The Cutting Edge Is Dull

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 248–249. Reviews the book, Leadership: The Cutting Edge. A Symposium Held at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, October 27-28, 1976 by James G. Hunt and Lars L. Larson (Eds.) (see record 1979-13368-000). This is a bland book, neither good nor bad, just boring. The book lacks any substantial contact with reality. The first fifth of the book is a review and related responses, ostensibly covering the state of the art, but devoted mainly to flogging Fred Fiedler's theory of leadership. The review concludes that the field suffers from severe shortcomings. The next chapter suggests that the leader's behavior causes aspects of subordinate behavior and attitudes. Finally, there are a couple of chapters of research results-one on evening-school MBA students, the other on a high-school district–and both trivial. This book serves only two functions, (1) to increase the list of publications of the individual authors, and (2) as a bad example. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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