Professor of Leadership and Organization Studies

Professor at Karlshochschule since

  • September 1, 2013

Main Focus of Teaching

  • Leadership & organization studies and practice
  • General management in master study (including modules on business analysis, business transformation, strategy as practice, aesthetics and ethics in leadership)
  • Philosophy and practice of research


  • Introduction to Scientific Work and Empirical Social and Business Research (Research Colloquium Master program)
  • General Management / Leadership (Master program)
  • Practical Philosophy, Ethics and Sustainability in Management & Organization (Bachelor program "Politics, Philosophy and Economics")

Research fields and interests

  • Phenomenology and cross-disciplinary, qualitative research on organization and management/leadership
  • Embodied, emotional, and aesthetic dimensions of organizational life-worlds and management/leadership practice
  • Implicit knowing and learning & creative practices in organizations and its management/leadership
  • Theory and practice of integral forms of organizing and managing/leading
  • Practical wisdom in organizations and leadership

Academic Education and Training

  • Associate Professor at the School of Management, Massey University, Auckland/New Zealand
  • Post-Doc Research Associate at the University of St. Gallen/Switzerland
  • Doctorate at the University of Witten/Herdecke, degree: Dr. rer. pol. (PhD)
  • Studies in economic sciences at the University of Witten/Herdecke, degree: Diplom rer. pol.

Practical Experience

  • Many years of occasional collaborations with organizations and companies in empirical research projects
  • FUTOUR GmbH & Co. KG, Munich
  • Wikinger-Reisen GmbH, Hagen and Reykjavik/Iceland
  • Indo-Cultures GmbH, Stuttgart and New Dehli/India
  • Hüls (VEBA), Marl: Vocational Training ("Industriekaufmann"), followed by several years of employment

Current Research Projects

  • Phenomenology and "Pheno-Practices" of Embodied, Aesthetic and Sustainable Organization and Leadership
  • "Em-Bodied-MIND-full": Processes and effects of embodied mindfulness in organizational life-worlds and leadership practice
  • "De-Sign-Doing": Embodied and artful design(ing) in "materio-socio-cultural" intra-practices for sustainable organizations
  • "AestEthics": Possibilities of integral and creative practices and practical wisdom in responsive and responsible organization and leadership

Expert Activities

Further Information


  • Aesthetics Creativity & Organization Research Network (ACORN)
  • Academy of Management (AoM)
  • Critical Management Studies (CMS)
  • European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS)
  • European Business Ethics Network (EBEN)
  • European SPES Institute – Spirituality in economics and society
  • EMONET, Emotion Net-work
  • European Academy of Management (EURAM)
  • Institut für Integrale Studien (IFIS)
  • Integral Leadership Council
  • International Leadership Association (ILA)'s Followership Research Community
  • Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism (SCOS)
  • Strategy as Practice Network (SAP)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Imagination Laboratory


Awards and Scholarships

  • Graduated with Honours "Master Degree (German Diploma) in Economics & Business Administration", Witten/Herdecke University/Germany
  • Ph.D. Scholarship by Dörken Foundation, Herdecke/Germany 
  • Post-Doctoral Research Scholarshp by Thyssen-Foundation, Cologne/Germany
  • Research funding by "Grundlagenfond", University St. Gallen/Switzerland
  • Marie-Curie Fellowship, by European Commission, Bruxelles/Belgium
  • Chosen as "Key Reading" in the Emerald Management Reviews Database: Küpers, W. (2005). Embodied Implicit and Narrative Knowing in Organisations. In: Journal of Knowledge Management, Volume 9, No 6, 2005, 113-133.
  • Nomination for "Johnson Award" for "Best Papers in Ethics and Accountability in Public Service" by the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh/USA for publication: Küpers, W. and Weibler, J. (2008). Inter-Leadership – Why and How to Think Leader- and Followership Integrally, Leadership, Vol. 4(4): 443–47.
  • Nomination and certificate for lecturer of the year (LOTY), Massey University, Auckland/New Zealand (2013)
  • Erasmus+ STA Mobility grant (2014/2015)

Publications and Working Papers

For direct access to some of the publications please use the following links:

Research Gate





Chapters in Anthologies / Journal articles (selection)



