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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid strategies and tactics for grassroots leadership on campuses based on research, April 14, 2012
This review is from: Enhancing Campus Capacity for Leadership: An Examination of Grassroots Leaders in Higher Education (Hardcover)
Kezar and Lester have written another excellent work that describes research they have done in the higher education space that identifies the similarities and differences of the higher education sector compared to other sectors. In this book, the authors examine grassroots leadership, and compare it in the higher education context with research on traditional leadership in higher education, as well as grassroots leadership in the community and corporate settings.

This book focuses on Kezar and Lester's case study research of grassroots leadership at five campuses: community college, private research university, public regional university, public technical college, and private liberal arts college. The case studies include stories of grassroots leaders and leadership at each of the campuses that illustrate Kezar and Lester's research findings.

The authors note that the importance of grassroots leadership is increasing on college campuses because of a number of factors. Among the factors that contribute to the increased importance of grassroots leadership include a noted decline in shared governance, increased academic capitalism (a "market" mentality), increased pressure on faculty to spend more time on research and scholarship in addition to teaching, and increasing percentages of contingent faculty that tend to have little input into campus governance.

The work describes obstacles that grassroots leaders encounter, tactics used, power dynamics encountered, and approaches that grassroots leaders can leverage to retain resiliency over the long term.

The research uncovered a couple of notable findings. Kezar and Lester identified that grassroots leadership in higher education has unique qualities not found in community or corporate settings because of the strategies and tactics needed to fit within an education context. Additionally, the research examined the convergence of top-down and bottom-up leadership areas from the standpoint of bottom-up leadership, rather viewing it from the top-down aspect.

Overall, I found the book very readable and instructive. The research findings point to solid strategies and tactics that can be used to enhance and support grassroots leadership at college campuses with different cultural contexts. Additionally, Kezar and Lester's research indicates other interesting directions for future research in this area.
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

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