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About this book

This book on business psychology—particularly organizational leadership—crosses industries, continents, and business environments: it includes 45 précis on emerging theories of leadership; ethical and cultural considerations; group and team leadership; leadership self-development; management philosophy and practice; organizational diagnosis and cultural dynamics; personality and lifespan in the workplace; professional development; qualitative research methods; psychological, socio-cultural, and political dimensions of organizations; the role of technology in organizations; strategic change management; and systems theory. The material ranges widely but is pithy: each précis offers in easy bites the latest "take" on the subject, drawing from popular textbooks, recommended readings, case studies, group exercises, personal experience, and self-reflection; each was written as a key to understanding and change with an eye to re-imagining leadership in the 21st century. Both rigorously researched and entertaining, this book addresses the fast-changing realities of organizational leadership in domestic and international settings across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors: it will serve as a valuable quick-access resource for practitioners and students.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Emerging Theories of Leadership

Frontmatter

Ethical and Relational Leadership

Leaders are in positions of power and their decisions impact others: therefore, it is imperative that their values should have strong ethical foundations and, above all, that these be aligned with external behaviors and actions that advance the common good.

Olivier Serrat

Paradox and Neuroscience: Emerging Theories of Leadership

This précis presents a snapshot of leadership theories and notes their shortening lifespan; it comments on why leadership theories emerge and names the most recent. Next, the précis covers organizational paradox and social neuroscience, approaches that are not conditioned by organizational boundaries and seem relevant to the quickening complexity of our times.

Olivier Serrat

Personal Leadership Development Plans: Essentials and Practicum

Personal leadership development plans are fluid documents that open up opportunities, beget more impact, and lead to greater overall satisfaction.

Olivier Serrat

Personal Philosophy of Leadership

This précis tables a preliminary statement of a personal philosophy of leadership. The statement is informed by theoretical perspectives on leadership—themselves based on new-wave leadership literature; key leadership influences; cultural identity; trends in the development of post-bureaucratic organizations; and sundry work experiences.

Olivier Serrat

Personal Philosophy of Leadership (2nd Edition)

This précis revisits an opening statement on a personal philosophy of leadership: that initial statement was informed by theories of leadership; formative experiences of leadership; cultural identity; trends in the development of post-bureaucratic organizations; and sundry work experiences. This revised edition offers reflections on the initial statement, drawing from scholarly readings, discussions, and other developments since the “first edition”.

Olivier Serrat

Review of Situational Leadership® After 25 Years—A Retrospective (Blanchard, Zigarmi, & Nelson, 1993)

The situational leadership theory holds that leaders should change their style based on the competence and commitment of followers. This précis critiques Blanchard, Zigarmi, and Nelson’s (1993) research article on the subject, which offered a 25-year retrospective of the Situational Leadership Model, one of the more widely recognized approaches to leadership.

Olivier Serrat

Ethical & Cultural Considerations

Ethics: My Own Perspective

People can hold deeply-held beliefs about why their particular moral choice is best; but, it is always essential to justify why one thinks a decision is right and another is wrong. Considering ethical predicaments from a variety of different perspectives will profit all.

Olivier Serrat

Life-Markers and Personal Values

Life-markers are points of inflection: some are shared (e.g., birth, baptism, graduation, our first job); others are yours alone (e.g., a book, a person). Personal life-markers hold one-of-a-kind energy that frames our values and imbues our lives with sense, coherence, and meaning.

Olivier Serrat

Reflections on Four Case Studies in Ethics

Ethics, or moral philosophy, investigates concepts of right and wrong conduct; it is not limited to the acts of a single person but seeks also reasoned, principled, positions vis-à-vis the practices of corporations, governments, and many other groups. Using the case method, a teaching approach that uses decision-forcing role-play, this précis explores four dramatically different ethical dilemmas at individual, group, corporate, and global levels.

