UCL School of Management

15 April 2020

Coronavirus media coverage

During the Coronavirus pandemic, our brilliant academics have been working hard offering their expert research and opinions as they speak to people and businesses across the world.

Below is the full round-up of articles featuring work by UCL School of Management academics, along with some important articles from across UCL.

Vaughn Tan on the canary in the coal mine

Speaking to Forbes, Vaughn Tan, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, made his predictions about how the UK economy may fare in the coming months of this pandemic.

Specifically, he refers to the hospitality industry as ‘the canary in the coal mine’ showing us how bad things can get. The industry is suffering particularly hard as they make money by bringing people together - something not possible under current distancing rules set by the UK Government.

Read the full article

Jim Berry on why cutting staff in an economic crisis is not a long-term fix

In this time of uncertainty and the negative economic impact the pandemic has caused, job cuts seem like a good option to save money for many businesses.

In a recent article for ITPro, UCL MBA Programme Director Jim Berry explains why although this might seem like an easy win, it is not necessarily the best long-term option for companies. He suggests it reduces flexibility and impacts the ability to respond to growth opportunities in whatever the new normal turns out to be.

He says it’s worth asking whether you “keep employees engaged with building new capabilities, addressing the issues or dream enhancements you never had time for in the past” and where possible redeploy staff to support on other projects. 

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It’s time to rethink for Restaurants

In the Guardian’s piece on life after coronavirus for restaurants, Assistant Professor Vaughn Tan suggests restaurants need to ‘fundamentally rethink what it means to be a restaurant’.

Read the full article

UK must adopt ‘hybrid’ healthcare supply chain strategy

The global pandemic revealed a devastating lack of ability to manufacture critical goods such as PPE and ventilators in the UK, and highlighted our dependence on foreign manufacturers to import basic goods.

Speaking to Supply Management Kenan Arifoglu, Assistant Professor in Operations and Technology, says “this pandemic is a wake-up call for the United Kingdom, and we need to change our supply chain strategy.”

He suggests that the UK government should incentivise businesses to build up their manufacturing capacity for healthcare supplies such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) to be ready for future crises. 

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Restaurants can never go back to normal

That’s the reality set out by UCL School of Management’s Vaughn Tan in an extended article in Eater. The Assistant Professor discusses issues restaurants will face including re-designing kitchens to accommodate physical distancing and operating with reduced customer numbers in their restaurants. 

Read the full article

Preparing for an unknown future – How to properly scenario plan to avoid the unexpected

Talking with Management Today, Jim Berry, Director of the UCL MBA, advises how to effectively scenario plan for uncertain events.

The coronavirus pandemic caught the world by surprise, and while we hope that the it will go down in history as a one-off isolated incident, we must learn to better prepare for the unexpected with enhanced scenario planning.

“You need to operate with the best information you have today and set targets from which to develop scenarios that might get you there”, says Berry. He adds that businesses should allow for flexibility to adapt these plans according to the challenges they face.

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Where would be be now if the government had used the uncertainty mindset?

In work that was covered by a number of outlets including Medium, Thrive Global, Enterprise Mag and The Scotsman, Assistant Professor Vaughn Tan examines where the UK and other countries might be now if the government had used the ‘uncertainty mindset’ instead of the ‘risk mindset.’

Read the full Medium article

Kate Gault talks to Forbes on the unexpected resilience of the job market for business school graduates

Speaking to Forbes, Deputy Head of Careers, Kate Gault, explains why she believe business school graduates, especially those with an MBA, will able to find jobs in light of the current economic crisis.

Companies are adapting to the effect of the pandemic and are therefore looking for individuals who stand out from the crowd and have an advanced education, such as an MBA from a leading business school.

Kate suggest this cautions optimism is dependent on graduate’s ability to be “alert to the new skills that may be required as employers adapt, as well as potentially reframing their career thinking to identify areas of growth in the current climate.”

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COVID-19 and the Workplace: Implications, Issues, and Insights for Future Research and Action. In collaboration with academics from other leading universities Dr Sunny Lee looks at the effects of the global pandemic on business and the implications for organisations and employees and how they can tackle these unique challenges. 

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Last updated Wednesday, 29 July 2020