Author: John Adair
Publisher: Kogan Page
John Adair’s book has as its foundation a refreshingly well-referenced, readable and insightful review of the cornerstones of motivation theory. Through clear and thoughtful analysis of the influential works of Maslow and Herzberg, for example, the author is able to explain concepts such as action-centred leadership or the fifty-fifty rule in a manner that is entirely logical and gives the reader a comprehensive background to most of today’s approaches.
The easy and clear writing style denotes Adair’s total expertise with the subject – never once leaving the reader struggling to grasp an idea or wondering how he might have come to a certain conclusion or theory.
Extensive referencing lists the key works on which modern motivation theories are based, although only the academic reader may feel obliged to look up many of them. As this book was first published in 1990, however, there are sadly no references to more current thinking on the subject, which is a notable omission. A more up-to-date reference section as an addendum would certainly give the reader more confidence and justification to implement Adair’s approaches.
At 116 pages, with well-spaced type and an easy style, this book does not take long to read. Representing an essential introduction to a subject that everyone in business today will touch upon at some point, its usefulness is almost without doubt. The concluding eight key principles of motivating others give a clear and realistic framework. This book will also help you find out what Maslow really meant.
Useful? four out of five stars
Well-written? five out of five stars
Practical? three out of five stars
Inspirational? four out of five stars
Value for money? four out of five stars
Overall four out of five stars
Reviewed by Julian Burch, director of learning at design company Ten Elephants