Understanding COVID-19: A Behavioral Corporate Social Responsibility Perspective

Understanding COVID-19: A Behavioral Corporate Social Responsibility Perspective

Understanding COVID-19: A Behavioral Corporate Social Responsibility Perspective

Friday, March, 27, 2020 by Herman Aguinis

Understanding COVID-19: A Behavioral Corporate Social Responsibility Perspective

Friday, March, 27, 2020 by Herman Aguinis

In this short essay, I would like to explain why a behavioral perspective on corporate social responsibility (CSR) is useful in helping us understand and possibly also offer solutions for some of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and, more generally, other natural environmental disasters and stressors.

Our research over the past 15+ years has focused on behavioral CSR, which involves investigating CSR at the individual level of analysis in addition to the firm and institutional levels. In other words, it draws on the micro literature (e.g., organizational behavior, human resource management, industrial and organizational psychology) to examine the psychological foundations of CSR. This is not a typical perspective given that in our review or the CSR literature we discovered that only 4% of the articles in the 17 journals included in our content analysis focused on the individual level of analysis (Aguinis & Glavas, 2012).

Our research focuses on a behavioral perspective on CSR because it is useful in that it allows us to understand why, when, and how individuals perceive and react to CSR—and choose to lead or engage in CSR initiatives—in particular ways (Aguinis, 2011). In turn, these individual-level perceptions and reactions have effects that permeate throughout the entire organization and beyond (e.g., customers, suppliers, society at large). Let me offer an illustration.

Consider the following reactions to COVID-19 by two different firms—both engaging in CSR activities. Firm A does not integrate CSR into its strategy, routines, and operations, but Firm B does. For example, Firm A engages in some form of philanthropy to address the crisis, which is certainly a laudable and noble effort. On the other hand, Firm B integrates CSR into all activities and CSR permeates accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, operations, sales, and strategy. CSR is not something Firm B does, it is who they are. A behavioral perspective to CSR allows us to understand that these two approaches, which we label peripheral CSR and embedded CSR (Aguinis & Glavas, 2013), lead to very different outcomes. Embedded CSR enhances perceptions of organizational justice, employees’ positive selves (e.g., improved self-concept), and allows individuals to present more of their whole selves. So, it leads to improved employee engagement, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors. A behavioral CSR lens allows us to understand that not all CSR-related reactions and interventions in response to COVID-19 will necessarily lead to similarly positive outcomes. Positive outcomes are more likely to take place if CSR is embedded rather than peripheral. A behavioral perspective to CSR allows us to understand why.

Our more recent research also adopting a behavioral perspective on CSR is also useful for understanding why employees need their firms to react in certain ways as a consequence of COVID-19. For example, in our recent Journal of Management article (Aguinis & Glavas, 2019), we described the general process through which individuals give meaning to ongoing experiences , what is called sensemaking. The actions that firms and governments take in reaction to COVID-19 are what we call “sensemaking factors.” During a time of crisis, individuals scan the environment and the way in which they perceive these sensemaking factors determine not just their attitudes toward their firms, but also their behavior such as whether they will choose to leave the firm or stay (Ng, Yam, & Aguinis, 2019).

I close this essay with the following questions based on a behavioral perspective to CSR that I hope will be fruitful in moving the conversation forward:

How are leadership characteristics related to firms’ reactions to COVID-19?
What theories in human resource management and organizational behavior can be used to improve our understanding of the relation between CSR and COVID-19 (and other pandemics natural environmental disasters)?
What are the effects of programs in reaction to COVID-19 whereby employees engage in community service activities while receiving compensation from their firms?
Is there a relationship between diversity and inclusion and responses to COVID-19?
How does the behavior of individual employees promote or prevent the successful implementation of CSR interventions in relation to COVID-19?
What organizational systems and process prevent the successful implementation of CSR initiatives related to COVID-19?

I look forward to your reactions and comments!


