Back to Business as Usual in a Post-COVID World: Is Relying on a ‘Digitally Enhanced’ Paradigm Sufficient Enough?

Submission deadline – 1 November 2021

This Special Issue seeks to reflect on the key changes in business, education and interpersonal communication that emerged during the period of pandemics and de facto associated with digitally enhanced services and/or environments. The transition to digitally enhanced or digitally mediated or digitally enabled service provisions to extend the reach and compensate for confining safety restrictions of face-to-face settings: social distancing, avoiding indoor spaces not offering enough fresh air, wearing face coverings. This ubiquitous reliance on digitally enhanced developments seems to be misconstrued as readiness for a Post-COVID world as well.

The World begins to recover from the period of pandemics and aim to reach the state of Business as Usual in no time. One of the first steps in this process is adoption of a hybrid approach, characterised by strong reliance on digital technology to supplement normal operations. Some may even argue that penetration of digitised component in organising new ways of service provision, including interpersonal communication, is greater than in the past. For-profit and public enterprises develop hybrid business models underpinned by technological capacity to support or deliver service even in such traditionally face-to-face settings as health care (Panibratov, 2020) and social work (Ramsay, 2020).

Another area there digitally mediated practice seems to becoming a de facto standard is teaching and learning, particularly in the context of Higher Education (Gaebel et al., 2021). During pandemics video conferencing technology (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype) was a dominating means for providing instructions and organising support for learners, while library services have been pursuing digitalisation of educational resources from much earlier than face-to-face safety restrictions were introduced (Rikowski, 2008). Now, when the Post-COVID considerations about future of teaching and learning environments are on the mind of decision-makers, there are calls to legitimise the overwhelming presence of digitally enabled service by developing pedagogies ensuring its quality. Given the recent advances of artificial intelligence (AI) in transforming Higher Education (Bates et al., 2020), AI is seen as having more potential to change higher education than any other technological advance.

This Special Issue aspire to explore the breadth and depth of the digitally enhanced paradigm, while showcasing the emergent practice and research in this area from around the world.


We welcome articles from new and more experienced academics, practitioners and researchers who have been designing and/or adapting their practice to the Post-COVID reality across the disciplines and/or professional areas. We also invite doctoral students from around the globe to share their work on emergent properties and characteristics of new era with a wider audience through this open access issue.

Guidelines for Authors

The submitted manuscripts should be an original work not published elsewhere. We will consider the following types of contributions: see Manuscript Requirements at ( ). Please submit your paper as an email attachment to .

All articles will go through the double blind review process.

Important Dates

The deadline to submit your article is 1 November 2021. This Special Issue will be published in December 2021. Early submissions are encouraged and can be published ahead of the designated timescale.

Indicative Readings
  1. Bates, T., Cobo, C., Mariño, O. and Wheeler, S. (2020), “Can artificial intelligence transform higher education?”, International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, Vol. 17, Article number: 42
  2. de Waal, A.; Linthorst, J. and Hetterschijt, C. (2021), "Lessons Learned by Organisations during the COVID-19 Pandemic", International Journal of Management and Applied Research, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 72-90.
  3. Gaebel, M.; Zhang, T.; Stoeber, H. and Morrisroe, A. (2021), Digitally enhanced learning and teaching in European higher education institutions, European University Association [Online] Available from: [accessed on 16 July 2021].
  4. Nerantzi, C. (2020), "The Use of Peer Instruction and Flipped Learning to Support Flexible Blended Learning During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic", International Journal of Management and Applied Research, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 184-195.
  5. Panibratov, A. (2020), “Digital Health Business Models during and Post-COVID-19”, in: Marinov, M. A. and Marinova, S. T. (ed.), COVID-19 and International Business, New York: Routledge.
  6. Ramsay S. (2020), “Let’s not return to business as usual: Integrating environmental and social wellbeing through hybrid business models post COVID-19”, International Social Work, Vol. 63, No. 6, pp. 798-802.
  7. Rikowski, R. (2008), “Digital Libraries and Digitisation: An Overview and Critique”, Policy Futures in Education, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 5-21.