Training and Development in Highly Dynamic VUCA Contexts: Disruption and Future Trends in Training and Development



In the international HRM literature training and development is one of the most important practices that both organisations and individuals use to cope effectively with change and disruption (Garavan et al 2021). However, most of the research to date on training and development has taken place in low to medium dynamic contexts (Garavan et al 2020 ). The focus on investigating these practices in relatively stable environments is problematic because the application of these findings to highly dynamic contexts is not without problems.  Given this dilemma, scholars have called for research and theorizing to take account of volatile, complex, and dynamic contexts. These contexts have been described as VUCA contexts which are characterised by high levels of change (Glyptis et al 2021; USA Army Heritage and Education Centre, 2018), competitiveness (Katou et al 2021) volatility (Witt, 2019) uncertainty and unpredictability (Cascio, 2019) complexity (Caliguiri et al 2020) and ambiguity (Hansen et al 2019). The term, VUCA, is traceable to U. S. Military use, beginning in 1987. To provide answers to these complex global dynamics in the context of training and development, this special issue is designed to assemble articles that address the implications of these global challenges for training and development priorities, policies and practices at individual, organisational and societal levels.   

List of topic areas

  • What are the most important characteristics of VUCA context when it comes to training and development and why?
  • How can training and development respond to uncertainty, volatility, disruption, and risk in organisations and at the level of nations?
  • What impacts will technological disruption have on skills and the role of training and development? 
  • How are different types of organisations including MNCs, SMEs, micro-organisations, not for profits and public sector organisations responding to uncertainty in the global environment when it comes to training and development?
  • What is the role(s) of training and development in a post-pandemic world and how can it perform that role or roles?
  • How can nations respond to VUCA in the way they formulate national training and development policies?
  • To what extent will increased environmental uncertainty elevate or reduce the focus that individuals and/or organisations will give to training and development across countries?
  • What is the role of training and development in achieving Sustainability Goals and in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments? 
  • Will increased vitality and turbulence influence the types of training and development practices used by individuals and organisations?
  • What role do national institutional / and cultural environments play in the context of the role of training and development in VUCA contexts?
  • How can the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs) be incorporated into training and development research and practice?  
  • How will digitization, AI and big data impact training and development?

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at:  Personnel Review

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see: Personnel Review author guidelines

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”.

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 31/03/2022
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30/09/2022