate leadership, we generally don’t think about the role of social advocate. Yet advocacy has become increasingly important as organizations recognize their social obligations to stockholders and the communities in which they operate. In for-profit organizations, corporate social responsibility has become a competitive advantage and, sometimes, a way to generate new revenue streams. Corporate leaders become advocates for social causes such as environmental sustainability, education, health, and economic conditions that generate employment opportunities, pay fair wages, and reduce poverty. Corporate social action takes place locally and globally. In addition, corporate advocacy addresses issues that affect employees and the organization's bottom line, such as policies for health benefits, work-family balance, and working conditions. Corporate officers spearhead solutions to these issues within their own organization and in the corporate community at large. In not-for-profit organizations that have social advocacy as their principal aim, the founder/advocate is an entrepreneur, generating organization structures that respond to situational conditions, including beneficiaries’ needs, availability of financial and non-financial support, and existence of adversaries and those who stand to lose if the organization's goals are met. These advocates must become effective leaders. The roles of leader and advocate are complementary. Leaders
Organizational Dynamics – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2008
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