International Non-Governmental Organisations target at improving a problematic situation in more than one country (Richard, 2015). They often have more than a million supporters. They often supply finances to the country they target at helping in order to eradicate the problem identified. These problems include poverty, hunger, child and female abuse. They do not engage in these activities in order to raise money for the founders’ benefits but rather their focus is improving the status of life of the people in the society they venture. In order to raise the funds required to run the organizations, the INGOs receive donations from other organizations or engage in activities that raise finances such as walks or runs (Suzuki, 2008). This essay includes a case study involving an INGO, highlighting some challenges experienced in its global setup and its HRD initiatives. It discusses the challenges that the development of the leadership capacity faces as well as the HRD initiatives used by the INGOs to support leadership development.
Challenges for INGOs in Developing Leadership Capacity in the Global Political Economy
The leaders in International Non-governmental organizations have many challenges that they face while trying to develop and establish their leadership roles and capacity in each country that they are expected to serve. The organizations have to ensure that they deal with the challenges posed to them to increase the efficiency and effectiveness. One of the political economies challenges, that they deal with, is difficulty in winning the trust of the public in the society they serve (Richard, 2015). The locals in the regions that the organization serves may question the accountability of the leaders of the organization. The leaders, therefore, have to work towards proving that they are accountable and that the organization is legitimate. This may slow down the growth of the organization and consequently the development of the leadership capacity (Kim, 2010).
The leadership capacity of INGOs is further challenged by the fact that the number of talented leaders who want to work in the organization is limited (Oxfam, 2013). The challenge is further emphasized by the fact that few numbers of talented leaders that opt to stay working in the INGOs for long. The talented leaders often get offers to work in other organizations. The INGOs are therefore left with leaders whose skills are learned. They do not perform as well as the natural leaders. The leadership capacity of the organization is thus challenged with the small number of talented leaders.
Most of the INGOs record high turnover rates (Mukasa, 2004). This discourages the organizations from investing in the development of skills of their leaders. The growth of the leaders, therefore, is at a low rate. The situation is not improved by the organizations that opt to invest in the development of the leaders because most of them leave the organizations shortly after the training is over. The organizations hardly enjoy the benefits of making this investment (Lumba, 2008). They mostly have to deal with leaders whose skills are not sharpened, as it would suit the development of the organization’s leadership capacity.
The INGOs further faces challenges because most of the leaders they have lacked the professionalism touch. The competition in the employment industry forces the organizations to settle for the non-professional leaders. Most of the professional leaders prefer to work in high paying jobs. The INGOs often do not have the capacity to cater for the demands made by these professionals (Stark Biddle, 2004). They, therefore, have to settle for the non-professionals. This limits the leadership capacity of the organizations.
The technology advances and globalization further challenge the development of leadership capacity (Stevens, 2010). The organizations have to keep up with the changing technology world. The leaders also have the responsibility of ensuring that they understand the new technologies and implement them in the organizations. The organizations may not have the capacity to keep up with the new technologies. The leaders working in them are hence not fully capacitated to work in the changing world.
The constant change of the society further poses a challenge to the development of the leadership capacity of the INGOs (Suzuki, 2008). The leaders of the organizations may not have the capacity to keep up with these changes. For example, the breakdown of the traditional social structures and values challenges the operations of the organizations. The society is no longer keen on socializing, thus making the operations of the organizations as they hardly receive the support of the society. This discourages the growth of the organizations thereby inhibiting the growth of leadership.
The development of the capacity of the INGOs’ leadership is further challenged by the fact that the leaders are expected to act in response to information affecting the society (Jayawickrama, 2011). This information may lead to the leaders making the wrong decisions as it is often from unreliable sources. Should the organizations opt not to act in response to the information, they may fail to achieve the objectives and goals they have set. For example, The Red Cross Organization’s goal is to help people affected by natural calamities such as floods, or attacks that affect a large number of people in a country such as a terrorist attack. The organization may get information that a certain region is under attack from an unreliable source. The leaders in the organization have to make a decision using this information in order to ensure that it achieves its objectives.
Relevant HRD Initiatives That Can Support Leadership for Development
Statistics shows that people aim at becoming better when encouraged to do so. This could be authoritative figures or those that they admire. The human resource development bases the use of initiatives on this knowledge. The HRD may use initiatives that encourage the leaders in an organization to develop their leadership skills and become better leaders. One of the initiatives is having a learning culture in the organization (Avolio & Hannah, 2008). The leaders are encouraged to participate in the planning of the organization’s activities. They can acquire important leadership skills in the planning sessions. Interacting with the experienced leaders gives the new leaders an opportunity to learn. The experienced leaders could also learn new strategies from the new leaders.
Acknowledging the importance of including women in the leadership of the INGOs is important in motivating the women into being better leaders (Grisoni and Beeby, 2007). Most of the laws require that the leadership of all institutions include at least a certain percentage of women. The empowering of women helps ensure that the women develop confidence in their ability to lead. They work towards ensuring that they do not disappoint those who have confidence in them. They further aim at proving those are doubting their abilities wrong. It also helps encourage the men in the leadership of the organization to be supportive to the females (D’Souza, 2007). This encourages the growth of the female leaders.
HRD initiatives further involve ensuring that the leaders are socially responsible. The INGOs identify and outline their social responsibilities (Setty, 2004). Informing the leaders of these responsibilities, helps ascertain that they are aware of what is required of them. They can, therefore, work towards fulfilling these responsibilities. By fulfilling these responsibilities, the leaders are socially responsible. The organization can, therefore, build a culture that has socially responsible leaders.
