This is the text that was used in my Master of Science - Organizational Leadership Introductory Course.
Recommend this product?
It is not easy reading, nor should it be for a course at a high academic level.
It in effect provides a very broad outline of the theory and supportive research of leadership in the past 70 - 80 years. Obviously, such an endeavor cannot be exhaustive. What is aimed at here, is an exposure to the foundations of Leadership Theory and how it breaks into the major camps of Leadership espoused by the majority camps in the field and in practice outside of academia.
First, the negative factors, and bear in mind the overall strong rating of the text and please note the strengths concluded with below.
1. The Book itself is composed of a brief introduction to the particular element of leadership theory followed by readings drawn from major journals to give some idea of the current state or the development of research and findings. In keeping with this format, the physical layout of the book is similar to what you would find in an academic journal using 8 1/2" by 11" paper. This is bound in a softcover binding. I found the dimensions of the book to be very frustrating in the constant referring back and forth from articles, journals etc. necessary when using the book as a reference for the academic papers involved. It seems to be that the binding should better, the size smaller and possibly even something in a hard-cover. Afterall, this is supposed to be a cornerstone in a students leadership library. I know that is a pipe-dream in this day of high cost academic books and cost-cutting measures, but it needs to be said. You'll need to work carefully to keep this tome from becoming dog-eared and available for reference moving forward.
2. This is a personal bias but bears stating. There are only 3 mentions in the entire book relevant to Servant-Leadership which is one of the more popular important theories to have arisen since its inception in 1977. It appears to have been summarily dismissed as an unteneble theory in view of the values of the servant-leader needing to be embraced by the stakeholders. That in and of itself is debatable. However, I embraced or not, there was obviously little reference to this major theory and that in my opinion speaks to bias on the editing of the book. Agree or not, to truly represent the field this needed more interacting with the tenets of the theory to truly be a representation of current leadership-theory.
Those 2 elements aside, this is what speaks in favor of the book.
1. The research in the supporting theories is very thorough and gives a good foundation for further work and understanding of work in this realm involving both Quantitative and Qualitative Research. If you're just looking for some popular discourse on leadership approach, you will be overwhelmed by this element. It is however, a text for use in Academic circles, so this is as it should be.
2. Good attention is paid to multi-cultural and cross-cultural issues in leadership that are increasingly relevent in the global economy and advent of the multi-national corporation.
3. The bibliographies of each chapter are more than sufficient to serve as a roadmap to the additional reading that can fill in the many gaps that necessarily exist.
Not for the faint-hearted or casual reader. Overall, an excellent resource that in my opinion could have been just a little better.
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