Whitaker Institute COVID-19 Response Group

The Whitaker Institute, along with other research institutes at NUI Galway, have created a COVID-19 Response Group. The group, which is comprised of Whitaker members from a variety of research backgrounds, are working to contribute their expertise to the local, national and global COVID-19 response efforts.

A note from Whitaker Institute Director Professor Alan Ahearne:

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down. The spread of the virus is having a profound effect on all our lives, and events are changing by the minute. While we have all moved to new ways of working, our commitment at the Whitaker Institute to supporting our research community in producing impactful research remains as strong as ever. That is why, along with the other Research Institutes at NUI Galway, we have established a COVID-19 Response Group at Whitaker to mobilise our research community to contribute to the local, national and global COVID-19 response efforts. At the Group’s first virtual meeting, we identified several areas of activity where we believe we can make expertise, knowledge and research contributions to fight against the spread and impact of COVID-19. We will keep you informed as these projects develop.


Prof Alan Ahearne Dr Ronan Kennedy
Dr Dmitry Brychkov Prof Alma McCarthy
Prof Mary Cawley Dr Michal Molcho
Prof Kieran Conboy Ms Angela Sice
Dr Christine Domegan Dr Umair ul Hassan
Dr Sinead Duane Dr Elaine Wallace
Dr Josephine Igoe Ms Courtney Yanta

If you’re interested in joining the Whitaker Institute COVID-19 response group, please contact Professor Alan Ahearne at alan.ahearne@nuigalway.ie.


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Carroll, Noel and Conboy, Kieran. (2020). Normalising the “new normal”: Changing tech-driven work practices under pandemic time pressure. International Journal of Information Management, p.102186.

Doyle, Ronan & Conboy, Kieran. (2020) ‘The role of IS in the covid-19 pandemic: A liquid-modern perspective’ International Journal of Information Management. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102184

Khoo, Su-Ming, (2020) ‘The COVID-19 Pandemic and Lessons from Global Citizenship and Development Education’ in Policy and Practice – COVID-19 and
Development Education, ISSN:1748-135X.

McCarthy, Alma, Ahearne, Alan, Bohle-Carbonell, Katerina, Ó Síocháin, Tomás, & Frost, Deirdre. (2020). Remote Working During COVID-19: Ireland’s National Survey Initial Report. Galway, Ireland: NUI Galway Whitaker Institute & Western Development Commission.

O’Donoghue, Cathal & Sologon, Denisa Maria & Kyzyma, Iryna & McHale, John, 2020. “Modelling the Distributional Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis,” IZA Discussion Papers 13235, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

Samuli Laato, A. K. M. Najmul Islam, Muhammad Nazrul Islam & Eoin Whelan (2020) What drives unverified information sharing and cyberchondria during the COVID-19 pandemic?European Journal of Information Systems, DOI: 10.1080/0960085X.2020.1770632



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On Tuesday 8 September, the Whitaker Institute was delighted to host a live webinar titled Organizations in COVID-19: Embodiment, ethics and lockdown. The webinar discussed the implications of COVID-19 for organizational ethics, with a focus on embodiment. Workers’ bodies are central to recent changes with health and safety now critical concerns for many working on the front line. In other sectors, bodies are removed from relations between workers as we witness a mass-move towards digital work. Questions of ethics and embodiment are central to the reorganization of work that has accompanied the spread of this virus, with important and far reaching impacts.

We were delighted to welcome 4 international panellists who are experts in the field of the theory and practice of ethics and embodiment.

Professor Alison Pullen, Macquarie University, Australia

Professor Carl Rhodes, University of Technology, Sydney Australia

Professor Iain Munro, Newcastle University Business School, UK

Professor Marianna Fotaki, Warwick Business School, UK

The event was chaired by Professor Kate Kenny, cluster leader of the Work, Organizations and Society cluster.


On Wednesday 2 September, the Whitaker Institute was delighted to host an InterTradeIreland online event as part of the All-Island Innovation Programme. The event, which was titled Economic shocks and recovery: Comparing Covid 19 to 2008, was presented by the Whitaker Institute’s Director Professor Alan Ahearne, who was an economic adviser to the Irish Government during the 2008 financial crisis and has recently been appointed as an adviser to the Government in response to the COVID crisis.

In the event, Prof Ahearne discussed comparisons between the 2008 financial crisis and COVID-19 in the context of SMEs, offering insights into how SMEs can survive and prosper in the current climate. A recording of the event is available to view below.


As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts every aspect of our working lives, members of the Whitaker Institute continue to take part in a series of webinars including InterTradeIreland’s All-Island Innovation Programme, webinar masterclasses which the Whitaker Institute is a partner.  These webinars will offer a blueprint for action and future business resilience to strengthen SMEs that face disruption and uncertainty

This unique series of events offers you direct access to both national and international innovation experts.  The series will include talks by former Ireland rugby captain and successful start-up entrepreneur Jamie Heaslip; international expert on Innovations Management, Professor Oliver Gassmann and Director of the Whitaker Institute of Innovation and Societal Change and NUIG Professor of Economics, Alan Ahearne.

On 19 May, Dr Lisa Messina, Management Expert, Queens University presented the first masterclass where she identified some of the challenges and discussed the strategies that SMEs can employ to navigate the current Covid19 crisis.


Dr John Danaher, of the Technology and Governance cluster, participated in London Futurists webinar, ‘Could Covid-19 spark a Moral Revolution?’ on 3 May 2020.