Maslow’s Self-Transcendence: How It Can Enrich Organization Culture and Leadership
Henry J Venter

Abraham Maslow, founder of humanistic psychology, developed the five-level Hierarchy of Needs. His identification of higher order needs, such as self-actualization, have played a major role in the development of organizational leadership, giving him the title Father of Modern Management and Leadership. Based on Maslow’s theory, most programs on personal development and motivation focus on the desire of individuals to actualize and fulfill their personal potential, which often leads to an over-accentuating of personal success at-all-cost. Maslow identified a sixth level of need, Self-Transcendence, which goes beyond individual needs. At this level, people view the world and their purpose in it on a more global scale. Self-transcendent leaders are characterized by a common purpose, a global perspective, and joint responsibility for the fate of the whole organization, identifying with a cause greater than themselves. This paper examines the enriching implications that self-transcendence can have on organization culture and leadership.

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