Sonia M. Ospina

Professor of Public Management and Policy

212.998.7478
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street
Room 3075
New York, NY 10012
By appointment
Sonia M. Ospina

Sonia M. Ospina is a Professor of Public Management and Policy at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. A sociologist by training, her interest in the participatory, inclusive and collaborative dynamics of democratic governance has produced research on social change leadership, social innovation and accountability, both in communities and in public systems.  An expert in qualitative research, she works in the United States and Latin America.  Among her books are Illusions of Opportunity: Employee Expectations and Workplace Inequality (1996), Results-oriented Evaluation for a Modern and Democratic Public Management: Latin American Experiences (2003, in Spanish; co-authored), and Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Conversation Across Perspectives (2012, co-edited).

With Erica Foldy, Sonia convenes an international network of leadership scholars, Co-Lead Net, and a community of practice of NYU faculty interested in leadership, sponsored by the NYU Leadership Initiative. She founded the Research Center for Leadership in Action with Ellen Schall in 2003, and was its Faculty Co-Director until 2015. She has also participated in Wagner’s leadership as Director of its Doctoral Program and its Management Specialization. She was President of the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE), and a member of the Executive Councils of the Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM) and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).  

Sonia is an elected Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the Scientific Council of CLAD, a UN consulting body on state reform in Latin America.  She is co-editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and member of several journal editorial boards in Latin America and the US, including Public Administration Review and The American Review of Public Administration.

Born in the U.S. to Colombian parents, Sonia grew up in urban Bogotá, where she got a BA in Education and worked in this field until her return to the US.  She has now lived more than half her life in another great urban space, New York City, where she and her husband raised their son. Sonia’s bi-cultural experience and her strong ties to both countries are embodied in her transnational and multicultural approach to life. 

Approaching today's complex social problems – be they local or global – demands joint work from multiple actors from the public and private sectors. Yet the actors’ distinct assumptions, work styles, and disciplinary backgrounds in each domain make collaborative work difficult, particularly when leaders do not have the skills and competencies to bridge the gap. Using an evidence-based lens, the course offers knowledge and frameworks that encourage students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and managing cross-sector collaboration. Academic and practitioner literature, guest speakers and problem-based learning exercises serve to provide a structure for sustained dialogue around specific cases of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration in various countries and in the global commons. Students are invited to contrast the assumptions of stakeholder participants from each sector, and to clarify and challenge their personal assumptions about the sectors’ motivations to partner, in order to enhance their own collaborative leadership capabilities.
Download Syllabus
Approaching today's complex social problems – be they local or global – demands joint work from multiple actors from the public and private sectors. Yet the actors’ distinct assumptions, work styles, and disciplinary backgrounds in each domain make collaborative work difficult, particularly when leaders do not have the skills and competencies to bridge the gap. Using an evidence-based lens, the course offers knowledge and frameworks that encourage students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and managing cross-sector collaboration. Academic and practitioner literature, guest speakers and problem-based learning exercises serve to provide a structure for sustained dialogue around specific cases of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration in various countries and in the global commons. Students are invited to contrast the assumptions of stakeholder participants from each sector, and to clarify and challenge their personal assumptions about the sectors’ motivations to partner, in order to enhance their own collaborative leadership capabilities.
Download Syllabus

This course offers a hands-on opportunity for doctoral and advanced masters students to experience the practice of qualitative research. We will address the nature of qualitative research in the administrative and policy sciences, with ample opportunities to discuss the implications of the choices made in designing, implementing and reporting on the findings of a “mock” project which we will determine in class, with your input. The course will require a considerable investment of time, with intensive reading and writing, recurrent team discussions based on assignments, and individual fieldwork (with journal writing before, during and after site visits). The course is a program requirement for doctoral students. For all masters students, it will help develop skills to collect qualitative data during capstone projects and for policy/finance students interested in a methods course sequence, it will also serve as a good complement to the available quantitative courses.  For all students, understanding the basics of qualitative research will make you a better researcher (independent of whether your research is only qualitative or only quantitative) and will increase your research competency by offering a foundation to do mixed methods.

Download Syllabus

This course introduces participatory frameworks and tools that help students cultivate capabilities to engage others and participate with them in sustained collaborative problem solving within a highly contested public service environment. Examples of these capabilities, among others, include fostering and facilitating structured dialogue; seeing and helping others see the larger system; cultivating reflection to uncover and challenge assumptions that act as barriers to collaboration; practicing deep listening from the perspective of “the other”; recognizing, acknowledging, engaging, and bridging across differences in constructive ways; enacting values-based language in an embodied creative practice to “live” the talk.

