Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Exploring the Relationship between Terror Threat Perceptions and Coping Strategies: A Post-26/11 Assessment

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Exploring the Relationship between Terror Threat Perceptions and Coping Strategies: A Post-26/11 Assessment

Article excerpt

Terror attack posits unique dissonance to human conscience, which is expressed in cognitive and emotive framework. The objective of the research is of two folds: Firstly, to examine as to how human being construe perception of terror threats in its cognitive and emotive framework. Secondly, indirectly inflicted by terror threats, how does human being deploys various coping strategies? The author used exploratory factor analysis and subsequently, covariance based structural equation modeling for confirmatory assessment of the framework. To examine various coping strategies, the author utilized component-based structural equation modeling or PLS path modeling approach. The author successfully identified four underlying dimensions, which represents cognitive and emotional framework in line with Shiloh et al. (2007). However, emotional factor did not appear as it was expected. Secondly, cognitive terror perception potentially produces wide range of coping strategies, such as wishful thinking, detachment. Terror research in Indian context is still nascent and hardly represented in academic journals. This research prepares the ground for further critical discourse, which will enable practitioners to extend professional services in tune with emotional status of individuals.

INTRODUCTION

Terrorism is indeed a serious international issues as it affects a large number of human habitation (Hirst et al, 2009; and Watson et al, 2011) Terrorism is not new to India - sporadic incidents of terror attacks are now a reality (Mukhopadhyay, 2004). However, terror research in behavioral science is relatively new to academic world in India. In international arena, a recent review (Reid and Chen, 2007) indicates that large amount of research data is available on terrorism and related research domains, 'invisible college of terrorism' researchers, having diverse academic background, have contributed to the expansion of terrorism research, for example, from psychology (Zeidner, 1993, 2005 and 2006; Pyszczynski et al, 1997; and Stein et al, 2004), mass communication (Gordon, 2005), computer science (Hollywood et al., 2004, Sun et al., 2005; and Desouza et al., 2007), medicine (Morse, 2003; and Almogy and Rivkind, 2007), defence strategy (Singh, 2002; and Mukhopadhyay, 2004), economics (Brock et al., 2005; and Levy and GaIiU, 2006), biotechnology (Durodie, 2004), and forensic science (Yavuz et al., 2004) to name a few.

It has been seen that those parts of the world, which are often touched by the violence of terrorism, or having strategic interests in the affairs of the world terrorism, takes leading role in terrorism research. For example, countries such as Israel, US and 'Think Tank' like Rand Corporation, provide good amount of research data on terror. In India, diough terror studies at political level has been seen (Singh, 2002) ; however, academic discourse on psychological arena is scarce. Recently, a Harvard case study by Deshpandé and Raina (201 1) captured heroic efforts of Taj Mahal Hotel (Mumbai) employees to rescue guests of the hotels. Thus, it appears that terrorism research in India is relatively at its nascent stage. While on 26/11 night, hurriedly looking for requisite psychological instruments on terror research, electronic search for India specific data produced almost negligible academic works, which can support my research quests and initiatives. Thus, it is believed that this present research work will significantly contribute in generation of interest and advancement of the terror research in India.

Definition of terrorism is controversial as it has political connotation and depends upon the perspectives, the author subscribe to. A broader range of definition I have adopted: "Terrorism is a strategy deliberately intended to inflict overpowering fear on people whose business is not political violence in any shape or form." (Booth, 2008, p. 1). This adequately positioned me to understand my research questions. …

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