Social Change


~Shannon Kristine Faris (p. 29)

""During the twentieth century, leadership theory in general has evolved from the one great leader approach to an emerging paradigm of inclusive leadership for the common good" (Faris 29). The Social Change Model is a great example of th results of this shift. It is inclusive and enhances the quality of experience of all participants. Leadership is thought to be a process rather than a position. This model promotes values such as equity, social justice, collaboration and self knowledge. There are two main goals in the social change model: (1) to enhance student learning and development and (2) to facilitate social change in a community. The elements that make up the Social Change Model are intended to work together and reach the same common goal. The model can not exist if one element is lost (i.e., the model will fail). The ultimate goal of the model is to contribute to bettering society and the world for ourselves and others. The Social Change Model sees leadership in three main areas: the individual, the group, and the community or society. Also within the Social Change Model, there are seven critical values known as the seven C's which fit into each of the three previously-stated categories.

Individual Values:

Consciousness of self - Being self-aware of behaviors, emotions, attitudes, values, and beliefs that motivate one to take action.


Congruence - Acting in a way that is consistent with your own beliefs. This refers to thinking, feeling, and behaving with genuineness, authenticity, and honesty towards others.
Commitment - Having the energy and investment to carry out the group's goals and ideas. This value implies passion, intensity, and duration.

Group Values:

Collaboration - Working together with others by sharing responsibility and authority. Collaboration constitutes the cornerstone value of the group-leadership effort because it empowers self and others through trust and capitalizes on the multiple talents and perspectives of each group member.
Common Purpose - Building a common vision and purpose in a group. This facilitates the group’s ability to engage in collective analysis of issues at hand as well as the task to be undertaken.
Controversy with Civility - Being open to conflicts, realizing they are inevitable, and resolving them in an orderly fashion. Inherent in controversy with civility is respect for others, a willingness to hear each other’s views, and the exercise of restraint when criticizing the views and actions of others.

Society Values:

Citizenship - Becoming responsibly connected to the community through some activity and knowing that all members are
interdependent. To be a good citizen is to work for positive change on behalf of others and the community.


  • There is an even better balance between focus on the individual, focus on the rest of the group, and focus on societal values than the Relational Leadership Model provides
  • Diagrams are always helpful
  • The term "Social Change" sends a positive message before one ever even looks at the model itself
  • "7 C's" help one remember the concepts of this model easily
  • As an emergent leadership model, this is a great guide


  • There is a 'consciousness of self' incorporated into the model, but no 'consciousness of others' which, after analyzing the servant leadership model should be one of the primary aspects of one's approach to leadership
  • Having three individual values, but only one societal value seems 'selfish' in the sense that as leaders, we should recognize that even though we must continue to develop ourselves, we should first and foremost be looking to help those around us develop
  • Does not explicitly discuss the relationship between a group and those external to the group (on the other hand, one might say it does since it discusses 'citizenship' in which case, this could be a strength)
  • Model is not as thorough as the Relational Leadership Model

Faris, Shannon Kristine. Exploring the Effects of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development on College Students. Proquest, 2006.
HERI. A Social Change Model of Leadership Development. 1996.