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Social Change, Leadership and Advocacy

Such concepts as social change, advocacy, and leadership are closely related as they all focus on innovation, shifts, and collaboration. It is important to understand what these concepts are to apply them in the real world and make a difference. The concepts can be analyzed within certain dyads with the focus on similarities and differences.

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When analyzing such concepts as social change and leadership, it is possible to identify such similarities as the focus on change and individual effort. Shier and Handy (2016) note that leadership is associated with the change as leaders encourage their followers to introduce certain shifts. Leadership involves a constant change as the leader tends to push the boundaries and make the followers go the extra mile. Social change is a shift in the order existing in the community (Homan, 2016).

Another similarity between the two concepts is the distribution of power or, rather, initiative. Leadership implies an active role of the leader who motivates and empowers the followers. Social change is also associated with the change agent who makes the rest of people see the need for change and encourages others to act. As to the differences, social change is often linked to the public good, while leadership can be linked to organizational or even personal gains. Furthermore, leadership often involves one leader, while social change can be associated with many change agents.

Advocacy is the call for assistance aimed at improving the lives of certain groups (Almog-Bar & Schmid, 2014). The focus on improvements can be seen as a similarity between such concepts as social change and advocacy. Besides, social change and advocacy are associated with the collaboration of different groups within the community. As far as the differences between the two concepts are concerned, it is possible to note that social change can be regarded as a result of advocacy.

Thus, advocacy is mainly related to various activities aimed at raising awareness, encouraging people to change, but it can lead to no results. Social change is a more definite concept as the change is a shift that is taking place. Another difference is the scale at which something can happen. For instance, advocacy can be rather globalized as people may promote some ideas with the help of social media and can reach people from different parts of the world. Social change often occurs in particular communities.

The concepts of leadership and advocacy have many things in common. For example, both leadership and advocacy can result in adverse effects in some areas while bringing certain positive changes in other spheres (Shier & Handy, 2016). Advocacy and leadership can be related to the effort to achieve the public good or particular organizational aims. The differences between the two concepts are also obvious. Leadership implies leading people and guiding them to achieve a goal. At the same time, advocacy does not necessarily involve undertaking any actions as advocacy is mainly concerned with encouraging people to think and act. Leadership often involves one leader, while advocacy may be associated with a group of change agents.

In conclusion, it is possible to note that this comparison helps understand the difference between the concepts. Leadership implies a set of particular actions crafted during the collaboration of a leader (an individual) and a group. Whereas, advocacy is more concerned with raising awareness, encouraging people to act, bringing people together. The comparison also made it clear that social change is often a result of efforts made by particular individuals or groups of people. It can also quite controversial as improvements in some aspects can lead to certain disadvantages in other spheres.

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Almog-Bar, M., & Schmid, H. (2014). Advocacy activities of nonprofit human service organizations: A critical review. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(1), 11–35. Web.

Homan, M. S. (2016). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world. Boston, MA: Cengage. Web.

Shier, M. L., & Handy, F. (2016). Executive leadership and social innovation in direct-service nonprofits: Shaping the organizational culture to create social change. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 27(2), 111–130. Web.

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