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Brion, J.M. Leadership of organizations: the executive's complete handbook. Greenwich, CN, London: JAI Press Inc., 1996 3 vols. ISBN 1-55938-934-3 (set)

Although the title claims that this work is about leadership, the actual content covers virtually the entire span of managerial behaviour from dealing with people, through corporate planning, to organizational change strategies. While it is not totally complete in this respect (for example, deliberately, there is no treatment of financial management) the reader will find most of the business of managing the people side of the enterprise dealt with here.

The reader will also find well-integrated and coherent analyses of the research literatures from all fields that impinge on the management of people, from personality research to decision-making and, of course, leadership. The text also draws upon studies of leadership and change in major US corporations, such as Xerox, Texas Instruments and IBM.

The three volumes cover, respectively, social aspects, including learning, behaviour, motivation, appraisal, and management by objectives; technical aspects, including communications, participation, decision-making, planning and human resource development; and "integration", covering organization change, organization leadership, and leadership policies. There are useful appendices in each volume: for example, those in volume one provide examples of survey tools for motivation and organization climate assessment.

The three volumes would be valuable desk tools for managers intent upon learning more about the fundamental aspects of human behaviour in organizations, but I have some doubts about the underlying model of organizations and management. Apart from a nod in the direction of worker participation, the model is one of the organization as a command and control system - the manager needs to understand human behaviour, but mainly in order to control and direct. The growing awareness of the success of various organizations (such as United Airlines) in managing through participation, performance-related bonuses, stock distribution and worker/manager councils is not particularly well reflected here and those interested in managing through such methods will need to look elsewhere.

Prof. Tom Wilson