Theoretically framed by ideas at the intersection of deliberative civic engagement and transformative participation, the course offers students a hands-on, experiential learning opportunity to practice the aforementioned and similar capabilities. They will also clarify their relevance for impactful action in their immediate and prospective circles of influence. Cultivating these will increase their chances to generate impact for the common good from any public service role associated with democratic problem-solving: whether it is as a policy or financial analyst, a policy advocate, a public a manager, a funder of public programs or a fund raiser to create them, an urban planner, an economic development or infrastructure expert, a community organizer, a social or a policy entrepreneur, or a public policy maker, to name a few.

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This course is appropriate for students interested in the role that leadership plays in advancing social innovation and social change in the context of democratic governance.

The course explores the role of leadership in organizational efforts to change thinking, systems, and policies—taking into consideration the contested process by which the responsibility of addressing intractable problems is distributed among key diverse actors in a shared-power world. Traditional approaches to leadership defined by single heroic individuals who influence followers are contrasted with new perspectives—consistent with the demands of today’s complex problems—particularly when we aspire to inclusive, transparent and democratic solutions. Emergent perspectives reveal leadership as the collective achievement of members of a group who share a vision, and who must navigate the constellation of relationships, structures, processes and institutional dynamics within the larger system in which they are embedded.

The course will focus primarily on the organizational level of action, but connections to the individual and policy levels will also be explored. An opportunity to apply course concepts in the context of a particular organization of the student’s choice (with instructor approval) will deepen and personalize the student’s understanding of the interconnections between the three levels of action, and challenge assumptions about leadership and social change and their implications for practice.

Download Syllabus
Approaching today's complex social problems – be they local or global – demands joint work from multiple actors from the public and private sectors. Yet the actors’ distinct assumptions, work styles, and disciplinary backgrounds in each domain make collaborative work difficult, particularly when leaders do not have the skills and competencies to bridge the gap. Using an evidence-based lens, the course offers knowledge and frameworks that encourage students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and managing cross-sector collaboration. Academic and practitioner literature, guest speakers and problem-based learning exercises serve to provide a structure for sustained dialogue around specific cases of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration in various countries and in the global commons. Students are invited to contrast the assumptions of stakeholder participants from each sector, and to clarify and challenge their personal assumptions about the sectors’ motivations to partner, in order to enhance their own collaborative leadership capabilities.
Download Syllabus
Approaching today's complex social problems – be they local or global – demands joint work from multiple actors from the public and private sectors. Yet the actors’ distinct assumptions, work styles, and disciplinary backgrounds in each domain make collaborative work difficult, particularly when leaders do not have the skills and competencies to bridge the gap. Using an evidence-based lens, the course offers knowledge and frameworks that encourage students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and managing cross-sector collaboration. Academic and practitioner literature, guest speakers and problem-based learning exercises serve to provide a structure for sustained dialogue around specific cases of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration in various countries and in the global commons. Students are invited to contrast the assumptions of stakeholder participants from each sector, and to clarify and challenge their personal assumptions about the sectors’ motivations to partner, in order to enhance their own collaborative leadership capabilities.
Download Syllabus

This course offers a hands-on opportunity for doctoral and advanced masters students to experience the practice of qualitative research. We will address the nature of qualitative research in the administrative and policy sciences, with ample opportunities to discuss the implications of the choices made in designing, implementing and reporting on the findings of a “mock” project which we will determine in class, with your input. The course will require a considerable investment of time, with intensive reading and writing, recurrent team discussions based on assignments, and individual fieldwork (with journal writing before, during and after site visits). The course is a program requirement for doctoral students. For all masters students, it will help develop skills to collect qualitative data during capstone projects and for policy/finance students interested in a methods course sequence, it will also serve as a good complement to the available quantitative courses.  For all students, understanding the basics of qualitative research will make you a better researcher (independent of whether your research is only qualitative or only quantitative) and will increase your research competency by offering a foundation to do mixed methods.

Download Syllabus

This course is appropriate for students interested in the role that leadership plays in advancing social innovation and social change in the context of democratic governance.

The course explores the role of leadership in organizational efforts to change thinking, systems, and policies—taking into consideration the contested process by which the responsibility of addressing intractable problems is distributed among key diverse actors in a shared-power world. Traditional approaches to leadership defined by single heroic individuals who influence followers are contrasted with new perspectives—consistent with the demands of today’s complex problems—particularly when we aspire to inclusive, transparent and democratic solutions. Emergent perspectives reveal leadership as the collective achievement of members of a group who share a vision, and who must navigate the constellation of relationships, structures, processes and institutional dynamics within the larger system in which they are embedded.

