Developing Next Generation Leaders in a Diverse Environment, by Dr. R. N. Givhan, is a reference guide to the application of research-based adult learning strategies in organizational development.
The vast majority of Givhan’s book focuses on overviewing, comparing, contrasting, and analyzing theories on adult learning as posited by famous adult educators Malcolm Knowles, Thomas Sticht, Lyman Bryson, and Chris Argyris. Over the course of 11 chapters, Givhan clarifies the fundamentals of the adult learning process, the roles of a trainer in adult learning, and learning issues in the corporate environment.
Developing Next Generation Leaders provides a clear and well-informed assessment of some of the most highly regarded adult-learning research. It also does a great job of synthesizing concepts and drawing conclusions about how Knowles, Sticht, Byrson, and Argyris’s theories – most developed more than 20 years ago — apply to modern adults. For example, Givhan concludes that while a traditional teacher was most effective in the past, a facilitator is now the more effective training role, as this person “can supply the class with the freedoms to explore and connect data for continued growth beyond the structured classroom.”
As exhaustive as Givhan’s research is, readers should note that the content of the book is slightly out of accordance with its title, as there are but cursory references to leadership and diversity of environments. A more apt title for the book would have been “Fundamentals of Adult Learning for Corporate Trainers.”
In spite of its misleading name, however, this book is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in positively impacting training practices in their organization.