NIU faculty research: The impact of COVID-19 on business

In the midst of a global pandemic, NIU Business faculty have pivoted their research to explore how COVID-19 has impacted various areas of business. A list that summarizes their planned, proposed or ongoing research studies follow. We plan to update this list as we learn of additional business faculty who plan to address COVID-19 in their research efforts. (For a complete list of faculty university-wide whose work has transitioned in this way, please visit the official NIU Institutional Communications story “NIU faculty ramp up COVID-19 research.”)


Professor Martin Ndicu, whose research focuses on change readiness, is working on a proposal to study how organizational crisis management influences individuals’ learning agility and adaptive performance (from faculty and student perspectives) to achieve desired outcomes. Since COVID-19 is a global phenomenon, the project will be a comparative study undertaken through collaboration with College of Business international partners.


Professor Mahesh Subramony will investigate the experience of remote workers during the pandemic. The research will test a comprehensive model of remote work that explores the job demands and resources that affect worker well-being. 

Professor Tim Michaelis is conducting a review of how entrepreneurs can respond to COVID-19. He expects the article to be published in a peer-reviewed journal in May.


Professor Yihui (Elina) Tang and Lei Wang of SPM Marketing and Communications, a Chicago-area-based marketing and communications firm, published a March 16 Adweek article on for-profit and nonprofit brand response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tang also is planning an empirical study on crisis management for brands, including during the pandemic.

Professor Ursula Sullivan will investigate how direct sellers are managing their supply and demand with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research will examine how companies are managing global relationships within their supply and value chains with the shock of closures and rationing of both raw materials and finished product.

Marketing and Public Health 

Professors Yihui (Elina) Tang (marketing) and M. Courtney Hughes (public health) are conducting an interdisciplinary survey-based study exploring the perspectives of recent academic authors in the disciplines of marketing and public health on the topic of COVID-19, including their views on the pandemic’s impact on research, higher education and their respective fields.


M. De Jean, Director of Marketing, NIU Business

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