Leadership in Organizations: Current Issues and Key Trends

Judy Bullock (University of Phoenix, Alpharetta, Georgia, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




Bullock, J. (2004), "Leadership in Organizations: Current Issues and Key Trends", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 384-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730410538707



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Recent events in the business world have once again focused the spotlight on leadership. In particular, heightened scrutiny in the wake of corporate scandals resulting in business demise, such as Enron and WorldCom, has caused many to question whether we are witnessing the end of the transformational leadership era. This question adds to the enormous task facing scholars to construct a concise and universally accepted definition of leadership and craft a definitive answer to the age‐old question of whether leaders are born or made. Similarly, organizations are grappling with the power, influence, and significance traditionally accorded the leadership role.

John Storey and a cast of distinguished scholars and practitioners in organizational leadership have collaborated to bring a fresh perspective in the examination of significant issues and leadership challenges to the fore. Balanced with practical insight and supported by theory and research, Leadership in Organizations: Current Issues and Key Trends is suitable for readers interested in contemporary leadership and leadership development. Academic audiences will appreciate the critical analysis of central leadership themes following Storey's review of salient leadership literature, including emerging theories and evolving trends. Business audiences will benefit from the succinct discussions of leadership development and corporate university solutions, as well as the exploration of leadership in the context of business strategy. Readers will gain valuable insights concerning leadership in public sector organizations and educational institutions, as well as the relationship between leadership and career development.

Well organized and engaging, this book presents an articulate framework of changes in the global leadership landscape. Its seven part structure allows readers to traverse its collective examination of current issues and key trends or to selectively absorb those areas of particular interest. Storey notes that “leadership in contemporary organizational life has become a pervasive phenomenon.” Similarly he observes, “likewise, the literature on leadership is enormous and expanding apace.” Part I critically examines leadership, efficiently and effectively bringing the reader up‐to‐date with changes in the leadership arena in the past two decades, leading to a discussion of the future of charismatic and transformational leadership in the aftermath of Enron. Part II continues this timeline, examining integrity in the post‐Enron environment. It addresses the competences of managers and leaders, highlighting the debate between competence and charismatic leadership, as well as leaders versus managers. Part III dovetails nicely with an in‐depth analysis of various processes for leadership training and development, including experiential and technological approaches, casting a critical eye to shortcomings in various training methods and offering a frank discussion of the role of evaluation in leadership development. Leadership development in the public sector is explored in Part IV and in the context of career development in Part V. The linkage between leadership and business strategy is examined in Part VI, affirming the importance of congruence. Parts I through VI are synthesized in the integrating framework presented in Part VII, illustrating the interrelationship of all elements in a forward‐looking assessment of the future of leadership in organizations that recognizes the importance of behavioural aspects and organizational elements as the era of transformational leadership conceivably gives way to thought leadership on the heels of knowledge management.

Leadership in Organizations unabashedly presents critical perspectives on leadership and development in light of contemporary issues and emerging trends. It challenges the reader to evaluate the constructs of leadership and its role in today's organizations. The acumen and professional expertise of the contributors are clearly evident in the strengths of the content and in‐depth contextual analysis, written in academic style with theoretical support and endnotes, making this text particularly useful for scholars and students interested in organizational leadership. These strengths may become weaknesses for readers unfamiliar with this manner of scholarly writing, potentially posing a challenge for those seeking rapid assimilation of the rich content and key messages contained in this excellent compendium. The time and effort expended in absorbing the information and insight proffered in Leadership in Organizations: Current Issues and Key Trends is a valuable investment in one's own leadership and career development.

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