The initiatives further involve introducing ideas that improve the esteem of the leaders (Sims, 2006). The ideas introduced to the leaders are meant to build their confidence and thereby be able to associate with others appropriately. The confidence that they also develop helps them has faith in themselves as well as their actions. Hence, they are in a better position to serve the people in the targeted society as they relate to people in a better way as compared to when they are not confident. The organizations achieve the set goals easily as compared to when they have leaders that are not confident in their actions.
INGOs further encourage growth in the leaders by encouraging individual orientation (Thomson, 2013). This could be through research on the appropriate strategies that the leaders can use in different situations to improve their capabilities and skills. This helps ensure that the leaders can handle every situation that faces the organization. The projects that the organization carries out are thereby successful because the leaders in charge have the required skills. Encouraging the leaders to assess continually their capabilities and improve on them, helps ensure that the organization has able leaders, thus an increased leadership capacity.
The INGOs further ensure that the leaders are accountable for their actions (Ebrahim, 2003). They ensure that the leaders only engage in activities that are beneficial to the organization and in line with the vision and mission of the organization. They are corrected accordingly when they are out of line. This helps ensure that the achievements of the leaders, as well as the organization’s, are increased. There is minimal number of mistakes or failure from the activities that they partake. Recognizing the efforts by the leaders and encouraging them when they achieve the set goals further helps the leaders be accountable and remain true to their course.
The growth and development of the organization further help the leaders build and develop their leadership skills (Werner, 2009). The leaders have to grow with the growth of the organization. This is because the organization requires more dedication and a higher level of skills to run after its growth. The expectations of the society increase thereby pushing the leaders to give more. They, therefore, have to maintain high standards of running the organization.
In conclusion, the development of leadership capacity faces challenges in the global setup. These challenges include winning the trust of the public, high turnover rates, the limited number of talented leaders, lack of professionalism, globalization, the need to act fast based on incoming information and the constant change of the society. INGOs have strategies that they use to support leadership development in amongst leaders. These initiatives include organization development, encouraging accountability and social responsibility, encouraging individual orientation, Ideologies, learning cultures and feminist epistemology
Amnesty International is an International Non-Governmental Organisation that has its offices in more than 50 countries around the world. It has approximately 7million supporters (Amnesty International, 2013). The organization faces challenges like any other organization in the world. The challenges in its case are much bigger due to its large size.
A research completed earlier this year showed that the leaders in the organization sometimes had difficulties developing their skills. This was the case especially when a leader had to work in an area where he or she did not understand the language used in the country. One of the recorded cases involved a Briton leader who was working in Iraq. He did not understand Arabic, which was the language used across the country (Amnesty International, 2013). He, therefore, had difficulty communicating with people he was working with, especially the followers. He could not lead the people under him with the language barrier problem. He decided to take action to solve this problem. He had to spend time learning the language and had no time to sharpen his leadership skills. While learning the language, he could not increase his leadership capacity since he did not have a chance to improve the skills he already had. This is because he could not lead anyone junior to him since all of them did not understand English. Consequently, he could not practice on the skills that he already had and neither could he learn new leadership skills.
Statistics collected in previous years showed that this was the case with most of the people working in foreign countries. The leaders had to learn new languages in order to communicate with their juniors. In the period that they were learning the new languages, the leadership capacity was on hold thereby posing as a challenge to the growth of the leadership skills amongst them.
The research further involved investigating whether the organization had strategies to motivate the leaders to sharpen their leadership skills. The Amnesty International motivates its leaders into being better leaders by holding exit parties for those retiring (Amnesty International, 2013). The achievements of these retirees are mentioned in the party and their success praised. This inspires the leaders to be better leaders in order to have a good record read out on their exit party.
The leaders of Amnesty International have to deal with the problem posed by language barrier when in a foreign country that uses a language he or she is not familiar with. This makes it difficult for them not only to communicate with other leaders but also with the subordinates under them. They have to spend time learning the new language. This consumes time that they would have spent in learning new leadership strategies. This slows down their leadership capacity development. Their leadership skills, however, thrive in an encouraging pace while operating in regions that use languages they are familiar with. Their leadership capacity development is further slowed down by the fact that the leaders do not have an opportunity to utilize the skills they had already learned before relocating. They, therefore, do not know whether the strategies learned are effective or how to use them to improve their image and skills.
The management in Amnesty International should set up strategies to solve the problem posed by the language barrier. The best way to do this is by preparing the leaders before sending them to lead in the foreign countries. These leaders could learn the languages used to communicate with these regions. It would make it easy for them to settle down in the new regions. They would, therefore, be able to learn new leadership skills thus ascertain that despite being in a new region, they will advance their skills. It would also give them an opportunity to research on the appropriate leadership strategies that would be most effective in that region. The leaders can connect with the people they are leading despite being in new regions.
The use of exit parties is a good HRD initiative strategy for the company. It encourages the leaders in the organization to work towards improving their leadership capacity. Listing the achievements of the outgoing leader raises the admiration of the leader by the rest of the leaders. This inspires the leaders left behind to work towards being as good as the retired leader or even better. They ensure that they continuously learn on how leaders handle different situations. This increases the number of achievements while working in the organization (Elbers, 2014). It would also increase the competitiveness amongst the leaders in the organization since they all want to be recognized as the best leader to have served in the organization. The performance of the organization improves along with the improvement of the leaders’ skills.
They can utilize other strategies to motivate the leaders serving in the organization to improve their leadership capacity. Some of these strategies include holding training sessions on how to be better leaders, encouraging the leaders to adopt a learning culture, encouraging them to be socially accountable as well as promoting accountability of actions amongst the leaders in the organization (Fowler, 2007).
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