[available at http://www.hermanaguinis.com/pubs.html]

Aguinis, H. 2011. Organizational responsibility: Doing good and doing well. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology: vol. 3, 855-879. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Aguinis, H., & Glavas, A. 2012. What we know and don’t know about corporate social responsibility: A review and research agenda. Journal of Management, 38: 932-968.

Aguinis, H., & Glavas, A. 2013. Embedded versus peripheral corporate social responsibility: Psychological foundations. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 6: 314-332.

Aguinis, H., & Glavas, A. 2019. On corporate social responsibility, sensemaking, and the search for meaningfulness through work. Journal of Management, 45: 1057-1086.

Ng, T. W. H., Yam, K. C., & Aguinis, H. 2019. Employee perceptions of corporate social responsibility: Effects on pride, embeddedness, and turnover. Personnel Psychology, 72: 107-137.

Op-Ed: African giants to stumble due to Covid-19 pandemic

Op-Ed: African giants to stumble due to Covid-19 pandemic

Op-Ed: African giants to stumble due to Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, March, 26, 2020 by CNBC Africa

Op-Ed: African giants to stumble due to Covid-19 pandemic

Thursday, March, 26, 2020 by CNBC Africa

NKC African Economics expects the coronavirus-related knock to economic growth in Africa’s three largest economies alone to shave off 1 ppt from the continent’s GDP growth this year, from 3.8% to 2.8%.

Preliminary estimates point towards the weakest continental growth since the early 1990s.

The continent’s three largest economies, South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt – together accounting for just under 60% of African GDP – will see a significant weakening in economic growth this year.

This slowdown in economic activity will permeate through the continent as these countries are salient drivers behind economic growth in their respective regions. 

In addition to the indirect effects stemming from weakness in the largest economies, other African nations will also have to deal with a much more volatile external economic environment.

The collapse in tourism will weigh on economic growth in many countries (particularly the island nations, Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia), while a reduction in both export demand and commodity prices will weaken fundamentals in Africa’s more export-oriented economies (most notably the oil producing nations). 

The escalation in the Covid-19 outbreak in Africa implies there is a lot more at stake than foregone economic production.

Most African countries will not be able to effectively implement the severe restrictions on movement that we have seen globally. The impracticality of implementing widespread self-quarantine in shantytowns or informal settlements means that this will not be an option. Mismanagement of the situation could lead to human costs far exceeding economic losses.

Tourism is a key forex generator and employment creator across the continent. Severe travel restrictions, border closures and lockdowns in key source markets will result in a collapse in tourism during the first half of the year, at least.

Domestic and intra-Africa tourism have been key drivers behind growth in overall tourism in recent years, but as more Covid-19 cases are confirmed on the continent we will see an increase in domestic travel restrictions and regional border closures.

The island nations will be hardest hit, but the mainland will feel the effects in the North (particularly in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt), South (Namibia, Botswana), East (Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya) and West (Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Cameroon).

Low barriers to entry have led to tourism becoming a key source of employment. The island nations in particular are dependent on tourism to generate employment, most notably the Seychelles (where tourism accounts for around 44% of formal employment), Cape Verde (39%) and Mauritius (19%).

Tourism has also become a salient job creator on the African mainland, and a slump in the sector could result in rapid job losses given the prevalence of micro- and small-sized enterprises operating in the sector. 

The slowdown in global economic activity will translate into a reduction in demand, while lower commodity prices will compound this negative effect on exports.

Africa’s energy exporters will struggle to come to terms with a much more hostile external environment. Countries such as Nigeria, Angola and Gabon are highly dependent on oil exports not only to generate forex but also to fund government spending.

Countries including Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique are dependent on mineral exports for the same reasons.

Generally speaking, countries that have a GDP structure orientated towards exports will feel the pain of a weaker external environment.

Lower international energy prices will have a detrimental impact on the continent’s oil exporters, but many other countries stand to benefit.

A reduction in the oil imports bill will have a favourable impact on external balances while also containing consumer price inflation. Lower inflation will support consumer spending at a time when a weak external environment increases the importance of domestic consumption in driving overall economic growth. 

