Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 234

Full Length Research Paper

Leadership characteristics in a volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) environment, a case study of Zimbabwe hospitality industry during Covid 19 era

Judith Mwenje
  • Judith Mwenje
  • Graduate School of Business, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar
Francis Manyanga
  • Francis Manyanga
  • Graduate School of Business, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 18 January 2023
  •  Accepted: 08 March 2023
  •  Published: 31 July 2023


Organisations are experiencing high level of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The study sought to evaluate the leadership characteristics in a Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA) environment in the hospitality industry during Covid 19 era. There is lack of research that explains challenges faced in the presence of a Covid 19 pandemic in the hospitality sector in Zimbabwe. This generates a need to identify various leadership characteristics in the hospitality sector in the context of a pandemic environment. The research used both quantitative and qualitative approaches to explore the topic under study utilising both primary and secondary data. Questionnaires and interviews were used as part of the data gathering instruments for primary data. Random and non-random sampling techniques were used to obtain data from participants who are employees of hotels in Zimbabwe. While for secondary data, documentary analysis of previous research done by other scholars, media circulations, internal circulars were used. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data obtained from the respondents. Use of SPSS for quantitative and Nvivo for qualitative data analyse were used, with correlation and regression analysis applied to evaluate the relationship between the preparedness and survival in the VUCA environment. The major findings of the study revealed that Zimbabwe’s hospitality industry is in Covid 19 induced VUCA Environment. The study established that possession of certain skills-set coupled with preparation enhance chances of an organisation’s survival in a VUCA. The study recommended the need to invest trainings of leadership personnel on critical skills. 


Key words: VUCA, COVID-19, Pandemic, Disruptive technology, Hospitality industry.