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AUA Faculty and Alumna Publish Article on HRM During COVID-19

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The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to share that Chair of the AUA Master of Business Administration (MBA) program Dr. Mane Beglaryan, Dean of the Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics (CBE) Dr. Vache Gabrielyan, and AUA alumna Gayane Shakhmuradyan (MPSIA ’19) have recently published a research article on “Human Resource Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Armenia” in the Journal of Eastern European Management Studies (JEEMS).

The paper examines the continuity of business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic revealing that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were to reorganize operations faster than larger enterprises. The industry had a significant impact on shifting to remote work during the pandemic and demonstrated the ability of SMEs to reorganize operations faster than larger enterprises. Professionals were able to make a smoother transition to remote work than non-professionals. The research findings suggest that enhancing public investment in digital infrastructures, along with private investments in employee training and development would be the most effective ways of withstanding such pandemic crises in the future.

“This is an important topic from both strategic human resource management as well as business agility perspectives as crisis management tools. Our joint work examines human resource management during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia, comparing whether professionals could make a smoother transition to remote work than non-professionals,” notes Dr. Beglaryan. “We are glad to see this work published a year after the war when despite the level of distress we stayed resilient to complete it. As the journal editor had indicated earlier: ‘Armenia currently is in the border conflict with Azerbaijan, so the war aggravates the overall COVID problems yet we hope to receive your complete work.’”

The findings of the research emphasize the necessity to introduce agile and employee-centered human resource management practices that would allow making the shift to remote work while adjusting to a ‘new normal’ and maintaining business continuity in industries that do not exercise interpersonal practices (education, information, and communications, finance, and insurance vs. construction, tourism, transportation, etc.). The research also proposes that to build human resource management capacity for managing future crises of similar proportions, businesses need to allocate resources to developing information and communication technologies in their respective firms, as well as training employees in digital and communication skills to allow for an effective and efficient transition to remote work.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.