Olivier Serrat

Group & Team Leadership

The Self in Teams

Groups that range from two persons to many are a very big part of social life—in all its facets—and most organizations rely on teamwork: the justification is that teams are better at solving problems and learn more rapidly and with more effect than individuals (Serrat, 2009). This précis offers reflections on personal experiences of teamwork, noting what does not work. The précis identifies a meaningful common purpose as the single highest requirement for getting work done but underscores other key ingredients of practice. The précis also notes the importance of integrating team identity for team effectiveness.

Olivier Serrat

The Self in Teams (Cont’d)

This précis offers early reflections on a personal experience of teamwork, noting what had worked as of this writing and drawing attention to important next steps in relation to performing. The précis underscores in particular the utility of team charters, designed expressly to promote a healthy and positive experience, that look to the storming–norming–performing stages of group development. The précis remarks on how the team members of the project referred to had lived up to their team charter as of this writing, and shares observations on personal growth with reference to three specific opportunities (including incidents) illustrating development. The précis concludes with a few reflections on self-growth.

Olivier Serrat

The Self in Teams (Coda)

Team A was formed in early September 2019 to engage in hearty, learning activities over the period September–December 2019, aiming to suggest tips for managers to implement or empower teams in their organizations. Concluding the short journey synopsized in Serrat (The self in teams [Unpublished manuscript]. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2019a; The self in teams (cont’d), [Unpublished manuscript]. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2019b), this précis on the self in teams considers its author’s performance as a member of Team A and ponders how the practice of self-reflection might be enriched for better team performance in general.

Olivier Serrat

Leadership Self-Development

Frontmatter

Establishing Your Fundamental Self

A personal mission statement defines who you are: it identifies your purpose, explains why it matters, and describes how you intend to pursue it. This précis reproduces one such statement. Anchored in positive psychology and positive leadership, the précis references Quinn’s (2005) fundamental state of leadership and leverages its four questions for positive change to retrospectively cast light on my past and present disposition and investigate where and how Quinn’s (2005) fundamental state of leadership might serve in future.

Olivier Serrat

The Challenges of Learning from Experience

Yip and Wilson (2010) offered challenging insights into the well-quoted saying that “experience is the best teacher”, notably by distinguishing the main event cluster of experiential learning to be challenging assignments, not the corporate staple of coursework and training. This précis comments on the main precepts of learning from experience including Yip and Wilson’s (2010) roadmap to help organizations on the journey of experience-based learning. The précis argues that creating work environments that give everyone the opportunity to flourish in the age of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity demands more tailored and democratic approaches.

Olivier Serrat

The Full Range Leadership Model: Essentials and Practicum

The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire generates a psychological inventory from propositions that aim to assess leadership styles and leadership outcomes: it is a multi-rater (or 360-degree) instrument, which means that its output—the MLQ 360 Leader’s Report—interprets and compares a leader’s self-assessment with ratings contributed across the same items by associates. This précis reflects on a Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire exercise conducted in May 2020.

Olivier Serrat

Management Philosophy & Practice

A Taxonomy of Management Theories

Deming, Drucker, Maslow, McGregor, Schein, Senge, Taylor, Weber … This précis references influential management theories in the last hundred years: in each instance, the taxonomy flags the historical foundation, highlights basic theory and application, lists principally cited publications, and passes comment on how the theory is viewed today.

Olivier Serrat

Mintzberg’s Managing: Implications for Coaching and Training

This précis contextualizes Mintzberg’s work to expose the cult of leadership and restore management to the front and center, quickly elucidates Mintzberg’s (2009) Model of Managing, and makes the supporting point that if managing is indeed a practice then wide vistas open in coaching and training for competency-buliding.

Olivier Serrat

Mintzberg’s Model of Managing: Random Thoughts from an Observation

The classical view of a manager’s role has been that he/she organizes, coordinates, plans, and controls. In 1973, Mintzberg clarified that on any given day managers are very busy, frequently interrupted, and at pains to control what they do. Revisiting his observations 35 years later, Mintzberg (2009) delineated a Model of Managing that depicts managing on three planes: through information, with people, and for action. Framed by Mintzberg’s (2009) Model of Managing, this précis presents findings, analyses, and reactions from observation of a single manager.

