S.M.H. (Siraj) Kabir

Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate (parttime programme)
Affiliated since 2021

PhD Track Leadership Development for a VUCA World: How to Thrive and Not Just Survive in the Energy Transition

Energy transition (ET) is one of the grand challenges facing the world today. From the perspective of an

incumbent energy business (and new entrants), energy transition brings enormous challenges and

opportunities of transformational and transitional nature. Just like in any other transformational journey –

‘there is no transformation without leadership’ and energy transition is of no difference. However, academics

have simply overlooked the topic of leadership, leader readiness and development in the context of energy

transition. This study is one of its first kind to address the significant research gap. First, we embark on

conceptual study of leadership skills relevant for energy transition. Our point of departure is to understand the

industry specific factors and forces of global nature that traverse through the entire business landscape (i.e.,

the political economy, socio‐technical landscape). Utilizing system thinking (from the perspective of an energy

business), we identify the global forces (mega trends) and drivers that have critical influence on the energy

business and its transition. Then, employing the well‐known VUCA framework, we contextualize the energy

transition phenomena. Combining the mega trends and VUCA characteristics of the energy sector, we identify

the ‘leadership challenge set’ relevant for energy transition. Thereafter, drawing inspiration from relevant

leadership theories we identify the skills deemed essential for strategic leaders to leading through energy

transition. Subsequently, employing a case study, the leadership readiness and effectiveness of existing

leadership development practices are assessed. Finally, through an intervention design study we aim to address

the potential gaps in leadership development programme for ET and propose a generic ET leadership

development model for the energy industry.

Energy transition leadership, VUCA leadership, leadership development, Leadership assessment, leadership readiness
Time frame
2021 -


Visiting address

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam