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Leadership: Theory and Practice

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  2,302 ratings  ·  128 reviews
2016 Recipient of the McGuffey Longevity Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA)

Translated into 12 different languages and used in 89 countries, this market-leading text successfully combines an academically robust account of the major theories and models of leadership with an accessible style and practical examples that help students apply wha
Paperback, 520 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Sage Publications, Inc (first published March 11th 1997)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
One of my Fall 2011 accomplishments! Thanks to Reid for plowing through this one with me. It was one of those books that I felt I should read, since it's a best selling text in leadership. I'm glad I did.

The first 1/3 was slow going, discussing older theories that seemed to have serious faults and limited applicability. But, it was good history and context for the leadership instructor. The next 1/3 contained discussion of transformational leadership and authentic leadership that really put a l
In summary: "here are a bunch of theories about leadership, but none of them are right. Also here is a short chapter about women leaders and about how basically none of the other theories applied to women--we don't really know what works. Try growing a penis." Thanks for wasting my time. 🤗 ...more
Mark Oppenlander
This book covers various concepts of and ideas about leadership. Each chapter provides a thumbnail sketch of a particular leadership theory or approach, followed by an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the theory and case studies. Many of the chapters also include survey instruments so that aspiring leaders can assess themselves against the leadership theory in question. The chapters are arranged roughly chronologically, beginning with older models of leadership (e.g. trait approach, s ...more
The book tackles leadership as theories, instead of preparing ppl. It's goog if you are the analytical type of person. Otherwise I wouldn't recommend it. ...more
Umar Riaz
“Leadership is the subject which is most studied but least understood” remarked James Macgregor Bruns the pioneer of the field with his book which came in 1978.This review will be first of the three books which I read for preparation of a lecture as well as for designing a module on leadership. I have always been wary of studying the popular yet evasive concepts like leadership. The popularity makes a subject personalized due to experiences. The exclusivity and distinction of a specialized knowl ...more
Sandy H
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Hard to rate a book that's meant to be a more academic overview type of book. Was it the most exciting book in the world to read? No. But did it do for me what I'd hoped--give me a really good overview of a lot of different leadership models? Yes--absolutely. This book helped me think through relationships between different models/theories and what components I may want to explore further. The way the chapters are formatted are very helpful--a description of the theory, strengths and weaknesses, ...more
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
Forced to read for class. Not a bad book, but there really is nothing new in here if you know anything about leadership skills. If you are not, this is a great place to start. Mainly focusing on theory, Northouse walks you through trait, skill, style, and situational approaches as well as many different theories related to leadership. great assessments inside as well.
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just read this book for my MBA Leadership class and very much enjoyed it. Most of the books I read for classes are painful - but this was not only easy to ready, it was interesting and something that was relevant.
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
A great textbook for an introduction to leadership theory class. It is very readable and includes charts, tables, and an assessment at the end of each chapter. We used it in my graduate leadership class and one that I will reference in the years to come and future papers.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
My "go to" leadership book! ...more
It's definitely one of the better textbooks I've read recently. ...more
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Leadership: Theory and Practice by Northouse - in its eighth edition - for a reason.

First, this book offers an overview of Leadership Theories following a semi-chronological development. This provides a good overview of how theories have developed, deviated, and nuanced through the 20th Century and into the 21st. I really enjoyed this layout.

Second, this book is well laid out. The chapters all follow the same format. This makes the material very well organized and easy to read.

Third, this book i
Feb 14, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nope nope nope. Lots of theories of leadership with little relevance to or acknowledgement of anyone other than western white cis straight men with economic means. Chapter 15 is about women and leadership...and rigidly adheres to the gender binary and has one sentence about the intersection of gender with other identities. Chapter 16 is about culture and leadership and is at best trying to be a cheat sheet for how different leadership traits read in different geographic areas. This book upholds ...more
Barry Davis
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adopted at more than 1600 institutions and translated into 13 different languages, this book provides an in depth review of the present theories and models of leadership. After providing leadership definitions from 1900 to the present, chapters present all the current theories, providing an academic account of each theory. The theories covered are as follows:

2. Trait Approach
3. Skills Approach
4. Behavioral Approach
5. Situational Approach
6. Path-Goal Approach
7. Leader-Member Exchange Approach
8. T
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my 4th book on leadership. I’m very tempted to rate it 5 stars but still feel too new to leadership books to know if this is truly is one of the best leadership books out there. As I’m in my first semester of my doctorate in education, I may change this rating later. I really like this book and the fact that is has chapters on servant leadership, ethics leadership, gender and leadership, culture and leadership, & so many others! I really like the format of the book that each chapter give ...more
Sarah Sahibzada
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a textbook for a class I’m taking on ethics and leadership. It takes concepts around leadership, which can tend to sound like a lot of business buzzwords, and puts them into academic frameworks that can be studied and put into practice. It’s helped me organize my thoughts on leadership and challenged some of my ideas about what it means to be a servant leader. Prior to this course and reading this book, I took all of the conflicting leadership advice as a “well, it’s all the same”; now, ...more
Georang A Cavazos
This book is amazing! As someone who is very analytical and has read a lot of books on leadership, this one breaks them all down into their foundations!

