Digital business strategy and Covid-19

  • Résumé
    The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly disrupted the functioning of the tertiary sector. From retail to hospitality, the pandemic has destabilized supply chains (Queiroz, Ivanov, Dolgui, & Wamba, 2020), modified consumption priorities (Hall, Prayag, Fieger, & Dyason, 2020), and transformed customer behavior (Sheth, 2020).
    Citation : Guthrie, C., & FOSSO WAMBA, S. (Oct 2020). Digital business strategy and Covid-19. Management et Datascience, Article 0014376.
    Les auteurs : 
    • Cameron Guthrie
       ( - TBS Business School
    • Samuel Fosso Wamba
       ( - Toulouse Business School
    Copyright : © 2020 les auteurs. Publication sous licence Creative Commons CC BY-ND.
    Liens d'intérêts : 
    Financement : 
    Texte complet

    The pandemic and its requisite health measures have catalysed the digital transformation of the sector, evidenced by the boom in electronic commerce (Kim, 2020), increased digitization of the customer journey, a dematerialization of services (Keesara, Jonas, & Schulman, 2020), an urgent deployment by distributors of hybrid sales and delivery models, such as click-and-collect and drive-thru (Acosta & Troy, 2020) and contactless service delivery in tourism, travel, and hospitality (Zeng, Chen, & Lew, 2020). Today, companies are designing digital business strategies to respond to and also leverage these new constraints, behaviors, and expectations (Heinonen & Strandvik, 2020; Seetharaman, 2020; Soto-Acosta, 2020).

    This special issue of Management & Data Science invites researchers to explore the impact of COVID-19 on digital business strategies in the tertiary sector. The focus can be on reactive strategies developed to respond to the crisis or on coping strategies designed to prepare for a world transformed by the pandemic.

    We adopt the definition of digital business strategy proposed by Bharadwaj, El Sawy, Pavlou, and Venkatraman (2013), as « organizational strategy formulated and executed by leveraging digital resources to create differential value » (p. 472). This most often involves rethinking how to engage customers with personalized experiences that increase loyalty and advocacy or developing information-enriched digital products or services that deliver new value for customers (Ross, Sebastian, & Beath, 2017). Digital business strategies are often triggered by the emergence of innovative and disruptive technologies (Kahre, Hoffmann, & Ahlemann, 2017) and in response to changes in external and competitive environments (Correani, De Massis, Frattini, Petruzzelli, & Natalicchio, 2020).

    In accordance with the scope of Management & Data Science, submissions must provide an original reflection on digital transformation and/or data science. They can be of various kinds: state of the art, model testing, qualitative or quantitative empirical study, etc.

    The topics of interest are as follows (not exhaustive):

    • The role of the pandemic as a facilitator or accelerator of the digital transformation of companies in the tertiary sector;
    • The impact of the pandemic on the development of e-commerce and on the organization of e-commerce activities;
    • The implementation of new sales (e.g., marketplaces) and delivery models (e.g., click-and-collect, drive);
    • The impact of the pandemic on the development of omnichannel strategies;
    • The use of digital technologies to create new products or services during or following the COVID-19 crisis;
    • The impact of the pandemic on the adoption rate and use of digital technologies by seniors;
    • The use of advanced technologies in the supply chain to meet new customer expectations (e.g., artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain, big data analytics);
    • The digitization of points of sale and service delivery (e.g., virtual and augmented reality, touch screens and tablets, mobile applications, robotization, artificial intelligence);
    • Streamlining and minimizing buyer effort in the purchasing process (e.g., automatic checkouts, contactless payment);
    • The impact of teleworking on the type, production, and quality of service delivery;
    • The use of social networks and other digital marketing techniques to maintain social ties with consumers during the pandemic.

    Submission and review process

    Articles can be written in English or in French and should adhere to the guidelines set out by Management & Data Science. Papers submitted to the special issue will go through a normal double-blind review process.

    The submission and review schedule is as follows:

    • Submission of articles, case studies, or opinions: March 15, 2021
    • Notification to authors: April 15, 2021
    • Proposal of the final version: May 15, 2021


    Acosta, G., & Troy, M. (2020). What innovation means now: 20 retailers are redefining the grocery experience for the COVID-19 age. Progressive Grocer, 99(7), 50-55.

    Bharadwaj, A., El Sawy, O. A., Pavlou, P. A., & Venkatraman, N. (2013). Digital business strategy: toward a next generation of insights. MIS quarterly, 471-482.

    Correani, A., De Massis, A., Frattini, F., Petruzzelli, A. M., & Natalicchio, A. (2020). Implementing a digital strategy: Learning from the experience of three digital transformation projects. California Management Review, 62(4), 37-56.

    Hall, M. C., Prayag, G., Fieger, P., & Dyason, D. (2020). Beyond panic buying: consumption displacement and COVID-19. Journal Of Service Management.

    Heinonen, K., & Strandvik, T. (2020). Reframing service innovation: COVID-19 as a catalyst for imposed service innovation. Journal Of Service Management.

    Kahre, C., Hoffmann, D., & Ahlemann, F. (2017). Beyond business-IT alignment-digital business strategies as a paradigmatic shift: a review and research agenda. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

    Keesara, S., Jonas, A., & Schulman, K. (2020). Covid-19 and health care’s digital revolution. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(23), e82.

    Kim, R. Y. (2020). The Impact of COVID-19 on Consumers: Preparing for Digital Sales. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 1-1.

    Queiroz, M. M., Ivanov, D., Dolgui, A., & Wamba, S. F. (2020). Impacts of epidemic outbreaks on supply chains: mapping a research agenda amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a structured literature review. Annals of Operations Research, 1-38.

    Ross, J. W., Sebastian, I. M., & Beath, C. M. (2017). How to develop a great digital strategy. MIT Sloan Management Review, 58(2), 7-9.

    Seetharaman, P. (2020). Business models shifts: Impact of Covid-19. International Journal of Information Management, 54, 102173.

    Sheth, J. (2020). Impact of Covid-19 on consumer behavior: Will the old habits return or die? Journal of Business Research, 117, 280-283.

    Soto-Acosta, P. (2020). COVID-19 Pandemic: Shifting Digital Transformation to a High-Speed Gear. Information Systems Management, 1-7.

    Zeng, Z., Chen, P.-J., & Lew, A. A. (2020). From high-touch to high-tech: COVID-19 drives robotics adoption. Tourism Geographies, 1-11.


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