20 Jul 2020

Expert of GSOM SPbU: "Strategies for business adaptation in a pandemic imply the development of partnerships in the interests of sustainable development"

On July 7, 2020 Yury Ev. Blagov, Director of the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility named after I. PricewaterhouseCoopers of the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University (GSOM SPbU) joined the online meeting of the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development of the Association of Managers dedicated to business activities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The main topic of discussion was the analysis of the study "Business activities during the COVID-19 pandemic" conducted by the Committee of the Association of Managers on CSR and Sustainable Development in April-June 2020, and an overview of the most striking case studies on strategy development during the crisis.



Commenting on the results of the study, Yury Ev. Blagov noted that one of the most important strategies of companies' work during a crisis is the focus on building and maintaining partnerships between companies, with customers, and with the state. “First, a critical feature of business adaptation strategies in a pandemic is that they are less and less viewed by leading companies as differentiation strategies that enable them to gain competitive advantage through more responsible behavior. Second, implementation of the adaptation strategies under consideration increasingly implies partnerships for sustainable development, with many new forms of partnerships likely to continue beyond the end of the pandemic. Thirdly, the “humanistic” strategies considered in the study are more relevant for companies with an established model of corporate sustainability, which allows considering the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as a particular case of exacerbating global problems. At the same time, for companies in the most affected industries, responsible behavior, first of all, should be aimed at preserving the business as such. And finally, there are always companies just trying to cash in on a crisis."


The discussion was moderated by Irina Bakhtina, Chairperson of the CSR Committee of the Association of Managers, Vice President for Corporate Relations at Unilever in North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus. Among the participants there were Tatiana Bachinskaya, Director of the Center for the Development of Philanthropy "Complicity"; Daria Belyakova, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine "Business and Society"; Oksana Kritikova, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Culture Department, BIOCAD; Natalya Poppel, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Department, Severstal; Yulia Mazanova, Director for Social Policy and Corporate Communications at Metalloinvest and other representatives of Rosatom companies; Deloitte; Leroy Merlin; Interros; Alfa Insurance.


The event recording is available here >>