The South African economy had already entered 2020 on a very fragile footing before the dramatic external developments related to the Covid-19 pandemic. NKC forecasts a 5% real GDP contraction this year. Domestic policy uncertainty and supply-side constraints have now been accompanied by a deterioration in global business sentiment and a drop in demand for South African goods, all weighing on the country’s economic recovery prospects.

In addition, the three-week long nationwide lockdown, which commenced on March 27, will result in a collapse in consumer spending. The outlook could deteriorate further if the lockdown is extended. 

The coronavirus has not as yet, as far as we know, taken significant hold in Nigeria. However, the weaker external environment and more specifically, the recent collapse in international oil prices, will have a marked impact on the economy’s performance this year.

Lower oil prices will result in tighter FX liquidity, rising inflation, falling investment, lower fiscal expenditure and easing consumption growth.

As a result, NKC has revised its growth projection sharply lower to 1.2% this year, with risks still firmly stacked to the downside.

A more severe domestic outbreak of Covid-19 would cause significant disruption to daily economic activity, particularly when considering the population density in the country’s biggest cities.

Despite the Egyptian government’s efforts, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases continues to rise considerably.

The president has urged all citizens to stay at home for a two-week period and a night-time curfew has been declared, while the possibility of a formal lockdown in some regions is also circulating in local media.

The fiscal deficit is set to widen significantly over fiscal year (FY) 2019/20 and FY 2020/21 following the announcement of a stimulus and bail-out package to the value of approximately E£100bn.

Government revenues already came in far below budget during the first half of FY 2019/20 and will take a massive knock during the second half of the fiscal year, which ends in June.

Lower economic growth reflects weaker consumption, investment, and exports.

The recently announced fiscal stimulus measures, however, should prevent a collapse in domestic demand.

The economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic will be considerable, but the human costs will be higher yet.

As of end March South Africa remains the hardest-hit African country from a confirmed-case perspective and the expected economic hardship reflects this.

However, South Africa is also arguably the best-placed country on the continent to deal with the pandemic. While it does have a large immuno-compromised population due to its struggles with HIV, the country might be able to leverage its sophisticated private healthcare sector to supplement inadequate public services.

Most other African nations will not have this benefit.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases will undoubtedly increase across the continent in coming weeks, and timely and effective government responses will be required to ensure that this does not become another African tragedy.

Jacques Nel – Head of Africa Macro

Article published by CNBC Africa

Social Distancing Really What We Mean?!

Social Distancing Really What We Mean?!

Social Distancing really what we mean? 

Wednesday, March, 25, 2020

Social Distancing really what we mean? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

That term “social distancing” is an interesting one, and perhaps even a bit ambiguous or confusing. Using the word “social” doesn’t clearly capture what we are being asked to do. 

It felt like one day we were at dinner with our friends hugging, laughing, putting our arms around each other. Then it appeared as if overnight, we were all 6 feet apart—more than at arm’s length. That distance can feel sad because we long for human connection, touch, and being in close proximity to one another. We are social creatures by nature. But one of the tiniest of all organisms has built walls between us in a way, yet that distance is one of the only ways we can defeat it.

Medical experts at WHO, the United States CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and other organizations universally agree that we need to maintain space—6 feet, the distance scientists believe a sneeze can travel—from one another. It’s the minimum amount of space we need to keep between us to slow or stop the spread of this virus. They call it “social distancing.”

That term “social distancing” is an interesting one, and perhaps even a bit ambiguous or confusing. Using the word “social” doesn’t clearly capture what we are being asked to do. When we think of that word social, we actually get the idea of gathering together as in “socializing.” How can you be “social” but yet distance yourself from others? The words seem to contradict each other. What we are really being asked to do is “physical distancing.” There can really be nothing “social” about slowing the impact of COVID-19. We must heed the collective voice of sound advice universally given by medical professionals. And no matter what term they use, the meaning is the same—keep your distance from other people to stop the spread of disease.

