Opening People to Possibilities: A Heideggerian Approach to Leadership

Philosophy of Management 5 (1):25-44 (2005)
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Abstract

In the realm of corporate leadership and organisational theory, the work of the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, has received little if any attention from scholars and practitioners alike. We argue in this paper that Heidegger’s work has an important message to convey with regard to the ability and perhaps the obligation of leaders to enable the ‘releasement’ and ‘opening up’ of the members of an organisational community to their ‘authentic possibilities’ within the realm of the work environment. We apply the Heideggerian concepts of calculative and reflective thinking, as well as his philosophy of ‘being’ to the role of authentic leaders and their leadership possibilities. And we distinguish this approach to leadership from that which we identify as ‘inauthentic’ in which both leaders and members of organisations are alienated from their possibilities.

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