The year 2020 brought new challenges for the whole of mankind. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the way we live and work, paving the way for new norms to be defined, deliberated and practiced. The virus continues to spread uncontrollably around the world; as of 9 December 2020, 68,747,287 people have been infected globally with 1,566,690 unfortunate deaths (WHO, 2020). Many businesses were at the receiving end of the crisis, impacting the economy at a national and global level. The adverse effects of the ongoing crisis will be long lasting, challenging both the public and private sector. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has predicted that major economies will lose around 2.4 to 3.0 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this stage, we hope for the early arrival and availability of vaccines throughout the world to be able to go back to the normal way of living, bringing customers back to the market places and reviving the economies.
The current issue of the Skyline Business Journal is a selective collection of five articles and three research notes, addressing some of the major issues in business and management, including the recent COVID-19 challenge. The first article examines how marketing ethics (honesty, transparency, and autonomy) affect organizational competitiveness (market share) in the banking industry in Nigeria. The study recommends that the banks should place more emphasis on transparency and honesty in order to achieve and sustain organizational competitiveness and in meeting up with customers' expectations. The second article investigates the impact of organizational justice on job performance among academic staff in three public universities in Iraq. The study presents quite a few interesting recommendations on how the university academics may work effectively with their superiors. The third article investigates the impact of growth, liquidity, non-debt tax shield, profitability, size and tangibility on financial leverage with reference to the Bombay Stock Exchange listed Indian auto ancillary firms. Addressing the marketing challenges of the organizations, the fourth article investigates the impact of promotional and word-of-mouth variables on consumer buying behavior in the fast-emerging economy of the Sultanate of Oman. Article five of this issue explores the relationship between taxation and economic growth in Nigeria in the last four decades, with interesting findings and implications for the public sector, particularly in the areas of economy diversification.
This issue also presents three thought provoking research notes on COVID-19, addressing the three major areas viz. state policy and planning; ethnic conflicts and geopolitics; and education amidst COVID-19 times. In the first research note it is argued that the measures that have been taken by governments around the world in respect of their tourism industries, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are sufficiently significant and long-term to warrant a re-appraisal of the role of the state in tourism. The second research note elaborates on trends of global travel and the tourism sector before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, concerning the ethnic conflicts and geopolitics happening around the world. In the third and last research note, an interesting deliberation is made on the dynamics in academics and consumer research in a post-COVID-19 scenario.
I am sure that the readers will find all the articles and research notes informative and useful. I am grateful to the entire team of the Skyline Business Journal for bringing up this excellent work. My sincere thanks and wishes to the esteemed Editorial Board members and distinguished reviewers for their support and guidance enabling us to complete this issue in a timely manner. At the end, I wish to convey my heartiest wishes to all the readers for referring to and citing the Skyline Business Journal in their academic researches and writings.
Prof. (Dr.) Mohammad In’airat,
Skyline Business Journal