This long-established text by Laurie Mullins provides comprehensive coverage of organisational behaviour (OB) while emphasising the role of management as a core integrating activity. This seventh edition, which incorporates new material and revised references, has three additional features that make it an engaging and accessible learning resource. These include a personal skills section at the end of every chapter to help learners develop their management skills, an online resources feature with interactive web exercises and a business press section that links recent articles featured in the Financial Times to relevant chapters in the text so as to help connect theory to practice. Questions accompany the articles to prompt reflection.
The text includes assignments and case studies to encourage consolidation of learning through the analysis of more complex situations. There is also coverage of specialist areas such as human-resource management that have relevance to how work is organised and performed. In addition to being well written, the text is neatly presented in a full-colour design that makes it attractive and readable.
Mullins provides sufficient depth and breadth of coverage. He is thorough in his treatment of key concepts and is likely to appeal to educators and learners at undergraduate and graduate levels. His book may also be a useful resource to aspiring and practising managers who wish to improve their understanding and management practice.
In terms of the pedagogical features and resources available to enhance the learning experience, very little separates this book from the text with the same title by Wendy Bloisi et al . For example, the latter includes an online learning resource feature and a section called "areas for personal development" at the end of every chapter. Similarly, it makes use of a wide range of case studies to encourage reflection on concepts and issues covered in the text. The cases, however, are drawn from a broader range of sectors, such as the voluntary sector and education, thereby providing a gentle reminder that management and organisational behaviour affect a wider audience than just business students and practitioners.
But although this book is also competently and well written in an accessible and straightforward style, it lacks the presentation of Mullins' textbook, which is more attractively designed. Moreover, the coverage in the book by Bloisi et al is not as broad in terms of topics covered, and it is aimed at a European audience, which may narrow its appeal to international students from further abroad.
Nonetheless, this is still a comprehensive text that explores key themes in sufficient depth and contains a wealth of examples and engaging exercises.While both books are worth buying, I would probably prefer to use Mullins' book because of its versatility and application to a wider audience.
Deviating from standard OB texts, Fiona Wilson's Organisational Behaviour and Gender examines critically some of the assumptions that underpin organisational life and studies of OB. With a gendered analysis to study key themes, such as motivation and leadership, Wilson passionately and persuasively challenges the dominance of masculine norms of management, bolstering her arguments through substantial references to recent research. Her candid and thought-provoking discussion - particularly in the final chapter, which deals with sex and sexuality in the workplace - is both revealing and disturbing.
Although the density of the material at times detracts from its readability, this is a refreshing and comprehensive work that should be included on any OB course at undergraduate or graduate level. It should also be read by men and women in work, particularly those in positions of power, to prompt self-reflection. I particularly liked the questions for further research at the end of every chapter, which suggest many interesting possibilities for aspiring researchers.
Maria Stafylarakis is lecturer in management learning, Lancaster University.
Management and Organisational Behaviour. Seventh edition
Author - Laurie J. Mullins
Publisher - Prentice Hall
Pages - 1,095
Price - £38.99
ISBN - 0 3 68876 6