It is also notable that most of the case studies in the work are written by Avery, which could leave the reader the impression that the case studies were tailored to meet the requirements of the paradigms and other themes rather than being discussed in a fluid manner that is completely reflective of the real situation seen at the particular business or organization. Avery does show significant insight during these case studies and they are interesting but the systemized approach to the rest of the book and the fact that Avery penned most of the observations taints the idea that the book really offers real life applications to real world diversity and complexity of context.
The work does realistically help the reader answer many of the more confusing characteristics of the field of study, but seems to have been written as a very basic introduction in simplified language, rather than an in depth analysis that might more closely reflect the diversity that Avery sites as indicative of the field. In other words it seems to be written almost completely for the novice reader rather than for anyone with a more in depth understanding or need of understanding of the leadership context.
The case study approach is effective in many ways but with regard to public administration only one of the studies was really representative of a public entity and this was a military organization the Australian Royal Navy, so again has limited public administration universalities, but does acknowledge that the entity is accountable to stakeholders in the public sector. (214) This lack of emphasis in the work on internal public administration, policy and decision-making could lead the reader to the current emphasis that such entities should be run more like businesses than they have been in the past. Though this is a popular conception there are also many issues that are specific to public administration that need to remain in the field, as such entities are accountable to an entirely different set of standards as they should be, than businesses in the private sector.
With regard to the emerging issues in leadership, as in one of the other texts for this course (the Nature of Leadership) the contents of gender, culture and ethics are far more integrated in the work. Avery does make statements in part one about these issues but does not necessarily reflect those statements in the case study section (part 2) of the work. The statements Avery makes regarding gender and culture tend to be rather simple, though informative if the work is to be trusted as a good source of information. Basically the work lists gender and culture as issues that need to be taken into consideration with regard to understanding decisions, motives and working relations. (107) Ethics on the other hand are not really dealt with summarily or concretely in the work, an oversight that might need address in later editions of the work.
All of this leaves some questions about the work given its early emphasis on the "global" environment in which businesses are moving today. (19) This also gives the impression of oversimplification, as the fast paced global environment of business in need of a more in depth assertion of diversity and social and business reality that better reflects the complex real life decision and policy making that Avery stresses is essential to understanding leadership today.
I would personally like to see this work go into further detail about ethics, if not the other emerging issues in leadership and possibly even add an entire chapter and an in-depth case study regarding the nature of ethical decision making in business as well as the public sector. I would also like to see the author include more information regarding public administration, policy and decision making. A case study that emphasizes the differences and similarities of the two venues of leadership would be an essential addition tot the work and would greatly add to the depth of the real life situations that Avery stresses are most important to understanding modern leadership systems.
This work provides an overall view of leadership studies and applications and the case study emphasis is an essentially pertinent style of better understanding leadership in context. Yet, like I have said previously it is possible that Avery developed a system that oversimplifies the issues, to such a degree that it does not meet her self stated goals of…