close-up of coronavirus molecule

Carroll School of Management research centers, along with individual faculty, have contributed their expertise to ongoing discussions of coronavirus and its impact on business, education, and society. Here’s a sampling of their commentary on topics related to COVID-19, ranging from economic restructuring and market behaviors to corporate social responsibility and work-life balance. This list is updated frequently. Check here for added perspective from the Carroll School about the continuing crisis. 

February 2021

White man in a blazer reading papers at a desk

Professor of Information Systems Gerald Kane

What’s Next for America’s Workplace Norms?
In an article in MIT Sloan Management Review, “Redesigning the Post-Pandemic Workplace,” Carroll School of Management Information Systems Professor Gerald Kane explores what the future holds for both remote and colocated work after COVID-19. Kane and his coauthors discuss how workplace innovations and hybrid schedules born of the crisis will need to be translated in the “next normal,” to create the best of both worlds for employers and workers alike.

How to Save Your Favorite Restaurant
More than 100,000 restaurants closed in 2020, most without plans to reopen. Assistant Professor of Information Systems Zhuoxin (Allen) Li has been tracking how much on-demand food delivery apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash have helped (or hurt) local, independently owned restaurants during the pandemic. And he has some advice for supporting the ones still standing, until COVID restrictions are lifted.

January 2021

What Every Leader Needs When Navigating a Crisis
How to be a great leader during times of crisis? This Forbes article from Heide Abelli, an adjunct professor at the Carroll School, says that cultivating resilience is key. She offers up seven ways for leaders to improve their resilience.

Shell Startup Focuses on Relationships in COVID-19
The Wall Street Journal published a fifth excerpt from Professor of Information Systems Gerald Kane’s upcoming book, The Transformation Myth, as part of a series looking at how COVID-19 has accelerated a digital evolution in the business world. Kane talked to Shell Polymers’ general manager Emma Lewis about how the IT company adapted its human-centered approach to serving customers during the pandemic, and delivered meaningful support in an unprecedented situation. “I think people always remember how you treated them in a crisis,” Lewis said.

Heading Off Social Security’s Shortfall
In this op-ed in Kiplinger, Alicia Munnell, management professor and director of the Carroll School’s Center for Retirement Research, gave her take on what lawmakers must do (and when) to salvage Social Security before it runs out.

Furloughs For Now, Not Forever, at MGM Resorts
Casino owners “expect that the worst of the COVID virus will be over by June,” says Associate Professor of the Practice of Finance Richard McGowan, S.J. He explained the seeming contradiction between simultaneous waves of furloughs and surges in seasonal hiring in the casino industry in this article.

American Households Face Rising Retirement Insecurity—For Reasons Predating the Pandemic
Fifty-one percent of U.S. households are at risk of falling short of maintaining their standard of living once they reach retirement, according to a study by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. The Wall Street Journal reported on the findings, noting that in 2019, 49 percent of households were found to be at risk of the same shortfall. The 2 percent increase was more modest than expected, given the economic tensions caused by the pandemic.

December 2020

Retirement Scholar Warns of “Biggest Risk” for COVID’s Unemployed
Money Magazine looked at how three families are managing under the financial strain of COVID, including one woman who’s “trying like heck” not to touch her retirement savings. Geoffrey Sanzenbacher of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College explains in the article why that’s so important.

Juan Montes

Hard-Earned Wisdom from the Summit 
Braving avalanches, frayed ropes, and limited oxygen, Juan Montes and a small team climbed to the top of Mount Everest via the little-used Kangshung Face route, which includes a 4,000-foot wall of rocks and ice. From this aerial adventure, Montes, a professor of the practice in Management and Organization, derived lessons on how companies can meet crises like those brought on by COVID with “the resilience tool kit”—a combination of established routines, simple rules, and creative improvisation. Montes and a co-author told his story and shared broadly applicable tips in a Harvard Business Review article

Cities with Budget Shortfalls Found Little Relief in CARES Act
“Most cities are hurting,” says Lourdes Germán, assistant professor of the practice of Business Law and Society at the Carroll School. An expert in municipal finance, Germán spoke with the Kresge Foundation about why communities have struggled to cover costs and revenue losses caused by the pandemic—and where and how the CARES Act fell short in supporting America's cities. She also published a white paper in partnership with the foundation that offers potential policy improvements to help cities recover economically from crises like COVID.