The course will focus primarily on the organizational level of action, but connections to the individual and policy levels will also be explored. An opportunity to apply course concepts in the context of a particular organization of the student’s choice (with instructor approval) will deepen and personalize the student’s understanding of the interconnections between the three levels of action, and challenge assumptions about leadership and social change and their implications for practice.

Download Syllabus
Approaching today's complex social problems – be they local or global – demands joint work from multiple actors from the public and private sectors. Yet the actors’ distinct assumptions, work styles, and disciplinary backgrounds in each domain make collaborative work difficult, particularly when leaders do not have the skills and competencies to bridge the gap. Using an evidence-based lens, the course offers knowledge and frameworks that encourage students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and managing cross-sector collaboration. Academic and practitioner literature, guest speakers and problem-based learning exercises serve to provide a structure for sustained dialogue around specific cases of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration in various countries and in the global commons. Students are invited to contrast the assumptions of stakeholder participants from each sector, and to clarify and challenge their personal assumptions about the sectors’ motivations to partner, in order to enhance their own collaborative leadership capabilities.
Download Syllabus

This course offers a hands-on opportunity for doctoral and advanced masters students to experience the practice of qualitative research. We will address the nature of qualitative research in the administrative and policy sciences, with ample opportunities to discuss the implications of the choices made in designing, implementing and reporting on the findings of a “mock” project which we will determine in class, with your input. The course will require a considerable investment of time, with intensive reading and writing, recurrent team discussions based on assignments, and individual fieldwork (with journal writing before, during and after site visits). The course is a program requirement for doctoral students. For all masters students, it will help develop skills to collect qualitative data during capstone projects and for policy/finance students interested in a methods course sequence, it will also serve as a good complement to the available quantitative courses.  For all students, understanding the basics of qualitative research will make you a better researcher (independent of whether your research is only qualitative or only quantitative) and will increase your research competency by offering a foundation to do mixed methods.

Download Syllabus

This course is appropriate for students interested in the role that leadership plays in advancing social innovation and social change in the context of democratic governance.

The course explores the role of leadership in organizational efforts to change thinking, systems, and policies—taking into consideration the contested process by which the responsibility of addressing intractable problems is distributed among key diverse actors in a shared-power world. Traditional approaches to leadership defined by single heroic individuals who influence followers are contrasted with new perspectives—consistent with the demands of today’s complex problems—particularly when we aspire to inclusive, transparent and democratic solutions. Emergent perspectives reveal leadership as the collective achievement of members of a group who share a vision, and who must navigate the constellation of relationships, structures, processes and institutional dynamics within the larger system in which they are embedded.

The course will focus primarily on the organizational level of action, but connections to the individual and policy levels will also be explored. An opportunity to apply course concepts in the context of a particular organization of the student’s choice (with instructor approval) will deepen and personalize the student’s understanding of the interconnections between the three levels of action, and challenge assumptions about leadership and social change and their implications for practice.

Download Syllabus
Approaching today's complex social problems – be they local or global – demands joint work from multiple actors from the public and private sectors. Yet the actors’ distinct assumptions, work styles, and disciplinary backgrounds in each domain make collaborative work difficult, particularly when leaders do not have the skills and competencies to bridge the gap. Using an evidence-based lens, the course offers knowledge and frameworks that encourage students to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with developing and managing cross-sector collaboration. Academic and practitioner literature, guest speakers and problem-based learning exercises serve to provide a structure for sustained dialogue around specific cases of public, nonprofit and private sector collaboration in various countries and in the global commons. Students are invited to contrast the assumptions of stakeholder participants from each sector, and to clarify and challenge their personal assumptions about the sectors’ motivations to partner, in order to enhance their own collaborative leadership capabilities.
Download Syllabus

This course is appropriate for students interested in the role that leadership plays in advancing social innovation and social change in the context of democratic governance.

The course explores the role of leadership in organizational efforts to change thinking, systems, and policies—taking into consideration the contested process by which the responsibility of addressing intractable problems is distributed among key diverse actors in a shared-power world. Traditional approaches to leadership defined by single heroic individuals who influence followers are contrasted with new perspectives—consistent with the demands of today’s complex problems—particularly when we aspire to inclusive, transparent and democratic solutions. Emergent perspectives reveal leadership as the collective achievement of members of a group who share a vision, and who must navigate the constellation of relationships, structures, processes and institutional dynamics within the larger system in which they are embedded.

The course will focus primarily on the organizational level of action, but connections to the individual and policy levels will also be explored. An opportunity to apply course concepts in the context of a particular organization of the student’s choice (with instructor approval) will deepen and personalize the student’s understanding of the interconnections between the three levels of action, and challenge assumptions about leadership and social change and their implications for practice.

