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In this book, some of the world's leading scholars come together to describe their thinking and research on the topic of the psychology of leadership. Most of the chapters were originally presented as papers at a research conference held in 2001 at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. The contributions span traditional social psychological areas, as well as organizational theory; examining leadership as a psychological process and as afforded by organizational constraints and opportunities. The editors' goal was not to focus the chapters on a single approach to the study and conceptualization of leadership but rather to display the diversity of issues that surround the topic.
Leadership scholars have identified a host of approaches to the study of leadership. What are the personal characteristics of leaders? What is the nature of the relation between leaders and followers? Why do we perceive some people to be better leaders than others? What are the circumstances that evoke leadership qualities in people? Can leadership be taught? And so on. The contributions to this book examine these important questions and fall into three categories: conceptions of leadership, factors that influence the effectiveness of leadership, and the consequences and effects of leadership on the leader. All in all, the chapters of this volume display part of a broad spectrum of novel and important approaches to the study of the psychology of leadership. We hope that they are equally useful to those who are or would be leaders and to those who study the topic. As recent events have served to remind us, it is too important a topic to be ignored by psychologists.
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"...the collected offerings in this volume reveals the juxtaposition of excellent explanations of very good and very bad leadership....highly recommended book, especially to graduate students searching for a good dissertation idea."
―Journal of Psychology
"At this point in time, when there is a leadership void in many organizations, this book will become a prime resource for understanding leadership. This collection of essays provides insights for leadership scholars to refine their understanding of what leaders really do and how they impact organizational success. These essays also provide insights for the practicing leader that will help them identify ways to change their behavior to become more effective. The Psychology of Leadership is unique in that it advances both theory and practice--it's a must have book for anyone interested in leadership."
Michigan State University
"Dave Messick and Rod Kramer, two of the world's great social scientists, have used their good judgment to put together a fascinating group of scholars who bring truly unique and important insights into a critical topic facing society--leadership! The topic of leadership is viewed as critical to effective organizations, yet has frustrated academics for decades. This book offers new hope by attacking leadership in profoundly new ways. For example, Marshall Ganz's article on 'Why David Sometimes Wins' addresses the fascinating topic of how to lead without formally defined power. His arguments are creative, and provide ideas outside of the typically defined management arena. This is really interesting, and taught me things that I have never read in the leadership area before."
―Max H. Bazerman, Jesse Isador Straus Professor
Harvard Business School
"The Psychology of Leadership: New Perspectives and Research edited by Professors David Messick and Roderick Kramer is a superlative study of the nature of leadership, the effectiveness of leadership, and most critically, the consequences for people who are placed in positions of leadership. The essays contained in this three-part approach provide both stunning insights into the nature of leadership while also leaving the reader with a holistic view of the academic literature. Two themes of this book should resonate with both academics and business leaders: that leadership is not equally important in all circumstances, and that leaders can occasionally be affected by their power in undesirable ways...
This book should be recommended reading for anyone interested in understanding the important phenomenon of leadership; professors Messick and Kramer have made a remarkable impact on the study of a subject that is gaining a great deal of attention from the media, management schools and boardrooms."
―Dean Dipak C. Jain
Sandy and Morton Goldberg Professors of Entrepreneurial Studies
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