Responses and Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Education, Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Firm Performance, and Corporate Governance

Call for papers for: Corporate Governance


Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society is pleased to invite papers for a special issue on “Responses and Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Education, Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Firm Performance and Corporate Governance”.

Submission portal open: Friday 12 June 2020
Submission deadline: Friday, 11 September 2020

Overview of the Theme

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is considered the largest global health, economic, and social crises of our time. However, due to the resulting economic lockdown, global pollution has considerably decreased during this time. As the virus has spread around the world and across borders, it has created a number of costs throughout the global economy.  These comprise the cost of testing and contact tracing, hospitalization, including intensive medical care, and costs of research in attempts to develop new therapies and vaccines. Moreover, it has impaired productivity throughout the world, which in turn, has caused both supply shocks (from the closure of businesses) and demand shocks (from decreased personal consumption, tourism, transport and other unnecessary expenditures). There have been pressures on governments to reopen the economy due to increasing economic costs while businesses have been told to endure the restrictions until the coronavirus is at least contained.   

Further, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2020) and the International Monetary Fund (2020) have warned that the economic shock from the virus  already far exceeds that of the global financial crisis of 2008. While legislators across the developed world have begun to deliver economic relief plans to help minimise the impact of a potential  economic recession, economists have estimated that the global economy will shrink from between 0.5% to 1.75% through 2020. In addition, the United Nations (2020) has projected that foreign direct investment flows could fall between 30% and 40%, plunging low-income countries into further disadvantage.  Concomitantly, the ILO (2020) asserts that nearly 200 million people could lose their jobs, calling it “the most severe crisis since the Second World War”. Accordingly, there have been suggestions that coordinated action is needed to prevent another global economic crisis and countries should support spending and keep people in work as lockdown impacts the global economy.   

Globally, the slowdown in economic activity is having a devastating impact on the production and profitability of companies. In particular, those in the service, hospitality and manufacturing sectors are experiencing a sharp decline in revenues and the loss of skilled human capital. However, grocery, pharmaceutical, IT and banking industries are experiencing a substantial increase in demand and are hiring to meet the demand for thousands of new jobs. As the severity of COVID-19 persists, companies and organizations are facing challenges in terms of continuity and significant job losses. 

With the ongoing pandemic, COVID-19 may influence both voluntary and mandatory corporate disclosure which in turn, may affect the dissemination of financial and/or social accounting information. In addition, the pandemic crisis may affect the way businesses and organizations deal with issues of social responsibility, sustainability practices and corporate governance. Responses to these issues are fundamental as we need to learn more about the real impact of COVID-19.

In addition, the pandemic is having a devastating impact on the global education system. Governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions, and these closures are impacting millions of students, teachers, academics, and professional staff. Internationally, furloughs and layoffs have become common practice among universities of all sizes. The pandemic will reshape the future of higher education. A university with a solid balance sheet, a low debt level, sufficient cash reserves, led by a team of experts in higher education who are equipped with knowledge and experiences in risk management, might be among the final winners.  

The true impact of COVID-19 will not be known for months, maybe years, but it will have a devastating effect on Education, Social Responsibility, Sustainability Practices, Firm Performance, and Corporate Governance. Therefore, it is germane to know the responses and impacts, and how business and organizations are dealing with their sustainability initiatives and practices in this unprecedented and challenging time. In addition to that, the question arises of just what are the impacts on corporate governance and firm performance?

Despite the size of the macro and micro-economic shocks, the academic research on these issues is just at its dawn, while the debate in the media is far from conclusive in such time of uncertainty. This special issue will focus on the real economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on firm sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility, with a particular focus on issues of corporate finance, corporate governance, and education. We would like to especially encourage papers reflecting the effects of the pandemic at firm and country level and how firms and government should act to respond most effectively. 

Topics of Interest
We would welcome conceptual and empirical papers from a variety of perspectives on Covid-19 on business and corporate governance but we encourage contributions that deal with the issues outlined below. However, this is a non-exhaustive list:
The Impact of Covid-19 on:
•    Responsibility, Sustainability, and Corporate Governance
•    Decision making in Business and Organizations
•    Executive compensation and firm performance
•    Corporate financial reporting
•    The role of cash reserves in mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
•    Education and the global Higher Education System

Publication Schedule
Completed papers of between 5,000-7,000 words in length should be submitted via the Corporate Governance online submission site no later than 11 September 2020: (select the correct special issue from the dropdown menu).

  •     Full paper submission: 11 September 2020
  •     Reviewers’ first report: 15 October 2020 
  •     Revised paper submissions:15 November, 2020
  •     Expected formal publication date (print and online): April 2021, May 2021

Submissions should follow Corporate Governance author guidelines here

Contact Details - Guest Editors

Associate Professor Gabriel Eweje
Massey Business School
School of Management
Massey University, Auckland Campus
New Zealand
Email: [email protected] 

Associate Professor Alfonsina Iona
School of Economics and Finance
Queen Mary University of London
London, UK
Email: [email protected]

Associate Professor Maggie Foley
Davis College of Business
Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL, USA
Email: [email protected]

Assistant Professor Michail Nerantzidis
University of Thessaly
Gaiopolis Campus, Larissa
Email: [email protected]