Article Review on O’Neill, P., H. on Truth, Transparency and Leadership

O’Neill, P., H. on Truth, Transparency and Leadership

O’Neill’s article centers on leadership; and what it truly means to be a leader. He argues that leadership is not about appointment and designation as a leader or occupying the top position in a successful organization. To O’Neil, therefore, true leadership is about not seeking or accepting a leadership position because of the benefits and recognition that comes with the position. Rather, O’Neill argues that true leadership is because one hungers to make a difference through the creation of a condition in which the people in the organization can contribute to the organization in such a manner that it is meaningful to their lives (O’Neill, 2011).

In testing the ability of a leader, O’Neill (2011) argues that a true/great leader must be able to elicit “yes” as an answer from the followers to three questions concerning the conditions of work in an organization. The first question regards treatment of followers with dignity and respect regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, title, pay or any other qualifier (O’Neill, 2011). Secondly, O’Neill (2011) fronts the question of whether or not the leader provides the things the follower need such as education, tools, financial resources, training and encouragement, to be able to make contribution in the organization that is meaningful to the life of the follower. Finally, O’Neill (2011) fronts the question of recognition of the follower for what he/she does in the organization.

It is the responsibility of the leader to create a condition within the workplace, where followers feel like they are the most important resource. This, the leader must do, by ensuring that none of the followers gets any injuries at work. The bottom line here therefore, is that the leader must not only make the conditions within the workplace safe, but also engage the followers, sharing with them the ambitions of the organization to ensure that everyone works towards a similar purpose that is mutually beneficial to the organization and the followers (O’Neill, 2011).

Chadwic-Coule, T on Social Dynamics and the Strategy Process: Bridging or Creating a Divide between Trustees and Staff

In the article, Chadwic-Coule (2011), centers on the idea of the management of voluntary organizations. The author informs on the change in the management of the organizations, shifting from the need of the organizations to justify their existence, to one of concern on their effective management (Chadwic-Coule, 2011). The shift in the concern stems from within the organizations, and from without the organization in the face of increased funding competition, reliance on statutory funding as well as the “contract nature” that has come with all the external pressures (Chadwic-Coule, 2011). Additionally, it also explores the relationship between managers (trustees) within the organization and the staff at these organizations in relation to strategy development and execution.

Delving into the purpose of the article, the author takes case studies as the methodology with which he tackles the problem. The author specifically chooses case studies given their basic characteristic in striving toward a holistic understanding of the basic systems of actions (Chadwic-Coule, 2011). These actions are quintessentially the interconnected actions that different actors engage in within a particular social circumstance. The justification for the use of this methodology is that it allows for in depth study of organizations in reality, their evolution, as well as the factors behind the change in their work and history (Chadwic-Coule, 2011). As a research methodology, case studies are important and effective in that they help in the identification of actual problems, recognition of the key actors and their agendas, in addition to bringing awareness in to the features of the situation that essentially contribute to the problem. Through the exploration of the situations within a case study, individuals can then generate an analysis of the situation under consideration, formulate solutions and apply the practical knowledge gained in theory in solving the problems presented by the case studies. In the case study, the author explored four cases from a sample of 400 organizations previously contacted in relation to the survey (Chadwic-Coule, 2011). The four organizations chosen fit within the author’s prescribed criteria that included the length of existence, funding arrangement, the nature of human resource and the area of work of the organization (Chadwic-Coule, 2011).

The article concludes that the changing nature of management in voluntary organization needs to factor in concerns by other parties within the organization especially in development and execution of organizational strategy. Thus, while it is traditional for the management to develop and execute strategy as part of instrumentalism in building unitary approaches to strategy, it is important to consider reflective approaches in strategy development.

Cooney, K. on An Exploratory Study of Social Purpose Business Models in the United States

The article explores a new but growing trend among nonprofit organizations, which are venturing into business for social purpose. Known as social purpose business (SPB), nonprofit organizations venture into these forms of businesses within a wide range of industries including construction, manufacturing and retail as a way of providing job training to the disadvantaged, while at the same time aiming at self-sufficiency (Cooney, 2011). The idea here is the engagement by the nonprofit organizations into business ventures for generating resources to allow continuity of their work, and as a strategy in fulfilling the organization’s missions of job-training and economic development. These organizations do this by targeting former convicts, homeless individuals, welfare recipients, low-income earners as well as other disadvantaged groups (Cooney, 2011).

