Foreword to Selznick's Leadership in Administration
Philip Selznick, Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation
Adding a substantive introduction by Robert Rosen, Philip Selznick’s great book Leadership in Administration – it practically invented the genre of executive leadership studies and is the lively response to the “rationalist” approach to organizations — has been re-released in ebook formats.
Beyond the usual platitudes and generalities of leadership, this book takes a realistic look at what successful management means. It is not just about engineering people to produce more or making the agency run “smoothly.” That only matters once concrete aims and values are established. Selznick notes that it is in specifics and nimble responsiveness, and recognition of legitimate but risky outside forces, that true leadership is found. Leaders that allow their institutions to become models of technocratic mechanics enjoy only short-term success, and he makes his point with accessible examples from industry, government, and the military.
Robert E. Rosen, Foreword to Selznick's Leadership in Administration Philip Selznick, Leadership in Administration: A Sociological Interpretation (2011).