Self-Transcendence: Maslow’s Answer to Cultural Closeness

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Henry J. Venter


In the editorial, Revisiting Openness: A Must for Society (Mention, Ferreira & Torkkeli, 2016), the authors addresses the issue that despite predominance of openness in contemporary organizations – porous boundaries, virtual and agile teams, as well as interconnectedness, - Western Societies and some of their elected leaders are currently advocating closeness. They raised the questions: How we can build an inclusive society while rejecting difference? How can we achieve innovation when turning our backs on variety and diversity? And could the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs help the mechanics of these trends? This paper shows how Abraham Maslow, before he died, identified a sixth tier of need – self-transcendence – and how a worldwide focus among academia, organizational leaders and political leaders of countries can prevent closeness and isolation among countries and cultures all over the world.


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