Leadership: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key Guides) Paperback – 26 Nov 2007
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This is an indispensable and authoritative guide to the most crucial ideas, concepts and debates surrounding the study and exercise of leadership. Bringing together entries written by a wide range of international experts, this is an essential desktop resource for managers and leaders in all kinds of institutions and organizations, as well as students of business, sociology and politics. Topics covered in this guide include: authority creativity cross-cultural leadership motivation emotional intelligence group dynamics.
About the Author
Antonio Marturano is Research Fellow in the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter. The focus of his research and his writing is on Leadership ethics.
Jonathan Gosling is the Director of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter and has written widely on the subject of Leadership in the public and private spheres.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
For example, the entry on "Measurement" doesn't talk about the uses of measurment in leading people or organizations, but rather the statistical and other formal criteria a measurement scale must meet to follow the guidlines of the American Psychological Association. Many entries presuppose familiarity with the academic literature. E.g., you're expected to know the four levels (of what?) described in Kirkpatrick's 1994 paper, which have "been around for years" (obviously, since the book is published in 2008) (@102). No less cryptically, you're expected to know "the Ohio State and University of Michigan studies" that relate to theories of leadership style, even without any direct citation to those studies (@92). The most intelligible pieces for a businessperson are those in which the entry's author defends his or her previously-published interpretation of the subject, e.g. J. Rost's entry on "Infulence," in which he distinguishes power, authority and influence (according to his view, anyway). But such entries are rare.
If you're interested in leadership from a practical point of view, save your money.
The first twelve pages are made up of short biographies of all the contributors. This sets the scene for a very well researched, far-reaching read which promises not to take a one-dimensional, narrow perspective. This proves to be the case, as each of the fifty three concepts give an individual, yet unbiased view on the study of leadership; each one raising as many thought-provoking questions as it answers. It does not pretend to give you an in-depth teaching of leadership, which would be very hard due to its random and non-chronological order of theories and ideas. Nevertheless, what it does offer, is to help the reader gain a thoughtful, critical understanding of all the major topics as well as provoking the reader into formulating their own ideas and theories. The different styles adopted by each writer and the mix of descriptions, models, critiques and questions makes it quite a diverse book that does not patronise the reader, yet isn't beyond one's grasp.
Despite being entitled `Leadership', I think this book could be a handy addition to many scholars' bookshelves; from those studying sociology to politics. Although less than 200 pages, it manages to cover a surprisingly wide range of topics from `charisma' to `toxic leadership', and the alphabetic ordering makes it incredibly easy to search through. This book highlighted some completely new concepts to me such as `aesthetic leadership' and `quiet leadership' which helped broaden my horizons on what I consider leadership to be. Each topic covers only a few pages which is sufficient to provide the basic underpinnings of the concept, but also gives suggestions for further reading if you wish to gain a more in-depth picture; a great help when starting to research a particular area. Another helpful addition is the highlighting of particular concepts which direct you towards related areas of the book.
In my opinion, what sets this apart from other leadership guides is the mix of writers who are giving a snapshot of their area of expertise, in a way that is not at all pretentious nor solely descriptive, which all too often is the case. Consequently, it has the unusual result of aiding the reader to think about each concept in itself and then integrate it with other theories. It serves to cement the idea of leadership acting in a dynamic, subjective, complex arena where no-one has `the answer'.
Review by 2nd year undergraduate Exeter University
BA Management with Leadership
Reviewed in 'Leadership Matters' magazine - Leadership South West