How Hilton Has Helped Weather the COVID Crisis
The Wall Street Journal published the second in a series of excerpts from Professor Gerald Kane’s forthcoming book about how COVID-19 is accelerating a digital transformation in business. The latest installment concerns Hilton’s response to the crisis, which includes using digital tools to help displaced employees weather the COVID storm.

The Uneven Weight on Women
The pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on workers by gender, with women taking on a greater share of caregiving and domestic labor. Brad Harrington of the Center for Work & Family called on fathers to do more in the Boston Globe Magazine, and discussed what the research reveals about how the pandemic continues to affect working families on WBUR’s Radio Boston.

November 2020

The Real Reason Retirement Savings Went Untouched During the Downturn
The Wall Street Journal cited statistics from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research to explain why many low-income workers didn’t dip into retirement savings during the pandemic. (Answer: Most don’t have 401(k)s to draw from.) 

Brad Harrington, executive director of BC Center for Work & Family

An Expert Voice on Work-Life Balance in 2020
Harvard Business Review asked working parents, “What is difficult right now? What do you need help with?”—and then tapped a panel of experts, including the executive director of Boston College’s Center for Work & Family, Brad Harrington, to address some of the responses they received. Harrington was also quoted in this piece in The Washington Post about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, and his new role as America’s first “Second Gentleman.” 

How Seniors’ Pockets Will Feel the Outcome of the Presidential Race
What does the outcome of the presidential election mean for seniors’ financial wellbeing? Just prior to Election Day, CNBC talked to Alicia Munnell, executive director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, about the fate of Social Security, stock performance, and job stability in the pandemic.

Graphic logo for the Corporate Citizen

Corporate Responsibility in the COVID Era
Engaging remote employees, addressing mental health issues, and empowering female workers: These are some of the topics addressed in the fall 2020 issue of The Corporate Citizen, a magazine published by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

October 2020

Two Faculty Featured in Finance Journal’s Special Edition
The Review of Corporate Finance Studies’ special issue on “The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis and Corporate Finance” is the first to present early research on the economic impact of the pandemic for corporate finance. Of the eight papers featured, two are from Carroll School faculty. Philip Strahan, who is the John L. Collins, S.J. Chair in Finance, and his co-authors explained why banks were able to accommodate sudden liquidity demands from lenders after the pandemic struck. Finance Professor and Seidner Family Faculty Fellow Rui Albuquerque and colleagues found that, during the pandemic, companies with high environmental and social (ES) ratings have shown significantly higher returns, especially when those companies matched their environmental and social commitments with strong advertising.

Smiling man in blazer with academic degrees in background

How COVID-19 Accelerated a Digital Transformation
The Wall Street Journal published the first of a series of excerpts from Professor of Information Systems Gerald Kane’s forthcoming book about how companies are responding to COVID-19. The first installment concerns health insurance company Anthem, where the crisis has intensified a drive to go digital-first. In Deloitte Insights, Kane writes that if the rapid shift to virtual meetings and contactless business models prompted by the pandemic resembles a physician’s emergency response to an acute medical event, then the future will require companies to deal with the disruption as a chronic condition.

Countering Women’s Exit from the Workforce During COVID
Circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing many women, especially mothers, to leave the workforce. How do we move forward? Jennifer Sabatini Fraone of BC’s Center for Work & Family comments in this article in the Boston Globe.

Social Insurance is More Important Than Ever 
Social Security and unemployment insurance offer the best means for Americans to save money amid the current health and economic challenges, says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, in an article she wrote for Marketwatch. The piece was also published in The Future of Social Insurance: Insights From the Pandemic, a collection of essays by 14 previous recipients of the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance, which Munnell received in 2009. The Center she leads was recently awarded $2.9M from the Social Security Administration to fund its research in 2021.

Carroll School Center Offers COVID-Related Retirement Insights
The Center for Retirement Research is actively tracking how COVID-19 will impact Americans’ retirement security and has gathered its resources in one place.

Collection of Companies Doing Good in Hard Times
As COVID-19 continues to disrupt economies around the world, corporate members of Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship are doing their part to help others through the crisis. 

