Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 22 Issue 4 (December 2014), Pages 185-242

Self‐Preservation vs. Collective Resilience as Consumer Responses to National Disasters: A Study on Radioactive Product Contamination (pages 197-208)

This article extends the literature on consumer reactions to national disasters. Because of the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japanese consumers face the long‐term risk of radioactive product contamination as products come from contaminated regions. When facing this risk in purchase situations, Japanese consumers have the choice of reducing their purchases to protect personal health from perceived risk or increasing their purchases to economically support suffering Japanese regions. Based on analysis of variance and regression analysis of data on mobile phones and fast food restaurants from 99 consumers in Japan and 677 consumers in the United States, this study confirms that consumers respond to the risk of radioactive product contamination by reduced or increased purchase intent. Moreover, it finds that purchase intent reductions (vs. increases) vary by consumer age and are more pronounced for fast food restaurants than mobile phones, for non‐Japanese consumers in Japan and the United States than for Japanese consumers in Japan, and for more health‐conscious consumers. While purchase intent reductions only weakly depend on cultural values, they tend to be positively influenced by uncertainty avoidance and negatively influenced by individualism, masculinity values and long‐term orientation. This article thus informs policy makers and marketing managers on how to more effectively address psychological needs of different consumer segments to support the economic reconstruction of disaster‐stricken regions.

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