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VUCA Essay: Critical Discussion On The Organizational Culture


Task: Prepare VUCA essay outlining the discussion on the range of theories, tools, models and several techniques that will assist in leading and managing the cultures in a volatile, uncertain and complex environment.


The VUCA essay is based on the discussion on the range of theories, tools, models, and several techniques that will assist in leading and managing the cultures in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. In the area of Management and Leadership, the important thing and factors that measure the performance and position of a certain organization in a public sector firm are considered as organizational culture. Organizational culture explored in the VUCA essay can be explained as the patterns of shared beliefs and values which provide meaning to the institution with specific rules for maintaining a behavior inside an organization. There is a set of crucial and important understanding that the members of an organization follow and share in common. The meaning of such an organization largely depicts a tacit making the members and revels a distinct group. In an organizational aspect leadership and the overall behaviors of a leader mostly become an ideal pattern that is being followed by the employees and the team members. The VUCA was mainly introduced by the U.S Army War College in describing the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous, multilateral world that has mostly resulted after the end of the Cold War. Maintaining a balance in the leadership approach is difficult when the organizational environment is VUCA in nature. There are several agilities required within the leaders, to succeed and balance the adaptability of the VUCA world. It is the duty of the HR and talent management team to stand out with a special position by developing agile leaders.

When VUCA environment comes into context, the environment should be analyzed first to proceed with kinds of management and leadership strategies required to maintain an organizational culture. The readings used to develop this VUCA essay illustrates that the notion ‘V’ stands for volatility which means that the nature, speed, volume and the overall magnitude of specific changes are not present in a predictable way. The notion ‘U’ stands for uncertainty, which means that there is a lack of predictability in different situations that arises or may arise in the future.  The notion ‘C’ stand for complexity, which, means that there are often situations that arise are complex in nature and provides difficulty in the decision-making process. The notion ‘A’ stands for Ambiguity depicts about the imprudence of clarity behind things that are happening around. These are some situations that are hard to handle, and in such cases, a most efficient leader who has both ability and agility to handle unusual environments can only manage and lead the team (Hallinger, 2018).

 There are many lessons which are learned from which went well in the mere past and had almost no negative application which can affect the present working system. There are several problems that are noticed when strategic leadership and management tools have been used by leaders from past experiences. This is because strategies are constantly evolved with new situations and people. In such an aspect several theories are being created by the theorists and the practitioners with numerous concepts that deal with the leaders and managers and their effective corporate strategies. This also deals with personal behaviors that are to be developed in such a VUCA environment (Hartnell et al. 2016).

What is the role of leadership agility in the case scenario of VUCA essay?
The concept of the agility of leadership discussed in this VUCA essay is mainly the capability of a leader to have proper and dynamic senses that can respond to different changes in the environment of business. There are several actions that are to be taken in a flexible way to handle situations as well as the environment. The leadership agility model classifies the leaders into main three levels. Several experts have a tactical and problem-solving orientation. There are achievers who mainly focus on the strategic outcome of the work which mainly inspires others by throwing the challenge and also in satisfying even a larger objective. The catalyst mainly contains a perspective that is visionary in nature and facilitative orientations. This aspect discussed in the segment of VUCA essay mainly indulges in presenting new and important visions that mainly bring people together who has the ability to come up with right choices and in the meantime vision comes true. In such an aspect, catalyst leaders empower and activate in the development facilitation. The context-setting agility provides empowerment to a leader in scanning the environment to the overall frame available (Kivunja, 2015).

 In such an aspect, leaders need to have a bird's eye for connecting and understanding the view of the organization. The stakeholder agility enables us to engage in such a way that supports the determination of the initiatives that are or will be taken up by the organization. This helps the leader to identify the need of stakeholders and connect them with the mission and vision statements. Then comes creative agility, which mainly supports a leader to transform and encounter several problems and bring out results. The key issues are encountered and highlighted, so as to understand and evaluate the perfect solution to the problems. Lastly, self-leadership agility is a type of leadership practice that involves self-reflection. The self-leadership style examined in the VUCA essay can be strengthened by stepping back before taking any big or small initiative and thinks it twice. This behavior mainly empowers a leader to understand and criticizes the strength and weaknesses of the initiatives and also helps a leader to grow up with experiences (Liu et al. 2017).  

