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Importance of Persuasion: COVID-19 Crisis

Importance of persuasion is especially evident in the current debates about COVID-19. In particular, media, experts, and ordinary people compare economic crisis caused by COVID-19 with global financial crisis of 2008 (Estrada & Arturo, 2020). The authorities traditionally prepare for the past, already known downturn. However, the events caused by the pandemic could go in a completely different scenario. The crisis of 2008-2009, although it was structural in nature, did not lead to significant restructuring of the economies (Sogani, 2020). Governments took vigorous anti-crisis measures which did not allow catastrophic consequences, such as the transformation of the economic crisis into a socio-political one. However, in time of the pandemic, downturn acquired structural nature and caused more serious social consequences, changing many social practices. Comparison with crisis of 2008 and attempts to apply similar measures appear to be irrational. The situation today requires agile thinking and careful actions, as, unlike economic downturn and stagnation, coronavirus spreads globally not in a consistent pattern, and even the nearest future is hardly predictable. These crucial issues should be included in the sphere of direct interest of Business administration specialists, as they have to apply all their skills and creativity to help their organizations survive in the current turbulent environment.

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Another issue, which is inextricably intertwined with the above, is the necessity and rationality of restrictive measures in frames of quarantine. In most countries affected by the pandemic, restrictive measures contradict the Constitution and the rights of the citizens. The only lawful option to justify these measures is to introduce state of emergency or warfare state. However, it is difficult to be implemented, as voting in Parliament is needed. Still, all countries introduce restrictive measures, which divide society into two ‘camps’ – one group supports these restrictions and even demands to increase them, while others oppose them and organize protests and even acts of civil disobedience.

Restrictions appear to be a cause for tremendous growth of unemployment, bankruptcy of small businesses, and other crucial problems. While healthcare sector representatives advocate for the necessity of strict quarantine, many economists claim that lockdown will put economy into long stagnation. It is difficult not to agree with this opinion, and political consequences should be also considered. While these issues represent entwinement of economic, social, and political issues, Business administration specialists can play significant role in the development of effective solutions for mitigation of lockdown consequences. It is possible due to their ability of applying systemic thinking and deep knowledge of economy systems functioning to the issues of national security on its different planes.

The potential audience for persuasion efforts are state regulatory bodies and national healthcare administrations. Persuasion is most effective when the addressee is interested in obtaining complete and detailed information and strives for its critical analysis. However, the persuasion method is often used in situations of disagreement between people, being the best means of reaching consensus. Successful persuasion leads to the opponent’s acceptance of new information and, consequently, to a change in the motivational basis of behavior. Therefore, in some social practices, persuasion is considered as a method of influencing the thinking and behavior of a person (Duckworth, 2016). In contrast to such a method of influencing consciousness as suggestion, persuasion is based on a meaningful individual’s acceptance of the information transmitted to them, its analysis, and subsequent assessment.

In particular, in debates about restrictive measures connected with COVID-19 pandemic, persuasion skills, especially of experts, politicians, and journalists, appear to be crucially important. Their ability to persuade will ultimately define further vector of society’ life, economy growth, and political stability, as well as homeland security in general. Definitely, tough restrictive measures, bringing only slight reduction of virus dissemination, lead to catastrophic social and economic consequences. Moreover, they violate the rights of citizens, destabilize political environment, and create a threat to overall homeland security. Thus, it is expedient to eliminate or minimize quarantine restrictive measures.

References

Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Scribner.

Estrada, R., & Arturo, M. (2020). The difference between The Worldwide Pandemic Economic Crisis (COVID-19) and the global financial crisis (year 2008) [Unpublished manuscript]. Web.

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Sogani, A. (2020). The great lockdown vs. the Great Depression and the 2008 global financial crisis [PDF document]. Web.

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