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Conference: Challenges to international human resource management: from the Covid- 19 pandemic crisis to the Ukraine-Russia crisis


Conference: Challenges to international human resource management: from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis to the Ukraine-Russia crisis

Confirmed keynote speaker: José Francisco Muñoz-Villalba

The covid-19 pandemic has been a tremendous force of disruption, complexity, and uncertainty in how companies and organizations worldwide do their business (Bailey & Breslin, 2021; Kim, Vaiman, & Sanders, 2020). Such transformation has challenged human resource managers to find swift solutions to satisfy emerging needs at the local, national, and global levels of managing and organizing. It also has taught valuable lessons to human resources managers, such as among other, about leadership (Talu & Nazarov 2020), flexible work arrangements (Caligiuri, Minbaeva & Zimmermann, 2020), and the providing different types of work support to influence changes in employees' affective commitment to their organization and in their job-related well-being (Mihalache & Mihalache 2021).
As we leave the pandemic behind, a new challenge is rising in Europe’s eastern border, as war between Ukraine and Russia escalates and threatens to spread across the globe. Under such circumstances, it is urgent to ask if the learning opportunities that arose from the experiences of the HR managers during the Covid-19 pandemic still have value in a Ukraine-Russia war time? For example, the increased cross-border distance problems resulting from travel bans based on health reasons are now based on territorial political travel bans. Consequently, not only is international mobility reduction increasing, but also (international) human resources strategies and practices to overcome health-based travel bans may not be suitable for politically and militarily based travel bans.  Moreover, the learning opportunities that arose from the experiences of the HR managers during the Covid-19, such as relocation of workers, suspension of activities, closure of infrastructures, definition of contingency plans, displacement of installations may not be suitable facing the war between Ukraine and Russia. 

Therefore, the purpose of this conference is:
a) to assess what lessons taken by human resources during and after the pandemic can be useful or despisable to tackle the unknown challenges, strategies, and unusual decisions related to the Ukraine-Russia war.
b) to critically explore, question, and interrogate the (international) human resources management against the backdrop of the uncertainty generated by the Ukraine-Russia war.

We welcome conceptual and empirical submissions from a multitude of disciplines, including but not limited to human resources management, economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and law.

Several topics about which we encourage submissions include:
1. The role of technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality in enhancing human resources management strategies and practices to address the Ukraine-Russia war challenges.   
2. How to tackle the increased cross-border distance problems such as the co-located employees, manage distance and rethink boundaries at the macro- or firm levels, resulting from political-military travel bans?
3. How to disseminate the learnings from the difficulties presented by distance, in terms of employee selection, training, leadership and virtual collaboration during the Ukraine-Russia war. 
4. What is the role of women in enhancing human resource management? 
5. What should be the appropriate human resource management strategies to increase employees’ mental well-being, satisfaction, productivity, motivation, and health safety at the workplace during the war?
6. How to preserve the highlighting the role of Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) acquired during the pandemic Covid-19 in the Ukraine-Russia war.

Practical information and how to apply:
The conference will be held at the Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias campus on 23, 24 and 25 February 2023, and where possible we will enable online participation for those who are unable to attend in-person for accessibility reasons. 

We invite submissions of abstracts (up to 500 words). Abstracts need to be prepared for anonymous review.
Please submit your abstract to:
Abstract submission deadline:  November 1st, 2022
Acceptance notification: November 15th, 2022
If you require more information, please contact (Please use “IHR-CFA” in the subject line).

Participants without abstract submission must register for the conference. To register, send an email by the 1st of November until 30th November to Filipa Frazão (

Participation Fees
The cost for participants, with or without abstract submission, is 160 euros. It covers meals and the organization of events during the conference.

Payment: deadline 15th January. We will give instructions on how to make the online fee payment.  This counts as a formal registration.

Important: You can apply for a Staff and Mobility Grant at your Home Institution.


Bailey, Katie, and Breslin, Dermot (2021). The COVID-19 Pandemic: What can we learn from past research in organizations and management? International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 23, 3–6, DOI: 10.1111/ijmr.12237 
Caligiuri, Paula, De Cieri, Helen, Minbaeva, Dana, Verbeke, Alain, Zimmermann, Angelika (2020). International HRM insights for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for future research and practice. Journal of International Business Studies, 51, 697–713.
Kim, Sunghoon, Vaiman, Vlad, & Sanders, Karin (2020). Strategic human resource management in the era of environmental disruptions. Special Issue of Human Resource Management. 
Mihalache, Machiho  & Mihalache, Oli (2021). How workplace support for the COVID-19 pandemic and personality traits affect changes in employees' affective commitment to the organization and job-related well-being. Human Resource Management, 1-20, DOI: 10.1002/hrm.22082.
Talu, Stefan, Nazarov A.D.  Challenges and Competencies of Leadership in Covid-19 Pandemic. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 486 Proceedings of the Research Technologies of Pandemic Coronavirus Impact (RTCOV 2020).