Download Syllabus

This course offers a hands-on opportunity for doctoral and advanced masters students to experience the practice of qualitative research. We will address the nature of qualitative research in the administrative and policy sciences, with ample opportunities to discuss the implications of the choices made in designing, implementing and reporting on the findings of a “mock” project which we will determine in class, with your input. The course will require a considerable investment of time, with intensive reading and writing, recurrent team discussions based on assignments, and individual fieldwork (with journal writing before, during and after site visits). The course is a program requirement for doctoral students. For all masters students, it will help develop skills to collect qualitative data during capstone projects and for policy/finance students interested in a methods course sequence, it will also serve as a good complement to the available quantitative courses.  For all students, understanding the basics of qualitative research will make you a better researcher (independent of whether your research is only qualitative or only quantitative) and will increase your research competency by offering a foundation to do mixed methods.

Download Syllabus

2017

Abstract

Systematic reviews of research methods in the public administration field have assessed the progress of research practice and offered relevant recommendations to further develop research quality. But most recent reviews examine quantitative studies, and the few assessments of qualitative scholarship tend to focus on specific dimensions. This article calls attention to the overall practice of qualitative research in the field of public administration. The authors analyzed 129 qualitative studies published during a five-year period (2010–14) in the six top public administration journals, combining bibliometric and qualitative analyses. Three findings are drawn from the analysis. First, qualitative work represents a very small percentage of the journal articles published in the field. Second, qualitative research practice uses a small range of methodologies, mainly case studies. Finally, there is inconsistency in reporting methodological decisions. The article discusses the implications of these findings and offers recommendations to ensure methodological rigor while considering the integrity of the logic of inquiry and reporting standards of qualitative research practice.

Abstract

While liberal-representative democracies tend to conform to a consensus-based post-political paradigm where there is no space for alternatives and dissensus, new forms of democracy in practice are emerging from below. This book explores new socially innovative initiatives that have appeared following the 2011 global uprisings. Initiatives that flourish not only as alternative responses to current social needs but also as new forms of democracy, a democracy that comes from below, by and for the ‘have-nots’.

Combining theories of social innovation and collective leadership, this book analyzes how disadvantaged communities have addressed the effects of economic recession in two global cities: Barcelona and New York. It draws upon several socially innovative initiatives in four neighbourhoods, and offers new knowledge, ideas and tools, both to better understand how social needs could be effectively and democratically satisfied, and to foster social change initiatives at the community level. Civic capacity and democratic leadership practices emerge as crucial factors to make social change happen.

The book advances both theoretical and empirical understandings of social change and will appeal to scholars in urban studies, geography, leadership studies, political science and sociology. It will also be of interest to practitioners, policy makers and leaders in social organizations, as it provides ideas and tools to help foster social change.

To download chapter 4, "Democratic leadership: the work of leadership for social change," please click on the "View/download article" link above.

Abstract

This article challenges the view that public leadership research should maintain a separate perspective in the study of public leadership. It discusses the benefits of further embedding the public leadership research domain within leadership studies, constructing a cross-fertilization that contributes to advance both. The article maps key concerns in relational leadership theories, contrasting them with current work in the public leadership research domain and offering suggestions to close the gap. It highlights public leadership scholarship's competitive advantage to contribute to theorizing about leadership, given the importance of context for building contemporary theories of relational leadership.

S. Ospina. Notes for the Implementation of Strategic Human Talent in Colombia within a Model of Deliberative Public Administration. In Pedro Pablo Sanabria Pulido (ed.) From Recommendation to Action: How to Start a Model of Strategic Management of Human Talent in the Colombian Public Sector. Bogota: Ediciones UniAndes (in Spanish).
Forthcoming
E.G. Foldy & S. Ospina. Leadership styles, ethnicity, and race. In Hou, Xiaoshuo (ed.) Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism. Blackwell.
Abstract

Conservation of large landscapes requires three interconnected types of leadership: collaborative leadership, in which network members share leadership functions at different points in time; distributive leadership, in which network processes provide local opportunities for members to act proactively for the benefit of the network; and architectural leadership, in which the structure of the network is intentionally designed to allow network processes to occur. In network governance, each leadership approach is necessary to achieve sustained, successful outcomes. We discuss each of these approaches to leadership and offer specific practices for leaders of networks, including: shaping the network's identity and vision, attracting members, instilling leadership skills in members, and advancing common interests. These practices are then illustrated in case studies.

