Coalescing Skills of Gig Players and Fervor of Entrepreneurial Leaders to Provide Resilience Strategies During Global Economic Crises

Coalescing Skills of Gig Players and Fervor of Entrepreneurial Leaders to Provide Resilience Strategies During Global Economic Crises

Manpreet Arora (Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India) and Roshan Lal Sharma (Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9117-8.ch008
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused diverse sorts of disruption across the globe. The pandemic has drastically impacted the economies of almost every country of the world. The international economic scenario is full of despair as the entrepreneurs and business leaders find it hard to come to terms with the extent of damage caused by the pandemic. In view of largely prevalent gloom and despair, it is imperative that certain resilience strategies are worked out so that global economic crisis can be stemmed from further escalation. The gig economy has been viewed as a powerful resilience mechanism to tide over the economic crisis caused the world over by COVID-19. Entrepreneurial leadership can also make significant difference in providing a paddle-push to the pandemic-struck world by reactivating the engines of economic growth. The nature of this chapter is qualitative, and it seeks to theoretically work out certain strategies that can help various economies of the world to stand up and be resilient in the face of complex challenges that the pandemic has thrown before us.
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When in March 2020, WHO characterized COVID-19 as pandemic, no one had imagined that it might take such a devastating turn affecting all sectors of economy in more than 220 economies across the world. Global economy and financial markets received a powerful blow and disruption could be seen in spheres of production and supply chain, health, tourism, consumer goods, transport, and education leading to high level of loss of livelihoods and employment. Many countries had to impose lockdowns/ curfews/ restrictions to be opened up gradually in a phased manner so that the economic activity could resume. It certainly did gain pace in some countries like USA, Italy, UK, Germany, etc. that were worst hit at one point in time during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, developing economies like India and Brazil, saw the largest GDP contraction during 2020-2021. Moreover, India has undergone the second wave of the pandemic which has proved to be deadlier than the first one. It is the second time that the lockdowns/curfews have been imposed here for more than a month. Several South Indian states are now in the grip of the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic. There is a sharp decline in national income as the service sector has totally collapsed. The health system has given in and there is a huge stress on supply chains along with the trade tensions with China that have increased the agony as it had been the largest trading partner of India for a long time. The demand has significantly dropped in almost all nations where lockdowns were imposed.

The COVID-19 pandemic initially did not seem alarming despite the fact that the WHO had declared it as pandemic without any time lapse. But after a point, it spread like wild fire infecting and killing millions of people across the globe. The first world nations at one point were the most adversely affected. The businesses collapsed and economies were hit badly. Out of sheer panic, lockdowns were announced and restrictions were imposed. This pandemic has proven to be unprecedented owing to the life loss as well as the loss of livelihoods and economic damage.

The economic crises faced by the world due to COVID-19 are showing deep and long-lasting effects (Laborde, Martin & Vos, 2021). The interesting fact is the global economic downturn is not caused by economic factors but non-economic ones which have caused such a crisis across the world. Economies are trying hard to revive after the second wave of the pandemic but start-ups and medium-scale organizations which lack liquidity suffered a severe jolt and quite a few of them closed down. On the other hand, many jobs were laid off and only those who were having some technical, digital or specialized skills, could come up with small start ups or ventures and could survive properly. In fact, creativity and skills recued the people in distress during the pandemic. Long-term commitments of the large-scale organizations were shattered due to the disrupted supply chains. Many world renowned experts are of the view that the crises first affected the liquidity of the organizations and now it has started showing negative impacts on the solvency of the firms (Guerini, Nesta, Ragot & Schiavo, 2020). A large number of layoffs, significant fall in income level, disruption in transportation, rise in unemployment and poverty, could be seen in many economies. The income level of households as well as firms including service sector received a severe jolt due to premature deaths, lockdowns, health expenditures, shut down of production facilities, closure of borders, disruptions in global supply chains, workplace absenteeism etc.. The saving, investment and consumption pattern of households changed drastically due to reduced income level (Baker, Farrokhnia, Meyer, Pagel & Yannelis, 2020, Martin, Markhvida, Hallegatte & Walsh, 2020). Tourism, aviation, hospitality sectors were hit badly and thereby many nations where tourism was the backbone of the livelihoods and contributed largely to the income of the country were hit drastically.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Global Economic Crisis: The global financial crisis (GFC) refers to the period of extreme stress in global financial markets and banking systems between mid-2007 and early-2009.

Resilience: Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources. In general sense it is bouncing back after adversity.

Entrepreneurial Leadership: Entrepreneurial leadership involves organizing and motivating a group of people to achieve a common objective through innovation, risk optimization, taking advantage of opportunities, and managing the dynamic organizational environment.

Gig Players: The term “gig” is jargon for “temporary job.” A large number of people work in part-time or temporary positions or as independent contractors as regarded as gig players.

Gig Economy: Gig Economy is that part of labor market which is characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. A large number of people work in part-time or temporary positions or as independent contractors.

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is the process of creation or extraction of value. As per this definition, entrepreneurship is viewed as change, in general parlance it involves risk beyond what is normally encountered in starting a business.

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