Interviewer: Professor Edmondson,
thank you very much for
taking the time to record with us today.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic,
which has had a direct and
devastating impact on the world economy
with numerous businesses going
through unprecedented turmoil.
What would you say is the expected
psychological impact of the coronavirus
pandemic on employees at different
levels of those businesses?
Prof. Edmondson: I think the expected
psychological impact is equally real,
large and profound for
people at different levels in businesses,
and even in different sized businesses.
First of all, at the front lines
of many service industries,
most noticeably in the hospitality
industry where the business
has gone to near-zero for
most hotels and airlines and
other aspects of hospitality,
people are being laid off.
The psychological impact for
them is genuine fear for their livelihood,
their ability to pay necessary living
expenses for shelter and food.
That is a qualitatively different
kind of fear from that that those
at the top of large organizations
might experience right now,
which is more of a deep worry
about the future of the business,
yet I think they can likely
understand that their own future
employment is not in jeopardy and
as things get back in gear,
their big focus will be
on on scaling back up.
So the uncertainty they face
is uncomfortable, but not