S. Ospina Bozzi and A. Hofmann-Pinilla. Voices and Experiences: The Management of Human Talent from the Inside Out in Colombian Public Organizations (Voces y Vivencias: La Gestión del Talento Humano Vista desde Adentro de las Organizaciones Públicas Colombianas). In Pedro Pablo Sanabria Pulido (ed.) Strategic Management of Human Talent in the Public Sector: State of the Art, Diagnosis, and Recommendations for the Colombian Case. Bogota: Ediciones UniAndes, pp. 119-145 (in Spanish).
S. Ospina Bozzi. Civil Society Capacity for Public Action: Lessons for Leadership Development in Social Change Organizations. (Capacidad de la Sociedad Civil para la Acción Pública Local: Lecciones sobre el desarrollo de Liderazgos en Organizaciones para el Cambio Social). 2015. In CLAD (ed) 20 Años de Congresos del CLAD: Aportes a la Reforma del Estado y la Administración Pública en Iberoamérica. 2015. Caracas: CLAD/AECID. Pp. 155-168. (In Spanish)
Sonia Ospina and Erica Foldy. Enacting Collective Leadership in a Shared Power World. In J. Perry & R. Christensen (Eds). Handbook of Public Administration. 3d Edition. Jossey Bass. pp: 489-507.

2015

Abstract

This article presents a comparative case study of two nonprofit organizations that do community organizing in the environmental field and asks how do nonprofits school citizens in democracy? Although the literature suggests the importance of social capital, a practice approach surfaces important political dimensions that have not been sufficiently explored. We find that distinct organizational practices create contexts for participants to exercise specific ways of being and doing—called “subject positions”—vis-à-vis the state and their political community. These practices support member participation by serving to construct “citizens”—rather than customers or clients—who develop skills in critical thinking and who exercise agency in the organization and the policy field they seek to influence. These practices represent key mechanisms for schooling citizens in democracy in these nonprofit organizations and link participation in the organization with broader political participation. We discuss implications for theory and practice.

2012

Ospina, S., Foldy, E. G., El Hadidy, W., Dodge, J., Hofmann-Pinilla, A., & Su, C.. Social Change Leadership as Relational Leadership.. In Social Change Leadership as Relational Leadership. In Uhl-Bien, M., and S. Ospina (eds.) Advancing Relational Leadership Theory. Information Age Publishers.
Abstract

Leaders and followers live in a relational world-a world in which leadership occurs in complex webs of relationships and dynamically changing contexts. Despite this, our theories of leadership are grounded in assumptions of individuality and linear causality. If we are to advance understandings of leadership that have more relevance to the world of practice, we need to embed issues of relationality into leadership studies. This volume addresses this issue by bringing together, for the first time, a set of prominent scholars from different paradigmatic and disciplinary perspectives to engage in dialogue regarding how to meet the challenges of relationality in leadership research and practice. Included are cutting edge thinking, heated debate, and passionate perspectives on the issues at hand. The chapters reveal the varied and nuanced treatments of relationality that come from authors' alternative paradigmatic (entity, constructionist, critical) views. Dialogue scholars-reacting to the chapters-engage in spirited debate regarding the commensurability (or incommensurability) of the paradigmatic approaches. The editors bring the dialogue together with introductory and concluding chapters that offer a framework for comparing and situating the competing assumptions and perspectives spanning the relational leadership landscape. Using paradigm interplay they unpack assumptions, and lay out a roadmap for relational leadership research. A key takeaway is that advancing relational leadership research requires multiple paradigmatic perspectives, and scholars who are conversant in the assumptions brought by these perspectives. The book is aimed at those who feel that much of current leadership thinking is missing the boat in today's complex, relational world. It provides an essential resource for all leadership scholars and practitioners curious about the nature of research on leadership, both those with much research exposure and those new to the field.

Abstract

Results-based performance measurement and evaluation (PME) systems are part of a global current in public administration. In the Latin American context, this trend is also a reflection of the broader processes of reform of the latter half of the 20th century, including the modernization of public administration, as well as broad processes of decentralization and democratization, both of which are dimensions of development in Latin America, regardless of the political and ideological orientation of specific governments. This chapter documents the development of such evaluative approaches to organizational quality and raises some issues for further discussion.

2011

Ospina, S.. Thinking Sociologically About Leadership. In Research Companion to Leadership Studies: The Dialogue of Disciplines Eds., M. Harvey, R. Riggio. UK:Edward Elgar First Author with M. Hittleman
Ospina, S.. Popular Education. In Political and Civic Leadership. Edr., R. Couto. Vol II. Thousand Oaks: Sage (Second Author with W. El Hadidy and A Hofman-Pinilla

2010

Abstract

Network management research documents how network members engage in activities to advance their own goals. However, this literature offers little insight into the nature of work that aims to advance the goals of the network as a “whole.” By examining the behavioral dimension of network governance, this article identifies a specific tension that network leaders address to effectively govern networks: although unity and diversity are essential to network performance, each makes contradictory demands which require attention. Findings from four case studies of immigrant networks in the United States point to three activities representing mechanisms that staff of network administrative organizations use to address this (network level) managerial tension. The study proposes that unity versus diversity represents a distinct challenge to the governance of networks that requires strategic action at the whole-network level and merits further study.

