A Glimpse of Post-pandemic World

Mohammad Ali and Dan Bumblauskas

14 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

A Glimpse of Post-pandemic World

Advanced globalization is generally characterized by streams of information and data, which needs to drive action and decision-making, to shape a new level of globalization: Globalization 5.0.  The World Economic Forum defined Globalization 4.0’s use of data and the need to trust how it is being used, specifically saying “[the new economy]” is fueling distrust, particularly of technology companies and their stewardship of our data.

Globalization and the new economy have brought about significant changes to how trade is done across borders, the stream of financial benefits, and the broadening of cooperation. The world is emphatically associated, with and interconnectedly working through, online channels amid the worldwide widespread COVID-19 pandemic. A tremendous number of intangible service providers as well as tangible services associated with intangible services are happening daily. The current COVID-19 widespread pandemic is causing a transition of businesses, customers, governments, vendors, and trades towards computerized globalization. This article establishes the fact that quite a few intangible services, which were forced online due to pandemic situation, may end up being common day practices in the post pandemic globalized world – i.e., Globalization 5.0.

“Work from home,” “Work from anyplace,” and “Work at any time” are common terminologies which were present even before the start of the pandemic although they were not widely used in practice.  In the Globalized 5.0 world, these terminologies and their practices became popular out of necessity; it was the only way things could be done during the quarantines and lockdowns of 2020.  These practices brought about radical changes in numerous aspects of social life, communication protocols and systems. This accentuated the need for computer-based aptitude to use software systems (e.g., Zoom meetings, Microsoft Team collaboration, Slack, etc.) and this increased reliance upon electronic systems will likely lead to a baseline demand for the future.  This is the new normal.  The post-COVID, Globalization 5.0, world will require even more sophisticated technical skills for fundamental decision making, financial advancement, and personal/professional development. This movement towards more technology-based communication will enable virtual mentoring to empower and guide understudies to proceed with their learning. In a word, one thing we are certain that the post-COVID climate will require unquestionably advanced technology-based skills.

Educational institutions are adapting to how they provide their services. As elementary & secondary schools, colleges, and universities are adjusting their normal exercises and routines remotely by utilizing the most recent online education innovations, this practice can be carried on even when circumstances become normal like that of the pre-pandemic era. Globalization 5.0 will usher in an era of online, blended, and hybrid education on a massive scale.

Thesis presentation for undergrad and graduate students may be held remotely even when the examiner and the examinee are distant from one another due to unavoidable circumstances. As a result, in future, the framework will evolve from face-to-face being the status-quo to the exception as virtual advancements in the Globalized 5.0 world allow for greater flexibility.  This will be the form that intangible services take on moving forward. 

Some tangible services depend on other intangible services for their success. For example, procuring tasty edibles from different eateries scattered all over the megapolis or sourcing the latest fashion or designer dresses from shopping centers will evolve during Globalization 5.0 as online purchasing will bring immense change to such industries.

Perhaps once a novelty for ordering such items, online sourcing will be more widely used during this post-pandemic period. A few of the luxury goods, such as portable workstations and mobile phones, are products which are being peddled online and this sort of business is soaring to all-time, record highs because of the smooth supply chain being maintained by the intangible service administrations. As the circumstances of the pandemic are not improving as quickly as consumers desire, a new group of customers is emerging who purchase trendy items online while staying at home.

All potential clients can now select their items of choice from the companies’ website pages, Facebook pages, and other promotional cyber-gateways.

The purchase of items can occur under a variety of coordination agreements amongst supply channel partners. The practice of social distancing and social barricading (i.e., forced distancing) is being practiced amid the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic internationally to maintain safety and the sanctity of public health. Electronic commerce is being practiced in business-to-business (B2B) environments as well by world-renowned companies. Presently it is the opportune time for all other companies/people globally to supply their need for purchased items by utilising the most recent innovations in this space. The items purchased electronically will include all essential and non-essential items which can practically be dealt with in terms of sourcing rate materials to last-mile delivery of finished goods. However, there are certain services which cannot be practically moved to online procurement during the pandemic.  This includes services provided by salons and make-over shops or similar service-based establishments because of the requirement of maintaining social distancing. This mode of commerce may be modified in other areas also. For example, one researcher conducted online interviews of 35 individuals scattered across Bangladesh within a period of 20 days after spending nearly 6 months conducting similar research work. In this study, the researcher and the respondents, while fulfilling the requirement of social distancing, could get the work done quite smoothly without any hassle remotely.

The possibilities for utilizing online engagement tools are immense and modification of usage enlarges the scope of possibilities even more.

Normally people conduct conference calls by utilizing the latest, and most user-friendly, apps while they interface with parties of interest (e.g., colleagues, customers, etc.).  This could include universities (students, faculty, and staff), intra-organization and inter-organization business meetings, etc. affording users/participants the flexibility of not having to move from one’s official desk or workplace. Multi-national corporations (MNCs) can have inter-organization conference/video calls and thus very easily exchange information. For many years, companies like Google have used “VC” or Video Chat using Google Hangout (Hangout Meet) to conduct work. Extending this idea of having online meetings, we can now have national and international virtual conferences orchestrating all the activities online. Conference proceeding papers can easily be presented in these conferences without the physical movement of the presenters. While this saves time and money and improves productivity, there are losses in terms of socializing and networking.

Online activities and interactions continue to be encouraged and evolve due to technological advances in web-technology with the introduction of Cisco WebEx, Google [Hangout] Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype. Office specialists are now emboldened and empowered to devise methods of accomplishing organizational goals without having to be physically present in distant office locations. A recent gallop poll has revealed that upwards of 60 percent of employees would prefer working away from the office and contribute more. However, this may not be a practical solution in production-oriented organizations. We may witness doctors and physicians prescribing medicines online and pharmacists supplying medicines based on scanned copies of the prescription and making home delivery using other services.  Last-mile delivery becomes a key element in closing the supply chain.

In conclusion, intangible services offered during this transitory Globalization 5.0 period changed in response to the pandemic-inspired changes to the human and physical supply chain.  Not all of these changes may be visible as the changes that are reshaping worldwide supply chain management vary for tangible and intangible items. In some cases, the move to post-pandemic work designs can be difficult. In other cases, the move to post-pandemic business designs may well be even more excruciating, on the off chance that the change is met with resistance from customers, employees, etc.  It is a well-known fact that any change away from the status quo may not be readily accepted and in some cases, the acceptance will have to be enforced. The shift of intangible services to remote delivery has ushered in a new economy and the dawn of Globalization 5.0 across the financial, human, and societal aspects for citizens around the world.


Mohammad Ali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB), and Dan Bumblauskas is an Associate Professor and the Hamilton/ESP International Fellow for Supply Chain and Logistics Management in the Department of Management at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI)