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Research Pass banking & finance Home Journal Management in Crisis: Viruses, Earthquakes, and Tornadoes, Oh My!

What a hectic day. I woke up to the news of an earthquake in my home state where most of my family live. Seven days earlier the World Health Organization had declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. Two days earlier my university was shut down and all my classes were switched to an online format. The day ended with the National Weather Service issuing a tornado watch for the Texas county where I live.

The day was March 18 2020. I had trouble sleeping that night, but as the sky eventually started to change to light gray and the birds started to sing, I realized that life will continue on and I thought of Ben Harper’s lyrics: We must all have / The will to live / You got to have / The will to live.

I knew that I needed to think of ways I could help. Then on March 20th, the CEO of Emerald Publishing, Vicky Williams said in an email concerning the COVID-19 crisis, “The answers to this crisis will come from the incredible power, dedication and resilience of the research and public health community…” Vicky’s words made it clear to me that an important way I could help is through the pages of Emerald Publishing’s very first publication that started the company over a half century before: Management Decision.

My thoughts were cemented in the beginning of May, when the head of publishing at Emerald, Sally Wilson said in an email, “…we believe passionately in publishing research that makes a difference in the real world.” As such, Management Decision is creating a special issue entitled, “Management in Crisis: Viruses, Earthquakes, and Tornadoes, Oh My!”.

The purpose of this special issue is to directly apply the words of the great action researcher Kurt Lewin (1951), “There’s nothing so practical as good theory”, to the area of managing crisis in an organizational context, in order to help practitioners of management to be able to use good theory to correctly guide action by turning scientific knowledge into practical wisdom. As such, only theory papers should be submitted to this special issue for consideration. Papers submitted may approach the topic of managing crisis in an organizational context in various ways, but the likelihood of eventual publication will increase if the paper strictly adheres to the standards of theory development set forth by the Academy of Management Review (see:

Priority will be given to manuscripts that 1) logically develop clear propositions based on past research to connect together an impactful theoretical model; and 2) integrate theory and research from related domains (e.g., psychology, sociology, political science, decision science, economics, philosophy) with research and theory from management science (for an example of a paper that fulfills both of these requirements on a different topic see: Oc and Bashshur, 2013). One final requirement of an accepted paper will be to include a concluding section that provides potential interventions based on the theory proposed for solutions to managing crisis in real life organizations in the tradition of Lewin’s action research (see: Bargal, 2006).

Given the urgency of the current situation with COVID-19, both Emerald Publishing and Management Decision are committed to fast tracking this special issue in order for the issue to be published this year and provide the most help possible to the business communities who are on the front lines of the pandemic. As such, the deadline for submitting a paper to this special issue will be August 15th, 2020 with all revisions completed by September 15th, 2020. Reviews will be done on a continual basis as soon as a paper is submitted with very fast turnaround times expected. If specific questions about submissions arise, please email me directly:

Oscar Hammerstein once said, “It is a modern tragedy that despair has so many spokesman and hope so few.” It is my hope that this special issue will provide valuable direction to management practitioners and scientist in the ever-evolving world we all live in.


Dr. Brandon Randolph-Seng


Management Decision


Submission Information

Submission deadline: August 15th 2020

Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the "Management Decision" ScholarOne System. The manuscripts must be prepared in accordance with the author guidelines given in the website of the journal "Management Decision":

When submitting, please be sure to select the correct Special issue title from the drop-down menu.



Bargal, D. (2006). Personal and intellectual influences leading to Lewin’s paradigm of action research. Action Research4, 367-388.  

Lewin, K. (1951). Problems of research in social psychology. In D. Cartwright (Ed.), Field theory in social science: Selected theoretical papers (pp. 155-169). New York: Harper & Row.

Oc, B. & Bashshur, M. R. (2013). Followership, leadership and social influence. The Leadership Quarterly24, 919-934.   

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