Research at CBS related to the coronavirus
In the overview below you can read more about the individual topics.
Naturally, these research projects have only been initiated within the past few months, which is why quite a few of the projects lack detailed descriptions or websites.
Digitalisation, teaching and communication
Coronavirus: Digital contact tracing does not have to sacrifice privacy
The severe threat of COVID-19 makes it vital to share information in order to fight its spread but as a society we have a choice as to how and under what terms we share our data. We can do it blindly without knowing who will use our data and for what purpose. Alternatively, we can develop a data consciousness and become aware of the power of our data, take control over it and reshape the way it is handled.
This may still involve giving up our privacy, however, there is technology that could help resolve the inherent tension between the need to share data and the need to protect it from misuse.
This project explores how COVID-19 misinformation embeds itself in online discourse around 5G.
A qualitative conceptual study identifies and illustrates three key processes (i) sensitising and layering (ii) blending (iii) disorientation.
A follow-up quantitative study examines how ties form between users over time, resulting in the use of shared language and attitudes.
Contact: Rob Gleasure, Associate Professor
Joana Geraldi and Elisabeth Naima Mikkelsen are working on a project about the forced digitalisation of social interaction at work triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research project explores how remote controlled mobile robots with two-way video and sound capabilities can improve the interaction between elementary school teachers and pupils when teachers and pupils are in different classrooms due to the Corona situation.
Contact: Kim Normann Andersen, Professor, Torkil Clemmensen, Professor, Jacob Nørbjerg, Associate Professor. (Jeppe Agger Nielsen, Professor with special responsibilities, Aalborg University, is also involved).
The aim of this research project is to learn from the transition to digital learning by identifying which digital teaching concepts adopted during the lockdown had the best impact on student learning.
The plan is to study student evaluations, course grades and surveys of students and teachers’ experiences.
In order to better understand differences in students’ adoption and preferences, the findings will be related to parents’ socioeconomic status, heritage and other administrative data of relevance.
A study on how students and academics experience online teaching during COVID-19.
Patients with rare diseases, as well as their caregivers, sometimes develop new solutions to deal with their health conditions but only a small fraction share the solution with their doctor or other health professionals. When the value of patient developed solutions is considered, the evidence is that these solutions consistently help improve the overall quality of life. Patient-developed innovations are very heterogeneous in nature, level of quality, sophistication and cost; nonetheless, the majority are frugal in cost and design. In this paper we explore the organizational lessons of the patient innovation platform and community, and its leadership expressions, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We consider this theme in terms of our understanding of when leadership is distributed and when it is not. Distributed leadership can be considered as a paradox, a process in which leadership is retained and dispersed. Multi-sided online platforms for collecting, curating and distributing those innovations can help in the fight against the pandemic by centralizing and decentralizing.
Contact: Pedro Oliveira, Professor
Crisis management, strategy and analytical tools
How have companies reacted to the COVID-19 crisis in relation to previous crises such as 9/11 and the financial crisis? The analysis is carried out in collaboration with the consultancy company CXO.
Contact: Mogens Bjerre, Associate Professor
This crisis is a reminder of how democratic, free societies require individuals who are empowered to form their own deliberate viewpoints and cooperate to create and protect society and one another.
Managing the knowledge needed to inform policy responses and individual behaviour is an important component of such empowerment. The current crisis has highlighted the risks associated with untamed uncertainty as well as those associated with under- or overestimating the impact of measures intended to combat COVID-19.
Based on qualitative interviews with clinicians, risk managers and healthcare leaders, this study asks questions such as:
What is the appropriateness and value of the existing quality and safety organisation in healthcare in a time of crisis?
How do years of attempts to optimise and lean healthcare organisations affect the ‘slack’ of the organisation in terms of for instance time, staff, focus, stocks and beds?
And what can we learn from COVID-19 about risk and safety organisation in the clinic, about decision-making and, not least, about the vocational role of healthcare professionalism in times of crisis?
How are police and military organisations affected by crises like the one we are currently experiencing? How does the COVID-19 crisis affect frontline innovation and how can we approach gathering experiences in the light of its impact?
This article bridges thinking around crisis management with theories of strategic decision-making and concludes that strategic improvisation is a vital mechanism that enables effective management interventions to be executed as a means of surviving, adapting or potentially thriving under challenging circumstances.