Olivier Serrat

Organizational Diagnosis & Cultural Dynamics

Synergizing the Competing Values Framework and the Six-Box Model

This précis suggests that Cameron and Quinn’s (2011) competing values framework and Weisbord’s (1976) Six-Box Model can be leveraged in concert to make organizations more effective.

Olivier Serrat

Personality & Lifespan in the Workplace

Blustein’s Psychology of Working: A Very Short Introduction

This précis introduces Blustein (2006) and its new perspective for career development, counseling, and public policy.

Olivier Serrat

Contextual Factors in Working

More and more, the literature recognizes that work is influenced by contextual factors: this précis traces the argument, considers of the relative importance of individual, group, and global factors in this researcher’s work experience, and sketches ways of coping with the global contextual factors of work.

Olivier Serrat

Developing Expert Leadership

Day, Harrison, and Halpin (2009) specified that leader development focuses on the three domains of expertise and expert performance, identity and self-regulation processes, and adult development; this précis explores the theoretical propositions they submitted toward developing expert leadership.

Olivier Serrat

Identity Processes in Leader Development

Day, Harrison and Halpin (2009) articulated five variables that frame individual differences in leader development (i.e., self-regulatory strength, goal orientation, self-efficacy, self-awareness, and implementation intentions). Referencing environmental factors, this précis locates self-regulation processes and points up the potential contribution of each to leader development.

Olivier Serrat

Leader Development Through Work Experience

Very few leaders are born: most need experience and the earlier one starts, the better. But, if leaders need exposure, they must seek or be presented with a wide variety of work experiences and truly learn from these. This précis discusses how effective leaders learn, distinguishes social and personal contexts of learning, and illustrates theory with a quick example.

Olivier Serrat

Moral Development for Authentic Leadership Effectiveness

This précis argues that leadership and ethics are inherently intertwined: for higher effectiveness, leader development needs to foster moral capacity, efficacy, courage, and resiliency.

Olivier Serrat

Seven Entries on Twenty-First Century Working

This précis records seven short takes on personal leadership development; social identity theory; authentic leadership; relationships with careers; leader development; social barriers; and integrating adult, leader, and leadership development.

Olivier Serrat

The Reflective Judgment Model: What Role in Leader Development?

This précis outlines the Reflective Judgment model, defines its seven stages, notes the basis for their articulation as a developmental process, flags intrinsic and extrinsic limitations, and ponders a desired relationship between cognitive development, leader development, and organization-wide learning.

Olivier Serrat

Professional Development

Frontmatter

Analyzing the Logic of Articles and Textbooks: Essentials and Practicum

This précis demonstrates how one can in written form apply intellectual standards such as clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance, and fairness to analyze and evaluate the reasoning behind an article or textbook.

Olivier Serrat

Reading Research Articles

Reading research articles does not come naturally. This précis reviews the contribution that critical thinking can make to discerning proof.

Olivier Serrat

Scholarly Argument: Linking Doctoral Research to Practice

Leveraging the approach to critical thinking advocated by Paul and Elder (2008), this précis makes a short argument for a research topic on linking doctoral research to practice to contribute new knowledge to the field and help address a real-world issue or opportunity.

Olivier Serrat

Psychological, Socio-Cultural, & Political Dimensions of Organizations

Critical Psychology and Organizations: The Case of the United Nations

With attention to cultural dynamics, diversity, power, and privilege, this précis investigates the contribution of critical psychology to organizational performance. The précis flags the case of the United Nations system, especially the General Assembly, to identify key challenges in the twenty-first century and consider how it might advance social justice and well-being.

Olivier Serrat

Development of Critical Psychology

This précis locates critical psychology in the discourse of critical theory. The précis reflects on historical and social events that shaped decolonization, postcolonialism, and globalization and identifies a relationship between them. The précis proposes that critical psychology must now find ways to enrich policy with research if it is to better serve social justice.

Olivier Serrat

Minority Population Analysis: The Aeta of the Philippines

This précis uses a critical psychology lens for minority population analysis. Specifically, the précis characterizes indigenous peoples and their vulnerability; researches the treatment of the Aeta, an indigenous people living in the mountainous areas of Luzon in the Philippines; and reflects on their experience of domination, marginalization, and exploitation.

