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The Leadership mystique (Leading and Managing - 1995)

Author: Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. INSEAD Area: Entrepreneurship and Family EnterpriseIn: Leading and Managing, vol. 1, no. 3, 1995 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 193-210.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask the Library for this articleAbstract: The proliferation of literature on effective leadership is amply reflected by the increase in the number of articles in its bible, Stogdill's handbook of Leadership. While the old handbook, published in 1974, listed only three thousand studies, that number increased to five thousand within seven years, a pace of publication that has accelerated ever since. It is unfortunate, however, that the popularity of leadership research has not been equaled by its relevance. One of the problems has been that too many theories about organizations seem to have had their gestation in the ivory towers of academia. The titles of the theories - new and old - reveal the nature of their contents, plodding and detached, often far removed from the reality of day-to-day life. These kinds of papers continue to appear; fortunately, however, some changes can be noted. An increasing number of scholars have become interested in going beyond the confinement of social science laboratory experiments to observe real leaders in action
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The proliferation of literature on effective leadership is amply reflected by the increase in the number of articles in its bible, Stogdill's handbook of Leadership. While the old handbook, published in 1974, listed only three thousand studies, that number increased to five thousand within seven years, a pace of publication that has accelerated ever since. It is unfortunate, however, that the popularity of leadership research has not been equaled by its relevance. One of the problems has been that too many theories about organizations seem to have had their gestation in the ivory towers of academia. The titles of the theories - new and old - reveal the nature of their contents, plodding and detached, often far removed from the reality of day-to-day life. These kinds of papers continue to appear; fortunately, however, some changes can be noted. An increasing number of scholars have become interested in going beyond the confinement of social science laboratory experiments to observe real leaders in action

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