Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair/Advisor

Cynthia Pury

Committee Member

Patrick Rosopa

Committee Member

Mary Taylor

Committee Member

Jenna Van Fossen


This dissertation delves into the exploration of wisdom as self-transcendence within organizational contexts. Self-transcendence is characterized by qualities such as a sense of connectedness with others and the world, moral maturity, the experience of emotions such as peace and awe, and a sense of life's meaningfulness. While self-transcendence is shown to be generally associated with positive outcomes, this dissertation takes a specific focus, aiming to empirically investigate whether these positive consequences of self-transcendence extend to organizational settings to positively impact organizationally-desired outcomes. Specifically, the study seeks to investigate the relationship between employees’ wisdom as self-transcendence and their adaptive performance. Given the dynamic nature of work and the volatile organizational environments in which individuals operate, adaptability becomes a pivotal attribute. Additionally, this dissertation explores the potential role of two mediating constructs, namely, employee receptiveness and openness to change, in elucidating this relationship.

Specifically, this study investigates (1) whether self-transcendence is positively associated with adaptive performance, and (2) whether employee receptiveness and openness to change mediate the relationship between self-transcendence and adaptive performance. To investigate the likely relationship between wisdom as self-transcendence and adaptive performance, this dissertation surveyed approximately 154 participants. They were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk (www. Through a comprehensive analysis, the study found that self-transcendence is significantly and positively associated with both employee receptiveness and openness to work role change. Moreover, both employee receptiveness and openness to work role change emerged as significantly and positively associated with adaptive performance. Interestingly, while self-transcendence did not directly affect adaptive performance, mediated effects were observed through employee receptiveness and openness to work role change, suggesting an indirect pathway. These findings underscore the importance of self-transcendence in enhancing employee openness and receptiveness and hence fostering adaptability in organizations. Practical implications highlight the need for organizations to cultivate self-transcendent values. Limitations are addressed, and future research directions are proposed.



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