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Article citation: Brent Davies, (2008) "Leadership: Theory and Practice", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 Iss: 7, pp.710 - 710
Brent Davies, The University of Hull, Hull, UK
Leadership: Theory and Practice
Peter G. Northouse
Thousand Oaks, CA
International Journal of Educational Management
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
After reading many current educational leadership books which seem less about leadership and more about the “evils” of government reform and “commodification” it is a real delight to read such a splendid book as this. Peter Northouse has combined an academically robust account of the major themes and approaches with an accessible style and approach that makes the book very readable. This book is a major source of insights and perspectives for all those studying on leadership courses in both the business and education sectors. It is also an excellent source for school leaders and educators who want to go deepen their understanding of leadership.
The book is divided into 14 chapters which cover all the key aspects in the leadership field: defining leadership; trait approaches; skills approaches; style approaches; situational approach; contingency theory; path-goal theory; leader-member exchange theory; transformational leadership; team leadership; psychodynamic approach; women and leadership; culture and leadership and leadership ethics. It is unusual to get such a comprehensive coverage of leadership, with such a perceptive and engaging account.
The layout of the book is excellent making it very reader friendly with great use of colour display of models and tables. This is a major improvement on earlier editions of the book. It has outstandingly good case examples and questions for reflection and very useful leadership instruments and questionnaires. These instruments, case studies and questionnaires provide practical applications and reflection tools and add a significant reality check to theory as the reader can apply the leadership analysis to themselves or their situation. For anyone starting out as a student of leadership or an experienced leader reviewing their leadership style and approach this book would be an essential starting place.
After reviewing leadership books for over 20 years this book is by far one of the best I have come across. It provides an excellent leadership account and discussion for those working in the education and business field.