Abstract

Qualitative evidence from action networks is used to answer the research question, How do leaders of successful networks manage collaboration challenges to make things happen? This study of two urban immigration coalitions in the United States found that their leaders developed practices as a response to two paradoxical requirements of network collaboration: managing unity and diversity when doing inward work and confrontation and dialogue when doing outward work. By illuminating how leaders responded to these complex demands inherent in action networks, the authors open up the black box of managing whole networks of organizations and underscore the role of leadership in interorganizational collaboration.

Abstract

Attention to the relational dimensions of leadership represents a new frontier of leadership research and is an expression of the growing scholarly interest in the conditions that foster collective action within and across boundaries. This article explores the antecedents of collaboration from the perspective of social change organizations engaged in processes of collaborative governance. Using a constructionist lens, the study illuminates the question how do social change leaders secure the connectedness needed for collaborative work to advance their organization's mission? The article draws on data from a national, multi-year, multi-modal qualitative study of social change organizations and their leaders. These organizations represent disenfranchised communities which aspire to influence policy makers and other social actors to change the conditions that affect their members' lives. Narrative analysis of transcripts from in-depth interviews in 38 organizations yielded five leadership practices that foster strong relational bonds either within organizations or across boundaries with others. The article describes how these practices nurture interdependence either by forging new connections, strengthening existing ones, or capitalizing on strong ones.

2009

Ospina, S.. Weaving Color Lines: Race, Ethnicity, and the Work of Leadership in Social Change Organizations. Leadership, Vol 5, Issue 2, December 2009
Ospina, S.. Strengthening of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in Latin America: Analysis of 12 Countries. Portuguese Translation of Spanish Original. Venezuela: Editorial Texto, C.A With N.Cunhill
Abstract

Leadership studies focusing on race–ethnicity provide particularly rich contexts to illuminate the human condition as it pertains to leadership. Yet insights about the leadership experience of people of color from context-rich research within education, communications and black studies remain marginal in the field. Our framework integrates these, categorizing reviewed studies according to the effects of race–ethnicity on perceptions of leadership, the effects of race–ethnicity on leadership enactments, and actors' approach to the social reality of race–ethnicity. The review reveals a gradual convergence of theories of leadership and theories of race–ethnicity as their relational dimensions are increasingly emphasized. A shift in the conceptualization of race–ethnicity in relation to leadership is reported, from a constraint to a personal resource to a simultaneous consideration of its constraining and liberating capacity. Concurrent shifts in the treatment of context, power, agency versus structure and causality are also explored, as are fertile areas for future research.

2008

Ospina, S. & Dodge, J.. Narrative Inquiry. Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, Second Edition pp 1285-1288
Ospina, S. & Saz, A.. Leadership in Inter-organizational Networks. 21st Century Management:  A Reference Handbook, Volume 2, Sage:  Los Angeles, pp. 291-300
Ospina, S., Dodge, J., Foldy, E.G. & Hofmann, A.. Taking the action turn: Lessons from bringing participation to qualitative research. Handbook of Action Research, 2nd Edition.  2008

2006

Ospina, S.. Governance and Leadership for Social Change. Reforma y Democracia, CLAD, Venezuela, No. 35, pp. 93-122
Ospina, S.. An Invisible Actor in US Governance: the Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Creation of Social Change Leadership. Reforma y Democracia. CLAD, Venezuela, , (in Spanish)

2005

Abstract

A traditional view of scholarly quality defines rigor as the application of method and assumes an implicit connection with relevance. But as an applied field, public administration requires explicit attention to both rigor and relevance. Interpretive scholars' notions of rigor demand an explicit inclusion of relevance as an integral aspect of quality. As one form of interpretive research, narrative inquiry illuminates how this can be done. Appreciating this contribution requires a deeper knowledge of the logic of narrative inquiry, an acknowledgement of the diversity of narrative approaches, and attention to the implications for judging its quality. We use our story about community-based leadership research to develop and illustrate this argument.

Abstract

A traditional view of scholarly quality defines rigor as the application of method and assumes an implicit connection with relevance. But as an applied field, public administration requires explicit attention to both rigor and relevance. Interpretive scholars' notions of rigor demand an explicit inclusion of relevance as an integral aspect of quality. As one form of interpretive research, narrative inquiry illuminates how this can be done. Appreciating this contribution requires a deeper knowledge of the logic of narrative inquiry, an acknowledgement of the diversity of narrative approaches, and attention to the implications for judging its quality. We use our story about community-based leadership research to develop and illustrate this argument.

