What is the long-term impact of the COVID pandemic on business, on our society, on our governmental systems? A number of people have observed that this pandemic poses an international and existential threat to our society. It is not enough to simply state that we are very possibly going to have a major economic depression and significant social upheaval. The interesting challenge is to begin to develop an understanding of what the New Normal may look like, even after the immediate pandemic gradually abates. How will this pandemic fundamentally change the structures of our business lives, governmental relations, and social interactions?
This was the challenge I put to my graduate students at Saint Mary’s University this past Summer semester 2020. To quote from the syllabus:
The coronavirus pandemic will profoundly affect and change almost everything about your lives, and not just in the short-term, but likely for the very long term: our social structures and customs; levels of government intervention in the economy; the nature of our capitalist system; the power of the federal and state governments versus individuals; the international economic system; global trade and supply chains; business management practices; the health care management and delivery system – the list is endless. Unlike other major crises (the Great Depression, World War 2, 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis), this one literally affects every corner of the world, and all people, with no specific end-point in sight.
It has been suggested that in the future, we will refer to the world as BC (before coronavirus) and AC (after coronavirus).
I am going to challenge you to use this perspective in developing the topic for your research paper. Specifically, think about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the differences between BC and AC, as it relates to (a) your current job; (b) the company and industry in which you work; and (c) tying those into the Corporate Finance topics we discuss in this course.
Expressing this differently: what will likely be the New Normal in your professional world?
These students were in the MBA and MAPA programs at Saint Mary’s. They are in various fields, including: health care management, higher education, elected State Representative, law enforcement, commercial real estate, insurance, banking, M&A, and supply-chain management. They are typically older, professionally employed, and at mid-career stages, which makes their observations and research of interest.
I have edited the best of these papers and collected them into an Anthology. These papers can give readers a very interesting perspective on the views, and research findings, of professionals from a wide range of industries, on how their future is changing.
The Anthology is in PDF form, and is available at no cost to anyone was has an interest. Please send me an email, at [email protected], and I will send it to you immediately. You are welcome to use it in any way you wish, including sharing it with colleagues.