A theoretically grounded framework of five strategic imperatives underlying our 10C Strategic Imperative Framework for improvisation readiness is derived from: Hughes, P., Morgan, R.E., Hodgkinson, I., Kouropalatis, Y., and Lindgreen, A. (2020), Industrial Marketing Management, in press.
Contact: Adam Lindgreen, Professor
This project aims to clarify, embed and improve the use of the data surrounding us. Researchers are building a ‘predictor’ to predict health-related effects of COVID-19.
The corona crisis imposes new demands for creativity and crisis management in companies.
The Centre for Owner-Managed Businesses at CBS has sent out a questionnaire to 40,000 companies in order to examine which initiatives Danish companies have established during the crisis.
Experiences and knowledge will be shared on the joint platform
In light of the current crisis, researchers have developed an analysis tool to map the impact of the Corona crisis on business models.
Researchers are currently working on a paper on organisational openness and the Corona crisis.
Working title: „Openness as a solution and organisational dare for tackling grand challenges: Corona and the Medicines patent pool“.
This study investigates how organisations constitute openness as a collaborative response to grand challenges.
Contact: Milena Leybold, PhD Fellow
The paper is in its initial stage. It concerns the role World Trade Organization (WTO) law plays in combatting COVID-19. It discusses the opportunities and challenges for traders and consumers in accessing and distributing goods during lockdown and how WTO law can facilitate that trade. Yet, there is a need for stronger cooperation among international organisations and clarity in international law in order to reduce some of the problems that traders and consumers face in accessing and distributing goods on a global scale.
Contact: Henrik Andersen, Associate Professor
COVID – 19 has cast light on the increase in the number of counterfeit medicinal products including counterfeit masks, disinfectants and medical equipment that have flooded the markets on a global scale. The identification of the key challenges in combatting counterfeit medical products is imperative in order to find pragmatic solutions to safeguard public health and safety.
This article discusses the state liability for various administrative and legislative measures adopted by public authorities in order to combat or mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. What happens when authorities going too far in the name of Covid-19? The present crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic means that states take steps that restrict activities of legal and physical persons rarely seen before by imposing administrative and legislative measures. Citing the threat of an increase in Covid-19 cases, states restrict the provision of goods and services so far unseen. Undoubtedly, these measures cause losses for businesses, and at some point, this must result in litigation. A recent example was Danish health authorities that imposed private hospitals to cease all surgery to let public health sector have access to their surgical equipment under the Civid-19 epidemic. However, it turned out that the health authorities did not have legal basis in the Health Care Act for the order issued. Companies are likely to sue public authorities for losses incurred. The liability of public authorities is difficult for a number of reasons, notably because of the dichotomies such as courts-the executive power, the policy-operational dichotomy, and private and public law. What remains to be seen is how lenient Courts will be faced with public authorities as defendants claiming themselves non-liable claiming defenses such as the urgency of the situation, excusable mistakes of law. This study is new as it discusses Covid-19 restrictions imposed by public liabilities seen from an angle of businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has succeeded in getting people to ask the questions they have failed to ask about other serious issues, including the much more existential climate and biodiversity crises. I argue that “[i]t is time to replace the modernist tropes of designing, planning, and managing the supply chain with a new metaphor that accounts for the transformative power of management: that of dancing the supply chain”. The article starts by challenging the conventional static and reductionist assumptions of the supply chain and reinterprets it as a social-ecological system. I then use the adaptive cycle from panarchy theory to describe the supply chain’s behavior: “An adaptive cycle sequentially accounts for growth and stability, as well as change and variety”. A panarchy is then presented as “a structure of adaptive cycles that are linked across different levels on scales of space, time, and meaning” (supply chain level, political-economic level, planetary level). I then analyze cross-level linkages within the panarchy, which reveals that these adaptive cycles interact. The article ends with a new research agenda “that will allow understanding the world’s empirical complexity differently and challenging the effectiveness and relevance of SCM research in a turbulent and uncertain environment”.
Contact: Andreas Wieland
The actions taken by governments around the world to diminish the rate at which the new COVID-19 spreads affect the way we interact.
Therefore, they affect the structure of our network. The goal of these measures is to reduce the size of the clusters in which we move (the number of our interactions) in order to slow down the spread of the virus.
