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Current Research Projects: COVID-19

Recent Research: COVID-19


Together Against the Crisis

Crisis means change, but also opportunity. The corona pandemic is forcing us to rethink the economy and also the relation- ships in the economy, environment and social life. Together with our students, alumni and practice partners, we take responsibility and are looking for common ways out of the crisis.

In these times of corona, our world has become more digital. This also applies to the Round- table and the “CBS Alumni Breakfast” which, thanks to the current digital format, are now attracting even more speakers from all over the world to the virtual CBS table.


… we offer study programmes for more than 1,900 students at our campuses in Cologne, Mainz and Potsdam. The current crisis has once again shown us how important it is to give our students an understanding of sustainability: the economy needs responsible individuals who follow a value-based understanding of manage- ment, because they are better equipped to find solutions to the social and ecological problems of our time. We also want to use this time of upheaval to incorporate our experiences of the past weeks into the curricula of our universities.


… we will continue to be there for our students, alumni and practice partners even after the corona pandemic. We had to convert our event series into digital formats.

Today, we are grateful for this experience; it is now even easier for us to invite speakers from all over the world – and network with our students and alumni. At the same time, the new online events offer us greater flexibility; we have moved our first online roundtable “Post-Corona Supply Chain Scenarios” to lunchtime as a “digital lunch break”. For example, employees of our corporate partners, our alumni and many others were also able to dial in and join in the discussion from home.

Further formats will follow in order to transfer the experience gained from this crisis to other corporate functional areas and to find joint solutions. A further format, the “CBS Alumni Breakfast” has been part of our event catalogue since mid-April. Every Sunday at 11 am, people meet online to listen to various speakers talking about their professional experiences with the corona crisis. Accompanied by a fresh coffee and delicious croissant, this short and uncomplicated format encourages people to join in and also provides food for thought. Interesting questions and discussions arise, because the format is brought alive by its top-class speakers. When will flying become normal again? Does the corona crisis mean the end for the euro? How has Netflix profited from the corona crisis? How is Deutsche Bank dealing with the issue of data security when employees work from home? In the future, we want to continue to promote an online, international and inspiring dialogue between our key stakeholders.


… we could implement this or other online formats together in the future. Let us discuss current issues within the education sector: How are you preparing your pupils or students for the digital transformation in business? What does digital literacy mean to you – and what does it not encompass? And why should ethics, sustainability and responsible action play an even greater role in our curricula? Let us also use the current time as an opportunity to become more digitally connected and promote education. As companies of the Klett Group, let’s do our best to ensure education succeeds!


Online-Roundtable: “Post Corona HR Scenarios”

Lessons Learned from the current pandemic – How will HR strategies change in the future?

“When nothing is certain, everything is possible”! This was the final statement of CBS Alumni Johanna Scheffer summing up last Friday’s online roundtable about “Post Corona HR Scenarios”. The CBS was delighted to welcome top guest speakers Thomas Schulz (CHRO, Member of the Board of Management, DB Schenker AG), Johanna Scheffer (SIXT, Director of Employee Excitement), Dr. Thorsten Schlüter (Head of Office of the CEO, REHAU), and Sebastian Harrer (Head of HR, ING Germany). HR departments have faced enormous challenges during the pandemic including the protection of employees, lack of networking, isolation, and the difficulty

to keep top talent. The panel also discussed opportunities that came along during the lockdown. Virtual space growth increased by 67%. Virtual classrooms and ZOOM business meetings are the new norm. Employees accepted the change into digital surroundings. HR strategies focus on creating “leadership toolkits” and hybrid solutions including working from home vs. office work. Finally, one of the panels’ key takeaways was today’s leaders must have the courage to communicate. Especially in uncertain times like the present.

Covid-19 pandemic – a challenge for the German grocery industry?

The impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the German grocery industry in terms of retail challenges and customer satisfaction

Mehran Najmaei, Ph.D. (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia), Lecturer of International Business and Trade Management at the CBS Business School is writing an article on the performance of e-merchants during COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic has a direct impact on all areas of life and in particular on the German retail sector. While sales in most areas of the retail trade decreased, in the textile industry even by 70 percent, only the food retail trade and even more drastically the online retail trade were able to increase their sales with a sales increase of 24 percent. The leading online food retail services in Germany in 2018 were the delivery service of Rewe, followed by Amazon Fresh/Pantry and AllyouneedFresh.

For his article, Mehran Najmaei, Ph.D. (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) analyzed consumer comments in social media from Rewe and Picnic to understand the challenges that various online food

retailers are facing due to the current coronavirus pandemic and how these challenges affect customer satisfaction. Overall, the results showed that consumers were generally not satisfied with the service offered by online grocery retailers during this crisis.

This applies to both the omnichannel retailer and the pure Internet supermarket, as the proportion of negative comments was relatively high in both cases, with 73 percent for the pure online supermarket and 91 percent for the omnichannel retailer. Comparing the results of the omnichannel retailer and the Internet-only supermarket further, it becomes clear that they faced similar challenges in the same categories.

The full article with a detailed description of the findings will be available as a PDF file soon.