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27 Jul 2020

GSOM partner study: a third of international teams after COVID-19 will communicate more often, but less effectively

Alumni ofthe Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg State University (GSOM SPbSU) took part in the research of the global CEMS Alliance. A global survey of over 1,700 professionals, including alumni from (insert business school) has found that over a third (35%) believe they will communicate more frequently with colleagues based in other countries in the coming months than they did before the COVID-19 crisis began. This is despite international travel grinding to a halt and remote virtual working becoming a way of life. 



Resilience, empathy and the ability to communicate emerged as more important since the crisis began. In particular, resilience saw the biggest leap (13% of respondents ranked it as a top three quality before the pandemic, compared with 34% afterwards). 


“Businesses have experienced unprecedented disruption during the Coronavirus pandemic – we recognise that for some this has been devastating. In particular, the new way of working thrust on global teams, has far-reaching implications for business collaboration and communication. Leaders must make sure that they hone their skills to help these teams based around the globe maintain high-quality, productive working relationships, despite the fact they may not be able to meet face-to-face,” said Roland Siegers, Executive Director of CEMS. “In the past, the traditional, leader-centred approach has been something concrete – a collection of skills that can be taught and learned. However this research backs up the idea that in fact, fluid human skills such as resilience, empathy, communication and cultural intelligence are key to making sure that global teams thrive during times of disruption.” 


In total 1746 respondents from 70 countries participated in the survey, 1687 (97%) of whom were alumni of the CEMS programme (now in the workplace) and 59 (3%) representing CEMS corporate partners. 82% were in a management position, with 55% mid-very senior management. 11% stated that they were CEO/Board/company owner level. 


CEMS is a global alliance of 33 academic members – leading business schools, 70 corporate partners and 7 social partners (NGOs) educating and preparing future generations of international business leaders. GSOM has been the only representative of Russia in this Alliance since 2006.