Chapter And Authors Information
The world has ceased to be back to normal with the outbreak of Coronavirus which World Health Organization declared as a global pandemic and public health issue. Apart from claiming lives and livelihood, businesses have been hit with numerous challenges which propelled them to reinvent themselves in order to survive. Crisis tends to disrupt businesses and ever since Covid-19 pandemic struck the world, its ravaging effect on business have been unprecedented. There has been growing interest in how businesses are reinventing themselves to survive the devastating effect of pandemic. The pandemic has indeed deepened the interest of countries and businesses to move towards deglobalization. There is now the inclination to turn inwards and develop resilience in order to shield economies, political climate and business opportunities by governments and even businesses. This chapter would take a systematic review of literature and comparative studies of technology adoption in the midst of the global pandemic crisis by businesses; pre-pandemic context, during Covid-19 pandemic and “Post-pandemic” phase. Critical as these reviews may for both research community and professionals, there is still an opportunity to look into these reviews to draw insights on strategies for crisis management that practitioners could adopt whether individually or independently or collectively. Amidst the call for deglobalization, a look into how digital currencies meant for global acceptance may fare would be expedient especially when it is discussed in the light of theoretical framework already established in literature. This chapter therefore delves into it and also identifies the how crucial Covid-19 pandemic is inciting both short and long policies hence require both theoretical and empirical attention from the research community.
Pandemic, Technology Adoption, Deglobalization, IT culture conflict, crisis management
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a crisis that has caused havoc to both human lives, social living and economic systems. The outbreak in various jurisdiction have been either sudden or expectant yet there seem to have been similar measures adopted by leaders of many countries to combat the rapid transmission among their citizens (Verma & Gustafsson, 2020). Directives accompanying policies have been for people to stay home, ban of public gathering, partial lockdowns or even complete lockdowns (Leite, Hodgkinson, & Gruber, 2020).
The ripple effect of these directives and more have been felt in business environment globally and within domestic economies. Covid-19 have therefore ‘rudely’ coerced businesses to adopt new business models in order to survive the uncertainty of recent times and develop a resilient system that could face similar conditions in the future (Donthu & Gustafsson, 2020).
Evidently, apart from heightened adoption of technology during the pandemic, evidently, there is a growing body of literature on management of crisis with which has emerged various models which conceptualize an approach to be adopted in handling crisis that may affect businesses. These crises may be distinctively different due to their duration, scale and impacts (Speakman & Sharpley, 2012). These studies reviewed show that, there are models that evaluate impact of pandemic on hospitals (Ching-Hua et al., 2007); others also are industry specific, with focus primarily on hospitality industry (Li & Phi, 2021) and sustainable business models for holistic value logic towards ensuring a reduced negative impact on business by occurrence of crisis (Curtis & Mont, 2020).
Admittedly, most of these models remain conceptual and its strategic nature fails to suggest practical strategies to address global pandemic like that of Coronavirus or any similar future occurrences (Jiang, Ritchie& Verreynne (2021). This therefore resonates with the fact that, the pandemic has coerced economies , businesses , data and technological innovations to be disintegrated and self-sufficient defeating the agenda of Go Global and Grow Global in the Pre-Covid era.
The impact and outcome of the pandemic-induced de-globalization necessitate systematic assessment from varied disciplines on the implications of de-globalization on technological adoption and crisis management (Sharman & Dhilman, 2021). This evidently explains how findings have suggested a need for further refinement of existing crisis management models as new evolving crisis occurs and may not be totally adaptable in various jurisdictions.
