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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2009
As the title implies, this book focuses on managerial leadership exclusively; a topic at the center of management research for several decades now and therefore, the information and research available is simply huge. However, despite the extensive research, writing, and theories that seem to litter the field, Gary Yukl manages to cover all relevant aspects in a clear and straight-forward manner. As he mentions in the Preface, "the topic of leadership effectiveness is of special interest..." and therefore, there is a wealth of ideas, guidelines and processes designed to transfer the theoretical research available to practice. Each chapter (with the exception of the introductory and closing chapters) includes review questions and at least one (1) case study. Additionally, most chapters include one or more "Applications" sections that provide practical guidelines for managers based on the theory/research discussed.

Yukl's book does not make for easy reading nor is it a 'basic' book (for that, you're better off with Northouse's Leadership: Theory and Practice) and you would probably enjoy the book (and gain more) if you progress to it from a fundamental-level book.

The introductory chapter (The Nature of Leadership) is an excellent primer on the concept of managerial leadership; the 'types' of theories that deal with leadership; and the difference between management and leadership. I also found the chapters on Strategic Leadership by Executives (Chapter 12) and Developing Leadership Skills (Chapter 13) extremely useful as I do a lot of leadership development programs and I find myself returning to Yukl's text again and again to develop effective programs for my clients.

(Since it is not possible to see the Table of Contents, I'm including hee a brief synopsis)

The book is organized in 15 Chapters:
1) Introduction: The Nature of Leadership - as I mentioned above, this is an excellent primer.
2) The Nature of Managerial Work - Yukl highlights the latest development in management research including managerial roles (Mintzberg) and situational theories.
3) Perspectives on Effective Leadership Behavior - focusing on behavior-based theories.
4) Participative Leadership, Delegation, and Empowerment - includes Vroom & Yetton's models as well as an excellent section on delegation that has become my 'bible' on the topic.
5) Dyadic Role Making, Attributions, and Fellowship - Leader-member Exchange theory, Attributions and Implicit theories.
6) Power & Influence - clear and focused presentation of all aspects of power and influence as they relate to managerial leadership.
7) Managerial Traits & Skills - unlike other textbooks you find on Leadership, Yukl's treatment of the trait-based theories is innovative and useful. He includes the requisite historical development of trait-based theories, but makes the topic more relevant to practitioners by also highlighting trait-based theories used today in selection (the Big Five, for example) and also sections on different types of intelligences (emotional, social, etc.).
8) Early Contingency Theories of Effective Leadership - presents and discusses theories of Fiedler; Path-Goal, Situational Leadership, Leadership Substitutes, Multiple Linkages and Cognitive Resources.
9) Charismatic & Transformational Leadership - very well written chapter introducing the concept of `Charisma' in some detail and follows with transformational theories and applications.
10) Leading Change in Organizations - another excellent chapter that manages to condense a difficult topic without losing value.
11) Leadership in Teams and Decision Groups - the impact of leadership on group processes, decision making and overall team effectiveness.
12) Strategic Leadership by Executives - this is an extremely useful chapter on everything related to strategic leadership in an organization: definitions, barriers, challenges, tools, and processes.
13) Developing Leadership Skills - this is my `blue-print' for developing all the leadership development programs I conduct. To date, I have been unable to locate a better source.
14) Ethical Leadership and Diversity - a concise introduction to the topic including a discussion of gender and cultural issues and their impact on leadership styles and behaviors.
15) Overview and Integration - the closing chapter brings the whole book together through a comprehensive summary of all the topics; ideas on an "Integrating Conceptual Framework" and an overview of the state of the field.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
The textbook covers the material in excruciating detail. The problem is that it does so with a small font, light print and no sidebars whatsoever. Make sure that you have a fresh highlighter too as you are going to need it!

If I had to describe the textbook in one word it would be: clinical

It covers the material, but by the time you are finished with a chapter, you breathe a sigh of relieve.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I used an earlier edition of this book as the primary text in a graduate course I teach on leadership. In my experience, by the time a publisher gets to the 7th edition, the basic text is already set and the changes in the new edition are minor tune-ups. I suspect the updating is designed more to keep the price up rather than to keep the content particularly fresh.

At any rate, Yukl provides a good overview of the basic theories of leadership, with a focus on what he calls the "managerial leadership" that takes place within organizations (as opposed to, say, leadership of a Little League team or a project for a social club). The book includes quite a few case studies and also does a good job of summarizing highlights at the end of each chapter.

Given its price and the fact that there are other, equally good or better options available, I don't plan to use this book for the leadership course I expect to teach this fall. Tuition and related expenses have already stretched my students to the breaking point, especially in this slow economy. I can't justify asking my students to spend over $100. for a single text that is, at best, merely adequate for our needs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I am using this book in a class right now, and that is the only reason I would ever buy this book. For starters, I bought the Kindle version. It does NOT include the page numbers in any form, shape, or list. Second, you cannot jump from chapter to chapter using the 'search this book' feature. Come on, I just paid 45 bucks for this book. At least make it easy for me. If you buy this, read it online and place bookmarks on each chapter start. That helped me. Otherwise, I paid a lot and got a little.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2014
Great book! Unfortunately, the International edition does not have the case files that were require for my homework. That appears to be the only difference. If you do not need the cases at the end of the chapter, you should be done ordering this version of the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
This book summarizes from a very academic standpoint various theories and perspectives on leadership. It is both descriptive and prescriptive in how leaders can improve their capabilities. This book is best for someone who is seeking a more intellectual orientation on leadership.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
This text reads like stereo instructions. There is more chest thumping (citations) than real information. While all of the concepts are there, they are difficult to follow because of the technical way it is written. There are many places in this book where the authors could have just told you to make those you are leading feel appreciated and they will produce more for you. Instead they had to quote other studies and use big words that made the reading unpleasant...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
This textbook uses contradicting terminology throughout the book. One example: It describes the difference between a leader and a manager and then goes on to interchange the use of both terms. This is only one example there are many more. I would not recommend this textbook at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2014
Yukl groups theories differently than other leadership researchers. Deeper, more contextualized approach to the subject. A researcher dedicated to ferreting out recent, relevant theories, concepts, and principles.
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on May 31, 2011
Let me first let you know that this book is extremely hard to read. However it does discuss all the aspects of being a great leader.

With independent research this book is a great tool in identifying the important subjects of leadership. Without independent research, it would be hard to gain an understanding of the topics pointed out.

Now let me get to the other issue that may be of interest to Amazon customers. I attempted to trade in this book through Amazon's trade in program. Amazon rejected my trade in, stating that the book was damaged. They said that the book's binding was damaged. I would like to point out that I know what Amazon is referring to. The books binding was separated, and that is exactly how I received the book when I first purchased it. While the book's binding was separated, it was still in very good shape. No pages were loose, no pages were crinkled, and the cover was unblemished. I took great care of this book, and returned it in the exact condition that I first received the book (minus very limited highlighted sentences). Seems Amazon has a double standard in how it sells books and how they accept returns. So, if you plan on buying a book, and trading it in after your class is over, or you complete it, you might be wise to go with a different seller. Oh and one more thing, I was planning on buying a "Kindle" in a month or so. Don't think I will now.
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