Polls show public willing to pay higher energy bills in solidarity with Ukraine

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February sparked demonstrations and donations around the world. The yellow and blue flag of Ukraine fluttered against the sky thousands of kilometers away. People raised money and volunteers signed up to help refugees and provide shelter.

This indicates that human solidarity with a place of suffering and people’s everyday positions and actions are connected. Now this phenomenon has been documented by research at the Copenhagen Business School.

“We are the first researchers to investigate and define what solidarity really is with a place like Ukraine. We have documented that solidarity exists in fact and we have measured that compassion and sympathy have an effect in practice,” says Alexander Josiassen, Professor of Marketing and Tourism and Director of the Center for Tourism and Cultural Management of the CBS.

The new concept is defined as follows: “The compassion and sympathy of an individual with a place, as a result of the observation of relative suffering.”

The research has been published in the journal Tourism Research Annals.

The research is based on surveys conducted in the US; however, according to Alexander Josiassen, the results can be transferred to Europe and other parts of the world, as the research is based on fundamental assumptions of social psychology that are valid across all nations and cultures.

Studies show that the more supportive people feel towards Ukraine, the more:

  • inclined to pay more for airfare based on energy without Russian raw materials
  • are willing to one day visit Ukraine and other countries affected by the conflict (Poland, Finland and the Baltic countries)
  • hospitable they are with Ukrainian tourists.

Also, people who feel compassion and sympathy for Ukraine are more inclined to make an active effort. For example, at the time they answered the questionnaire, they had already attended a demonstration, donated money, bought Ukrainian products or tried to influence others with their positivity towards Ukraine or their negativity towards Russia.

Zelenskyy chose an effective strategy

So Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his supporters called for solidarity in campaigns and speeches to Western governments and populations, says Alexander Josiassen.

In addition to politicians, NGOs and companies can benefit from the research results.

“Now that we know more than anecdotally that solidarity with Ukraine makes people willing to pay more and take action, organizations and companies can implement it into their strategy. If, for example, an airline intentionally avoids buying Russian oil, it should make sure you use it in your marketing activities. This also gives us the opportunity to investigate the emergence of this kind of solidarity,” says Alexander Josiassen.

Knowledge can benefit companies and NGOs

This new knowledge is also relevant to decision makers, organizations and companies working with places in crisis, natural disasters or human-caused suffering such as nuclear power accidents, because researchers have now made it possible to measure in a survey whether people feel solidarity with a place.

Subsequently, it is possible to combine the responses with the results of other surveys in a program called AMOS 28, just like the Ukraine questionnaire. In this way, we will know how inclined people are to act in solidarity. This knowledge can serve as the basis for a business strategy, policy, or humanitarian fundraiser.

Alexander Josiassen wrote the article with CBS Associate Professor Florian Kock and Albert George Assaf Professor of the Isenberg School of Management in Massachusetts.

More information:
Alexander Josiassen et al, In times of war: Place solidarity, Tourism Research Annals (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2022.103456

Provided by the Copenhagen Business School

Citation: Polls Show Public Willing To Pay Higher Power Bills In Solidarity With Ukraine (November 24, 2022) Accessed November 24, 2022 at https://phys.org/news/2022-11-surveys -pay-larger-energy-bills. html

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