The themes, “Beyond Markets: Reciprocity-The Hidden Core of the Economy” as well as “Institutional Voids and COVID-19: Coping Strategies of SMEs” were the focus of another session of the COVID, Business and Society Seminar (COBUSS) held via the zoom platform on 3rd September, 2020.
The COBUSS series, an initiative of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) was this time round facilitated by Dr. James Mensah, a Lecturer with the School’s Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, in the stead of the Dean. Rev. Dr. Tony Bradley, a Lecturer with Liverpool Hope University Business School, UK, and Dr. Abdul-Razak Alhassan, a Senior Lecturer with Birmingham City University, UK were the guest speakers for the session.
Speaking on the theme, “Beyond Markets: Reciprocity-The Hidden Core of the Economy”, Rev. Dr. Tony Bradley started by stating that the standpoint for his work is to unveil the hiddenness of everyday non-market economic exchanges. Through this, he seeks to recover the principles of reciprocity, which is widely written about but is not readily identified as a feature of normal economic discourse within Capitalist society. He elaborated that his research is engaged in both theoretical and empirical enquiry to show that it is possible and vital to uncover the meaning and real-world extent of mutualism.
Rev. Dr. Bradley concluded by noting that conventional mainstream economics hardly notices the extent of household production, community volunteering, and civil society support as having any economic value despite it being worth one third to one-half equivalent of the entire productive output of a country like the United Kingdom.
Presenting on the theme, “Institutional Voids and COVID-19: Coping Strategies of SMEs”, Dr. Abdul-Razak Alhassan, indicated that there have been several talks on the impact of COVID-19 on various sectors. On the issue of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, he noted that much emphasis has not been placed on the effect of the pandemic on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), hence his focus would be on how these SMEs are coping in light of the pandemic and institutional voids and constraints to SME development and growth.
He added that it is important to note that we cannot use a developed country's setting as a generalised format for all countries. Hence, there is a need for everyone to develop their understandings and strategies that are suitable for the kinds of institutions and environment that we exist in. Concluding his presentation, Dr. Alhassan suggested that SMEs must adopt various strategies to tackle the effect of COVID-19. He stressed that institutional voids and strategic responses can provide insight into policies needed to address impediments to entrepreneurial activities in Ghana.
The session ended with questions from participants from each presentation.
copyright © 2016 University of Ghana Business School. All Rights Reserved