September 2020

Man with clear-frame glasses in suit and tie

Investors in Lockdown Bolstered Market Liquidity, Study Finds
Robinhood, a popular trading app, saw increased activity from retail investors stuck at home during the COVID-19 lockdown last spring. Haub Family Professor of Finance Ronnie Sadka and co-authors have published findings showing that this rise in retail trading—while it can have unintended risks—helped the market to avoid a large liquidity crisis during the economic shutdown.

Casino Owners, Employees May Differ in Presidential Pick
Presidential incumbent Donald J. Trump has owned and operated casinos in the past, but will that win over voters with ties to the gaming industry in 2020? Richard McGowan, S.J., associate professor of the practice of finance, offers his perspective in this article

August 2020

The Impact of COVID on Near-Retirees
The economic downturn caused by coronavirus comes at an especially bad time for near-retirees. The Wall Street Journal and CNBC both interviewed Alicia Munnell about the Center for Retirement Research’s findings on older Americans’ ability to work remotely during the pandemic, and what it means if they can’t.

Lourdes German

Lourdes German, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Business Law and Society and co-director of the Managing for Social Impact & the Public Good minor

Carroll School Professor to Lead Learning for Economic Recovery Initiative
Lourdes German, assistant professor of the practice of Business Law and Society and co-director of the Managing for Social Impact & the Public Good minor, is pedagogical lead for a new initiative launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The Fiscal Health and Equity Initiative aims to help city leaders tackle economic recovery from COVID-19 with equity-centered interventions. 

Redesigning College During COVID
How did the Carroll School and its faculty use innovation and design principles to raise their game and get ready to teach amid COVID? And what's next for higher education? John and Linda Powers Family Dean Andy Boynton discussed this and all things innovation on The Resonance Test, a podcast produced by global design innovation firm EPAM Continuum. 

Economic Recession Widens Racial Gaps in Retirement Security
Racial gaps in retirement security were large before coronavirus struck, and the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic could worsen the problem. The Center for Retirement Research is cited in this New York Times piece with comments from Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, research fellow at the center and associate professor of the practice of economics at Boston College.

Closing the Distance at Work
Missing the rapport you had with your office crew? Take heart. Beth Schinoff (Management and Organization) studied virtual work relationships even before the pandemic necessitated more of them. She told the Toronto Sun that it is possible to replicate online “the emotional and psychological closeness that we feel with our face-to-face colleagues.” She also co-wrote an article on the topic for MIT Sloan Management Review.

July 2020

Alicia Munnell

Alicia Munnell, Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management Sciences and Executive Director of Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research

The Long-Term Cost of Pandemic-Related Job Losses
Three out of four people who lost jobs in the pandemic won’t be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, reports NPR’s Marketplace, based on data from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. “Unemployment has not only had an immediate impact in terms of lost earnings but also a longer-term negative effect on future wages, making it more difficult to save for retirement,” Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management Sciences Alicia Munnell, who is also the center’s director, told The Washington Post in its coverage of the same findings.

$600 Unemployment Checks Hard to Compete With?
As Congress debates extending unemployment benefits, some businesses say the extra cash offered by the CARES Act made it hard to convince workers to come back. Professor and James F. Cleary Chair in Finance Jeffrey Pontiff comments on this question for FoxNews.

Casino Faces Rough Road in Reopening, Explains Finance Professor
As MGM Springfield in Mass. reopens, social distancing rules and lack of live entertainment mean more financial struggles for the casino, says Carroll School Associate Professor of the Practice of Finance Richard McGowan, S.J.

June 2020

Retirement Savers Keep Their Cool During COVID Recession
Even as COVID-19 upended the stock market and sent unemployment numbers skyrocketing in early 2020, very few 401(k) participants made any changes to their retirement portfolios, according to a study co-authored by Associate Professor of Finance Jonathan Reuter. The paper, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, won the 2020 Call for Research award from the International Centre for Pension Management.

Sam Ransbotham

William S. McKiernan '78 Family Faculty Fellow and Professor of Information Systems Sam Ransbotham

IT Professionals Step Up in Remote Era
Across industry sectors, technology departments enabled a global transition to remote work with remarkable speed. “Kudos to our IT infrastructure,” said William S. McKiernan '78 Family Faculty Fellow and Professor of Information Systems Sam Ransbotham in this article in CIO that spotlighted some of the IT heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Added Toll on Women Workers
Women account for 55% of the more than 20.5 million workers who lost their jobs in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Boston Herald. The Center for Work & Family’s Jennifer Fraone weighed in on why. 

