Professor of Leadership and Organization Studies

Professor at Karlshochschule since

  • September 1, 2013

Main Focus of Teaching

  • Management/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)
  • Einführung in das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten und die empirische Sozial- und Wirtschaftsforschung (Forschungskolloquium für den Masterstudiengang)
  • Practical Philosophy


  • General Management/Leadership (Master program)
  • Introduction to Scientific Work and Empirical Social and Business Research (Research Colloquium Master program)
  • Practical Philosophy & Strategic Practice (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 ICN – ARTEM, Nancy, Frankreich
  • 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.
  • Study of philosophy at University Bochum, Participation at post-graduate College "Phenomenology and Hermeneutics"

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 "Practices" of Embodied, Aesthetic and Sustainable Organization and Leadership
  • "Em-Bodied-MIND-full": Processes and effects of be(com)ing embodied mindful in organizational life-worlds and leadership practices
  • "De-Sign-Doing": Embodied and artful design(ing) in "materio-socio-cultural" intra- and inter-practices for sustainable organizations and leadership
  • "AestEthics": Possibilities of integral ethical and aesthetical processes and the art of practical wisdom in responsive and responsible organization and leadership

Expert Activities

  • Conference Convenor (EURAM, EGOS, CMSRethinking Management)
  • Editor of "The Practical Wisdom in Leadership and Organization Series", Gower Ashgate, Routledge
  • Section Editor for "Handbook of Practical Wisdom in Business and Management", Barry Schwartz, Caleb Bernacchio, César González-Cantón and Angus Robson, eds) in Series, "International Handbooks in Business Ethics", Springer
  • Co-editor "Integral Review"
  • Associate Editor and Bureau Chief for Germany "Integral Leadership"
  • Member of Editorial Board "Organizational Aesthetics"
  • Scientific Board, "Institut für Integrale Studien" (IFIS)
  • Member of Advisory Board "Social Responsibility Council" (SRC), New Delhi, India
  • Evaluator for "European Science Foundation", Strasbourg, France
  • Founding Member of "Ethics and Responsibility in Organisations" e.V.
  • Member of "Centre Européen de Recherche en Économic Financière et Gestion des Entreprises" (CEREFIGE), Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France
  • Member of "International Research Chair in Art and Sustainable Enterprise" (IRCASE), ICN – ARTEM, Nancy, France
  • Re-viewer of academic journals: "Academy of Management Learning & Education", "Business Ethics: A European Review", "Consumption Markets & Culture", "Culture and Organization", "Human Relations", "Integral Review", "International Journal of Management Reviews", "Journal of Business Ethics", "Journal for Cleaner Production", "Journal of Management Inquiry", "Journal of Organizational Behavior", "Leadership", "Leadership and Organization Development Journal", "Management Learning", "Organization Studies", "Organization Management Journal", "Organizational Aesthetics", "Scandinavian Journal of Management", "Studies in Communication Sciences", "Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft", "Zeitschrift für Organisations-Entwicklung"
  • Book reviewer for Routledge and Emerald

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)


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

Research Gate





Book chapters (Selection)

  • Küpers, W. (2020). “Aesthetic Leadership”, in Cristina Neesham  (ed) Handbook, Philosophy of Management, New York: Springer (in preparation)
  • Küpers, W. (2019). “Cultivating Sustainable Organizational Bodies by Embodied and Playful Learning as an ‘Inter-Practice’”, in Minisri, Kamel & Schulz, Klaus (eds), “Facilitating sustainable development through creative approaches – integrating arts, technology and management perspectives, Nancy: PUN – Presses Universitaires de Nancy, Edition Collection: Organizations in Action (forthcoming).
  • Küpers, W. (2019). (with C. Howard) “Phenomenological anthropology of interactive travel: mediated responsivity and inter-placed mobilities, in: Tourism and embodiment, Advances in Anthropology, eds C. Palmer & H. Andrews (203-218), London: Routledge.
  • Küpers, W. (2019). “Post-Pandoran Hope for Moving Wisely, Beyond the Neo-Promethean Anthropocene, in Monika Kostera & Daniel Ericsson (eds) Organizing hope, Narratives for a Better Future. (chapter 7) Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • Küpers, W.  (2019). “Merlin as Tale of Practical Wisdom” in: Küpers, W. & Statler, M. (eds), “Tales of Wisdom in Business and Leadership”, New York: Routledge (forthcoming).
  • Küpers, W. (2017). “Introduction: Contexts and Complexities of Wisdom Learning in Management and Business Education”, Küpers, W. & Gunnlaugson, O. (eds), Wisdom Learning: Perspectives on Wising-Up Management & Business Education. London: Routledge, 1-38
  • Küpers, W. (2017). “Embodied Aesth-Ethics for Developing Practical Wisdom in Management Education/Learning, Küpers, W. & Gunnlaugson, O. (eds), Wisdom Learning: Perspectives on Wising-Up Management & Business Education, London: Routledge, 272-311
  • Küpers, W. (2017). “The embodied Inter-Be(com)ing of Spirituality. The in-between as spiritual sphere in practically wise organizations”; Sharda Nandram (ed) Managing VUCA by an Integrative Self-Managed way: Enhancing Integrating Simplification Theory. London: Springer, 229-247.
  • Küpers, W. Sonnenburg, S. & Zierold, M. (2017). “Introduction: ReThinking Management?!“, In: Küpers, W., S. Sonnenburg & M. Zierold (2015) “Re-Thinking Management. Berlin: Springer, 11-30
  • Küpers, W. (2016). “Modelle der Dienstleistungsqualität“, Michael Ketting, Raimund Pfundtner & Hans-Dieter Zollondz, (Hrsg.) Lexikon des Qualitätsmanagements, München/Wien: Oldenbourg,707-712.
  • Küpers, W. (2016). “Qualität als philosophischer Begriff“, Michael Ketting, Raimund Pfundtner & Hans-Dieter Zollondz, (Hrsg.) Lexikon des Qualitätsmanagements, München/Wien: Oldenbourg, 875-882.
  • Küpers, W. (2016). “Qualität als Beziehungsereignis“, Michael Ketting, Raimund Pfundtner & Hans-Dieter Zollondz, (Hrsg.) Lexikon des Qualitätsmanagements, München/Wien, Oldenbourg, 863-867.
  • Küpers, W. (2015). "De-+-Touring through "Inter-Place". In: Sonnenburg, S. and Wee, D. (eds.): Touring Consumption, Series Management-Culture-Interpretation, Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Küpers, W. (2015). "Zur Kunst praktischer Weisheit in Organisation und Führung. Die Relevanz von Emotion und Intuition für eine integrale Weisheitspraxis". In: Fröse, M. und Kaudela-Baum, S. (Hrsg.): High Touch – Emotionen und Intuitionen in Führung und Management, Berlin: Springer, 65-98.


