Rethinking Behavior in Organizations: Reflections on Disruption and Change



The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has disrupted the way most organizations work by forcing us to rethink widely about human societies, and the way we plan, perform, and think of work as well as daily interactions with co-workers. The fact that social gatherings of any sort — work, family, school — help the spread of the virus demands careful implementation of behavioral rules. In addition to that these rules are typically implemented differently worldwide. As a core aspect of modern society, organizations from both the private and public sector found themselves confronted with a range of demanding challenges. Some have been asked to temporarily close, others to revert to online activity, others to implement shifts and re-design the workspace to avoid contact, yet others have been forced to work on different opening hours. 

The depth and amount of change that these and other actions have brought to organizations is very difficult to estimate. All we know is that the above has repercussions on work in general, and on planning, organizing, leading, teamwork, decision making, not to mention the effects on commitment, engagement, justice, citizenship and extra-role behaviors, to name just a few relevant aspects of organizational life. In short, it affects the entire spectrum of behavior in organizations. 

Whether society and businesses are going to be back is unclear, meaning that there will be a “new” normal for operations. Given the above, the Special Issue wants to focus on those aspects of disruption and change that are more likely to affect the way we think about organizations and organizing. 

Ever since the start of the pandemic, there have been numerous articles and Special Issues on COVID-19 and its implications for businesses. However, none of them so far has taken the challenge to reflect on the implications that these have had for theory and behavior in organizations. Given IJOTB’s aim and scope, this is possibly the optimal place to confer visibility to such a Special Issue.

This particular focus would help the Special Issue gain visibility and stand out of the various others with more specific focuses, typically on practices, performance, structure. The appeal to disruption and change serves to open up and generalize what we have learned from the pandemic to characterize this “new” normal. As far as our knowledge is concerned, there are no other outlets to host this type of reflections. They are very much needed and we believe that they will lead to novel attempts of theorizing that have potential to attract interest, perhaps not only from scholars.

In summary, given its unique positioning, the Special Issue has all it is needed to attract good quality articles and stand out from other outlets. This, in turn, should lead to high visibility and hopefully higher numbers of downloads and citations.

List of topic areas:


  • Organizational learning processes, their alterations, and repercussions for a post-pandemic world.
  • Implications for decision-making processes, routines, procedures, and improvisation in organizations. 
  • The role of resilience, plasticity, adaptability, and disorganization on confronting and “managing” change. 
  • Organizational design issues. 
  • Ethical repercussions to a diverse organization of work. 
  • Rethinking work climate and culture: what has become of them? 
  • Cognitive and psychological aspects of work under social isolation. 
  • Sustainability goals: still on? How? 
  • Organizational change relating to technological disruption and digitalization of work. 
  • Remote work and digital meetings and its implications for organization theory and behavior. 

Guest Editors:

 Ryan C. Armstrong, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain,  [email protected]  

 Maira Babri, Örebro University School of Business, Sweden, [email protected]  

Johan Kask,  CREDS - Center for Research on Digitalization and Sustainability, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway &  Örebro University School of Business, Sweden,  [email protected]   

 Gayanga B. Herath ,  Örebro University, Sweden,  [email protected]

Submissions Information

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

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:

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 Dates:

Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31st January 2023