Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Asia Pacific Business Review

For a Special Issue on

Challenges and Opportunities in Post-Pandemic ASEAN: Organizational Learning and Business Practice Innovation

Abstract deadline
30 September 2023

Manuscript deadline
31 March 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Tim G. Andrews, Chiang Mai University Business School, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
[email protected]

Khongphu Nimanandh, Chiang Mai University Business School, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Ingyu Oh, Kansai Gandai University, Japan

Chris Rowley, Oxford University, UK & City University, UK

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Challenges and Opportunities in Post-Pandemic ASEAN: Organizational Learning and Business Practice Innovation

A significant driver of world economic growth, the ASEAN bloc - comprising ten nations across Southeast Asia – was initially set up to facilitate economic integration, growth, global competitiveness and social development. Home to a population of over 650m - larger than both the EU and North America, ASEAN - with its rich resource reserves, and established manufacturing base - has gained tremendous momentum over the past half-century and become a key focus for global corporate investment. With growth in multiple sectors (e.g., manufacturing, retail, transport and telecoms), the region has become one of the world’s fastest-growing economic centres with domestic consumption in excess of USD 4 trillion.

Notwithstanding this progress, however, in recent years the region had begun to show signs of slowing down under repeated waves of global economic malaise - highlighting a number of underlying integrative challenges to cross-border ease of business, including the need for more liberalization of trade, integration of capital markets and standardization of legal and regulatory frameworks.

With the onset of the Covid-19 not only were such inadequacies exacerbated but they were compounded by a host of often existential disruptions. Lasting over three years and with its aftermath still widely felt, the pandemic has had a significant, even sometimes devastating impact on the operations and wider development of firms across the region. In practical terms, the protracted lockdown resulted in a sharp downturn in industrial production, consumption and exports, causing widespread productivity suppression and deep economic contraction. Moreover, aside from impeding cross-border supply chains, raising production costs and stoking the unpredictability of demand, the restrictions on human mobility and people-to-people connectivity have had a drastic effect on workplace interaction and communications, as well as on intra-and extra-regional tourism.

At the organizational level, the pandemic-induced challenges for firms in the region have ranged from manageable threats to sudden, discontinuous changes with often fatal results – especially for those firms who failed to adjust quickly and deeply enough to the drastic mitigating actions required. Notwithstanding such difficulties, according to economic indicators many enterprises in Southeast Asia have performed relatively well and recovered quickly from these adverse effects – some even enjoying unexpected positive demand shocks (e.g., for firms providing social media, video streaming and cyber-security services).

At the regional level, member states have responded by quickening the pace of key reforms to improve the ease of doing business (and to attract foreign investment in new areas) e.g., high value manufacturing capabilities and digital technology. There have also been considerable efforts made to set about strengthening regional supply chains for resilience and better connectivity, as well as pushing the drive towards the digital society. More generally, many of the region’s business enterprises have learned invaluable lessons in surviving the pandemic, conducting major overhauls in their HRM, strategy, and marketing and operations as strategic adaptability and business practice innovation have become paramount.

We aim to deepen and refine how we understand the managerial responses and innovative capabilities that firms based in ASEAN (both indigenous and foreign) have progressed in the post-pandemic era. Whereas a growing body of research on the post-pandemic business environment has focused on Western countries and on China, the effects on business in Southeast Asia - as is typical within Asian business research - remains under-represented. This Special Issue seeks to redress this imbalance. Guest Editors want to know how ASEAN firms have adapted their strategic objectives and business operations to survive the pandemic and prosper in its aftermath. We are especially interested in how firms have engaged in organizational learning and business practice innovation - instanced in their supply-chain relationships, along with HRM and marketing developments.

For the above purposes, we welcome research papers and case studies of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. All papers must deal - either singly or comparatively - with cases from the ASEAN block Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam).

Specific topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Organizational resilience, innovative learning and other crucial strategic capabilities leveraged to combat the effects of the pandemic
  • Supply chain crises and organizational response
  • Digital and IT-related innovations during the pandemic
  • Additional factors affecting the survival and development of enterprises across post-pandemic Southeast Asia
  • Industry-level analyses of which firms benefitted from the pandemic or post-pandemic market changes and which lost out (e.g., through positive vs negative demand shocks)
  • Strategic measures and maneuverability of hospitality firms/destinations in the wake of disruptions - even cessation of - international tourism
  • Trust development and consumer confidence management in services sectors (e.g. hospitality, tourism)
  • ASEAN integration: opportunities, progress and challenges for post-Covid business
  • Changing marketing strategies of ASEAN-based companies
  • Covid & HRM in ASEAN: analyses of developments and changes

Submission Instructions


30 September 2023: Deadline for abstracts
15 October 2023: Acceptance of abstracts and invitation to the workshop
15 January 2024: Submission of PowerPoint slides
31 January - 02 February 2024: Workshop at Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
March 31, 2024: Deadline for full paper submission
April 30, 2024: First review results
May 31, 2024: Submission of revised drafts
June 30, 2024: Second review results
July 15, 2024: Submission of final drafts
July 31st, 2024: Final acceptance decisions
Publication of Selected Papers online in APBR in 2024


All full submissions must fully match APBR’s standard guidelines (see journal and webpage), including country(s) covered in the title, separate and substantive Implications sections for both a) theory and theory development b) management and business practice, ending with a Conclusion section, etc.

Abstract submission and enquiries: [email protected] and [email protected].

Instructions for Authors