Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Asia Pacific Business Review

For a Special Issue on

Learn to Survive: Post-Pandemic Business Organizations and Innovative Capabilities in East Asia

Abstract deadline
31 March 2023

Manuscript deadline
30 September 2023

Cover image - Asia Pacific Business Review

Special Issue Editor(s)

Qiang Liang, School of Business, Shantou University, China
[email protected]

Ingyu Oh, College of Global Engagement, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

Chris Rowley, Kellogg College, Oxford University & Bayes Business School, City, University of London, UK

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Learn to Survive: Post-Pandemic Business Organizations and Innovative Capabilities in East Asia

The outbreak of Covid-19 has lasted for more than three years, which produced significant impacts on the operation and development of firms in China and the rest of the Asia Pacific. During this period, firms in the region faced various challenges ranging from manageable threats and those that required drastic countermeasures to those that outwitted all our neutralizing efforts. Nonetheless, firms of all sizes, ages and industries have learned priceless lessons of surviving the environmental disasters of human causation in the public health sector (Chin et al., 2023). Although a few firms enjoyed unexpected windfalls due to the pandemic on a global scale, such as the firms that provide social media and video streaming services (Oh et al., 2023), the sudden environmental change resulted in tragic failures of firms that merely relied on the routinized strategic prescriptions when they in fact had to adjust quickly to the environmental threats by adopting drastic measures (Wang et al., 2020; Baker and Kudge, 2020). Sweeping organizational procedures required impromptu business policies that could co-opt the pandemic, which proved deadly not only to human beings but to firms as well (Shan et al., 2022).

Furthermore, the aftermath of Covid-19 is devastating the entire global economy in terms of impeded global logistics, high cost of productions, uncertain demands and many other related ailments (Carracedo et al., 2021; Sarkar and Clegg, 2021). The unexpected upsurge in the demand of IT products and internet services during the pandemic, for example, is now harshly dealt with by the burst of the digital bubble after the pandemic leading to colossal layoffs in the IT and digital sectors. Despite these apparent difficulties in the aftermath of Covid-19, Chinese enterprises have performed relatively well and recovered quickly from the adverse effects of the epidemic, as major economic indicators demonstrate. Again, the pivot of the digital technologies looms large in the Chinese case, including big data analytics, cloud computing and other technologies that would increase firms’ flexibility (Rowley, 2020; Shan et al., 2022).

Interestingly though, the pandemic has ironically reversed our temporal and spatial progress of human work habits, as what many call ‘Work from Home (WFH)’ became a colossal alternative force to the dominant work format in the office setting (Rowley, 2021; Cai et al., 2022) even at the end of the pandemic. Even since the onset of the pandemic, a new research fervour aimed at analysing the nuts and bolts of WFH has become a new trendy project both within the academia and without.

Against this backdrop, this special issue raises a broad question of the managerial and innovative capabilities that Chinese, Japanese, and Korean firms have newly acquired after the pandemic. First and foremost, we want to know if they have developed innovative ways of dealing with pandemic and similar environmental disasters. Secondly, we also want to investigate what these firms in the region can contribute to the alleviation of the current global supply chain gridlock. Thirdly, we propose to study the ins and outs of innovative activities of the firms in this region commence to take up in order to neutralize the instability of the global demand structure. Finally, we also want to learn how firms in this region are innovating their organizational learning strategies after the pandemic.

For the above purposes, we welcome research papers and case studies with ample supporting materials of quantitative and qualitative data. New methods and new theories are encouraged to submit to this special issue. All papers must deal with cases from East Asia (China, South Korea, and Japan individually or comparatively). Specific topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Innovative means of fighting Covid-19 within East Asian firms
  • Planned and impromptu behaviours of adapting to the volatile and hostile environments during the pandemic by these firms
  • Organizational resilience in the form of survival, innovative, learning and other crucial strategic capabilities in these enterprises
  • The global supply chain crisis during and after the pandemic and the strategic response to the crisis by these firms.
  • State-business relations and their evolutions during and after the pandemic in this region
  • Digital and IT-related innovations that took place during the pandemic, including WFH
  • Industrial analyses of which firms benefitted from the pandemic or post-pandemic market changes.

Submission Instructions


31 March 2023: Deadline for abstracts

15 April 2023: Acceptance of abstracts and invitation to the workshop

31 July 2023: Submission of PowerPoint slides

9-10 August 2023: Workshop at Shantou University, Shantou, China

30 September 2023: Deadline for the submission of full papers

31 October 2023: First review results

30 November 2023: Submission of revised drafts

31 December 2023: Second review results

15 January 2024: Submission of final drafts

31 January 2024: Final acceptance decisions.

Publication of Selected Papers in APBR in 2024

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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