The VUCA Prime
The VUCA model generally identifies both the internal and external conditions that affect today's organization on a large ground. The model can be seen as the specific skills of a leader that can help the VUCA environment and provide a proper sense of leading. The VUCA prime can also be used by the HR and talent management of a specific organization in order to create a blueprint of the “skills and abilities” that are needed in creating a leader.  According to this model, the volatility together helps in the yielding of vision. This is a term that mainly helps in guiding the manager at the time of decision making. This also helps in focusing on bigger goals so far. The uncertainty of the aspects leads to stop look and listen to the important things that can be missed (Chatterjee et al. 2018).

 This is because uncertain environments can come anyhow leading to mismanagement. In such cases, there should be effective communication between the organizational peripheries in order to actively solve the problems. According to the research on VUCA essay, complexity is generally guarded by the clarity as it is an intentional process which helps in drifting away chaos. If the approaches of the leader are with approximate clarity then it will help the team members to make zeal out of the solution and find a meaningful solution. There are several commitments that are done by the leaders but afterward the commitments are not kept and which removes trust from the team members. In such an aspect the leaders need to fulfill all commitments that are being done by him in order to make the team members have trust in the leader's way of management. Lastly, taking about ambiguity basically yields to the development of agility. This helps in communication processes and also applying quick solutions to the problems (Kivunja, 2015).

Resilient Leadership Theory
As per the readings used to prepare this VUCA essay, the resilient theory of leadership is the term that describes the behavior of leaders that help in withstanding crises and also to adapt and rebound from the diverse kinds of adversity. In such a case, a leaders needs to understand the advantage of competitiveness in the organization by the method of empowering a delivery of excellent performance against several goals. This also helps in effective innovation and also adapting to the rapid and turbulent changes that come through technological changes in the marketing section. There are a total of eight groups of skills that fall under the resilient theory of leadership. There is Integrity is seen as an ethical principle for describing the leaders to have a positive change in the organization. Realistic and optimism leaders are also considered to take up risks and pay close attention to identifying potential threats and vulnerable changes that are negative in nature (Rodriguez and Rodriguez, 2015).  

The theory further keeps a state of managing the environment of an organization by keeping fears and change in a balance. This is because the resilient leaders mainly perceive resistance of the change within the organization and work to convince the staffs and also embrace the changes that are coming up on the way. The resilient leaders also have the capability to build social support and cohesion in the team. There are certain interdependent teams that are effective in building social networks within the organization. Such teams can effectively solve problems and achieve coordinated actions perfectly. This leadership theory examined in the context of this VUCA essay mainly empowers changes with the fear of failures, loss in a perceived state, and also with an outlook that is rigid in nature. In such an aspect there is a need for recruiting effective team members so that the resilient nature of the organization is fulfilled. There is a need for hiring expert members and a robust team with a diverse perspective. Therefore, the HR department should filter the application of candidates on the basis of industriousness, enthusiasm, unity, loyalty and also with a coordinated operation mindset. This will decrease the efforts of the leader to match with the aspects of team members individually. The character traits that are required for hiring expertise include industriousness, loyalty, and enthusiasm (Rodriguez and Rodriguez, 2015).

Light Footprint Approach
The Light Footprint strategy is mainly inspired by military tactics and Chinese management systems. There are five instructions given to the leaders in this strategy that are discussed below within this VUCA essay:

To be a Strategus but not a strategist: This portrays that a leader should have a  wider picture so that it can provide guidance on the mission and vision of the organization. There is a need for commanding strategies that will help the leader to evolve the team according to the vision of the organization.

Unleash Gemba power: This aspect deals with the task of a leader to monitor the structure of the organization and also to observe the areas of skills that are empowered with knowledge, wisdom, mobilization of the common objectives. 

Keep the balance of the equilibrium between yin and yang: This maintains a specific balance of the conflict and the ideas which are created in different situations (Oplatka and Arar, 2017).

 To be in synch: The leaders duly operate in the making of division between the agility and stability so far. In such an aspect, the optimization is increased with the edge of instability and also responds to a faster change with the environment. 

Lastly, to be enlightened: The leaders of the LPF category mainly act according to the constituents of responsibility and also reduce the damages collaterally. This enlightens leaders and also provides an idealistic view of doing the better analysis so far (Pandey, 2018).

L.E.A.P. Leadership Approach
The L.E.A.P. Leadership approach evolved in this segment of VUCA essay consists of four key responsibilities through the world of a VUCA environment. There are several traits that are involved in this approach which are like:

Liberal: Liberal suggests in open mindedness to new behaviors or approaches to adopt or discard the values that are existing in nature. This also suggests adopting a new environment whenever necessary.  Liberalism helps in changing the concept of staying with the old and grabbing newer technology or else concepts related to the markets that are necessary. This will both help the members and the organization to evolve with the market trends and need.

Exuberant: Exuberant deals with a proper sense of passion and also with optimism so that the team of the specific organization can engage with the other stakeholders. This nature helps the employees as well as the leaders in coordination purposes (Berger and Antonioli, 2019).

Agility: Agility states about proficiency and evolving learning with the newer technologies that are being integrated for organizational approach and development. This also helps in critical thinking, intelligence related to social, emotional periphery and cognitive readiness.

Partnership: Partnerships refer to inter and intra teams and also with the other stakeholders that include suppliers and customers as well. This is because a well-maintained partnership and coordination at a work can help in the effective solving of problems of the organization. Therefore, the maintenance of proper partnerships is a very important part of an organization. 

Analysis of the overall leadership models
After studying several leadership theories that are helpful in managing the VUCA environment, it can be stated herein VUCA essay that there are five areas that are located which should be concentrated in order to maintain the leadership skills strong. They are like:

Communication: This category mainly leads to the idea of communication which is a necessary part of being a good leader. This is because active communication leads to understanding the perspectives of the team members as well as conveying the organizational mission and vision to the team members. This is because, without proper communication, it is impossible to create a coordinated service for the organization itself (Gu et al. 2015).

Analysis: This category of VUCA essay mainly contains analytical skills that are necessary within a leader. This mainly deals with the scanning of an organization, identifying and understanding various needs of the stakeholder. This also detects the potentiality of threats within the companies which are both internal and external in nature. The analysis helps in the creation and solving of problems with organizational needs. The analysis also helps in thinking of specific challenges that come to the way, if a proper analysis of every consequence is not done properly (Beer et al. 2016).

Flexibility: This is associated in such a way, that it can be quickly adopted at times of need and marketing changes. This helps in the quick adaptability with the changes that are required in order to make an organization adjust with the newer concepts and techniques of market evaluation (Bai, Lin and Li, 2016).

Team orientation: This generally aims at focusing on the development of individual team members. The team orientation contains a behavior which at times transfers responsibilities from the leaders to the team members as well. The team needs to be managed with proper coordination which will help in the process of overall management.

 Vision: In a VUCA environment, a leader needs to have volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity with detailed strategies. This helps in the detailed strategy making and also in the overall creations of categorical organizational communication. The skills are necessary for the purpose of identifying, understanding the situation and managing it a perfect order. Such skills help in the overall quality and growth of leadership (Hanafin et al. 2018).

The evaluation of leadership models is associated with the basic leadership skills and several categories by different respective visualization. The model explained in the above section of this VUCA essay mainly focuses on overall means of development in communication and other analytical several leadership skills. This mainly postulate about many bilateral means of communication which occurs with the stakeholders that are internal and external in nature. The leaders scan the external environments to get aware of the possible threats. The evaluation of the models in VUCA environments needs to be strategically good so that the total complexities in the environment are handled with care and managed properly (Aktas, Gelfand and Hanges, 2016).

On the other hand, it can also be stated in this VUCA essay that the concept of Resilient Leadership Theory is based on giving training to a leader's skill to develop each and every member of the team. In the aspect of this model, each and every individual team members of the team are equally important to maintain an organization. Basically, the participation of every member is necessary in order to make the organization compete with situations. Therefore it is important for an organization to be resilient in nature. Therefore, deliberating the study developed in this VUCA essay it can be said that the theories discussed above will provide a clear vision on the needs and requirements that a leader needs to evolve in order to manage and lead a group or a team inside an organization. This can both take place internally or externally for an organization as well (Shields, 2017).