Peer-reviewed Articles in Journals


Chapters in Anthologies / Journal articles (selection)



Conference Contributions

  • Küpers, W. (2019). “From Anthropocene to Eco-cene? - Perspectives on embodied transformations towards enlivening practices in organisations”, for EGOS Conference, Sub-theme 67: Critical Organizational Anthropocene Studies, Edinburgh.
  • Küpers, W. (2019). “Embodied Leverage Practices for Sustainable Development in Organisations”, paper for presentation at conference Leverage Points, Leuphania University, Lüneburg, Germany.
  • Küpers, W. (2018). “Practices for Organizing Sustainable Praxis“ interactive paper for presentation, 12, 2018, ANZAM, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Küpers, W. (2018). “Phenomenology of Embodied New Work Practices”, Key-Note Speech for the 2nd International Workshop “Phenomenology & New Work Practices” Université PSL-Paris Dauphine, DRM – Management & Organisation (01. 06. 2018).
  • Küpers, W.  (2018). “Inter-Prâxis – Integrating Prâxis, Practice, Phronesis for enacting Transformative Sustainable Development”, Paper for EURAM 2018,  Stream 01.02.S Business for Society as a living project, (Best Paper Nominee), Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Küpers, W. (2017). “Cultivating Sustainable Organizational Bodies by Embodied and Playful Learning as an ‘Inter-Practice’” for ARTEM conference sub-stream: Connecting creativity and sustainability via human body: Re-creating creative and sustainable organizational bodies through body-based management learning, 09, 2017, ICN, Nancy.
  • Küpers, W. (2017). “En-Fleshed Inter-Practices’ for more Sustainable Organisational Life-Worlds”, paper for ‘CARNE – Flesh and Organization’ 5th  Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism, 07 2017, Universita’ degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Rome.
  • Küpers, W. (2017). “The Role of Embodied Ethos for an Integral ‘Aesth-Ethical’ and Wise Practices & Praxis in Organisations”, paper for EGOS, Sub-theme 12: Being Good or Looking Good? Interrogating the Contradictions and Tensions in Organizational Ethics 07. 2017, Copenhagen.
  • Küpers, W. (2017)     “Embodied Re-Design for Sustainability Development – From Design Thinking towards an Design Doing, paper for presentation at workshop on design thinking and sustainability, in connection to 'SaM' research project.05. 2017, Leuphana University, Lüneburg
  • Küpers, W. (2017)     “Embodied (Inter-)Affection as medium for sustainable Leader- & Followership in Organisational Life-Worlds”, paper for presentation at 2nd Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Leadership Symposium, 5. 2017, Mykonos.
  • Küpers, W. (2016) (with D. Rooney, D. Pauleen, & Todarello, E.). “The Role of Time and temporality in wisdom development for organisations”, paper for presentation at ABEN (Australian Business Ethics Network) Conference, 12. 2016, Griffith University, Southbank Campus, Brisbane.
  • Küpers, W. (2016). “Integrating Sustainable Development and Practical Wisdom as Practices of Organising”, Paper presented at ANZAM Conference, 6-9. 12. 2016, Brisbane.
  • Küpers, W. (2016) (with Rooney, D., Todarello, E., Pauleen, D.) “The temporal dimensions of wisdom development.” Paper presented at Australian Business Ethic Network Conference, Griffith University, 12. 2016, Brisbane.
  • Küpers, W. (2016). “Embodied “Aesth-Ethics for Developing Practical Wisdom in Management Education/Learning”, paper for presentation EURAM-Conference, 1-4. 06. 2016, Paris.
  • Küpers, W. (2016)     (with J. Deeg): “Processing paradoxes through chiasmic organizing”, Eighth International Symposium on Process Organization Studies Theme: Dualities, dialectics and paradoxes in organizational life, 16-18 06. 2016, Corfu, Greece.
  • Küpers, W.  (2015). “Embod-ied Responsive Ethical Practice, The Contribution of Merleau-Ponty for a Corporeal Ethics in Organisations, paper for presentation at EBEN (European Business Ethics Network), Conference, 26. - 28. 06. 2015, Istanbul.
  • Küpers, W. (2015) “Inter-Play(ing) –Embodied and relational possibilities of serious play at work”, presentation at 10th Organization Studies Summer Workshop and Special Issue Organizational Creativity, Play and Entrepreneurship, 21-23. 05. 2015, Chania, Crete.
  • 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.