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Leaders and the Leadership Process Paperback – Nov 14 2007
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About the Author
Respected teacher, widely published author, and consultant to organizations in the areas of training and supervisory development. He is Professor Emeritus of Management in the Management Studies Department of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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 In the 6th Edition (2011) I expect to see studies that are up to date, or if outdated studies must be used, explain why.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.
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.
If it was the authors' intention to leave room for personal reflection and opinion, they succeeded. As for the assessments, the text, including the instructor's manual, provided little direction for interpretation.
I wish Pierce and Newstrom spent more time on and went into greater detail with the chapter introductions.
The topics are slanted toward social-psychological (roles, gender effects, group dynamics, leader behaviors, cross-cultural contexts, and so forth). As a result, the writings can be tediously "scientific." The book is very well referenced, but, as the authors state, it is not a review of the leadership literature.
The cover drawing is one of five people putting sails on a boat that is not in the water. I presume this is sort of a Magritte comment on leadership. I think it also is a comment on the patchwork tedium of the subject. And after all the sails are on, what does one know about leadership? And, is one a leader?
What do Steve Yzerman and Jack Welch have in common? Well, they're both great leaders. And I think that Mr. Welch also played hockey. That might be it.
Here's a tough one. What can they teach us? Probably nothing. I can't skate and it's unlikely that I will end up as a CEO of a billion dollar company. And it's more than certain that the issues that Captain (of industry) Welch and Captain (of the Red Wings) Yzerman run into, I will never have to address. If you're like me, you're a regular human and you wonder why things don't work and could they work better? Pierce and Newstrom write great introductory essays on points and issues and then leave us to read the best articles on that topic.
Why are women better leaders in certain circumstances? How do leaders emerge? How do leaders define meaning? Is it fluid? Is it dynamic? What makes followers follow because if they don't, then all these leadership questions are like the old philosophy axiom about the 'tree falling in the forest.' And what is the right stuff?
I found this very informative and selected it as the text my school is going to teach Leadership from. I guess if I am tarred and feathered at the end of the semester it won't have been a success, but I'm betting it will be extremely well received. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury
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