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Event Review: Special Symposium on COVID-19 Outbreak and Management

Due to the global outbreak of the COVID- 19, the 9th International Association of Chinese Management Research (IACMR) Biennial Conference has been postponed by one year, from June 2020 to June 2021, Within the conference, a special symposium on “COVID-19 Outbreak and Management” organized by Professor Zhaoli Song (National University of Singapore) and Professor Wu Liu (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University), was rescheduled as a virtual session during April 11- 14 via Zoom. 


The outbreak has created enormous impacts on world economy and business. The special symposium covered some critical topics and issues on coronavirus crisis and management, creating a platform for scholars to share their wisdom, to inspire new ideas and to promote responsible scholarship to address critical social issues. The symposium demonstrated important aspects of “Responsible Research” advocated by IACMR: contribute to the social progress and development by applying knowledge, skills and entrepreneurship, paying close attention to significant global issues and making suggestions. 


The symposium had been organized in a speeded fashion. The call for papers was released on February 17. By the deadline of March 31, more than 30 papers had been received for the special symposium. A total of 24 reviewers provided their professional comments and suggestions toward the submitted papers anonymously in just few days. The organizational committee made acceptance decisions, fixed the session schedule, and  informed the authors by April 7. Announcements regarding the special symposium had also been widely spread by IMACR website, IACMR WeChat official account platform and WeChat groups. The first session of the special symposium was launched on April 11 as planned via Zoom.


The symposium consisted of six sessions in four days, with 19 scholars presenting their papers on organizational management, economy and market, behavioral responses, communication and public policies that were related to the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, one paper provided insights on Chinese companies’ positioning in the global value chain. Another paper reported how mindfulness meditation training helped people improve their sleep during the outbreak period.  Some scholars relied on simulations to model and predict epidemic progress trends in different regions. Yet a few scholars made suggestions to improve the national epidemic reporting system with the block chain technology. These studies represented fine examples on how academic thinking and analytical tools can be used to address pressing problems in the real world.


Six guest discussants, including the current president, president-elect, vice president, and vice president-elect of IACMR, were invited to comment on papers in each session. Discussants summarized commonalities of papers in each session, highlighted their theoretical and practical contributions, and provided suggestions for authors to improve their works. Authors expressed their appreciation for the clear guidance from discussants.


These six sessions attracted a total of 876 participants, with a peak of 217 people online. The video conferencing system provided instant barrier-free interaction opportunities. The participants were able to view speech outlines on the screen while listening to the speaker's presentation. In addition, the system allowed participants to raise questions in the chat box, facilitating instant and smooth communication between presenters and participants. Participants actively asked questions and communicated with each other, which was also a good opportunity for authors to get feedbacks to improve their papers. Such online forums have created a new mode of academic exchanges, particularly suitable under the current situation of "social distancing". 


We would like to express our thanks to Professor Runtian Jing, Program Chair of the conference, for his support, and especially Professor Zhaoli Song and Professor Wu Liu for their great efforts in the process of planning the symposium, organizing paper reviews, scheduling sessions, chairing each session and sorting out video files after the sessions. It is very encouraging that more IACMR members and scholars will benefit from the video recordings of the special symposium.


Professor Zhaoli Song



Professor Wu Liu


We also extend our great appreciation to 24 reviewers and 6 discussants for their time and efforts to make the special symposium happen. 



Name list of 24 reviewersin alphabetical order

Xinwen Bai,   Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Yifeng Chen,   Lingnan University

Wei Chi,  Tsinghua University

Yanjun Guan,  Durham University (UK)

Wei He,  Nanjing University

Fanmin Kong,  Peking University

Guiqing Li,  Chengdu University of Information Technology

Shuping Li,  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Yongrui Li,  Beijing Normal University

Jian Liang,  Tongji University

Zhenyu Liao,  Northeastern University (USA)

Xin Liu,  National University of Singapore

Li Ma,  Peking University

Xiaowei Mei,  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Qin Miao,  Zhejiang University

Xiongying Niu,  University of International Business and Economics

Yi Tang,  The University of Hong Kong

Feng Wei,  Tongji University

Liqun Wei,  Hong Kong Baptist University

Xueyong Zhan,  The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hanqin Zhang,  National University of Singapore

Shuhua Zhang,  Tulane University (USA)

Xu Zhang,  The University of Adelaide (Australia)

Weiguo Zhong,  Peking University



Name list of six discussants

Xu Huang,  Hong Kong Baptist University, IACMR Representative at Large (Asia Pacific)(2014-2016)

Runtian Jing,  Shanghai Jiao Tong University, IACMR Vice President

Jun Liu,  Renmin University of China

Ray Friedman,  Vanderbilt University, IACMR President

Wei Shen,  Arizona State University, IACMR Vice President Elect

Zhixue Zhang,  Peking University, IACMR President Elect


Finally, we would like to express our appreciation to the scholars who had participated in the special symposium. 