In exploring the case, the author conducted a survey from a sample of nonprofit organization participating in a business contest organized by Yale School of Management and Goldman Sachs. The survey involved 15 organizations out of the 29 that participated in the contest, with a comparison of 118 parent organizations that operated SPBs (Cooney, 2011). In conducting the survey, the author purposed to identify important issues including the stability and sourced of organizational revenues, business ventures, organization structures among others (Cooney, 2011). The author then used online and phone interviews in conducting the survey, with telephone interviews following the online guide provided by Survey Monkey. The interviews were then transcribed and fed into Atlas.ti, qualitative analysis software (Cooney, 2011).

Conclusively, many nonprofit organizations use SPBs for as a major source of income and sustainability given the limited nature of funds from the government. Sustainability is thus an issue, and thus the reason for engaging in the SPBs. However, while these SPBs are essential in providing job training and skill development in the disadvantaged populations, they only offer a limited scope of skill development in the business ventures that they successfully operate. Although there is evidence of innovation in the businesses they operate, this is only as far as multiple business operations are present within the organizations. It is, therefore, important for the SPBs to consider collaboration with other businesses in the skill development and exposure of the disadvantaged populations.

Magee, J., C. and Frasier, C., W. on Status and Power: The Principal Inputs to Influence for Public Managers

In this article, Magee and Frasier (2014), explore the use of power and status by public managers. They explore how public managers use these two features to influence public decision and their constituents in working towards a common goal. Additionally, the authors provide a distinction between status and power; status being the extent accorded to an individual by colleagues, while power as the disproportionate control one has over valued resources (Magee & Frasier, 2014). Magee and Frasier (2014), ultimately argue, and provide evidence to the fact that status and power are the most important contributing factors of influence in an organization. With this in mind, they additionally argue that the two are important for effective long-term influence, and administrator should thus take note to develop each of the two (status and power).

In highlighting the use of power and status and the resulting influence from the two, Magee and Frasier (2014) methodologically look at the definitions of power and status as the principle inputs to influence. They make these definitions by referring to several authors’ definitions of both status and power, and by doing so, also providing a distinction between the two. Using examples in the U.S. Senate, Magee and Frasier (2014), provide a distinction between status and power, in addition to exploring the intricacies between status and power. From exploring the distinctions between the two, they delve into the distinct effects of power and status, and as aforementioned, provide distinct instances in the public sector to illustrate the effects of both power and status. Finally, they offer recommendation on ways of changing behavior as a means of developing influence over individuals and constituents, especially for public managers.

The article reaches a conclusion on status and power as the main inputs of influence. Further, the conclusion reached is on hierarchy and influence. Thus, while formal hierarchical structures of organizations may on the outside paint a picture of influence, it is surprising that some low-level jobs may in fact have high power, while high profile jobs may have low power. Perhaps most important for influence is that the position in the job hierarchy does not automatically accord one influence; it is possible to build influence through interpersonal connections; an explanation of better influence among different individuals (managers) despite occupation of similar positions.


O’Neil (2011) highlights important aspects of true leadership that are especially important for those in leadership positions. Specifically, O’Neil points out that true leadership is not about position, the benefits, fame or power that comes with the leadership title. Rather, he enthuses that true leadership come from the desire to bring meaningful change in the followers’ lives. By highlighting these important elements of leadership, he brings to the fore a different sound and meaning to leadership. In the same breath, Chadwic-Coule (2011) offers important points in the management of voluntary organizations. The insight offered by the author is that for strategy to work, the manager (leader) must also involve other members of the organization. That way, all the members of the organization work towards a similar goal, knowing that they all had some contribution towards the formulation and execution of the plan of action.

On social purpose business, it is interesting to learn that indeed, nonprofit organizations can engage in business for social benefit. Through this engagement, they not only contribute toward their own stability and self-sufficiency, but also in the development of important business and social skills to the disadvantaged populations. Finally, it is additionally curious to learn of status and power as the principal inputs to influence. Even more important is that influence does not necessarily come with power and status, but through interpersonal interactions and relationships built by an individual.


Chadwick-Coule, T. (2011). Social dynamics and the strategy process: Bridging or creating a divide between trustees and staff? Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(1), 33-56

Cooney, K. (2011). An exploratory study of social purpose business models in the United States. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(1), 185-196

Magee, J., C. & Frasier, C., W. (2014). Status and Power: The Principal Inputs to Influence for Public Managers. Public Administration Review, 74(3), 307-317

O’Neill, P., H. (2011). Truth, transparency, and leadership. Public Administration Review, 72(1), 11-12