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The Quest for a General Theory of Leadership

Edited by George R. Goethals, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies, University of Richmond and Georgia L.J. Sorenson, Research Professor and Founder, James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park, US and Chair and Professor of Transformation, US Army
In this compelling book, top scholars from diverse fields describe the progress they have made in developing a general theory of leadership. Led by James MacGregor Burns, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the classic Leadership (1978), they tell the story of this intellectual venture and the conclusions and questions that arose from it.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 541 8
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $47.00 Web: $37.60
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84720 324 3
Availability: In Stock
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In this compelling book, top scholars from diverse fields describe the progress they have made in developing a general theory of leadership. Led by James MacGregor Burns, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the classic Leadership (1978), they tell the story of this intellectual venture and the conclusions and questions that arose from it.

The early chapters describe how, in order to discuss an integrative theory, the group first wrestled with the nature of theory as well as basic aspects of the human condition that make leadership necessary and possible. They then tackle topics such as: the many faces of power woven into the leadership fabric; crucial elements of group dynamics and the leader–follower relationship; ethical issues lying at the heart of leadership; constructivist perspectives on leadership, causality, and social change; and the historical and cultural contexts that influence and are influenced by leadership. The book concludes with a commentary by Joanne Ciulla and an Afterword by James MacGregor Burns.

The contributors’ thorough coverage of leadership, as well as their approach to this unique undertaking, will be of great interest to leaders, students and scholars of leadership.
‘This book represents a most robust look at the study of leadership while representing multiple disciplines in a “quest” to find agreement about leadership and theory.’
– Russ Volckmann, International Leadership Review
Contributors: J.M. Burns, J.B. Ciulla, R.A. Couto, E. Faier, G.R. Goethals, M. Harvey, G.R. Hickman, D.A. Hicks, C.L. Hoyt, S. Ospina, T.L. Price, R.E. Riggio, G.L.J. Sorenson, M.C. Walker, J.T. Wren
Contents:

Introduction

1. A Quest for a Grand Theory of Leadership
J. Thomas Wren

2. Leadership and the Human Condition
Michael Harvey

3. The Theory and Metatheory of Leadership: The Important but Contested Nature of Theory
Mark C. Walker

4. Power
Michael Harvey

5. Leader–Follower Relations: Group Dynamics and the Role of Leadership
Crystal L. Hoyt, George R. Goethals and Ronald E. Riggio

6. A Framework for a General Theory of Leadership Ethics
Terry L. Price and Douglas A. Hicks

7. Causality, Change and Leadership
Gill Robinson Hickman and Richard A. Couto

8. A Constructionist Lens on Leadership: Charting New Territory
Sonia Ospina and Georgia L.J. Sorenson

9. Contemplating Context
J. Thomas Wren and Elizabeth Faier

10. What We Learned Along the Way: A Commentary
Joanne B. Ciulla

11. Afterword
James MacGregor Burns

Index