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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on the field of strategic leadership
Having added Bert Cannella to the team, once again Syd Finkelstein and Don Hambrick have produced the definitive work on the upper echelons of organizations. A very comprehensive overview of the literature on executives, top management teams, and boards, bound together by an exhaustive sequence of propositions garnered from the current research, this book is essential...
Published on December 2, 2008 by Andrew Ward

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like riding a flat-tired bike through the sand
This book is by far one of the worst academic books on strategic leadership I have ever read. In fact, I don't even consider it a book - just an unneccessarily long literature review on a series of studies trying to find a correlation between everything from board size to managerial compensation schemes and discretion without actually making any conclusions on these...
Published 18 months ago by Clara


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on the field of strategic leadership, December 2, 2008
This review is from: Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards (Strategic Management (Oxford University Press)) (Hardcover)
Having added Bert Cannella to the team, once again Syd Finkelstein and Don Hambrick have produced the definitive work on the upper echelons of organizations. A very comprehensive overview of the literature on executives, top management teams, and boards, bound together by an exhaustive sequence of propositions garnered from the current research, this book is essential reading for those studying strategic leadership, and will have a profound impact on future research. Definitely a "must have" book on my bookshelf.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Academic Research, October 14, 2011
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This review is from: Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards (Strategic Management (Oxford University Press)) (Hardcover)
This is an excellent review of the state of academic research on CEOs, top management teams, and boards of directors, written by some of the top professors in the field. Gaps and weaknesses in current research are frequently noted, making this book a good source of research ideas for PhD students and professors interested in corporate governance.

The writing styles vary from chapter to chapter, probably depending on who was the lead author for that section; Finkelstein no doubt is behind the discussions of power, for example. However, all are well-organized with extensive citations, similar to a literature review.

I would not necessarily recommend this book for practitioners (managers and executives), or MBA and undergraduate students.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Academic Text, October 22, 2014
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It is important to understand that this is an academic text that is not intended to practitioners or for a general audience. If you read it with that in mind you will find that it is an amazing resource and the definitive text on the topic of strategic leadership.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like riding a flat-tired bike through the sand, April 28, 2013
This review is from: Strategic Leadership: Theory and Research on Executives, Top Management Teams, and Boards (Strategic Management (Oxford University Press)) (Hardcover)
This book is by far one of the worst academic books on strategic leadership I have ever read. In fact, I don't even consider it a book - just an unneccessarily long literature review on a series of studies trying to find a correlation between everything from board size to managerial compensation schemes and discretion without actually making any conclusions on these relationships.

My main criticism, however, is not aimed at the lack of meaningful content, but rather the fact that out of the 480 pages, almost 70 of them make up references. Additionally, these references are spelled out explicitly on every single page making it utterly impossible to read or make sense of the sought argumentation. If I may give an example of a sentence from this book, taken from page 246:

"Numerous studies have imputed vigilance from nonduality (Young, Stedham, and Beekun 2000) or outside director representation (Kosnik 1987; Sundaramurthy, Mahoney, and Mahoney 1997; Weisbach 1998; Baysinger and Hoskission 1989; Singh and Harianto 1989b; Wade, O'Reilly, and Chandratat 1990; Davis 1991; Mallette and Fowler 1992; Johnson, Hoskisson, and Hitt 1993; Lambert, Larcker, and Weigelt 1993; Sundaramurthy and Wang 1993; Brickley, Coles, and Terry 1994; Buccholtz and Ribbens 1994; Finkelstein and D'Aveni 1994; Main, O'Reilly, and Wade 1994)."

Imagine a book going on like this for over 400 pages. It's an unnerving read and most of all gives the impression of a couple of pedantic, dusty old professors afraid to state their actual opinions. And more than anything, the excessive referencing throughout the book makes you wonder if the authors are just attempting to up the page count to get a higher price for their useless book.
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