Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Main Content

Rotman professors on COVID-19: examining Canada’s economic future, what businesses can do, social distancing compliance and more

April 16, 2020

A look back at how Rotman professors contributed to the conversation around COVID-19 in early April 2020.

As the COVID-19 outbreak persists, many of us are now thinking about the country’s economic future, how to lead a remote workforce, what life will look like after the pandemic, and other concerns. In recent weeks, professors across the Rotman School have reflected on these and other topics, and they have actively contributed to — and elevated — the conversation surrounding the crisis.

Drawing from his experience as the associate deputy finance minister during the 2008 financial crisis, Dean Tiff Macklem examined the steps and mindset required for Canada’s economic recovery with BNN Bloomberg. The Toronto Star recently featured Macklem’s seven considerations for leaders during a financial crisis.

In an op-ed for the Globe and Mail, David Beatty, who is the academic director of the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation, explained why it is crucial for boards to stay focused on a long-term vision. Organizations that do will have a competitive advantage when they emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.

RELATED



While it might not be good for a company’s bottom line, Claire Tsai explained why finding ways to give back — including offering free delivery to customers, donating to charities and covering sick leaves for employees — can be good for business. Tsai, who is an associate professor in the Marketing area, says that the goodwill earned during this time will go a long way in building support long after this crisis is over.

Nicola Lacetera, who is an associate professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga with a cross-appointment to the Strategic Management area, recently discussed the problems with maintaining hope and compliance when announcing an end date for social distancing measures. In a recent piece for the Toronto Star and in a segment with the CBC National, he spoke about his recent study, which involved surveying Italians currently living under strict lockdown conditions. Lacetera found that a significant number of participants said they would abandon social distancing efforts if the imposed lockdown deadline was extended any further.

Dimitry Anastakis, L.R. Wilson/R.J. Currie Chair in Canadian Business History at the Rotman School, suggested looking back at previous precedents — such as the 2008 financial crisis and the Second World War — as a starting point for future planning. However, as he and his coauthor noted in their Toronto Star op-ed, this is still an unprecedented time. They cautioned financial institutions and large enterprises on the government’s expanding power and intervention during this time.

RELATED



Sam Maglio, an associate professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough with a cross-appointment to the Marketing area at Rotman, reflected on how to make the most of our time in isolation. In his Washington Post op-ed, he encouraged readers to take online courses, support local businesses and to remember “when life gives you bushels of lemons, perfect your lemonade recipe.”

The Creative Destruction Lab recently announced a new stream — CDL Recovery — dedicated to responding to the COVID-19 crisis. As mentioned in a recent Tech Crunch article and in a CDL blog post, this new stream will drive innovation in diagnostic testing, vaccine development, telemedicine, virtual work and talent-retraining, among other areas.

Geoffrey Leonardelli, a professor in the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management area, and alumna Rachel Megitt (MBA ‘10) shared advice on how to lead a remote workforce during a crisis in a recent webinar. Their insights were summarized in an IEDP piece.

REALTED



Rotman professors also commented on a range of other topics. Richard Florida, a University Professor at the Rotman School, discussed the many ways cities will have to adjust their operations when they reopen in a Globe and Mail op-ed. Tiziana Casciaro, a professor in the Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management area, contemplated the future of the handshake with BBC.com. Lisa Kramer, who is a professor with the University of Toronto Mississauga (with a cross-appointment to the Finance area at the Rotman School), explained why we are seeing such volatility in the market right now.

RELATED



More Rotman Insights »


Meet the researchers

Tiff Macklem

Dean of the Rotman School of Management

Read his full biography →


David R. Beatty

Academic Director of the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation

Read his full biography →


Claire I. Tsai

Associate Professor of Marketing

Read her full biography →


Nicola Lacetera

Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Department of Management, University of Toronto Mississauga

Read his full biography →


Dimitry Anastakis

L.R. Wilson/R.J. Currie Chair in Canadian Business History at the Rotman School and the Department of History

Read his full biography →


Sam Maglio

Associate Professor of Marketing & Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough & Rotman School of Management

Read his full biography →


Geoffrey J. Leonardelli

Professor of Organizational Behaviour & HR Management

Read his full biography →


Richard Florida

University Professor, Rotman School of Management and the School of Cities, University of Toronto

Read his full biography →


Tiziana Casciaro

Professor of Organizational Behavior and HR Management

Read her full biography →


Lisa A. Kramer

Professor of Finance, Department of Management, University of Toronto Mississauga

Read her full biography →


© Rotman School of ManagementAASCB