Sustainability disclosure through virtual community: the case of the wine sector

Monica Fait, Demetris Vrontis, Amedeo Maizza, Federica Cavallo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to observe how the motivational engagement system of the consumers should be established so that communities of practice became a driver to reducing the informative asymmetries of sustainability. Design/methodology/approach: The paper proposes a conceptual framework called connection, discussion and influence (CDI), along which the motivational dimensions to disclose sustainability can be formed. The framework has been tested on 200 firms in the Italian wine industry. A correlation analysis proved to be suitable for identifying groups of representative variables representing the engagement motivations that characterize participation in sustainability-oriented virtual communities. Findings: The findings of this paper suggest that the pro-social behavior represented by the exchange of knowledge oriented toward sustainability is enhanced by the engagement of online community members. This happens when the online community is structured so as to activate a virtuous circle between CDI. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this study is the interviewees do not actually participate in a virtual community, but have only been asked if they would be potentially interested in participating in one, and about the importance they give to specific motivations. Practical implications: The paper provides important reflections for companies operating in the wine industry that have been called to intervene in the disclosure of sustainability. Originality/value: The virtuous circle described here is the main contribution of the paper, as it can serve as a driver for managers of virtual communities that choose to disclose their idea of sustainability to reduce informative asymmetries and to engage consumers.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBritish Food Journal
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


    • Engagement
    • Sustainability
    • Virtual community
    • Wine sector


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