Technology Adoption- Pre-Crisis, Pandemic and ‘Post-Pandemic’ era
Few reviews have been conducted during Covid-19 pandemic that had sought to look at the role of technology in response to the global crisis. There has been a look into a review of literature on how technology have been used specifically in handling detection and surveillance of the coronavirus disease (Maharana et al. 2021). There have been other reviews looking into literature on sustainability development by Medium and small scale businesses using technology (Bai, Quayson & Sarkis, 2021).Few others also have looked into specific technologies and their use in pandemic management (Moosavi, Bakhshi & Martek ,2021) and ways by which resilience have been developed in business systems through digital transformation(Elgazzar et al. 2022).Though these reviews have been critical , there have been limitations in terms of discipline as reviews conducted was either
from public health perspective (Maharana et al., 2021) or information systems in health (Moosavi, Bakhshi & Martek ,2021); business and management domain (Verma &
Gustafsson,2020). Secondly, there is limitation in terms of context as studies looked into specific jurisdiction and also focused on specific categorization of businesses, like medium and small-scale businesses (Bai, Quayson & Sarkis, 2021). Crisis is conceived as occurrence of disruptions to businesses however the source and nature of occurrence preempt the ability to control or plan for or adapt to the changes it brings. Businesses don’t exist in isolation and therefore must operate in environments which may be posed with unpredictable occurrences. As the world is often regarded as a global village due to the unabated advancement in technology, businesses exist within its controllable environment, domestic uncontrollable environment and at large the global environment with quite a number of unpredictable factors interplaying with the earlier environment (Cateora & Graham, 2002; Pryor & Cullen ,1993). As the trend of globalization continues, the impact of global phenomenon like widespread diseases or other disasters tend to affect businesses due to the interdependencies of businesses on resources and markets. This evidently is shown in the current global health issue that hit the world.
Technological Adoption / Digital Tool Application
The pandemic has drastically changed modes of operations by business, one central or key change has been digital acceleration that has heighten during the pandemic (Agostino, Anabolic & Lema, 2021; He, Zhang & Li, 2021). The novelty of Covid-19 pose as a problem in dealing with the pandemic heads-on. Various variants have been identified whilst various waves of the pandemic have been recorded by different countries and continents within specific phases. Therefore, this study generically considers a “Post pandemic” era as the period where there is seemingly normalcy in terms of daily business transactions and human movements within a jurisdiction.
Globally, statistics since 2019 show an increase of Internet traffic due to the Covid-19 pandemic which brought about restrictions of movements as transmission was predominantly through close interactions with others (Soto-Acosta, 2020). During the early stages of the pandemic, digital technologies was deemed as efficient tool that kept businesses manage a certain level of work activity. This has encouraged what is deemed as digital economy where the known or usual economy is being driven by digital technologies (Soto-Acosta, 2020).
On the foregoing, digital tool application refers to using digital means for interactions, communications in business activities. It also is conceived as the acceptance of technologies in running business activities or processes (Laudon & Laudon, 2019)
Analysis of Related Studies
A Systematic Literature Review affords researcher to draw a more reliable data to make constructive analysis in order for key decisions to be made. This form of review is considered as high-quality evidence (Donato & Donato,2019) The concrete steps that enables researcher to realize this include, formulation of the investigative questions as previously stated, define the criteria that includes or excludes the literature material in the search and extracting and synthesizing data for comprehensive analysis (Barros & Mesquite, 2021)
There were five (5) literature review sampled with one comparative study after the eligibility checks (as shown in Appendix A). The key thematic issues identified from the analysis of findings drawn was categorized into three thematic levels which are coded under three major headings shown in Table 1 namely; Pre-existing Technology adoption; Technology innovation and Resilient Systems. Businesses having resilient systems is vital to secure business continuity thus being able to manage risks which have the potential of disrupting essential processes and thereby mitigate against such risks (Gibb & Buchanan, 2006).
Pre-existing Technology adoption
The technology adoption during pandemic period and pre-pandemic era was comparatively assessed based on external factors to the condition within the respective eras by Muhamad et al. (2021). The survey used for this study adopted an online questionnaire administration approach to 432 enterprises which were categorized in about four industries. Specific digital tools which served as basis for questioning respondents on technology adopted were internet usage, computer/phone usage, web presence, epayment, and e-commerce. Each respondent was queried on adoption of these prior to pandemic, during pandemic and recovery or “post-pandemic” phase. The sector type with the highest enterprise involvement was services sector and the type with the lowest was tourism. The trend from the descriptive statistics of data indicate that each of the sectors namely; service, manufacturing, tourism and retail sector had a surge in the use of the digital tools such as web presence, e-payment and ecommerce.
