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




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


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.


This research has been financed by the Community of Madrid with European Regional Funds under the project “Evolución, Caracterización Clínica, Molecular y Genética y Tratamiento de los Síntomas post-COVID (COVID Persistente)” ref: A467; and Young Researchers R&D Project. Ref. Proyect v1156  LEG-INCERT-ECON. Financed by Community of Madrid (Spain) and Rey Juan Carlos University


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Author Biographies

Giorgia Miotto, Blanquerna – Ramon Llull University

PhD in Advanced Communication from the Ramon Lull University, she focuses her research in the relationship between ethics and organizational legitimacy in the new communicative environment. Giorgia has a Master Degree in Classical Literature from the Universitá degli Studi di Padova (Italy), is Executive MBA and Master in Communication Management from EADA Business School. At present, she is Vice-Dean of Corporate Relations and Innovation at the Ramon Lull University - Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations. Giorgia is visiting professor of the Marketing Communication Department of the Emerson College in Boston. Giorgia served as a member of the “Comité Ejecutivo de la Red Española del Pacto Mundial de Naciones Unidas” (UN Global Compact) and as member of the Academic Board of the PRME (Principle for Responsible Management Educations - United Nations).

Jessica Paule-Vianez, Rey Juan Carlos University

Jessica Paule-Vianez is Associate Professor at the Department of Business Economics, Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain. She is Ph.D. in Finance with International Mention and Extraordinary Award from the Rey Juan Carlos University. Degree in Business Administration and Management, Degree in Finance and Accounting and Master’s Degree in Research in Social and Legal Sciences from the University of Extremadura, and Interuniversity Master's Degree in Computational Statistical Treatment of Information at the Complutense University and the Polytechnic University from Madrid. Her main research focuses on Behavioral Finance, Economic Policy Uncertainty and Financial Management.

Sandra Escamilla-Solano, Rey Juan Carlos University

Sandra Escamilla-Solano (Ph.D., Rey Juan Carlos University) is Assistant Professor of Finance in Business Economics Department of Rey Juan Carlos University. Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist and Trainer on Social Responsibility for Buenos Aires University.  Member of the European Academy of Management and Business Economics, a member of the Class of Ecotransporte, Technology and Mobility and a member of Business Management & Economic Research Group. She has participated in projects from prestigious institutions as the Royal Academy of Economics and Finance (RACEF) and Smartcities Observatory. Author and reviewer of several publications in journals, books and lectures both nationally and internationally.


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How to Cite

Miotto, G. ., Blanco-González , A., Paule-Vianez, J. ., & Escamilla-Solano, S. . (2024). Managing Perceived Legitimacy in Uncertain Times: The Effects of Long-Covid. Tripodos, (54), 9–27.

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