PLoS One 18 (7) e0288837 [2023-07-20; online 2023-07-20]
Covid-19 is one of the worst crises in modern working life with a direct negative impact on many enterprises and organizations. The aim of this study is to explore what managers in Small Scale Enterprises (SSEs) changed in their business during the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly addressing health issues. A longitudinal qualitative research methodology was used, interviewing 16 managers of SSEs in the Norwegian and Swedish manufacturing and service sector both before (round 1) and during the pandemic (round 2). In this approach, time is designed into the research process, making change a key focus for analysis. The analysis resulted in two main themes, resilience and demanding occupational health and safety conditions, and five sub-themes. Results show how managers in SSEs changed their business during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of these changes. Although, the enterprises were heavily affected in the beginning of the pandemic, several managers found new solutions for their businesses to maintain and reach new customers. They applied a socially responsible management which addressed different health issues. Crises like the Covid-19 pandemic will have future impact on SSEs making it important to understand how managers in such enterprises address business and health issues. This knowledge may have practical implications for supporting managers in SSEs in how to perform a socially responsible management and maintain occupational health and safety measures. The managerial implications from this research are that they need to be flexible, reorientable and, at the same time, be loyal to the core business. This study shows the importance of doing longitudinal studies about business and health issues among mangers in SSEs.