But does our physical distance mean that we can no longer be social? The internet has proved that the answer is a resounding NO. Virtual dance parties streamed live, neighbors in cities singing and playing music to one another on balconies, neighborhoods conducting Zumba classes with everyone safely within their own yards, having cocktails via internet conferencing—it’s the very essence of being social. Despite having to keep our physical distance, we are still connecting with one another on a social level in all sorts of ways. In fact, that distance seems to have sparked social creativity born out of necessity—finding ways to do things together that we might not have thought of before, even with people on the other side of the world. Even while the physical world is waging a battle around us, the digital world mercifully allows us to stay connected, especially at a time when people need it the most. It isn’t really social distancing that much after all.

Also, read Dr. Winslow’ s Article on MEDIUM (click here)

Article written by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
ICSB Executive Director
Deputy Chair Department of Managament
George Washington University School of Business

Dr. Winslow Sargeant

Tackling the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Contributing to a Global Effort

Tackling the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Contributing to a Global Effort

Tackling the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Contributing to a Global Effort

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tackling the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Contributing to a Global Effort

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19: Joint actions to win the war

The coronavirus pandemic is causing large-scale loss of life and severe human suffering. It is a public health crisis without precedent in living memory, which is testing our collective capacity to respond.

The pandemic brings with it the third and greatest economic, financial and social shock of the 21st Century, after 9/11 and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. This shock brings a double whammy: a halt in production in affected countries, hitting supply chains across the world, and a steep drop in consumption together with a collapse in confidence. Stringent measures being applied, albeit essential to contain the virus, are thrusting our economies into an unprecedented “deep freeze” state, from which emergence will not be straightforward or automatic.

The most urgent priority is to minimise the loss of life and health. But the pandemic has also set in motion a major economic crisis that will burden our societies for years to come. In many places ambitious initial responses are underway, and this is commendable. But only a combined, coordinated international effort will meet the challenge.

The sheer magnitude of the current shock introduces an unprecedented complexity to economic forecasting. The OECD Interim Economic Outlook, released on 2 March 2020, made a first attempt to take stock of the likely impact of COVID-19 on global growth, but it now looks like we have already moved well beyond even the more severe scenario envisaged then. The behaviour of financial markets reflects the extraordinary uncertainty of the situation. It is looking increasingly likely that we will see sequential declines in global GDP–or regional GDPs– in the current and next quarters of 2020. And while it is too early to tell how far-reaching an impact COVID19 will have on many developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, it is clear that even if they are fortunate enough to escape the brunt of the health crisis, they will suffer economically, just as they did after the 2008 crisis. We are closely monitoring events and will be updating our analysis regularly.

Compounding a global health crisis with a major economic and financial crisis will put large strains on our societies. Even after the worst of the health crisis has passed, people will be confronted with the jobs crisis that will ensue. Well before the outbreak, the global economy already exhibited a number of underlying vulnerabilities, which now risk worsening the downturn that COVID-19 has delivered. These include the high level of corporate debt and trade tensions between major economies. Another important vulnerability are the gaps in income, wealth and job stability in many countries, which threaten a large part of our populations. More than one third of OECD households are financially insecure, meaning they would fall into poverty if they had to forgo three months of their income. As for the trade restrictions that have proliferated in the last few years, these may not only affect badly-needed medical supplies in some settings but also generate supply-chain disruptions in food or other essential goods and services. More broadly, they increase the risk of a more severe outbreak, as well as of a deeper and longer-lasting recession.

Now is the time for urgent and large-scale responses, to be taken at sub-national, national and international levels. They must be launched at once, taking into account different time horizons and imperatives: a) the immediate need to address the public health crisis ; b) the subsequent need to get the economy up and running again; and c) the longer-term need for new policy approaches to repair the damage and ensure that we are better prepared for future shocks. The OECD is leveraging its multi-disciplinary expertise to guide and support such actions.