While there are many theories on leadership, you see a lot of reoccurring themes and aspects of leadership that overlap everywhere. This book is amazing for breaking it down to a science and tells me where I am strong and weak in.

I love this book.

It seems most people read this book for graduate studies. I'm not in that and don't even have an asso
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as an introductory textbook for my Master's of Organizational Leadership program. This book is a really clear, effective summation of the various academic theories and approaches to leadership. Each chapter is structured the same way, which is very helpful, and the writing is really concise and clear. This book was a great way to give a broad overview of the field of leadership studies, and was filled with many thought provoking ideas and insights and perspectives about leadership. I ...more
Jonathan Fang
Oct 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Literally one of the worst textbooks I've ever read (and this is coming from someone who read through microbiology and biochem textbook and found them rather interesting). The author cannot seem to describe major concepts and theories in a clear and concise manner and there are a lot of superfluous/trivial details in the book. If you're taking a course that uses this textbook, I strongly recommend going over the powerpoint slides your prof made, it's a lot more efficient to learn from the slides ...more
The textbook focuses more on the theories of leadership. It's an excellent introduction for those interested in doing research in the field. Newport summarizes each leadership theory, with practical examples, and concludes with a set of questions on the strengths and criticism for each approach, which provides an amply opportunity for further research. The last few chapters are written by guest authors. ...more
LaVerne Ludden
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I taught in the leadership departments at Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana Wesleyan University. Peter's book is one of the standards we used to teach our students at all levels of higher education. He does an excellent job of summarizing the research on key leadership theories and regularly updates the book. It is a book every leader should read so they gain a depth of understanding about leadership--not jubs the latest fad. ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not terrible as textbooks go. Chapters deal rather generally with leadership theories; defining them, presenting research findings, detailing strengths, weaknesses, and applications of each approach, three case studies pertaining to the approach, sample questionnaires, and a summary. The last few chapters deal with issues in leadership regarding culture, gender, and others. All in all, its a good overview of leadership theories.
Tony Segreto
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A well researched and solid foundational text on leadership styles and descriptions. This is basically a textbook on leadership that is perhaps too theoretical than applicable. Although the several case studies help, I feel they are reverse engineered, with a specific leadership style in mind. Really world situations are less clear.

Good for a textbook, but not quite my cup of tea.
Jennifer Bryant
Clear and easy to understand examples of leadership approaches and ethics. Each approach has a questionnaire at the end of the chapter to help you assess what improvements you can make to be a more effective leader. I rented a copy for a Leadership Dynamics class, but will be buying a copy for reference.
Eric Rodrigues
This is leadership by theory and not so much practice. It's an analytical view of leadership in organizations. It's got a little bit of practical approaches but ultimately is not very applicable. If you're looking for practical application this is not the book to read. But it makes it very easy to understand the technical side of leadership! ...more
Eila Mcmillin
Oct 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Information is really basic. Gives a comprehensive look at different theories of leadership, but pretty dry and boring, and a bit superficial in terms of discussing different complexities and pitfalls. Chapters looking at gender and cultural diversity are really basic and though probably well meaning fall into the same sexist and ethnocentric shenanigans that they're trying to explain. ...more
Shymaa Ali
It was a very good source of information, it includes many theories about the different leadership styles and how they fit into certain contexts. The book is written in an academic language, it might not be interesting to many, but it is a useful book.
Dan Webster
Excellent overview of theories in leadership with a thoughtful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each. I specifically enjoyed the latter chapters of the book, including those on authentic leadership, the psychodynamic approach, and women and leadership.
Joshua Bowen
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I view this as the "leadership bible." It's a fantastic textbook outlining the prevalent models and theories of leadership, and includes strengths and weaknesses of each model/theory. A quality text to guide people's education to better understand the science of leadership. ...more
Christopher Molleda
This is an excellent book that can apply to all aspects of life. This book provided a good history of leadership views and practices up to current positions. This was required reading for a course I am taking but definitely one to keep on the shelf.
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