Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to propose and test a longitudinal country-people image effect model involving a significant negative international incident between countries; study how such a model changes over time; and study the extent of image recovery in terms of how the offending country, people, and its products are perceived. Design/methodology/approach - Australian consumers were surveyed before, during, and a decade after the French nuclear testing in the Pacific in 1995. Model testing was conducted using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques. Findings - The model was strongly supported in all three-time points. During the crisis, negative feelings toward France/French rose and consumers' response to French products dropped. Country-people competency has risen over country-people character in explaining product evaluations. In the final period, the Australian views on country-people character and product response had more than recovered. The country-people character beliefs now play a significant role in influencing product evaluations after the crisis than before, while the impacts of country-people competency on product evaluation and response have diminished dramatically. Product evaluation is fairly stable over time. Originality/value - Studies to date have focused on country image at a point in time in relatively stable environmental conditions. The proposed model is helpful in understanding the processes of country-product image effects through the study of all attitude components and through differentiation of beliefs about country and people production-related and non-production related characteristics. The cross-temporal validation of the model indicates its usefulness for general applicability in country image effects research.

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International Marketing Review
Sprott School of Business

Heslop, L.A, Lu, I, & Cray, D. (2008). Modeling country image effects through an international crisis. International Marketing Review, 25(4), 354–378. doi:10.1108/02651330810887440