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Risk Communication for Religious Crowds: Preferences of Hajj Pilgrims

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 2017

Url :

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School for Sustainable Futures

Year : 2018

Abstract : Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe empirical research intended to gauge the channels of risk information and their perceived effectiveness expressed by Hajj pilgrims in 2013 to better inform risk-reduction strategies at crowded religious events. Design/methodology/approach To do so, a research team partially funded by the Transportation and Crowd Management Center of Research Excellence from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducted face-to-face interviews with 348 Hajj pilgrims in 2013. The semi-structured survey instrument used the Protective Action Decision Model framework to gather information on six pre-decisional variables that influence threat perceptions, stakeholder perceptions and decisions to take protective actions against impending threats. Findings Results of the multinomial logit regression using the traditional media (i.e. television and radio) as the reference category found support for ease of access, language of choice, gender and age differentials, as factors positively or negatively influencing respondents’ selections of their top three most preferred channels for risk communication materials. Printed materials (i.e. pamphlets and billboards) ranked first followed by smart technologies and outreach activities. Research limitations/implications The convenience sampling strategy adopted with only four female interviewers compared to 17 male interviewers, limited the number of female respondents to only 47 (13.7 percent) due to cultural restrictions. Interviews were conducted only in English and Arabic, leaving out the preferences of other language speakers. Originality/value Despite these limitations, this study makes a valuable contribution to theory and practice by highlighting the social and cognitive variables influencing risk communication at Hajj. No studies to date have examined choices and preferences of heterogeneous Hajj pilgrims.

Cite this Research Publication : Taibah, H., Arlikatti, S. & Andrew, S.A. "Risk Communication for Religious Crowds: Preferences of Hajj Pilgrims.", Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, 2017

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