Vertical leadership development: problems of conceptualization and implementation

Keywords: manager, leader, leadership, vertical development, VUCA world, action logic, Leadership Development Framework


The environment in which modern business operates is immeasurably more complex, mobile and unpredictable than it was a decade ago. Changes in the world associated with globalization, digital opportunities, social media make people reconsider their experience and beliefs. Society has to meet many economic, social and environmental challenges and expects business to participate in the process effectively. Companies that strive for success increasingly need leaders who not only manage the current model of the organization well, but also transform its mission, culture, and standards in conditions of increasing complexity, ambiguity, and fragility of events. This requires unprecedented abilities and willingness for full commitment and puts forward new requirements for the leader’s formation. The purpose of this article is to systematize knowledge on the vertical leadership development in the new business environment that is typified by an increased level of complexity and interconnectedness. General scientific methods are used to substantiate the theoretical positions and reasoning of the conclusions. The system method allows to consider the organization leadership development as an open, integrated, dynamic, contradictory process in which all its structural elements are closely interrelated and interact. It is also used a descriptive method with the elements of comparison and graphical visualization of factual information. This paper shares findings from the research studies designed to explore the problems of leadership development in the environment that places fundamentally new demands on the managers mindset to develop ability to think comprehensively. A systemic view of the world helps the leader to consider his corporation as not a separate organism for making money, but part of the “life support system” of society. Research limitations / implications. The research focuses on conceptual aspects of leadership development in terms of capacity that is sufficient to meet future leadership requirements. The critical gauge of the current leadership results in the assumption that failures are caused by the mismatch of leader’s mindset to the level that the company needs for its development. It is the model of vertical leadership development that describes the most important processes of understanding, through which people learn and interpret the experience they receive, and then structure the knowledge into more or less complete pictures of the world and characteristic ways of behavior. Originality / value. This study is of an overview nature. There are substantiated the criteria of the VUCA world as far as business environment is concerned; the competencies that will be most valuable to the future leader in managing complex and unpredictable environments are reflected; the methods of horizontal and vertical development are attributed in terms of their key distinction for the collective leadership formation; the action logics of managers in the context of corporate leadership are considered.

JEL Classification: L 14, L 29, M 12.

Author Biographies

Iryna Shavkun, Zaporizhzhia National University, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

Doctor of Science (Philosophy), Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Management

Yana Dybchinska, Zaporizhzhia National University, Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine

PhD. in Philology, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Business Communication


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How to Cite
Shavkun, I. and Dybchinska, Y. (2020) “Vertical leadership development: problems of conceptualization and implementation”, Management and Entrepreneurship: Trends of Development, 1(11), pp. 67-80. doi: