Orth, U. (2011), "Researching consumers, stakeholders, and institutions: the multidisciplinary and multi-faceted nature of international wine business research", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 23 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijwbr.2011.04323aaa.002Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Researching consumers, stakeholders, and institutions: the multidisciplinary and multi-faceted nature of international wine business research
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Wine Business Research, Volume 23, Issue 1
Will a wine taste different if the package is altered? This is the provocative question investigated in the first paper, co-authored by several members of Texas Tech University. Around the world, wine businesses invest substantially into viticulture and enology to make sure their wines meet consumer preferences in terms of sensory attributes such as taste, mouthfeel, or level of sweetness. Yet, as early as 1964, marketing researchers Allison and Uhl in their landmark JMR study showed that extrinsic cues (peripheral characteristics not constituting the core product) exert a powerful influence on important consumer perceptions including taste. Extending current research on bimodal stimulation Celia D. Henley, Deborah C. Fowler, Jingxue (Jessica) Yuan, Betty L. Stout, and Ben K. Goh show how several wine package characteristics including closure, typefont, label design, and information provided on the label affect consumer perceptions in terms of taste and quality. While this issue alone may be sufficient to capture managers’ attention and interest, their focus on the highly regarded Millenials segment warrants additional mention.
During the previous holiday season, some of our readers may have received or given wine as a gift. This common but under-researched practice is in the center of the second paper’s interest. Sweden-based Mignon Reyneke, Leyland Pitt, and Pierre R. Berthon review general literature on gift-giving and integrate it with wine and cultural research to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework. It evolves around the central proposition that the appropriateness of wine as a gift is a function of the people involved (i.e. the aesthetic sensibilities of the donor and the receiver) and the occasion (i.e. the event being of enduring or transient nature). The paper is a fine example of high-quality conceptual work highlighting the important role of reviewing and blending different streams of literature to develop arguments for novel and thought-provoking theory and empirical studies.
Can there be a more fundamental question to be researched than “Why people drink wine?” Californian scholars Melissa St. James and Natasa Christodoulidou may not be the first to tackle this issue but their conscientious replication of earlier studies extends findings obtained with British and Australian consumers, and suggests that perceived health benefits may have been underestimated as a motivational factor in wine buying. Especially, notable is the estimation of the comparative influence of subjective norms (normative beliefs and motivation to comply) and attitudes (beliefs and outcome evaluations) on not only behavioral intentions, but additionally on actual behavior. The employment of both qualitative and quantitative methods is what editors dream of and hope for with future research.
Marketing practitioners and scholars alike prefer to believe that branding, especially creating place-based umbrella brands, assists in differentiating and promoting their wines. Numerous published studies draw from consumer survey and experimental data to generate evidence supportive of this belief. In this issue’s fourth paper, Italian authors Antonio Stasi, Gianluca Nardone, Rosaria Viscecchia, and Antonio Seccia provide an economic perspective on the effectiveness of geographical indications as a differentiation tool for wine businesses. Estimating demand and price sensitivity based on retail data for Italian wines, the researchers confirm differentiation effects of geographic indications in terms of both demand elasticity and substitution. This finding nicely supplements consumer research with a more aggregate economic perspective.
The fifth paper, authored by Australia-based Sidsel Grimstad, explores the issue of environmental sustainability and the decision making of businesses from an institutional perspective. Representing another much welcomed conceptual paper, the paper reviews literature on institutional and resource-based theory to put forward a conceptual framework that delineates how properties of the institutional context may promote or hinder business activities aimed at environmental sustainability. Similar to this issue’s second paper, the paper proceeds to outline how empirical research could validate the framework through comparative research on wine tourism clusters. It is clearly desirable that that this type of research aids policy makers and managers in establishing and improving sustainable practices.
To many observers of the global wine business it appears that – given the past success of “new world” wines – “old world” regions are still playing catch-up as they attempt to adjust their marketing strategies to better meet the previously underestimated competition. While a variety of studies has focused on consumers, business managers, or the global economy as drivers of regional success (or failure), Australian authors Bligh Grant, Brian Dollery, and Colin Hearfield adopt a political economy perspective to compare the marketing strategies of wine-producing regions. At first sight Australia’s New England and the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France may seem to have little in common, but the carefully constructed comparison reveals surprising similarities and stark contrasts in how both regions compete for customers. On the surface the findings facilitate enhancing the development of the New England wine region; at a more basic level, they show how regions worldwide can better achieve regional status and successfully restructure.
In conclusion, I would like to remind readers of the upcoming 6th International Conference of the Academy of Wine Business Research. The venue in France at the Bordeaux Business School (June 9-10, 2011) will be an excellent opportunity to keep your fingertips on current research and to network with colleagues on a global scale. Please visit the Academy’s web site: http://awbr.bem.edu/ for details. A selection of outstanding conference papers will be published in a special International Journal of Wine Business Research issue next year.
Ulrich R. Orth