Based on a critique of reductive understandings of physicality, this chapter explores the significance of embodied materiality, the artefactual physical, the role of the living body and embodiment in relation to ‘intra and inter’ practices of leadership from a phenomenological perspective. Using a phenomenological and cross-disciplinary approach, issues of an embodied physicality in leadership are systematically explored and implications discussed beyond physicalist empiricism and meta-physical idealism. Furthermore, the chosen phenomenological approach reveals problematising limitations of naturalist and constructionist approaches.
Following Merleau-Ponty an extended understanding of physicality as well as the significance of the co-constitutive role of embodiment, inter-corporeality and intra-action in and of leadership practices in organisational life-worlds are identified and discussed. Insights into the role of corporeal materio-socio phenomena and expressions of meaningful practices of leading and following are rendered. The chapter concludes by noting limitations and implications of embodied physicality and physical inter-becoming of ‘bodiment’ for a more integral and sustainable conception of leader-and followership in organisations. Through its specific post-dualistic approach the chapter provides an innovative perspective on the interrelations between living, material, bodily and embodied dimensions of physicality in leadership.
Küpers, W. (2014), "To be Physical is to Inter-Be-Come – Beyond Empiricism and Idealism towards Embodied Leadership that Matters", The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 83-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-357120140000006025
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