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Publication in European Management Review

© The Journal of the European Academy of Management
European Management Review

Conceptualizing self-transcendence for leadership research

The concept of self-transcendence is increasingly found in leadership literature. Yet, the concept is used in diverse ways.

In their new study in European Management Review, which is the journal of the European Academy of Management (EURAM), Maximilian H. Theissen of the Professorship for Strategic Management and Leadership, together with two co-authors, Hubertus H. Theissen and Ali A. Gümüsay, develop a comprehensive and coherent conceptualization of self-transcendence for leadership research. Their publication is the first management article that explores self-transcendence in leadership styles.

They demonstrate that self-transcendence is the cognitive orientation of accepting something other than one’s self to be of highest worth. They show that this something, which is greater than the self, may take four different forms: other people, social collectives, moral principles and ideals, or metaphysical beings. They contribute to leadership research by linking each greater something to one theory: servant, transformational, moral, and spiritual leadership. Their conceptualization of self-transcendence allows them to integrate different leadership theories into a meta-perspective of self-transcendent leadership.

Read the entire study here