Pandemic Opens Door to Build a More Equitable Society
Rather than work to return our economy to “the way things were,” U.S. policymakers should seek to “proactively restructure society, so that we are all more resilient the next time disaster strikes,” argues this article in Behavioral Scientist, co-authored by Associate Professor Nailya Ordabayeva (Marketing). Such resilience, the authors say, requires economic policies that address the “fault lines”—age, race, gender, and others—that COVID-19 has exposed in our current economic structure. Ordabayeva's recent research also reveals what messaging works best when selling economic equality to the public.

Don't Expect More Dads to Stay Home, Post-Pandemic
Anyone who thinks that the pandemic will inspire a stay-at-home dad revolution is probably out of luck, says Brad Harrington, executive director and research professor at Boston College's Center for Work & Family, in this CNBC article.

An Expert’s Take on the Future of Commercial Real Estate in Boston
Senior Lecturer Edward Chazen, who teaches a variety of real estate classes at the Carroll School, recently spoke to CommercialCafe about what lies ahead for Boston’s commercial real estate market in a post-COVID world. The Q&A was part of the publication’s Expert Insights series.

May 2020

Offices Have Reopened but Some Desks Remain Empty
As offices in Massachusetts reopen with reduced occupancy, new challenges arise for both employers and landlords. turned to Jere Doyle, Popolo Family Executive Director of the Carroll School’s Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship, for his thoughts. 

Smiling woman with long brown hair, standing in front of window

Jenne Colasacco, executive director of the Lynch Leadership Academy.

School Principals Will Need Unprecedented Support to Reopen, Says BC Leadership Expert
Reopening schools in the wake of COVID-19 will require community leaders to collectively rally support for school principals, according to an Education Dive article co-authored by Jenne Colasacco, executive director of the Lynch Leadership Academy.


“Love in the Time of COVID”: Environmental and Social Policies Pay Off, Study Says
Companies with social and environmental policies in place before the recent stock market tumult “did extraordinarily better” than those without, according to a published study co-authored by Seidner Family Faculty Fellow and Professor of Finance Rui Albuquerque. What’s more, companies that paired high environmental and social commitments with strong advertising fared even better—a sign that spending on social responsibility pays off, especially if people know about it.

April 2020

Not Essential, but not Remote: When Parents Can't Work From Home
For working parents in Massachusetts, the news of extended school closures means a long summer ahead of juggling remote work and childcare. But it's even more daunting for the ones whose jobs can't be done from home, notes the Center for Work & Family's Jennifer Fraone in this Boston Globe lead story.

Why You Should Save Some of That Stimulus Check
One millennial reporter at CNBC decided how to spend her stimulus check with input from financial experts, including the Center for Retirement Research's director, Alicia Munnell.

Coronavirus Exposes Cracks, Creates Openings for Systemic Changes
In an essay published by Organizations and the Natural Environment (ONE), a division of the Academy of Management, Galligan Chair of Strategy and Professor of Management Sandra Waddock explored the transformative possibilities that COVID-19 offers scholars of management to “bring about purposeful system transformation,” an effort she says “requires innovative thinking on all our parts, including letting go of today’s dominant economic and academic metrics in favor of new ones that reflect real-world impact.”

Respected Retirement Expert Says New Stimulus Benefit is a Bad Idea
Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences Alicia Munnell, who also directs the Carroll School’s Center for Retirement Research (CRR), warns against leveraging the emergency cash withdrawal option in the government’s new stimulus bill.

March 2020

Companies Use Charitable Funds to Help Struggling Employees 
The Center for Corporate Citizenship’s executive director, Katherine V. Smith, explains how employee relief funds (ERFs) enable companies to assist workers in need

Tips to Manage Yourself (and Others) While Working Remotely
As professionals of all stripes transition to remote work—some for the first time—Brad Harrington, who directs the Carroll School’s Center for Work & Family, offers timely tip sheets for both managers and employees navigating the new normal of working from home.

Working From Home While Schools are Closed
The Center for Work & Family’s Jennifer Fraone was featured in this Q&A article for parents trying to work from home with kids around. 

Forbes Reimagines Boomer Retirements, Based in Part on BC Center Research
A recent Forbes piece cites the Center for Retirement Research when outlining eight ways coronavirus is likely to affect Boomers’ retirements—including, but not limited to, the stock market losses.