Managing Perceived Legitimacy in Uncertain Times: The Effects of Long-Covid

Giorgia Miotto, Alicia Blanco-González, Jessica Paule-Vianez, Sandra Escamilla-Solano

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Uncertainty and unpredictability are the main characteristics of a crisis: the Covid-19 pandemic was definitely characterised by these two issues. During the Covid-19 pandemic, people experienced a very high level of fear that affected their behaviour in several dimensions of their lives, including their buying habits. Retailing was one of the most affected industries due to government health regulations and people’s fears and emotions. In such tumultuous times, organizational legitimacy plays a crucial role since consumers tend to interact with legitimate organizations, avoiding companies that are not fulfilling their expectations and are not aligned with the accepted social norms. The objective of this research is to understand how uncertainty and crisis may affect consumer behaviour taking into account their emotional conditioning. Specifically, we measured the impact on three different groups of people based on their relationship with the virus: those infected, those uninfected, and those with long-Covid sequelae. We conducted an empirical study in June 2022 on a sample of 515 individuals from the above groups. Our findings revealed that the effects of risk perception and legitimacy are significantly different and that these factors affect individuals purchase intention. The research findings contribute to consumer behaviour theories and offer practical insights for marketing professionals and policymakers in crisis situations.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number54
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Covid-19
  • legitimacy
  • long-Covid
  • purchase intention
  • uncertainty


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