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Leadership: Theory and Practice

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  • Posted February 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Leadership - Peter G. Northouse - Sage Publications

    Excelent excelent resource. Well written. Supported with research. Solid content, theories, models, and case studies. Well organized and summarized. Good book to use in studing the foundations of leadership. Absolutely loved it. Highly recommend. Five Stars *****

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    Good read

    Good read for anyone interested in leadership.

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Leadership: Theory and Practice

    Choosing a book about "leadership" is not an easy task. The reason is that there are literally thousands of books written about various aspects of leadership. Peter G. Northouse's book allows the reader to get acquainted with several leadership theories described in the research literature. He also offers instruments (sometimes called inventories) for self-assessment as well as numerous case studies to practice applications to these theories. In the introduction chapter, Northouse briefly describes and contrasts different leadership theories. For example, he discusses leadership as a trait versus leadership as a process; assigned leadership versus emergent leadership; types and bases of power in leadership; and differences and overlaps between management and leadership. He develops the following definition: "Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal." In the following chapters, Northouse describes selected approaches to leadership and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. He talks about the trait approach (i.e., traits such as intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, etc.), the skills approach (e.g., technical, human, and conceptual skills), the style approach (e.g., task- and relationship behaviors), and the situational approach (i.e., different situations demand different kinds of leadership). He also describes leadership theories that deal with issues of contingency (i.e., an attempt to "match" leaders to appropriate situations), path-and-goal (i.e., how leaders can motivate followers to accomplish a set goal), and leader-member exchanges (i.e., an examination of the interactions between leaders and followers). There are also chapters on transformational leadership (i.e., leaders are discussed as so-called "change agents" who can transform people and organizations), team leadership (i.e., an examination of the role of leaders in organizational groups and teams), and the role of gender in leadership (with a special focus on women), as well as the psychodynamic approach to leadership (i.e., an assessment of the personality types of leaders and followers). Finally, Northouse provides a chapter about the broad range of different viewpoints and consequences of leadership (i.e., an evaluation of leadership ethics and moral decision making). What keeps the value of Northouse's leadership book high over time is the fact that he periodically updates his book and adds new chapters. For example, the fourth edition (2007) contains a new chapter on "Culture and Leadership" and the fifth edition (2009) a new chapter on "Authentic Leadership." The upcoming sixth edition (to be published in 2012) is announced to contain a new chapter on "Servant Leadership." I found Northouse's book to be exceptionally well prepared in style, presentation, and illustration. It is a comprehensive text and, yet, very user-friendly. I used this book in higher education in a university setting, but I believe it is also well suited for training purposes in many other settings. I would like to highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the various theories of leadership and who also likes to practice them immediately through case studies and self-assessment questionnaires.

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted December 1, 2012

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