Olivier Serrat

Minority Populations: There Are More Than Meets the Eye

This précis contends that hitherto unnoticed minority populations, subject to an even more systemic and tenuous dynamic of domination, oppression, and privilege, have appeared in the wake of globalization. The précis suggests that critical psychology can advocate justice-focused policy making better across an even larger constituency if it integrates concern for class, gender, race, and other identity categories more constitutively. The précis reasons that the existing and evolving institutional infrastructure of the United Nations System can help offset iniquities provided the binarism of realpolitik does not undercut far-sighted vision. Referencing Prilleltensky (2012) in particular, the précis flags core concepts at the intersection of critical psychology and globalization.

Olivier Serrat

Qualitative Research Methods

Frontmatter

Book Analysis of Interviewing as Qualitative Research (Seidman, 2013)

This précis presents a description, critical analysis, and evaluation of the quality, meaning, and significance of Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences (Seidman, 2013).

Olivier Serrat

Research Concept Paper for Leading Organizations of the Future

This précis presents a research concept paper for Leading Organizations of the Future: it specifies the primary reasons for undertaking the proposed study, states the problem to be examined, particularizes the research question, articulates the conceptual framework for the expanded literature review while flagging one key text, and justifies what methods of data collection and analysis would underpin next steps.

Olivier Serrat

Strategic Change Management

Frontmatter

Change Management Strategy in Action: Independent Evaluation for Learning

Informed by trends and citing predictions about the future of evaluation, this précis lays out requirements, considerations, and steps for planning and delivering change that would support the recalibration of independent evaluation so it might better serve learning.

Olivier Serrat

Schein’s Process Consultation: Three Reactions

This précis outlines the process consulting style and notes three reactions to the exclusive division of alternatives it intuits, the assumptions of the approach, and the concept of client.

Olivier Serrat

Systems Theory

Frontmatter

Five Notes on Systems Theory

This précis chronicles five short notes on the General System Theory; the nature of a system; open and closed systems; leverage points; and the learning organization.

Olivier Serrat

Idealized Design for Virtual Teaming: A Modest Proposal

This précis submits a business proposal for idealized design of virtual teaming at General Electric, a multinational conglomerate that retains more than 313,000 employees around the world and so must synergize a dispersed workforce.

Olivier Serrat

Idealized Design: Three Reactions

This précis identifies strengths and weaknesses of the idealized design approach and suggests why and how it might be used to better effect.

Olivier Serrat

Mental Models in and of Organizations

This précis describes how, from origins in Mintzberg (1989) and Morgan (2006) and in consideration of their assumptions and shortcomings, a personal mental model of organizations—more suited to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the 21st century—was arrived at.

Olivier Serrat

The Learning Organization Needs No Apology

The demise of the learning organization has seemingly been enacted: Google Trends chronicles the worldwide waning of the search-term “learning organization” from the high of 100 in April 2004 to 10 in June 2018. This précis means to talk down trends in management ideas whose particularized if not proprietary vocabulary largely explains why what is in vogue one day is antiquated the next.

Olivier Serrat

The Role of Technology in Organizations

Frontmatter

Planning and Driving a Digital Strategy

This précis argues that in the Internet of Things organizations must embrace the digital world if they are to survive and, preferably, thrive. Irrespective of the sector or industry an organization is in, digital transformation enables fundamentally different ways for it to think about clients, audiences, and partners, and to engage with them.

Olivier Serrat

Information and Communication Technology in Organizations: An Evolutionary Perspective

Human beings have “managed” information from times immemorial but information and communication technology (ICT) surged from the mid-twentieth century and advances ever faster. Firstly, this précis points out the growing role of information in modern society. Exploring the historical context of technological revolutions but referencing in particular recent demographic patterns and globalization too, the précis then reflects on pre-eminent first-order results from enhanced use of ICT in organizations. Finally, the précis draws attention to future challenges and summons better understanding of how ICT might help deliver requisite organizational agility.

Olivier Serrat

Backmatter

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