The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare stark weaknesses in our health care systems, from the number of intensive-care beds to the size of the workforce, the inability to provide enough masks and to deploy testing in some countries, and deficiencies in the research for and supply of drugs and vaccines.

Beyond the immediate health policy response, the world needs decisive and ambitious actions to mitigate the economic downturn and protect the most vulnerable. This is all about people: older people and the young, women and men, those on low income or no income, those who were already facing a difficult situation and who will be hit hardest.

Only with immediate, large-scale and co-ordinated actions will the economy be ready for a quick and vigorous restart. It is encouraging that many major efforts and initiatives have already been announced, but greater international co-ordination is fundamental to ensuring these initiatives produce the best results, reassure markets and support the most vulnerable countries. Co-ordination among Central Banks is commendable, the recent statement by the G7 is powerful and gives some clear directions and the G20 will be holding an extraordinary virtual Leaders’ meeting next week, but much more coordination, across the whole breadth of policy areas, is urgently needed.

The OECD calls for a sizeable, credible, internationally co-ordinated four-pronged effort to provide the necessary resources to deal with the immediate public health emergency, to buffer the economic shock and develop a path towards recovery.

  1. Governments should ensure more international co-operation in responding to the health challenge. Impressive co-ordination in the scientific effort is ongoing but it needs to be complemented by measures to ensure that vaccines and treatments, after being developed and produced, get to people as quickly as possible. Had a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-1 been developed at the time, it would have accelerated the development of one for the current outbreak given that the two viruses are 80% similar. Today, regulatory agencies (the FDA in the US, the European EMA, among others) should work together to remove regulatory hurdles for vaccines and treatments.
  2. Governments should advance joint policies, rather than taking them in an uncoordinated way. They should finance an immediate buffer to economies to cushion the negative impact and speed up the recovery. This includes immediate spending on:
    • Health care: extensive testing; treatment for all patients, regardless of whether they are insured or not; support to health-care workers; return of health-care retirees, while protecting high-risk groups; the enhanced provision of masks, ICUs and respirators, among others;
    • People: short-term employment schemes, reduced requirements to benefit from unemployment insurance, cash transfers to the self-employed and support to the most vulnerable;
    • Firms: charges and tax payment delays, temporary VAT reductions or deferrals, enhanced access to working capital through credit lines or state guarantees, special support packages for SMEs, especially those in services and tourism.

A well planned investment programme – co-ordinated among countries – notably in health research, development and infrastructures, should be given priority after the height of the crisis.

  1. Central Banks have already launched bold actions to support the economy but financial regulation and supervision is another area where co-ordination could produce better outcomes. The economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 crisis is hitting the functioning of financial markets, banks’ incomes and balance sheets. A co-ordinated approach to monitoring, diagnosing emerging strains and taking regulatory action would yield much more positive results than disjointed and inconsistent responses.
  2. Everything must be done to restore confidence. While the key to that is bringing the virus outbreak under control, it would also help to address the factors that were sapping confidence even before COVID-19 appeared on the scene, including by removing trade restrictions.

Today, as part of the OECD’s response to this crisis, we are launching a platform that will provide timely and comprehensive information on policy responses in countries around the world, together with OECD advice, in some cases. We will also be releasing a series of policy briefs on a range of subjects in the context of the COVID-19 crisis: on vaccines, taxes, education, SMEs, etc. Thus, we hope to help governments learn from each other in real time, facilitate co-ordination, and contribute to the necessary global action when confronting this enormous collective challenge.

In our global world, many issues cannot be dealt with anymore within domestic boundaries, be it a virus, trade, migration, environmental damages or terrorism. Multilateral action creates positive spillovers that will be more effective for each country than if they acted alone.

We need a level of ambition similar to that of the Marshall plan – which created the OECD – and a vision akin to that of the New Deal, but now at the global level.

Cool heads, individual and collective discipline, a heightened sense of solidarity and a shared sense of purpose will allow us to overcome these unexpected and challenging circumstances.

