Unformatted text preview: ating the outcomes experienced in the system. In this extension of
the government-centric model, we recognize that in most of the cases in which government
intervention is required, the response of the public to the directives of the government influence
and determine the outcomes experienced. In this case, the outcomes experienced are a function of
the action of both actors in the system (Bhattacharya, Devinney, and Pillutla, 1998). This model
conceptualizes the public’s judgment of the situation in the same way that the government creates
a judgment of the situation. Both the government and the public look at information cues and,
through a process of information integration, judge the severity of the situation. One important
difference, though, is in the information vector that the two actors are able to consult. In the 8 government side, the information cues available can be more profuse and of higher quality than
those that the public can access. For example, in the case of a potential terrorist attack, the
government might have privileged (secret) information that would provide a clear picture of the
severity of the situation, while no information whatsoever might be available to the public. In a
case such as this, the public would know only what the government releases, and that information
would have to suffice to judge whether the action required by the government is warranted or not.
Alternatively, in the case of an atmospheric event such as a hurricane, the public might have
access to a wide set of information cues to inform their judgment. The government, however,
with more resources and infrastructure, might be able to analyze and interpret the same
information vector in a more efficient and effective way and determine more accurately the
severity of the situation.
Our model says that, in addition, once the government decides to take action (which includes the
participation of the public), the public uses that piece of information as additional knowledge to
judge the situation and, after comparing its judgment with its decision...
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