Original Research

Hospitality as a pivotal value in leadership: A transdisciplinary engagement with the case of Chief Albert Luthuli

Yolande Steenkamp, Derick de Jongh
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6774 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6774 | © 2021 Yolande Steenkamp, Derick de Jongh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 April 2021 | Published: 30 September 2021

About the author(s)

Yolande Steenkamp, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Derick de Jongh, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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This article presents hospitality as a pivotal value in the context of increasing diversity that characterises the complex relations in which leadership emerges. After reviewing the concept of Otherness in philosophy, the notion of hospitality as developed by Richard Kearney in relation to his philosophy of religion (The God Who May Be) is introduced. The case of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Chief Albert Luthuli is then presented as a biographical leadership study from the African context to illustrate how hospitality as open response to radical Otherness may inspire collaboration and foster positive change. The article then addresses ways in which the notions of hospitality and Otherness present new opportunities to leadership studies for responding to the relational challenges of the globalised world. Amidst an increased scholarly focus on relationality and the need for relational intelligence, globalisation routinely confronts leaders and their followers with radical Otherness. Through dialogue between theology, philosophy of religion and leadership studies and by presenting a case from the African context, the article offers in print what is called for in the global context, namely an open response to the alterity of the Other that enables collaboration amidst increasing diversity.

Contribution: Proceeding from a transdisciplinary engagement, the article illustrates that leadership studies stood to benefit from dialogue with theology and philosophy of religion, which offers ways of addressing the Otherness that characterise the globalised context of leadership.


otherness; hospitality; relationality; leadership; Richard Kearney; Albert Luthuli; biographical leadership


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