Conference Contributions

  • Küpers, W. (2015): Embodied & artful design for a creative and sustainable practice in organisations and leadership. Paper for presentation at ARTEMOCC, 1st ARTEM Organizational Creativity international Conference, "Rethinking Paths on Creativity and Sustainability", ICN Business School Nancy, 26-27 March 2015.
  • Küpers, W. (2014): "Embodied, artful design for a creative inter-practicing of leadership". Paper for presentation at EGOS conference, Rotterdam, 3-5. July 2014. (under review for Organiational Aesthetics)
  • Küpers, W. (2014): Inter-Play(ing) – Embodied and relational possibilities of serious play at work paper for presentation at SCOS conference, Utrecht, 7-10. July 2014.
  • Küpers, W. (2014): "Embodied Inter-ruption ~ The potential of art-based approaches for a liberating irritation of the "Sense of Reality" and  explorations through the "Sense of Possibility" in organization and leadership", Presentation at Art of Management Conference, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, 28-31 August 2014.
  • Küpers, W. (2014): "Embodied Performance and Performativity in Organizations and Management", Presentation at Research Seminar @ "Unpacking Performativity Processes in Organizations", MINES ParisTech, Paris, 19-20 May 2014.
  • Küpers, W. (2014): The "Re-" of Re-Thinking Management, Opening Speech at Conference "Rethinking Management", Karlshochschule
  • Küpers, W. (2014): "Gefühle in der digitalen Welt", Vortrag für Salon 02: "La voix humaine", Kunstverein München, 29. January 2014.
  • Küpers, W. (2014): Ornament as gesture. Merleau-Ponty's paradox of expression and metaphor of chiasm as enfleshed organizing principle, WOF, World Ornamental Forum, Davos/Switzerland, 18-19. February 2014.
  • Küpers, W. (2014): Aufmerksamkeit und engagierte Gelassenheit als Medien einer Kunst praktischer Weisheit, Vortrag für "Wissenschaft und Weisheit" am Philosophischen Seminar, Fachstelle für Weiterbildung der Universität Zürich, 3 February 2014.
  • Küpers, W. (2013) : Zur Kunst praktischer Weisheit in Organisation und Führung: die Relevanz von Emotion und Intuition, Internationaler Kongreß High Touch - Emotionen und Intuitionen in Führung und Management, Hochschule Luzern/Schweiz, 7-8 November 2013.
  • Küpers, W. (2013): De-+-Touring Consumption through "Inter-Place", Touring Consumption Conference, Karlshochschule, Karlsruhe/Germany 24.25. October 2013.
  • Küpers, W. (2013): Embodied Inter-Be(com)ing of the emergence of Novelty in Organization. Fifth International Symposium on Process Organization Studies. Theme: The Emergence of Novelty in Organizations, Chania, Crete, Greece, 22 June 2013.
  • Küpers, W. (2013): Embodied and integral Inter-knowing & Inter-learning in Organising, European Academy of Management (EURAM) Conference, "Knowledge and Learning" General Track, Istanbul/Turkey, 29 June 2013.
  • Küpers, W. (2013): Embodied Inter-Be(com)ing as emergent, creative De-Construction in Organization, SCOS – Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 16 July 2013.
  • Küpers, W. and Howard, C. (2012): Somewhere between everywhere and nowhere: Travelling as Embodied and Inter-Placed "Be(com)ing" in the age of digital Ge-stell, ASCP Conference, Auckland/New Zealand, 1 December 2012. 
  • Küpers, W. (2012): Between Non- and Post-Disciplininarity?! Perspectives on Integral Inter- & Trans-Disciplinary Re-Search, Cross-disciplinary seminar series, Massey University, Auckland/New Zealand.
  • Küpers, W. (2012): Embodied Action Research, Presentation for Academic Co-Creative Inquiry (ACCI) project, Ksenija Napan, Unitec Institute of Technology (Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka) Auckland/New Zealand.
  • Küpers, W. (2011): Sense-Making and Making of Senses in Embodied Organisational Culture, Paper for presentation at Stream: The sense: Embodying Culture at 7th International Critical Management Conference, Naples.
  • Küpers, W. (2011): Embodied Inter-Placing. Paper for presentation at stream on "Topography & Organisation" at the 14th Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies (APROS), 28 November - 1 December 2011, Auckland/New Zealand.
  • Küpers, W. (2010): Perspectives on Responsible and Integral Practices of Sustainability in Organisation and Leadership, paper for presentation at Sustainability Workshop The Business Case For Social and Environmental Responsibility, Novemver 2010, Massey University, Auckland.
  • Küpers, W. (2010): Meta-Theoretical Perspectives on Integral Transformational Leadership Research and Practice, Paper for Presentation at International Symposium "Research across Boundaries", 16-19 June 2010, Luxembourg University, Luxembourg.
  • Küpers, W. (2010): Inter-Passion – Embodied Affect in Organisational Life-Worlds, Paper for Presentation at ASCP Conference, Brisbane.
  • Küpers, W. (2010): Dilemma and Paradoxes in Chiasmic Organisation, Working Paper for presentation, School of Management, Massey University, Auckland.
  • Küpers, W. (2010): Processes of Embodied & Co­Creative Inter­Practices as Organisational Be(com)ing, paper for presentation at EGOS 2010, sub‐theme: Investigating Organization as Becoming in a World on the Move, 1-3 July 2010, Lisbon.