Compassionate Love in Leaders: Leadership Solutions in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Leaders need many competencies to drive diverse and transcultural workforces by building strong work and positive intergroup relationships. This is particularly true for running organisations which grow in social, cultural and technological diversity. Love, defined as a compassion (Schopenhauer), is a form of caring, a form of altruism which emphasises concern for the self and the other person’s well-being. In contemporary globalising work environments, while technologising and digitalisation are at the forefront of the approaching fourth industrial revolution, love, compassion, peace and sustainability are advancing as key components in the art of collaboration for a sustainable, future world. This chapter presents findings from a qualitative research study in which 22 leaders were interviewed on their views of love and leadership. Leaders explain how they define and interrelate the two concepts, and how love impacts on their leadership in theory and practice. Findings show that love is split into concepts of interpersonal, intra-personal, object-related and toxic or non-existent love in a work environment. Leaders know how to express and detect love at work. They understand love as an emotion which connects people across cultural group membership and supports individuals in finding solutions and working together respectfully and openly. Additionally, love can help employees to transform negative emotions into neutral or positive ones. Finally, extraordinary leaders are defined by the respondents as those who go beyond the regular and customary, and are driven by concepts such as a loving attitude, love for humanity, inclusiveness and unconditional love.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Love
Subtitle of host publicationTranscultural and Transdisciplinary Perspectives
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030459963
ISBN (Print)9783030459956
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Compassion
  • Fourth revolution
  • Global work places
  • Leadership
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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