Date of Conferral
Organizational leaders in the 21st century face relentless changes in the business environments in which they operate. The diversity, intensity, and rapidity of these changes create volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), which challenge leaders on ways to lead effectively as existing methods prove inadequate. The problem in this study was that of inadequate leader preparedness to lead and win in VUCA environments. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of 15 Nigerian corporate executives about their VUCA business environment and the strategies they employed for VUCA-readiness and success within the manufacturing sector. The research question guiding the study related to the lived experiences of corporate executives in manufacturing companies in Nigeria regarding VUCA-readiness and succeeding in a VUCA environment. Chaos theory and complexity leadership theory were used to frame the study. Data collection occurred through snowball sampling to interview 15 participants who are senior executives in large manufacturing corporations in Lagos, Nigeria. Data was analyzed through Ricoeur’s theory of interpretation and member checking. As a result, 4 key themes that emerged were business agility, strategic workforce and demand planning, recovery management for organizational resilience, and conscientious and value-based leadership. The study findings may contribute to positive social change in providing strategies for organizational sustainability, business readiness, responsive leadership, and enhanced employee well-being in VUCA. Recommendations include VUCA training for preparedness and organizational resilience.