Amnesty International


An organization of more than 7 million people, taking injustices personally. The campaign for a world where all enjoy human rights without favor. The organization is independent of any interest either in religion, economy or ideology. They go beyond any organization and any situation. The organization works with this slogan, “better to light a candle than curse the darkness” and that their work will not be done until the last prisoner of conscience is freed, when the last torture chamber is closed and when the UN will declare that the human rights are a reality to the world. The organization started back in 1961 when Peter Benenson wrote an article about two Portuguese students who had been jailed for raising a toast of freedom(“Amnesty International Home,” 2019). After newspapers printed the article all over the world, it spared an idea that people can unite in solidarity for justice and freedom.

Managerialism in Amnesty International.

Many scholars have concluded that managerialism is the combination of three particular entries; management, ideology, and expansion (Locke & Spender, 2011). Amnesty International has adopted the concept of managerialism fully, and they adhere strictly to it. They believe that management is both the vehicle to success and the highest form of governance in an organization. This is demonstrated through their established objectives, a highly motivated workforce and being the top-ranked organization fighting for the abuse of human rights. Secondly, there are various levels of managerial functions in the group that ensures Amnesty International meets its goals.

The managerial team at Amnesty International helps the organization to achieve its objectives and satisfy their clients by linking them with the necessary individuals who will help them to fight for their rights (Shepherd, 2018). At Amnesty International, the management team defines any problem, gathers all relevant data, provide all the possible solutions, evaluate each one of them, implement them best one aligned with the organization’s objectives without favoring any entity. These factors indicate that managerialism has extended in the organization’s settings and at the same time not supporting any ideology, economic interest or religion.

Organizational Theory

            The organizational structure of any organization plays a significant part in the success of that organization. Organizational theory helps an organization to identify the most suitable organizational structure to apply and implement, considering the problems faced or that are likely to be encountered (Schein, 2015). Some of these theories include classical theory, neo-classical theory, modern theory, organizational theory, bureaucratic theory, and scientific management theory (Shafritz & Jang, 2015). To understand AI organizational theory, it is important to note that the organization is based on voluntary membership and sections, structures, the international networks, groups and the international members(“Amnesty International Home,” 2019). Another factor to note is that the AI is vested in the international council. Then the international council elects an international executive committee, which is supposed to provide leadership and stewardship to AI worldwide. Day to day affairs of the IA is run by the secretary-general usually under the direction of the IEC. The secretary-general heads the international secretariat team. Senior leadership team works with the directors and deputy directors of the IS programs; hence together they provide strategic direction, operational management, and direct support to the IS staff and volunteers (“Amnesty International Home,” 2019). From the above information, it is clear that AI applies the human relations organization theory. Where there is group oriented management, teamwork, voluntary cooperation, self-control, group decision making, hierarchical coordination and control, and tas management(“Organizational theory,” 2019).


            The primary and significant leading organ of AI is the International council whose primary functions are to focus on strategy, set vision, mission, and the core values, determine AI strategic plan, and establish systems and bodies of governance, and evaluating then organizations performance against the set strategies and plans. The International Executive Committee which is elected by the international council, functions include; making international decisions, making sure there are sound financial policies and that they are implemented throughout the organization, ensuring the implementation of the integrated plan, making adjustments to the strategic plan, ensuring human resources development, presenting reports to the International Council and performing any other duty conferred on it by the statute. The IEC consist of nine people(“Amnesty International Home,” 2019). Basically, the style of leadership expressed in the AI is team leadership as it involves working with the minds and hearts of people.

Engaging in Leadership Roles

            Amnesty International has employed several ways in which an employee can get involved in leadership roles. These include; bringing out the most positive skills and capabilities in employees. Employees are encouraged to come up with innovative ideas in areas that they are specialized in, for example, policymaking. Once a worker comes up with a tangible and workable plan, they are made the leaders in that particular field or project.

Additionally, the employees are empowered to discover their full potential. Leaders enable the employees by sponsoring them for leadership training and workshops, where they gain leadership knowledge and skills. This training equips them with the confidence to explore limitless leadership possibilities. Lastly, they have a program where every week, there are specific leadership roles that each employee undertakes under supervision to monitor their performance in that particular role. A volunteer/employee may engage in leadership roles at Amnesty International by taking seriously the temporary opportunities given to lead in the various departments, such as being a team leader in a short term project(“Amnesty International Home,” 2019). Such opportunities give the employee/volunteer a chance to advance and take more expansive leadership responsibilities.

Ethical Tensions

All employees working in human service organizations face a lot of ethical tensions that involves engaging in activities that are contrary to standard ethics. Some of the ethical tensions include; receiving gifts- mostly clients who receive awards may want to return the favor although it may be a kind gesture. At the same time refusing the gift may hurt the client’s feelings, destroying the relationship. Another one is right to self-determination, the volunteers may do a good job, but the client may decide to go back or look back to where he/she was saved from. The volunteer may be tempted to use tough love. The difference in personal values, where the work that should be done conflicts with the volunteer’s moral beliefs. Lastly is the confidentiality involving minors. Some information gotten from the client should be confidential, but sometimes the client is a minor who may not be entitled to certain rights of confidentiality(Shershe, 2019). Hence the volunteer feels that he/she is betraying the minor by disclosing the information.










Amnesty International Home. (2019). Retrieved from

Locke, R. R., & Spender, J. C. (2011). Confronting managerialism: How the business elite and their schools threw our lives out of balance. Zed Books Ltd.

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Klikauer, T. (2015). What is managerialism? Critical Sociology, 41(7-8), 1103-1119.

Schein, E. H. (2015). Organizational culture and leadership (Vol. 2). John Wiley & Sons.

Sue Shepherd (2018) Managerialism: an ideal type, Studies in Higher Education, 43:9, 1668-1678.

Van der Byl, C. A., & Slawinski, N. (2015). Embracing tensions in corporate sustainability: A review of research from win-wins and trade-offs to paradoxes and beyond. Organization & Environment, 28(1), 54-79.

Shershe, J. (2019). Common Dilemmas and How to Handle Them Responsibly. Mswguide.Org. Retrieved from