Considering the overall study developed in this VUCA essay, it can be said that organizational culture is the most important aspect, and are to be maintained in perfect order so that both the internal and external environment is controlled and maintained in the same order. A leader needs to be more agile in his or her leadership skills because, in a VUCA environment, there is more obstinacy required than a normal environment. There are several leadership theory discussed which involves the initiation of a number of practices and skills that will help in the further development of leadership skills. This will further help in turning a VUCA environment, within the terms of organizational culture. Effective organizational culture helps in maintaining a proper environment within the organization where the employees can work healthily. There should be a proper promotion and communication of the organizational vision of subordinates, which will further influence the work attitudes and behavior of employees. The interaction of leader and team members should be clear and legit in order to contribute to a proper collaboration, communication, and also in the encouragement of subordinates while accomplishing the objectives and mission assigned by the organization. Therefore, the findings obtained in this VUCA essay signify that in order to handle the VUCA environment, there is a proper need for counter volatility accomplishing with vision. The leader needs to compel vales of vision for its team members. There will be several uncertainties that can arise which are to be handled with proper understanding. The complexities need to be solved with a charity so that it does not hamper the mission and vision of the organization. Lastly, there should be a proper agile nature of the leaders as well as the managers in order to deal with ambiguity. This will help the leaders in overcoming situations and also in accomplishing the goals and targets of the organization as well.

Reference List
SHIELDS, C.M., (2017). VUCA essay Transformative leadership in education: Equitable and socially just change in an uncertain and complex world. Routledge.

AKTAS, M., GELFAND, M.J. AND HANGES, P.J., (2016). Cultural tightness–looseness and perceptions of effective leadership. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47(2), pp.294-309.

BAI, Y., LIN, L. AND LI, P.P., (2016). How to enable employee creativity in a team context: A cross-level mediating process of transformational leadership. Journal of Business Research, 69(9), pp.3240-3250.

BEER, M., FINNSTRÖM, M. AND SCHRADER, D., (2016). Why leadership training fails—and what to do about it. Harvard Business Review, 94(10), pp.50-57.

BERGER, R. AND ANTONIOLI, T.C., (2019). Psychometric properties of the human system audit-transformational leadership short scale in Germany and Philippines: A cross-cultural study. VUCA essay Psychologica, 120 (12-14), pp. 165.

CHATTERJEE, R., SUY, R., YEN, Y. AND CHHAY, L., (2018). Literature Review on leadership in healthcare management. Journal of Social Science Studies, 5(1), pp.38-47.

GU, Q., TANG, T.L.P. AND JIANG, W., (2015). Does moral leadership enhance employee creativity? Employee identification with leader and leader-member exchange (LMX) in the Chinese context. Journal of Business Ethics, 126(3), pp.513-529.

HALLINGER, P., (2018). Bringing context out of the shadows of leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(1), pp.5-24.

HANAFIN, J., BOYLE, A., BOYLE, L. AND FLYNN, M., (2018). Inclusion and leadership in diverse and challenging contexts: Irish travellers and early years education. Leading and Managing, 24(2), p.44.

HARTNELL, C.A., KINICKI, A.J., LAMBERT, L.S., FUGATE, M. AND DOYLE CORNER, P., (2016). VUCA essay Do similarities or differences between CEO leadership and organizational culture have a more positive effect on firm performance? A test of competing predictions. VUCA essay Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(6), p.846.

KIVUNJA, C., (2015). Leadership in early childhood education contexts: Looks, roles, and functions. Creative Education, 6(16), p.1710.

LIU, H., CUTCHER, L. AND GRANT, D., (2017). Authentic leadership in context: An analysis of banking CEO narratives during the global financial crisis. Human Relations, 70(6), pp.694-724.

OPLATKA, I. AND ARAR, K., (2017). Context and Implications Document for: The research on educational leadership and management in the Arab world since the 1990s: A systematic review. Review of Education, 5(3), pp.308-310.

PANDEY, S., (2018). Diversity Intelligence: Integrating Diversity Intelligence Alongside Intellectual, Emotional and Cultural Intelligence for Leadership and Career Development. European Journal of Training and Development, 42(5/6), pp.362-364.

RODRIGUEZ, A. AND RODRIGUEZ, Y., (2015). Metaphors for today’s leadership: VUCA world, millennial and “Cloud Leaders”. VUCA essay Journal of Management Development, 34(7), pp.854-866.


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