The COVID-19 pandemic had strong negative effects on all kinds of academic processes and forced business schools worldwide to use Information Technology (IT) artefacts to cope with the social distancing which prohibited most on-site activities from early 2020 until mid-2022. These effects were even more significant for universities with different types of international affairs activities. This paper explored these changes and constraints by investigating the IT affordances of a triple crown accredited business school during the three phases of the COVID-19 pandemic: before the pandemic (pre-2019), during the pandemic (early 2020 to mid-2022) and the post-pandemic (2022 onward). To reach this research aim, primary data from interviews with outgoing exchange students going abroad and incoming foreign exchange students from a leading business school in Thailand have been analyzed. As a central finding of this paper, it has been identified that IT affordances have changed significantly during the pandemic. More and different IT tools were implemented. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic many of the needed tools were not available and schooling to use them was missing. A high number of requests resulting from uncertainties on the student’s side were communicated via various communication channels. Often these requests were not leading to sufficient replies. The communication model changed from unidirectional communication in the pre-pandemic phase to a bidirectional model in the pandemic phase. As a result of this paper, the authors suggest aligning IT affordances with a strategic risk management system. This newly derived model could support the international affairs units to utilize IT artefacts to help reduce the risks involved in future crises.
Nanthakorn, Bob; Ractham, Peter; Suwannakart, Phatsaporn; Damroungkunkamjorn, Lalita; and Chotisarn, Noptanit, "Exploring IT affordances and risk management for internationalization activities of business schools" (2023). ICEB 2023 Proceedings (Chiayi, Taiwan). 21.