About three (3) of the literature review articles sampled focused on the technology adoption strategies or technological capabilities invested in during the pandemic period. Li, Voorneveld & de Koster (2021) conducted a study have delved into various transformations of their business operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Using case studies of varied industries and interviews as research instrument, participants were questioned on their business transformation driven by technology in eight different forms or strategies;
(1) work from home
(2) Augmented reality in remote assistance and maintenance,
(3) internet of things in manufacturing,
(4) machine learning in operations or customer support,
(5) predictive analytics in sales forecasting,
(6) virtual reality in retail,
(7) product feature change, and
(8) business model redesign
These transformations were mapped with a three-step model of the process of business transformation. This model shows Decision & Planning as first phase, implementation as next and finally Reinforcement mechanism. Among the transformations in businesses, only Iota in 5 manufacturing sector was decided prior to the pandemic, however the other forms were decide in the spur of the moment especially working from home was decided in a day much faster than all the other transformations which may be as a result to the restriction of movement directives which governments resorted in the early stages of the pandemic. Maharana et al. (2021) performed a systematic review of how technology was used in disease prevention, disease monitoring or surveillance and clinical supplies and management in the African context. Studies reviewed showed the form of technology adopted for each of the category aforementioned.
Portugal was affected by the directives accompanying the pandemic as public gathering were banned, flights cancelled and borders closed (Barros & Mesquita ,2021). Within this restrictive context, small and medium sized enterprises were to survive the competition hence sought the potential of technologies in reaching customers. E-Businesses solutions became a significant tool as it streamlines the traditional business models optimizing and automating them. Given the critical role that SMEs contribute to economic development, studies have delved into adoption of E-Business models hence, Barros and Mesquita (2021) looked into such models by reviewing literature published within the pandemic era. This is based on the fact that E-business models gets altered based on changing context.
The findings that led to the development of a framework that models digital transformation for sustainable development of Medium and small-scale enterprise in post Covid-19 era was unveiled by Bai, Quayson and Sarkis (2021). Suggestive digital tools or technology to be adopted are digital payments like mobile money. The framework that could ensure sustained development in any pending pandemic that may have similar impact like the current Covid-19, was developed by the researchers. The specific theories that they drew from included resource-based view, dynamic capability, institutional, transactional cost theory and TOE framework.
A review of literature and synthesis of data that looked into trends in the studies published pertaining to impacts of Covid-19 was conducted by Verma and Gustafsson (2020). There were thematic areas like impacts of Covid-19 on economies of nations, communications, health care and others. There is also a cluster of articles reviewed that looked into Covid-19 and technology. There were about three sub clusters under this which looked at Covid-19 and big data & analytics; Covid-19 and emerging technologies, digital healthcare and socio-technical transitions. Data-driven insights could assist in prediction of impacts accurately and also ensure strong continuity of businesses in uncertain times (Hancox-Li, 2020).
Conceptualizing Pandemic Crisis Management Framework
In reviewing models developed by researchers for crisis management, this section looks into the ones that are industry specific and understand the theoretical underpinnings of the models. Thereafter, other models that are generic or holistic approach would also be reviewed and then the integrative model as suggestive in this study would be further discussed.
Pandemic Management by Hotels
In reference to Leximancer ‘s concept map, Le and Phi (2021) discovered that hotels managing pandemic falls in seven major themes: Emergency transformation, business innovation, service changes, health & safety measures, Negative impact, recovery strategies and government policies.
However, in further analysis of these themes, Le and Phi (2021) realized there could be regrouping of themes and by so doing aid in developing the framework for the sector.
Government policies could be likened to the role of governments in implementing pandemic management policies in the nature of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and detrimental effects of the Covid-19 could represent “Negative impact” theme.
Three other themes could be categorized as reactive strategies (Emergency transformation, health & safety measures and Services changes) whilst proactive strategies encapsulate Business innovation and Recovery strategies themes.
Therefore, the framework developed by Le and Phi (2021) shows five pandemic phases in crisis management. The strategic framework of Hotel Pandemic crisis management shows the five phases namely; Pre-event and early symptom, emergency phase, crisis phase, recovery phase and Resolution.
Pre-event and early symptom
At the onset of pandemic, hotels or businesses withdraw investments from new projects to reduce risk. There is also an approach to save as business efficiency is improved or working capital is freed or postpone any form of non-essential projects.
The occurrence of pandemic lead to increase in cancelation of booking hence hotels may have to cut down cost by lay off staff or cutting down working hours in the quest to survive.
