Original Research

Online education and organisational space in business schools during the COVID-19 pandemic

Albrecht Fritzsche, Hendrik S. Kriek
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 54, No 1 | a3541 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v54i1.3541 | © 2023 Albrecht Fritzsche, Hendrik S. Kriek | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2022 | Published: 31 January 2023

About the author(s)

Albrecht Fritzsche, Rabat Business School, International University of Rabat, Rabat, Morocco
Hendrik S. Kriek, Faculty of Post-Graduate Studies, IEDC Bled School of Management, Bled, Slovenia; and, Wits Business School, Faculty of Commerce and Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Purpose: The article studies how the shutdown of campuses and subsequent change to online course delivery during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have changed the experience of organisational space in management education.

Design/methodology/approach: The study utilises a mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis with questionnaires. For a better understanding of spatial experience, a deeper hermeneutic analysis of course design and delivery is undertaken as well.

Findings/results: Without the possibility to rely on physical presence, a sense of togetherness in management education is established in different ways, using digital technology to improve time management, get better visual impressions, relate teaching more closely to application environments, etc.

Practical implications: The loss of territorial spatial structure on campus can be partially compensated by a different spatial structure resulting from technically mediated experiences of relatedness and proximity in online course delivery by management educators.

Originality/value: The article sheds light on the different possibilities to establish educational spaces at business schools, expanding the ongoing discourse on organisational space to the domain of teaching and learning in the digital age.


educational space; business schools; management education; COVID-19; distance learning; virtual classroom; organisational space; transactional distance

JEL Codes

M00: General

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


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Crossref Citations

1. How an Online University Librarian and a Liberal Arts College Librarian Implemented Video Tutorials during COVID-19: A Mentoring Case Study
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Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning  vol: 17  issue: 3-4  first page: 65  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1080/1533290X.2023.2234887