CKGSB Survey Finds Over 60% of Chinese Entrepreneurs Are Doing Their Best to Stay Positive Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

BEIJING, Feb. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This survey was led by Dr. Zhang Xiaomeng, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Associate Dean for Executive Education and Co-Director of the Leadership and Motivation Research Centre at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB).

In the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, every company in China has had to take unprecedented actions. The CKGSB Leadership and Motivation Research Center launched a series of surveys to understand the core concerns and strategies of entrepreneurs across sectors in China in these fast changing and challenging times. The research seeks to aid the business community's debates, and help businesses turn risk into opportunity.

The first theme addressed is "Resuming work." 1,112 senior executives in CKGSB's Executive Education and Executive MBA programs were surveyed anonymously across industries and seniority levels.

The survey found that most companies (67.5%) decided to resume work on or after February 17, with 55.84% believing resumption of regular production and operations will occur by March 31. Of those surveyed, 13.76% believe a full economic recovery will take until at least June.

More than half of employers decided against pay cuts, with 59.8% continuing to offer full pay. The three industries most unlikely to cut pay are Agriculture/ Forestry/ Animal Farming/ Fishing; Finance; and Production/ Processing/ Manufacturing at 90.48%, 70.09%, and 69.95%, respectively. Conversely, companies most expecting some degree of pay cut are the service sector (72.53%); Education/ Training (54.29%), and Culture/ Media/ Entertainment/ Sports (52.53%).

More than half (55.67%) of all employers will not lay off staff. The three industries at the top of the zero layoffs list are Agriculture/ Forestry/ Animal Farming/ Fishing, Energy/ Mining/ Environment, Transportation/ Shipping/ Logistics, and Warehousing, at 76.19%, 70.73%, and 66.67% respectively. The three industries most expecting layoffs are Business Services, Culture/ Media/ Entertainment/ Sports, and Services, at 61.11%, 60.61%, and 53.85% respectively.

Over 60% of entrepreneurs are doing their best to stay positive. Entrepreneurs are focusing on "maintaining staff confidence" (62.95%) and "cutting costs to keep the company afloat" (37.05%). This reflects the level of confidence and a key decision-making trend at the time of questioning.

The results comprise the main findings of the Epidemic Busting Series Survey #1: Work Choices—The Game of Survival and Confidence and reveal an important component of entrepreneurial leadership and organizational capabilities: resilience. The ability to recover and rebound after a period of adversity is key to the long-term survival and success of a company. The full report with the remaining surveys will be released soon.