Angel Gurría,
OECD Secretary-General

View the original post on OECD.org.
ICSB Proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses!

ICSB Proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses!

ICSB proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes

Sunday, March, 22, 2020

ICSB proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes

Sunday, March, 22, 2020

An Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – All small businesses below 50 employees become tax-exempt as not-for-profits for 10 years.

“The world isn’t getting better, but technology is,” words spoken not by leaders but by an astute 9-year-old. The truth of that is like a thunderclap. Business innovation makes constant advancements, but oftentimes it’s at the sacrifice of humane practices. The very things that improve the quality of life for some come at a high “people” cost for very many others. Business innovation improves while humanity is removed. And that is when things are going relatively well.

The expression “desperate times call for desperate measures” may have sounded overused or laughingly cliche a few months ago, but those words have come to life around the world in just a few short months. The world, as we know it, is changing in front of our very eyes, and the aftermath of crisis will require more change, especially when we see the fractured economic crisis we are left with.

We think of economies and businesses as inanimate entities, but they are born, raised, and die on the backs of living, breathing people. They are inextricably linked, so when businesses go into crisis, so do the people who work for them. Particularly vulnerable during this time are small businesses that cannot afford to give employees extended paid leave and employees who depend on a weekly paycheck. Now is the time for large-scale measures to protect vulnerable businesses and workers, particularly seniors who face greater risks to their health and well-being.

If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes will only affect incremental improvements. But circumstances prove that the status quo is not enough. These desperate times, they call for, let’s not say “desperate” measures, but a well-thought-out plan. An audacious plan implemented on a global scale. What would that plan look like?

The Audacious Plan asks for the following 5 Guiding Principles:

1. All small businesses below 50 employees become tax-exempt as not-for-profits for 10 years. Small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities. Aside from selling necessary products or services, they provide social and community cohesion as well as jobs. Times of crisis like these hurt small businesses the most, which in turn harms society on a human level. When bars, restaurants, and other places for recreation suffer, socializing goes down. It should be considered a higher civic duty to make sure small businesses can survive. Countries can figure out ways to make money that don’t put a strain on small businesses. Big box stores in an area often beat up small businesses, and many of those wounds lead to their death. Giving small businesses tax exemption helps balance out the disadvantage, keep and create jobs, and generally give the local economy a much needed shot in the arm.

2. All countries establish standards for online education for a national education program for K-12 education in partnership with global IT firms. In this age of digital and virtual technology, pandemic or other disasters shouldn’t have to grind education to a halt. Citizens pay taxes for public education, but in many cases, it is not paying for alternatives in cases such as these. But even many affluent neighborhoods have schools without the ability to conduct education online, making it not solely an economic issue. The attitudes of educators need to be adjusted to view educated children as their civic duty under any circumstances where it is possible.

3. All public teachers and nurses get tax free benefits and free graduate education like veteran benefits. Teachers and nurses are a new breed of modern-day and all too often unsung heroes that should be given the benefits of such. Teachers are on the front lines trying to keep order, educate, inspire, and protect our children, whether the classroom is online or in real life. They often the first line of defense for children. Nurses help heal, comfort, and care for patients in close contact, putting their own health and well-being on the line daily. They fight a different war but a war; nonetheless, one that requires self-sacrifice. They should have the benefits of someone who serves and sacrifices for their community, including free tuition, tax-exemption, and healthcare benefits.

4. Free internet funded by local governments. Once a novel technological luxury, the internet can be very nearly regarded as a necessity in this era. Like many necessities, not all can afford it. The mindset towards internet access needs to change from being considered a private luxury to a public good. When citizens pay taxes for public services, the internet should be one of them. Internet for all.

5. A Global Small Business Congress to held on June 27 at the United Nations. For any of these guidelines to be enacted, there needs to be a meeting of minds; a summit for the people and by the people—organizations without government affiliation–to meet to discuss these plans. June 27 is the United Nations International Day for Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs Day). The day was proposed by ICSB and presented by Argentina to the UN General Assembly. This day is our meeting point.

We need to move swiftly forward with the Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses.

Article written by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
ICSB Executive Director
Deputy Chair and Professor at George Washington University School of Business

What Is On the Other Side?

What Is On the Other Side?

What Is On the Other Side?

Tuesday, March, 24, 2020 By Dr. Jeffrey Alves, ICSB Editor of JICSB, ICSB and USASBE Past President

What Is On the Other Side?

Tuesday, March, 24, 2020 By Dr. Jeffrey Alves, ICSB Editor of JICSB, ICSB and USASBE Past President

      We are in the throes of a crisis – the Coronavirus pandemic.  Businesses are closed, people are locked-down or in quarantine, shelves are empty, hospitals are overcrowded and over capacity, schools closed, and so on and so on.  Our social and economic fabric is stretching and in the hardest hit areas small tears in that fabric are appearing.  Governments, NGOs, and policy makers scramble to ease the impact and, in some cases, reallocate resources to the most affected areas.  No one is immune from this challenge to humanity.

    There is confidence that we will weather the storm, with time.  But even now, how we work, how we interact, how we educate our children, and how we take care of those most severely infected – all of this is changing.  “Stay in place” families are adapting to a closeness most have never before experienced.  And technology is connecting us in more ways than ever before.

            We will come through this crisis, as we have so many before.  Like those earlier challenges, life will be different.  Not all businesses will survive, larger firms as well as MSMEs.  But MSMEs will adapt and innovate, as they are doing even now. 

            And when we emerge on the other side of this pandemic, it will not be business as usual.  New norms will emerge.  Our perspective along a number of dimensions will have changed from family life to employment and work to education and to health care.  MSMEs will adapt and emerge to meet these new demands more flexibly and rapidly than larger firms.  Those practicing humane entrepreneurship will be in the forefront because they are integral to the essence of their communities economically and socially.

       Despite the many challenges posed by the crisis and the competitive marketplaces, MSMEs CAN LEAD US TO THE OTHER SIDE.

Written By Dr. Jeffrey Alves, ICSB Editor of JICSB, ICSB and USASBE Past President

The economics of a pandemic:  the case of Covid-19

The economics of a pandemic: the case of Covid-19

The Economics of a Pandemic: the case of Covid-19

Monday, March, 23, 2020 by the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development

The Economics of a Pandemic: the case of Covid-19

Monday, March, 23, 2020 by the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development

Paolo Surico and Andrea Galeotti Professors of Economics at London Business School analyze the COVID-19 pandemic by breaking it down into four parts: 1. Science 2. Health Policies 3. Economics 4. Macroeconomic policies.

View the PDF below to see their lecture on this pandemic!



Motivations and Aspirations: Why Do People Start  or Run a Business?

Motivations and Aspirations: Why Do People Start or Run a Business?

Motivations and Aspirations: Why Do People Start
or Run a Business?

Monday, March, 22, 2020

Motivations and Aspirations: Why Do People Start
or Run a Business?

Monday, March, 22, 2020

Introduction and Some Changes

As noted earlier, there may be almost as many reasons for starting a business as there are people willing to start them. These can include striving to make a difference, seeking higher income and wealth, the desire for independence and autonomy, continuing a family tradition, or simply the lack of alternative job options. These reasons matter, and illustrate the overall socio-economic conditions in which individuals operate: for example, if there is a strong desire for independence or if jobs are seen as scarce. Similarly, the expectations and aspirations of those starting a business are important, including how many people they expect to employ, the anticipated scope of the customer base (e.g. the local area, rest of country, abroad), the proportion of revenue expected from international sales and, finally, the novelty of the business’s products or services, and the technology and processes it uses. All of these dimensions will be considered in this chapter.

Since its inception, GEM has distinguished between opportunity and necessity as primary motivations for entrepreneurial activity. However, there has been growing recognition that this dichotomy may not fully reflect the nuances in motivations for founding contemporary startups. Following extensive debate, review and piloting, some significant changes were incorporated into the 2019 GEM Adult Population Survey (APS) to allow a more nuanced approach.(Read more…).

JICSB Special Issue: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

JICSB Special Issue: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

JICSB Special Issue: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

General Overview

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, addresses the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change and COVID-19, social injustice, human rights, and economic growth. Incorporating the sustainable development goals (SDGs) into society’s fabric is essential for just and equitable sustainable development for all. The SDGs purpose is to stimulate everyone, from governments, businesses, NGOs, citizens, and other stakeholders, to accelerate actions that benefit the people and the planet, by fostering actions and partnerships at all levels, so no one is left behind. And since MSMEs are the foundation of our economies and society, they are at the critical leading edge of the UN’s sustainable development initiative.

Sustainable entrepreneurs are our best hope to achieve the SDGs, working within a network of like-minded visionaries, innovators, and troubleshooters. This Special Issue of the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB) aims to document cases of sustainable entrepreneurship across the world and to accelerate knowledge about what works and could be amplified.

Guest Editors

Prof. Analia Pastran
Exec Director of Smartly, Social Entrepreneurship on SDGs
Ph. D. Chantal Line Carpentier
Chief of UNCTAD New York
Ph. D. Adnane Maalaoui
Managing Director IPAG Entrepreneurship Center


Call Opens                                  May 2020
Call Ends                                    October 2020 
Publication date                         January 2021 

More Info:

Prof. Analia Pastran:  apastran@insmartly.com
Ph. D. Adnane Maalaoui: a.maalaoui@ipag.fr 

Paper Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at JICSB Sustainable Entrepreneurship, click here to go to the submission form. Papers can be submitted until the deadline, 1 October 2020 by midnight. They should be limited to 10 pages per article, answer the so-what question, indicate how it ties to the SDGs, and how we can leverage more research.

All papers will be approved by the Special Editors, Prof. Analia Pastran, Dr. Chantal Line Carpentier and Dr. Adnane Maalaoui. Accepted papers will be published in the JICSB’s special issue (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except as conference proceedings papers).

Please have in mind the following steps to submit your paper:

1. JICSB Guidelines for authors can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?show=instructions&journalCode=ucsb20.

2. Submit a Paper Proposal to JICSB Sustainable Entrepreneurship (click here).

3. There is a dedicated track titled “Sustainable Entrepreneurship” in which you can associate your paper.

4. We will review the paper and we will recognize some articles in the ICSB World Congress 2021.

5. All the Editors of the Special Issue (Prof. Analia Pastran,  Dr. Chantal Line Carpentier, Dr. Adnane Malaui) will be at the ICSB 2021 Congress to give the recognition awards to the authors. 

Keyword and topics:

  • MSME policy supporting the UN SDGs
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Contributions from private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development
  • Humane entrepreneurship and SDGs
  • Social Entrepreneurship and SDGs
  • MSMEs and SDGs
  • Economic development initiatives supporting SDGs
  • NGO or government policy supporting SDGs
  • Inclusive entrepreneurship
  • Disadvantage entrepreneurship
JICSB Special Issue: Sustainable Entrepreneurship

On Reporting and Interpreting Statistical Significance and P Values in Medical Research

On Reporting and Interpreting Statistical Significance and P Values in Medical Research

By: Herman Aguinis, Matt Vassar, Cole Wayant

Originally published online: November 15, 2019


Recent proposals to change the p value threshold from 0.05 to 0.005 or to retire statistical significance altogether have garnered much criticism and debate. As of the writing of our manuscript, the proposal to eliminate statistical significance testing, backed by over 800 signatories, achieved record-breaking status on Altmetrics, with an attention score exceeding 13000 derived from 19000 Twitter comments and 35 news stories. We appreciate the renewed enthusiasm for tackling important issues related to the analysis, reporting and interpretation of scientific research results. Our perspective, however, focuses on the current use and reporting of statistical significance and where we should go from here.


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