2004

Abstract

People are fascinated by the stories of leaders, but not much has been written about the forces that shape them. This set brings together "what truly matters about leadership" to map an emerging discipline that draws from history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, political science, and psychology. It seeks to answer questions such as what is leadership? What is a great leader? What is a great follower? What are the types of leadership? And how does someone become a leader?

2003

Abstract

This article proposes a theory of how mandated institutional cooperation transforms into individual cooperative behavior. Using qualitative strategies, we draw insights about cooperation in three public-sector efforts of labor-management cooperation (LMC). We report an association between critical shifts in the roles of stakeholders and the change from adversarial to cooperative labor relations. While managers became team players along with their employees, labor representatives assumed managerial responsibilities. These changes were also associated with a service-oriented perspective, better understanding of the other's experiences, and a view of cooperation as partnership. At the heart of these transformations, we found critical changes in communication patterns associated with incrementally growing levels of trust. We propose a model that depicts the links between collective and individual levels of organizational action related to LMC. We conclude that the positive shifts in mental models regarding work and the value of cooperation justify the promotion of LMC efforts.

Ospina, S. & Cunill, N.. Una Agenda de Investigación Sobre la Evaluación de los Resultados de la Gestion Pública. (A Research Agenda about Outcome Evaluation of Public Management) in Cunill, Nuria, Ospina, Sonia (ed.) Evaluación de Resultados para una Gestión Pública Moderna y Democrática. Experiencias Latinoamericanas. Venezuela: CLAD-Editorial Texto, pp. 11-42.
Abstract

La profundización de la democracia está directamente relacionada con las capacidades de los gobiernos, de todos los niveles, para dar respuestas a las necesidades y requerimientos de sus ciudadanos. La asignación de responsabilidad a los poderes públicos es otra cara de la misma moneda. Dentro de las múltiples aristas de una agenda para el desarrollo integral, la consolidación de una administración pública que garantice imparcialidad es elemento básico para la existencia del Estado de derecho. Asimismo, una administración pública eficiente y efectiva en la acción gubernamental solo se logra cuando se somete a criterios de capacidad profesional y mérito en su conformación.

Ospina, S. & Cunill, N.. La Evaluación de los Resultados de la Gestión Pública: Una Herramienta Técnica y Política. (Outcome Evaluation for Public Management: A Technical and Political Tool) in Cunill, Nuria, Ospina, Sonia (ed.) Evaluación de Resultados para una Gestión Pública Moderna y Democrática. Experiencias Latinoamericanas. Venezuela: CLAD – Editorial Texto, pp. 435-494.
Ospina, S. & Ochoa, D.. El Sistema Nacional de Evaluación de Resultados de la Gestión Pública (Sinergia) de Colombia. (Colombian National System of Outcome Evaluation of the Public Management) in Cunill, Nuria, Ospina, Sonia (ed.) Evaluación de Resultados para una Gestión Pública Moderna y Democrática. Experiencias Latinoamericanas. Venezuela: CLAD–Editorial Texto, pp. 143-238.

2002

Abstract

This article explores the emerging conceptualization of accountability in nonprofit organizations. This definition broadens traditional concerns with finances, internal controls, and regulatory compliance. The authors explore how the top-level managers of 4 identity-based nonprofit organizations (IBNPs) faced accountability and responsiveness challenges to accomplish their mission. The organization-community link was the core relationship in their accountability environment, helping the IBNP managers achieve what the literature calls "negotiated accountability." The managers favored organizational mechanisms to sustain this relationship in the midst of the accountability demands they experienced daily. Communication with the primary constituency tended to drive the organization's priorities and programs, helped managers find legitimate negotiation tools with other stakeholders, and helped develop a broader notion of accountability. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for other nonprofit organizations and propose questions to further clarify the concepts of broad accountability, negotiated accountability, and the link between accountability and responsiveness in nonprofits.

Abstract

This collection of original manuscripts-representing a cross-section of the timeliest scholarship in public personnel administration-explores the theme of "problems and prospects" in public personnel administration. The contributions are organized into four broad sections: The Setting, The Techniques, The Issues, and Reform and the Future. Section One focuses primarily on the social, political, economic, and legal trends that have served as catalysts in the transformation of public personnel administration. Section Two is composed of selections that summarize developments in the practice of HRM, with special emphasis on emerging personnel techniques and the ways that traditional approaches to the staffing function are being revised. Section Three discusses and suggests responses to some of the most troublesome or pervasive issues in modern personnel management. The final section assesses the probable trends in the field's future, and analyzes the efficacy of recent reform efforts. For human resource personnel looking to broaden their perspective in the field.

Ospina, S. & Penfold, M.. Gerenciando las Relaciones Intergubernamentales. Experiencias en América Latina. (Managing Intergovernmental Relationships. Latin American Experiences). Editorial Nueva Sociedad - NASPAA,
E. Schall, S. Ospina, B. Godsoe, and J. Dodge. Appreciative narratives as leadership research: Matching method to lens. Advances in Appreciative Inquiry, a new book series edited by David Cooperrider and Michel Avital, Case Western Reserve University.

2001

Abstract

In this paper I explore the managerial challenges posed by diversity in addressing traditional and new requirements for effective performance in public organizations. I survey the core dimensions, concepts and approaches to diversity in reference to organizations dependent of civil
service as their core employment system. In doing so, I expect to show that the mandate to manage diversity in the civil service cannot be based on a one-size-fits-all strategy (Mor Barak, 2000). Designing and implementing this agenda requires a deliberate and methodical managerial strategy that starts with a diagnosis of how diversity affects organizational performance. It
continues with an analysis of the extent to which civil service rules and regulations, its practices and the underlying managerial philosophies about people promote or inhibit public agencies to advance through what scholars call ‘the diversity continuum' (Minors, 1996; Ospina, 1996), from exclusionary to multicultural workplaces (Cox, 1993). Only considering the degree of diversity and the historical, political, cultural and economic contexts of public employment in a given jurisdiction, can a tailored diversity agenda work.
The paper is structured as follows. First, focusing on the conceptual foundations of the diversity agenda, I use organization and management theory to explore what is diversity and why it is an imperative for all organizations. In a transitional section, I then discuss the implications of ‘what' and ‘why', for the agenda of managing diversity. Third, moving into the world of practice, I provide an overview of diversity approaches and strategies, highlighting the benefits of systemic,
proactive strategies to diversity management in contemporary public organizations. I return in the conclusion to the implications of the approaches presented for managing diversity in civil service.

2000

Ospina, S.. Linking Consulting and Research Activities: A Case Study in Public Management. in Management Dialogues: Researchers and Practitioners Find a Space to Share Experiences COLOCIENCIAS and Corporacion Calidad, Bogota, Columbia, pp. 83-104.

1999

Ospina, S., Durbin, E. & Schall, E.. Living and Learning: Women and Management in Public Service. Journal of Public Affairs Education. 5:1, Winter.
Abstract

Presents a case study of a managerial training program implemented in a large nonprofit organization. Suggestion that human resources managers can enhance the effectiveness of managerial training programs by providing opportunities for horizontal and vertical integration; Consequences of implementing this approach, including an expanded communications process and bonding between team members.

1998

Ospina, S.. Public Administration as a Discourse Community: Some Lessons from the U.S. Case for Latin America. CLAD, Venezuela, No. 10, Feb. 1998, pp. 83-112.
Ospina, S., Durbin, E., Schwartz, A. & Schall, E.. An Agenda for Action. in Friedman, J. De. Groute and P. Christenseon (ed). Innovating Work and Life: The Wharton Resource Guide San Francisco: Jossey Bass-Pferrer. pp. 377-386.

1997

Desipio, L., Hoffman, A. & Pachon, H.. Diversifying the New York Area Hispanic Mosaic: Colombian and Dominican Leaders’ Assessment of Community Public Policy Needs.. California, NALEO Educational Fund/The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute.
Ospina, S., et al.. Constructing the New York Area Hispanic Mosaic: A Demographic Portrait of Colombians and Dominicans in New York. California, NALEO Educational Fund/The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute.

1996

Ospina, S.. Realizing the Promise of Diversity. in Handbook of Public Administration 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, pp. 441-459.
Ospina, S. & Watad, M.. Informational Technology and Organizational Change: The Role of Context in Moderating Change Enabled by Technology. in Kautz, K and Pries-Heje, J. (ed). Diffusion and Adoption of Informational Technology. Oslo: International Federation for Information Processing, pp. 202-219.
Ospina, S.. Illusions of Opportunity: Employee Expectations and Work Place Inequality. Ithaca: Cornell University Press/ Industrial Labor Relations Press,
Ospina, S.. Bringing Opportunity Back In: Organizational Inequality and the Study of Work Attitudes. Journal of Administrative Theory and Praxis, 18:1, pp. 27-40.

1995

Ospina, S.. Professional Education in Public Management. Public Management: Private Matter? Bogota, Columbia: Editorial Tercer Mundo.