Second Edition of Understanding Leadership

Congratulations to Robert McManus and Gama Perruci on the second edition of their book, Understanding Leadership: An Arts and Humanities Approach, published by Routledge in December 2019. The book has been widely used in academic leadership programs both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The new edition expanded Part II of the book, which looks at the cultural context of leadership. A new chapter on the Russian cultural context was added. In addition, individual chapters are dedicated to Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist perspectives on leadership.

The book is still based on the Five Components of Leadership model. Leadership is not defined in terms of the characteristics of a leader. Rather, it is defined as “the process by which leaders and followers develop a relationship and work together toward a goal (or goals) within a context shaped by cultural values and norms.” While the book includes a chapter about the role that leaders play in that process, it also includes a chapter on the followers (“followership”). Both leaders and followers play an important part in leadership.

Each chapter uses a case study drawn from the liberal arts in order to illustrate key leadership concepts and ideas. The cases include a wide variety of media – novel, film, sculpture, painting, short story, and play.

Edited Volume on Ethical Leadership

Ethics is a key component of leadership, regardless of the sector – public, for-profit, or nonprofit – in which leaders operate. They are called to make decisions that take into consideration ethical implications. Robert McManus, Stanley Ward, and Alexandra Perry have edited a thoughtful volume (Ethical Leadership: A Primer, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018) that has been well received in the leadership community.

The book is divided into two sections. In the first section, the authors focus on traditional models of ethics, such as Kantianism, Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics, and Ethical Egoism. The editors also consider challenging topics such as cultural relativism, social contract theory, justice, and the common good. In the second section, the editors delve into the application side of ethics by exploring popular models, such as authentic leadership, servant leadership, followership, transformational leadership, and adaptive leadership.

The Five Components of Leadership Model serves as the framework for the discussion of the different ethical concepts. Aside from the three editors, 12 scholars/practitioners contributed to the volume. The authors drew from a wide variety of fields, including Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, director of civic engagement at the McDonough Center, and Steve Trainor, head of curriculum and faculty strategy at the Google School for Leaders.