The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted market trading activity around the world. The pandemic has disabled supply chains and forced businesses to look for pragmatic ways to keep their doors open. Companies have suspended business commitments citing the force majeure clause. The resulting tension in companies is a hotbed for rising confusion and turmoil. With businesses facing imminent closure and potentially acrimonious court cases, pragmatic businesses have called for round table talks with stakeholders to resolve the crisis. This review suggests that the sensitive uses of conflict management and negotiation skills are crucial to obtaining shared responsibility agreements. Empathy, gently invoking a social contract and deep conversations are helping companies successfully navigate a path through this unprecedented season.
Key words: Conflict, conversations, social contract, Covid-19, force majeure, new normal, share-share outcomes, 21st Century leadership.
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