In this article, the researchers illustrate the relationship between the shape of the network and the contagion curve.
A study on human agency in the propagation of coronavirus conspiracy theories, including evaluating the scale of infecting and inoculating agency and understanding how individuals express their beliefs and spread coronavirus conspiracy theories on Twitter.
The researchers will be submitting this article to a major journal on 30 June.
Antonia Erz is working on a project to investigate the effects of the Corona crisis on changes in the attitudes and intentions towards travelling of millennials in the UK.
The project includes colleagues from other universities and the travel industry (UK).
Contact: Antonia Erz, Associate Professor
In this project, researchers combine time-use data and macroeconomic modelling to understand the interactions between individual behaviour, the epidemic and the macroeconomy.
Contact: Karl Harmenberg, Assistant Professor (Others involved: Timo Boppart (Stockholm University), John Hassler (Stockholm University) Per Krusell (Stockholm University) and Jonna Olsson (University of Amsterdam)
On 15 April the gradual re-opening of Danish society began. In this report researchers present results from the ﬁrst wave of a survey of parents with children in the fourth to the seventh grade.
They have analysed the effect that re-opening schools has on families’ health, emotional well-being, government support and economic situation.
The study explores the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries in Ghana focusing on the film and theatre industries in three cities in Ghana (Accra, Kumasi and Tamale).
The study is part of a larger research project about the creative industries in Ghana – see also
This research aims to develop a new method to assess the value of art and culture as a public good in Danish society, focussing on their non-market or passive value. In particular, we aim to test whether the lockdown imposed by the Danish government due to COVID-19, has altered citizens’ opinion on the allocation of public resources for arts and culture compared to the status quo.
Leadership and HR
For the benefit of future leadership, it is immensely important to study the virtual leadership taking place after large parts of the population have been sent home during the Corona pandemic.
Together with Steen E. Navrbjerg, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Dana Minbaeva, Professor at CBS, has received a grant from Innovation Fund Denmark of more than DKK 1m for the project ”Virtuel ledelse under corona-krisen – nye krav til ledelse (virtual leadership during the Corona crisis – new requirements for leadership)”.
Already in June, the first results will be available and the researchers will present their results at a webinar for the Confederation of Danish Industry. In September, the researchers will return to the leaders to examine whether the Corona crisis has led to new leadership practices to be applied in future.
Three researchers from CBS examine the role of HR during the COVID-19 crisis.
The purpose of the research project is to provide more knowledge about HR’s role and possibilities as emergency response and decision maker in times of crisis.
Sara Louise Muhr and Michael Pedersen’s research project examines the experience of working from home during Covid-19. The primary focus of the research project is to understand which new habits employees had to form during the lockdown and what this means for aspects such as work-life balance and the role of HR. The data was collected with the help of 15 HRM students.
‘Our Relationship with Food during the COVID-19 pandemic’ seeks to analyse how individuals, households, localities and countries are changing their behaviour and attitudes to food, and how this might be associated with their personal perceptions of the risks the COVID-19 pandemic brings.
The project was initiated by Meike Janssen from the Consumer and Behavioural Insights Group (CBIG) in collaboration with Jeremy Millard from the Danish Technological Institute and partners from Germany, Italy and Belgium.
More than ten countries are part of this project. In Denmark, over 1000 households recruited through a market research institute participated in the survey. First results are available.
The CoronaCookingSurvey is a joint project by the Consumer and Behavioural Insights Group (CBIG) at CBS and Aarhus University in collaboration with the University of Antwerp that investigates the information sources about food and cooking that consumers draw upon, and how these might influence the way they eat, cook and buy food during the pandemic.
More than 500 Danish consumers recruited through a market research institute took part in the study. The first results will soon be available.
1. How consumers respond to COVID-19-related communication by companies and the public policy makers.
Research collaborators: Jeff Inman (University of Pittsburgh) and Aulona Ulqinaku (Leeds University Business School)
2. How the duration of the COVID-19-related restrictions (i.e., temporary versus permanent) influences consumers' preferences in the marketplace.
Research collaborators: Aulona Ulqinaku (Leeds University Business School) and Sadaf Mokarram Dorri (Bocconi University)
3. How the type of COVID-19-related restriction such as whether the restriction is imposed in a monopolistic (e.g., imposed by the government) versus competitive (e.g., imposed by a supermarket chain) environment influences consumers' responses to the restrictions.
