The good: Well-organized, and with a title that says exactly what it is: Readings, Self-Assessments and Applications. For the most part, the chapters flow well from one to the next: Intro to Leadership, Leader-Follower Relationship, Personality Motives, etc. Writing is good, not easy, but precise.
The bad: Horribly dated. In the 6th Edition (2011) I expect to see studies that are up to date, or if outdated studies must be used, explain why. EG "Senge (1990) suggest that accompanying the emergence of the learning organization, a new leadership role emerges. The role of the leader . . . will be that of designer, teacher, and steward."
Seriously? Taking a 1990 study as a "new" idea? And I don't think it was all that new in 1990. The chapter on sex and gender repeats this mistake, using 1990 measures of "differences" between male and female leaders. Lest we forget, 1990 was before the Anita Hill hearings, before Ruth Bader Ginsburg was on the Supreme Court, before Don't Ask Don't Tell, before Zoe took her place as the first featured female muppet on Sesame Street. It is beyond useless to use a 1990 study on gender in 2011. But using 1990 information I should not have been surprised that this chapter was mostly about keeping gender roles, stating that women tend to be nurturing and men autocratic, without challenging those statements or even looking for the origins.
The leadership factor of carefully cultivated image is glossed over in the chapter on "charismatc leadership," which is a great loss--we know the Martha Stewart, for example, owes more to her image than to her actual cooking. Mother Theresa and Diana Spencer also accomplished a great deal due to carefully made images that didn't quite match with their day-to-day lives. Also, as another reviewer noted, the servant-leader is not given much space, and in this time and place, should be. It was dated at the least and myopic as well to just gloss over such an important concept.
Inadequate index is another problem. Reading my chapter, doing my assignments, and wondering: who is that researcher again? I know it was THIS chapter--never mind, I'll just use the index. Time and time again the person or the concept I needed was not in the index and I had to re-read many pages before finding the information I needed. In a textbook this is unacceptable.
While there is a lot to be learned from this book, when I pay for a nonfiction book, a textbook, I expect it to be up to date and usable. This is not a book to be read for pleasure and I doubt I will open it again after this course is over. It is too flawed a book to be worth 105 dollars.