In implementation of governments policies to sustain lives and livelihood, the directives of lockdown or stay at home policy created the need to transform service or hibernate as a business in the hospitality sector. Some hotels either transform service into training of hoteling online or cooking lessons among others. Whilst others hibernate and use funds to refurbish or expand premises in wait for the recovery (Roan & Kelly, 2020)
As various governments starting easing up travel restrictions and also taking off lockdown directives and allowing for conferencing among others, demand for the hotel sect started witnessing a form of gradual recovery though under a ‘new normal’.
As the new normal takes form in the various countries, the hotel sector has to strategically adapt to the uncertain post- pandemic world with ever increasing scare of another new wave or another new variant emerging.
Pandemic Related Processes Influencing Business Failure
Another strategic model that presents the various factors that affect businesses during a pandemic and how these factors or conditions could create set of processes leading to the success or failure of a business was presented by Amankwah-Amoah, Khan and Wood (2020).
This assesses the incompatibility of firm’s processes, decisions and routines with the external requirements of governments in terms of regulations or directives that ensue due to the pandemic occurrence.
Exogenous level of Analysis
This captures directives that affect the sector or industry that a business may find itself. The lock down directives affected businesses regarded as providing non-essential services as they had to close up. Other services which may not be closed down suffered in terms of duration of opening for business hours or even mode of operation.
The endogenous level of analysis
This form looks inward into the firm’s capacity, services, routines or operations and the capabilities in innovating services based on the effect of the exogenous level of impact.
Strategic and Tactical initiatives
Based on the environmental shocks due to pandemic, firms would have to strategically redirect their services and take immediate steps in moving towards the vision.
Monitoring and Adjusting
As the environment becomes increasing unpredictable, this phase is needed to ensure that, the new form of approaches or service innovation or business models adopted endure to the benefit of the firm eventually and if not get early warning signals to mitigate against it.
Post-Pandemic Proposed Organizational Model
The next model which centers on recovery after pandemic impact conceives the proposed form of adaptability after occurrence of pandemic. The model captures three tiers for consideration for adaptation to a ‘new normal’.
The first layer features the basic steps to be considered after a pandemic for any firm. This entails data assessment (may deploy market research), disruption thinking and scanning.
In embarking on the recommended basic steps, second tier outlines the guidelines which are flexibility, creativity and governance with ethics.
It has been mentioned that innovation and value must be driving force in any decision to tailor processes to adapt after pandemic occurrence.
Towards an Integrated Framework of Pandemic Crisis Management
When previous models are analyzed critically, it is realized that, there are some linkages with them which could feed into a new Integrated Framework work considering for Pandemic crisis management by SMEs irrespective of the industry or sector within an economy.
Before any occurrence of an event that may have the potential of causing harm or creating opportunities for a business, the said business may have put in place contingencies or risk management measures to prepare it for such in eventualities.
Therefore, the Pre-crisis stage may be the first step to go in managing a crisis. This stage gives an overview of the capacity of a business or resources available to it in making it resilient to any internal or external shocks or crisis. This stage is critically analyzed by drawing from Resource based view theory (RBVT)
Resource Based View Theory (RBVT)
This theory which was advanced by Grant (2013) states that the resources and capabilities of a firm are fundamental for the formulation of an effective strategy for a firm. It further reveals that, firms wield resources which are unique and rare that can be used effectively to tell them apart from the competition. . RBVT expects firms to consider their own internal processes and systems to try and assess the possible strategies which can be grounded on them to achieve performance road map.
Drawing from this theory, the Pre-crisis stage would entail analysis of resources or capacities of businesses that sustain them in the competition and gives them a level of resilience for any form of crisis.
The next stage which is the crisis stage would be considered in two different phases; Crisis Impact Analysis and Reactive strategies.
Crisis Impact Analysis Stage
This stage entails the extent of impact of the pandemic crisis of the business. This stage drew from about three models for the analysis. The impact of a pandemic may be first and foremost assessed from the its external (macro)environment then from meso level (industrial impact) therefore drew from Porter’s Five Forces and then critically, its internal processes and resources hence considering the TOE framework.
Using PESTEL as the theoretical basis of analysis, six main dimensions were critically analyzed: political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal.
Political dimensions: The Governments’ policies and directives have influence on business during pandemic.