Session Themes, Papers Presented and Session Video Links


April 11 Morning   

Chinese Session 1: Outbreak and the Crises and Opportunities for Chinese Enterprises


1. The impacts of COVID-19 outbreak and relief on the market reactions to firms (Guoguang Wan, Chengrui Zhou, Liangding Jia)

2. The Opportunities in the Crisis: Double-Sided Impacts of the COVID-19 on the Chinese Manufacturing Enterprises Embedded in the Global Value Chains (Zhen Zhen, Wang Fengbin) 

3. Will consumption rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic? A study based on psychological arousal theory (Shichang Deng, Wangshuai Wang, Peihong Xie, Yifan Chao)


DiscussantRuntian Jing,  Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Video Linkhttps://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDYzMzUwMzUwNA==.html



April 12 Morning 

English Session 1: Outbreak and Behavior 


1. Mindfulness Buffers the Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak Information on Sleep Duration (Michelle Xue Zheng, Jingxian Yao, Jayanth Narayanan) 
2. Routine Disruption and Medical Errors: How Can Hospitals Help Nurses to Deal with the Attacks by COVID-19 (Wei Wu, Wu Liu, Yuhuan Xia, Wen Wu) 
3. Who is worth our effort after the “hostile forces of nature”? An evolutionary explanation of family motivation in facing COVID-19 (Feifan Yang, Zhijun Chen, Rongwei Chu, Yahua Cai) 

4. Unprecedented disruptions of live and work – a survey of the health, distress and life satisfaction of working adults in China one month into the COVID-19 outbreak (Stephen Zhang, Yifei Wang, Andreas Rauch, Feng Wei)


Discussant: Ray Friedman, Vanderbilt University 

Video Linkhttps://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDYzMzUyMTU2MA==.html



April 12 Afternoon   

Chinese Session 2: Outbreak and Organizational Management  


1. Crisis management of cottage industry during COVID-19: Qualitative research based on the phenomenological ontology epistemology and methodology (Jing Yang)

2. Coping with the COVID-19 by enterprises:  A comparison of Chinese and Singaporean companies (Zhaoli Song, Yating Wang)

3.  A Literature Review of Online Telecommuting and Future Prospects (Weiwei Huo, Jingya Gong, Jing Nie, Xianmiao Li, Jingjing Qu)



DiscussantJun LiuRenmin University of China     

Video Linkhttps://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDYzMjc5NzU1Ng==.html



April 13 Morning   

English Session 2: Outbreak and Management  

1. A Case Study of a Volunteer Team on Coordinating Medical Supply Donation in the Battle against COVID-19 in Hubei (Xiaoping Tong)

2. Crisis Management for SMEs in MACAU S.A.R.:  Survival, Resilience and Renewal Strategies during the COVID-19 Outbreak (Jose Alves, Tan Cheng Lok, Yubo Luo, Wei Hao) 

3. Trends in Transmissibility of 2019 Novel Coronavirus-infected Pneumonia in Wuhan and 29 Provinces in China (Huazhen Lin, Wei Liu, Hong Gao, Jinyu Nie, Qiao Fan) 


Discussant: Xu Huang, The Hong Kong Baptist University 

Video Linkhttps://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDYzMzUyNzU2NA==.html



April 13 Afternoon  

Chinese Session 3: Outbreak Information, Communication, and Decision Making 

1. Global performance of public health surveillance systems during the COVID-19 pandemic: testing a new method using Benford's Law (Yubo Luo, Wei Hao, Tan Cheng Lok)
2. An Investigation on the Dynamic Process of Public’s Adoption of the Epidemics Prevention Information about Coronavirus (Ying Xia, Xueling Fan, Jun Liu)

3. Research on Government Governance Paths for Major Emergencies from the Perspective of Evolutionary Games: Taking COVID-19 crisis as an example (Mei Song, Yuhui Ge, Jusheng Liu) 


DiscussantZhixue Zhang,  Peking University

Video Linkhttps://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDYzMzUxODA0MA==.html



April 14 Morning  

Chinese Session 4: Outbreak and Public Management


1. Research of Government-Enterprise Collaborative Governance Application In Battle Against New Crown Pneumonia: Based on the text analysis for thirty provincial government announcements (Shuangpeng Zhang, Fengwei Liu)
2. Public Official Characteristics and Crisis Management: Evidence From the COVID-19 Outbreak (Xincheng Wang, Wenjing Guo, Yuan Li, Kaili Li)

3. Using block chain technology to improve the national infectious disease surveillance and early warning network (Rui Huang, Weizheng Chen, Dongmei Hu, Yuling Chen, Hong Qiu)


DiscussantWei Shen,  Arizona State University

Video Linkhttps://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDYzMzUzMzM0OA==.html


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