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The Role of Communication In COVID-19 Crisis Management: Findings about Information Behavior of German and Italian Young People
Peer Henri Kieweg, Stefanie Schöberl, Gabriele Palozzi
Pages - 263 - 288     |    Revised - 11-07-2021     |    Published - 01-10-2021
Volume - 12   Issue - 5    |    Publication Date - October 2021  Table of Contents
COVID-19, Information Behavior, Trust, Government, Vaccination Hesitancy, Topic Fatigue, Young Adults, Crisis Management, Institutional Communication.
Given the different levels of pandemic severity in Germany and Italy, the paper investigates the differences in information behavior, and its consequences, between German and Italian young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the first and second waves of infections in the two countries. In particular, the issue of crisis management through institutional communication, the development of information behavior and information consumption throughout the year 2020 are analyzed through a questionnaire-based case study considering the constructs topic fatigue, trust in government sources and vaccination hesitancy. The paper reveals that there are considerable differences in time spent looking for information, with Italian respondents generally spending more time in these activities. Surprisingly, Italian respondents seem to place more trust in their government and institutions than Germans do. Vaccination hesitancy is estimated as higher in Germany than in Italy. People who feel less informed are also less likely to get a vaccination when offered the possibility, moreover, the perception of risk of infection plays a major role in vaccination acceptance. From the point of view of public management, findings of this work highlight the knowledge of citizens’ information behavior and habits as relevant to the design of communication campaigns to address health crises.
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Mr. Peer Henri Kieweg
University of Applied Sciences Neu-Ulm, Neu-Ulm, 89231 - Germany
Dr. Stefanie Schöberl
Information Management, University of Applied Sciences Neu-Ulm, Neu-Ulm, 89231 - Germany
Dr. Gabriele Palozzi
Department Management and Law, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma, 00133 - Italy

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