Economical dimensions: Economies are known to be struggling due to the pandemic and this have repercussions on businesses.
Social dimensions: The escalating number of COVID-19 patients has dire and unrestrained consequences on productivity and even fiscal health of the country.
Technological dimensions: The deployment of technology during the new normal of pandemic outbreak also have impact on businesses. The adoption of varying forms of technology for business operations.
Environmental dimensions: This look into the environmental effect of the rising or surging cases of Covid-19 on environment (Ferronato & Torretta, 2019).
Legal dimensions: The legal framework may be amended in response to sudden COVID-19 outbreak and influence on patients undergoing treatments.
Porter’s Competitive 5 forces
Porter’s competitive factors strategy mode applies insights from industrial organization theory in analyzing the competitive environment that businesses thrive as largely determined by industrial structure (Karagiannopoulos et al., 2005). Porter’s (1998) five forces look into the impact of the pandemic on traditional form of service or product delivery in the business sector, new business model adopted, complicated demands of consumers or clients, bargaining power of suppliers or collaborators and the imminent rivalry among competitors in the industry.
The TOE framework purposefully developed to study organizational adoption of technological innovation by Tornatzky and Fleisher (1990). The 3 elements include the technological context, the organizational context, and the environmental context. However, the framework in this study is deployed to assess the impact of the pandemic on organization (culture, policies, strategies and resource capacities), Technological framework or business processes (operations) and Environment (immediate environment in terms of relationship with key stakeholders like suppliers or collaborators in the business).
The occurrence of any crisis is likely to create a reaction among businesses. This stage analyses the basis for decisions to be taken during the pandemic crisis. This stage, drew from theories like Strategic Choice theory and Rational Theory of Choice.
Strategic Choice theory
This theory depicts the relationship between top management choices and performance and interaction between internal and external environment.
The model has the intent of ensuring optimal performance in the event of limited resource… Change or variations can be caused by contextual factors including environmental conditions and technology.
Rational Theory of Choice (RTC)
Rationality refers to a sound, reflective, and practical attitude. RTC has a more precise and limited form of level headedness known as person’s action of weighing costs and benefits in order to make a decision that optimizes individual gain (Friedman, 1953 as cited in Idowu, Ngumi and Muturi, 2016)., rationality is perceived as a characteristic of series of choices.
Rational choice theory lies at the core of economic mainstream theory, as well as in related fields such as political science, sociology, decision theory, law, and history, which have adopted it as their decision-making model. Everybody agrees that individuals select the best course of action based on personal recognizable roles and constraints.
The next stage is the Post-pandemic stage. This stage adopts the organizational model proposed by Donald (2020).
It is worth noting that, for the integrated model, a cyclical effect is adopted. Due to the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, being a novel hence insights are brought to the fore on gradual basis. Hitherto, there have been several waves of the pandemic making the “post-pandemic” stage merely a mirage. The pandemic’s ravaging effect still goes on and new variants get revealed occasionally. The cyclical effect therefore, enables the framework to be consistently adopted for further analysis when the various waves of the crisis get recorded. The post pandemic stage strategies therefore become the pre-crisis stage for the next impact of the wave.
The new integrated Model for pandemic crisis management is shown in Figure 1.
Restriction on Adoption of Cryptocurrencies as Marks of Deglobalization trends? Analysis using IT-Culture Conflict Perspective
The European Central Bank attempt to distinguish between two digital currencies; Virtual Currencies and Cryptocurrencies (European Central Bank, 2012). Both are independent of central banks, financial institutions and sovereign states. Virtual currencies are mainly used for buying non-tangible products whilst cryptocurrencies are created, stored and transferred between parties by means of encryption techniques using the block chain technology. Therefore, though production is decentralized, unregulated and transactions are carried out using pseudonyms (Miers, Garman, Green, & Rubin, 2013).
Although there are several attempts amongst Information Systems (IS) scholars to identify the barriers to Bitcoin adoption from customers’ point of views, significant theoretical contributions are still scarce (Esmaeilzadeh, Subramanian & Cousins, 2019). Morisse (2015) stated that due to cryptocurrencies and especially Bitcoin as a currency scheme crossing national borders, cultural issues are an important aspect to be looked into. 11 Technology Adoption and Deglobalization Trends: Lessons from Covid-19 Pandemic
Culture is a set of values shared by a group of humans (Schwartz, 1999). The linkages between culture and technology in terms of how they conflict or align with each other have been looked out in two dimensions however there is a need to assume the posture of seeing it as a socio-technical phenomenon. However, as countries and business currently have the urge to look inwards to build resilience in their technology and systems, subsequently, a critical analysis of IT-Culture conflict in the light of Cryptocurrencies would be discussed to draw insights into how specific factors already existing may drive deglobalization trends in financial technology adoption.
Theory of IT –Culture Conflict
This theory “provides a perspective of culture and IT by focusing on the potential value conflicts that may occur in the context of IT development, adoption, use, and management” (Leidner & Kayworth, 2006, p. 358). Culture is said to express itself in IT artifacts and Values (espoused beliefs).IT symbolize varying values hence regarded as not being neutral. These values have underlying assumptions (Robey & Marks, 1984)
The theory of IT-culture conflict takes into consideration a value-based perspective of culture and recognizes group members’ values, values embedded in IT and I.T values.
Group member values represent the values held by members of a group that signify the espoused beliefs, I.T values are general values ascribed to IT generally and values embedded in IT connotes values inculcated into the system or technology.
The theory of IT-culture conflict (shown in Figure 2.0) suggests that “system conflict will emerge when the values implicit in a specific IT contradict the values held by the group members using, or expected to use the system” (Leidner & Kayworth, 2006, p. 374). The other two conflicts are Vision conflict is the contradiction between values embedded in a system and a group’s IT values and Contribution conflict describes instances when the values of members of a group conflict with the values the group. (Leidner & Kayworth, 2006, p. 376-379).
The degree of divergence between the user’s values (either group or individual) and those values embedded in cryptocurrencies. There is a likely system clash when the values embodied in cryptocurrencies (Open nature) goes contrary to group values or user’s goals and objectives (e.g. performance and efficiency).
Figure 2. IT-Culture Conflict Theory
However, the model in Figure 3 shows the initial model of system conflict identification for the study.
There are specific values that Cryptocurrencies exhibit which includes autonomy and this may conflict with various countries and businesses thereby stirring up policies or legal frameworks restricting or even hampering the adoption of the financial innovation all together.
The Covid-19 pandemic is driving the world economy to step back from global economic and even technological integration. This thereby creating environment where international corporation may be absent. This form of retreat may end globalization or may reverse the latter (Irwin, 2020). To this end, there seem to be developments that resonate with deglobalization trend which is as follows;
i digital transformation factor in the light of changing customer value creation process for businesses
ii alternative factors such as organizational culture and trust that may affect digital transformation
The spate of globalization has made businesses across the globe exposed to numerous shocks or events that goes beyond their immediate environment. The novel Covid-19 pandemic is a typical example which has created disruptions in businesses irrespective of the contextual settings. However, this has also set businesses to look inwards to build systems that could ensure their survival and sustenance. This therefore intend to cause contextual specific strategies to handle the pandemic crisis and have resilience to withstand any pending disasters. Researchers have within the spate of about three years reviewed the varied forms of technological adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic. A Thematic analysis was done to draw insights into how technology became a critical tool in business especially in building resilient systems which could withstand the current shock from the pandemic and any similar pending crisis.
The covid-19 pandemic has created a global stir and has served as a catalyst in springing out enormous literature on how businesses can reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant within a competitive business environment in an unpredictable context. These concerns and more have incited the interest of researchers and practitioners especially since the outbreak of Covid-19. This chapter drew insights from the systematic reviews conducted on technology adoption to understand the nature or form of digital tools applied before the pandemic, during and even within Post-pandemic phase or recovery phase.
The novel Covid-19 pandemic has created numerous disruptions for the business environment irrespective of the contextual settings. Amidst these disruptions also is the retreat of globalization agenda as various initiatives by governments and businesses set the tone towards deglobalization. Technology adoption could not be left out more especially in financial technology where the globe may have considered digital currencies as the way to Go Global and Grow Global. Nevertheless, studies reviewed show the varying forms of crisis management that businesses could consider and also options of technology adoption that have been found as being an underlying factor in building resilience in systems.
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