The Implications of COVID-19 for Nonmarket Strategy Research

Thomas Lawton, Sinziana Dorobantu, Tazeeb Rajwani, Pei Sun

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The COVID-19 virus ignited social and economic turmoil around the world. Not since the Spanish Flu of 1918 had we seen a pandemic of such scale and severity. The resultant global transformation of industries, supply chains, work, communication, and institutional frameworks suggests we are entering a period of non-ergodic change, in which the future cannot be extrapolated from the past (North, 1999). This means that we do not know the probability distribution or the outcomes from the virus. So, we must find a way to coexist and build our resilience. Moreover, although pandemics cause short-term fear and disruption, they can also initiate long-term change for economies and societies. Thus, we suggest that although COVID-19 challenges the foundations of modern business and management, it reinforces the core assumptions of nonmarket strategy research. In particular – and especially during times of crisis and uncertainty – competitive advantage is predicated on proactive political and social awareness and engagement, aligned with strategic business objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1732-1736
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Management Studies
Issue number8
Early online date15 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • corporate political activity
  • corporate social responsibility
  • COVID-19
  • onmarket strategy


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