Purpose: Latin America has not been exempted from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, this study aims to identify the actions of 50 main multilatinas to face the pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative content analysis was conducted on newspapers published in Latin America and corporate websites from March 2020 to April 2020, during which the multilatinas took their first actions toward the pandemic. Findings: Results identified 106 actions taken by multilatinas in social, operational, philanthropic and financial areas. This paper analyzes the results, discuss the implications for business theories and develops three theoretical propositions. Practical implications: First, this study can serve as a reference for business decision-makers as it offers guidance in taking actions during a pandemic. Second, it highlights the importance of the speed of responses to unforeseen challenges. The study recommends that business managers include in their contingency plans procedures for addressing unforeseen situations, such as the pandemic, with a focus on increasing their response capacity. Originality/value: The importance of this study lies in understanding multinational enterprises’ (MNEs) initial actions taken during unexpected disasters and rare events. This study fills two important gaps in the business literature that have not been addressed in the Latin American context, namely, the actions taken by MNEs facing a public health disaster and how MNEs cope with disastrous and rare events.
Lopez-Morales, J. S., Nava-Aguirre, K. M., & Huerta-Estevez, A. (2021). Multilatinas and COVID-19: initial actions to the pandemic. Management Research, 19(1), 38–58. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRJIAM-09-2020-1091