Research collaborators: Ezgi Merdin Uygur (Kadir Has University) and Aulona Ulqinaku (Leeds University Business School)
A new report asks the question: if products are no longer saleable, can we recycle them into other designs? And how can we prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19 at the supplier factory?
The report is the first in a series to explore the aftermath of Corona in Bangladesh’s textile sector.
Brands and marketing
Researchers have been tracking how businesses are talking about their response to the crisis in the marketing communications (press releases, social media accounts, online advertisements) and analysing what types of help they claim to be able to offer. This includes both concrete support for medical needs and supporting consumers in adjusting to the pandemic conditions. Some information about the research is available on this Twitter page
The researchers conducted a survey of 5,635 small and medium-sized Danish companies.
Approximately 60% of the companies had received state aid. In general, 60% of the companies had
faced significant revenue reductions.
Companies in their sample had access to liquidity averaging 2.5 times their monthly costs in January, a ratio which increased to 2.8 by the end of March. This has been achieved through a combination of reducing costs and increasing liquidity.
The researchers conclude that the COVID-19 crisis has had a strong impact on small and
Medium-sized companies’ performance and the government programme has been very successful in avoiding layoffs in companies during the crisis. The researchers are Birthe Larsen, Morten Bennedsen, Ian Schmutte and Daniela Scur.
Contact: Birthe Larsen, Associate Professor
Two researchers are working on a grant app that helps organise funding for dealing with the medical and economic fallout from pandemics using EU and domestic Danish funds.
What can the exemplary case of Covid Organics in Tanzania help us to understand about South-South humanitarian assistance (SSHA) in times of crisis?
In May 2020, Tanzania’s president sent a plane with a shipment of Covid Organics, a purported cure and prevention for COVID-19, to Madagascar.
The herbal remedy was described as a gift to help African countries in need. Drawing on preliminary data in English and Kiswahili from unstructured participant observation, social and legacy media available online and shared through contact channels and ongoing conversations, we explore the Tanzanian policy response to COVID-19.
On 16 April, the Rafael del Pino Foundation organised a live dialogue between Senior Lecturer Karen Mills from Harvard Business School and Associate Professor Mercedes Delgado from CBS. The subject was the importance of small businesses.
You can see this conversation here
The project primarily concerns COVID-19 from an international tax perspective with emphasis on state aid law and anti-tax avoidance measures. Consequently, differing legal frameworks are central to the study in order to describe and analyse exclusion and if, when and how factual tax payment results in inequality between differing groups of individuals. Preliminary results indicate that impoverished and vulnerable groups such as immigrants, cash-in hand workers/unreported workers and pensioners are left out of the majority of financial aid, illustrating that there is a great need for revised COVID-19 policies in order to ensure more sustainable and equitable legal frameworks.
Contact: Yvette Lind, Assistant Professor
The Danish Welfare Model
My research shows that Denmark’s secret weapon in the fight against the coronavirus is the Danish welfare model, which is now going from strength to strength across the globe because of its well-functioning response to the crisis. The secret weapon entails co-creation between the voluntary sector’s independent non-profit welfare institutions and municipalities with a special DNA, which I refer to as the butterfly model, and is the foundation for our welfare model which makes welfare accessible to all. The Nordic countries differ greatly in their approaches to the corona pandemic compared to, for instance, Southern Europe where it has been necessary to enforce harsher restrictions and curfews and where the human costs have been much greater. According to my research, the Danish welfare model’s special DNA connects municipalities, independent non-profit institutions and citizens in the collaboration on for instance day-care institutions, nursing homes, healthcare tasks and residences. This DNA makes it possible for Denmark and its citizens to collaborate in the fight against the corona pandemic and take care of each other in a way that is not just regulated by financial and legal circumstances and where not only those with money have access to welfare. Based on my research, I recommend that a platform between research and practice is established in order to maintain and develop these forms of collaboration.
Contact: Charlotte Biil, PhD Fellow
Through the case of an online network producing free-of-charge protection equipment during COVID-19 it is explored how organizing happens in ‘do-ocracies’, which are networks based on principles of decentralization and action, and what characterizes collective civic engagement produced in this context.