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An exploration of what makes an effective leader.
Leadership in Organizations provides a balance of theory and practice as it surveys the major theories and research on leadership and managerial effectiveness in formal organizations.
The eighth edition includes new examples, citations, and guidelines, and has been enhanced for better clarity and presentation.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Managerial Work
Chapter 3. Effective Leadership Behavior
Chapter 4. Leading Change and Innovation
Chapter 5. Participative Leadership and Empowerment
Chapter 6. Leadership Traits and Skills
Chapter 7. Contingency Theories and Adaptive Leadership
Chapter 8. Power and Influence Tactics
Chapter 9. Dyadic Relations and Followers
Chapter 10. Leadership in Groups and Teams
Chapter 11. Strategic Leadership in Organizations
Chapter 12. Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
Chapter 13. Ethical, Servant, Spiritual, and Authentic Leadership
Chapter 14. Cross-cultural Leadership and Diversity
Chapter 15. Developing Leadership Skills
Chapter 16. Overview and Integration
The content of the book reflects a dual concern for theory and practice. I have attempted to satisfy two different audiences with somewhat incompatible preferences. Most academics prefer a book that provides a detailed explanation and critical evaluation of major theories, and a comprehensive review and evaluation of empirical research. They are more interested in how well the research is done and what additional research is needed than in the practical applications. Many academics are skeptical about the value of prescriptions and guidelines for practitioners and consider them premature in the absence of further research. In contrast, most practitioners want some immediate answers about what to do and how to do it in order to be more effective as leaders. They need to deal with the current challenges of their job and cannot wait for decades until the academics resolve their theoretical disputes and obtain definitive answers. Most practitioners are more interested in finding helpful remedies and prescriptions than in finding out how this knowledge was discovered.
These different preferences are a major reason for the much-lamented gulf between scientists and practitioners in industrial-organizationalpsychology and related fields. I believe it is important for managers and administrators to understand the complexity of effective leadership, the source of our knowledge about leadership in organizations, and the limitations of this knowledge. Likewise, I believe it is important for academics to think more about how their theories and research can be used to improve the practice of management. Too much of our leadership research is designed only to examine narrow, esoteric questions that are of interest only to a few other social scientists who publish in the same journals.
Academics will be pleased to find that major theories are explained and critiqued, empirical research on leadership is reviewed and summarized, and many references are provided to enable them to follow up with additional reading on topics of special interest. The field of leadership is still in a state of ferment, with many continuing controversies about conceptual and methodological issues. The book addresses these issues whenever feasible rather than merely presenting theories and summarizing findings without concern for the quality of research that lies behind the theories. However, the literature review was intended to be incisive, not comprehensive. Rather than detailing an endless series of theories and studies, the book focuses on the 20 percent of the literature that appeared to be most relevant and informative. The book reviews what we know about leadership effectiveness, and the current edition reflects significant progress in our understanding of leadership since the first edition was published in 1981.
For practitioners, I attempted to convey a better appreciation of the complexity of managerial leadership, the importance of having theoretical knowledge about leadership, and the need to be flexible and pragmatic in applying this knowledge. The current edition has many guidelines and recommendations for improving managerial effectiveness, but the book is not a "practitioner's manual" of simple techniques and secret recipes that guarantee instant success. The purpose of the guidelines is to help the reader understand the practical implications of leadership theory and research, not to prescribe exactly how things must be done by a leader. Most of the guidelines are based on a limited amount of research, and they are not infallible.
Since the last edition, the number of chapters was reduced from 19 to 15 by consolidating related topics into the same chapter, minimizing redundancy among chapters, and deleting some topics that are usually covered adequately in introductory survey courses. The changes made some of the chapters a little longer, but the book is now easier to use in a course with a 15-week format, as well as in shorter courses. This edition includes one new chapter, which was added to cover four important and related topics: ethical leadership, gender and leadership, cross-cultural leadership, and management of diversity. I have added learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter to provide a better overview of what I wanted to accomplish in the chapter.
At the end of most chapters are short cases designed to help the reader gain a better understanding of the theories, concepts, and guidelines presented in the chapter. The cases describe events that occurred in real organizations, but some of the cases were modified to make them more useful for learning basic concepts and effective practices. The reader is asked to analyze behavioral processes, identify examples of effective and ineffective behavior, and suggest effective ways to handle the situation depicted in the case. The cases take from 20 to 30 minutes to discuss.
An instructor's manual is available with detailed analyses of the cases and suggestions on how to use them. The instructor's manual also includes a multiple-choice exam for each chapter with items on the major points in the chapter. The manual includes exercises for use in class (e.g., role plays), and some out-of-class activities that help students to understand how they can apply the theory and guidelines. New exercises have been added to this version of the manual.
With its focus on effective leadership in organizations, the book is especially relevant for people who are currently managers and administrators, or, who expect to enter a leadership position after completing their college education. The book is appropriate for use as the primary text in an undergraduate or graduate course in leadership. Such courses are found in business schools, psychology departments, sociology departments, departments of educational administration, schools of public administration, and programs in health care administration. The book could be used (in combination with other texts or readings) for courses in management, supervision, educational administration, health care management, and public administration. Finally, the book will be of interest to practicing managers who are looking for something more than superficial answers to difficult questions about leadership.
In conclusion, thanks are extended to the following people for their helpful comments: Denise Daniels, Seattle Pacific University; Georgia Sorenson, University of Maryland; Kenneth Wallace, Craven Community College; and Kimberly S. McDonald, Indiana-Purdue University.
Albany, New York
Posted October 14, 2012
No text was provided for this review.