The study of leadership is a rapidly evolving, multi-faceted field. It is conceptualized as a social and cultural phemen, which cant be fully understood from a single perspective. The leader, the follower, the context, and the interactions amongst these elements must all be considered. The Oxford Handbook of Leadership explores the complex relationship between leader, led, and the environment that constitutes leadership. Divided into five parts, this handbook provides comprehensive coverage of the field, including: - an exploration of the roles individual attributes, training, and development play in generating a leader who is capable of performing effectively - an examination of the relationship between leadership and contextual factors in terms of an organizational role, one's culture, and a specific setting (e.g. military, higher education, and presidential) - a critical look at to what extent leader and follower behavior in a social and/or organizational context are tied - a consideration of what leader effectiveness means (i.e., what differentiates effective from ineffective leadership, including promising insights and scholarship that have emerged regarding this issue) - a concluding chapter that provides some overall comments concerning the current state of leadership research and some thoughts about potentially fruitful directions. Leadership research has come a long way, but the inherent dimensionality of the field leaves room for new insights and new directions. As the study of leadership progresses along the route to maturity, the volume will serve as a navigation tool that will provide a solid foundation for future research.
Michael G. Rumsey, Ph.D., is retired Chief, Selection and Assignment Research Unit, U. S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI).