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The aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic period: barriers in implementation of social distancing at workplace

Kashif Abbass (School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China)
Abdul Aziz Khan Niazi (Institute of Business and Management, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)
Tehmina Fiaz Qazi (Hailey College of Banking and Finance, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Abdul Basit (Lahore Institute of Science and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)
Huaming Song (School of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 20 September 2021

Issue publication date: 29 March 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the barriers in implementing social distancing at the workplace as an aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Design/methodology/approach

Study design consists of a review of literature, data collection and analysis. It encompasses identification, verification and analysis of the relationships among the barriers. Data have been collected from a panel of experts on matrix-type questionnaires from workplaces. Interpretive structural modeling (ISM) augmented with “Matrice d' Impacts Croise's Multiplication Appliquée a UN Classement (Cross Impact Matrix Multiplication Applied to Classification)” (MICMAC) for structural analysis.

Findings

The literature has identified twenty major barriers to implementing social distancing at the workplace. The research findings reveal/show that the barrier “matter of disrespect” occupies the bottom level in the ISM model. Therefore, it is the most critical barrier; whereas, employees with disabilities and “herding culture” are crucial as they occupy the next lowest level, therefore, are crucial. Moreover, there are ten barriers positioned in the middle of the model having moderate-severe effects, and seven falls on the top level of the model having relatively less severe effects. Results of MICMAC affirm and avow the results of ISM.

Research limitations/implications

The study will have profound theoretical and practical implications for stakeholders since it provides lot of new useful and valuable information, gives relational insights and determines priorities subject to usual limitations of survey research.

Originality/value

It is an original attempt to make some sense of practicability of social distancing for stakeholders including policymakers, frontline health workers and public at large.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Funding: The authors verify that they have not been paid for this work.

Citation

Abbass, K., Niazi, A.A.K., Qazi, T.F., Basit, A. and Song, H. (2022), "The aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic period: barriers in implementation of social distancing at workplace", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 569-585. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-03-2021-0113

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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