Organisational Learning for and with VUCA: Learning Leadership Revisited


  • Elena Antonacopoulou University of Liverpool Management School



For over a decade, we have not seen new and exciting developments in Organisational and Management learning theory and practice and we remain beset by the orientation towards knowledge acquisition and behavioural change as the means of accounting for the impact of learning. In this paper we consider both a new theoretical perspective and approach to learning across levels – individual, group, organisation – in an effort to pave the way for the next phase of learning research and practice relevant for the 21st Century. Recognising Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA) as the conditions that mirror the rhythm of the 21st Century is one thing. Developing new ways of knowing and acting in order to address these conditions is another matter altogether. This paper provides a response to this call for addressing the VUCA conditions with a VUCA approach to learning. Building on recent calls for Learning Leadership with virtue we elaborate the importance of Leadership in 21st Century Management and Organisational Learning and explicate the need for Courage, Commitment, Confidence and Curiosity as integral to VUCA learning. VUCA Learning Leadership promotes: learning to feel safe being Vulnerable; learning to remain Unnerved by the unknown, learning to demonstrate Candour and learning to experience Awakening. These dimensions form an extension of earlier focus in organisational and management learning on socio-materiality and account for sensoriality as a foundation for the ‘New Learning Organisation’.


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Antonacopoulou, E. (2018). Organisational Learning for and with VUCA: Learning Leadership Revisited. Teoria E Prática Em Administração, 8(2), 10–32.