Recently I had the opportunity to teach Project Management Leadership for the new Masters Program in Project Management at a local college. Unfortunately, the textbook was already selected for me and this book by Burke and Barron was what I had to work with for the semester. I knew I was in for trouble when the first question from a student that came my way in the very first few minutes of class was, "Do you like this book?"
Suffice it to say, it went downhill from there. Here is a short summary of the actual feedback left by the students in the graduate-level class:
* The book is nothing but endless lists with no analysis.
* Highly repetitive content.
* Sexist graphics.
* The textbook was poorly written.
* The book was horrible at best. A class on leadership should include case studies of great leaders.
The book should have had more examples of how to handle situations. The book discussed problems,
and did not present solutions. I wanted the book to spend more time on what to do when a problem arose.
* The text was horrible -- poorly written, not substantive, portions offensive because of gender
and other stereotyping.
* I have to say the PML text is the worst text book I've ever had. It is a checklist book, has no
examples, while some of the females remarked the cartoons are downright offensive. Even though we
used it, I'm sure we can do much better than this on all accounts.
There are many more student comments in this vein but these are representative of the evaluations of the text.
As for my two cents on the rating of this text, I would only add that as a practicing Organizational Development consultant, I was stunned by the 1950s feel of the research and literature that was cited in the book. With the exception of the 3-4 page summary of Daniel Goleman's work on Emotional Intelligence, there is nothing new, noteworthy, or inspiring about the text. The subtitle of the book is "Building Creative Teams" and is an unrealized promise. Caveat Emptor: Buy this book at your own risk. There is only 1 (one) 5 star rating for this text and it is by Steve Barron himself, one of the book's authors!