Who is the wine enthusiast? A modeling approach
Bauman, Matthew J Joseph
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This research sought to develop a more comprehensive measurement for wine involvement, referred to as the wine enthusiasm scale (WES). The enthusiasm construct consisted of six dimensions: 1) knowledge seeking and interest, 2) variety seeking and adventure, 3) social interaction, 4) hedonic enjoyment, 5) self-concept, and 6) purchase behavior. As a complementary, secondary objective, this study aimed to re-examine how wine expertise had been operationalized by proposing a conceptualization that considered the three dimensions of product knowledge (e.g., objective knowledge, subjective knowledge, prior experience) established by Brucks (1985) as being multidimensional. Objective knowledge consists of easy, intermediate and hard questions; subjective knowledge consists of intra-knowledge and extra-knowledge; prior experience consists of distal experience and proximal experience. To establish meaningful nomological validity of the construct, this research empirically tested the exogenous variables ability to predict two outcome variables: wine information sources (e.g., personal, external-personal, external-impersonal) and wine attribute factors (e.g., intrinsic, extrinsic, marketing-mix). Testing these relationships involved using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to develop a measurement and structural model. An a priori parceling scheme was utilized, which involved combining the items into indicators for each of the exogenous and endogenous latent constructs. A total of 386 wine consumers were recruited from Amazon MTurk in this study. The results of the measurement model demonstrated that the indicators belonging to enthusiasm, expertise and information sources significantly contributed to their respective latent constructs. However, this was not the case with the wine factors latent construct, which involved making modifications to uncover the construct’s structure. Accordingly, two of the facets (intrinsic and marketing) were found to significantly contribute to the higher-order latent construct. The structural model demonstrated that enthusiasm significantly predicted consumer’s use of wine information sources, and expertise significantly predicted their usage of wine factors, accounting for approximately 41% and 91% of the variance explained, respectively. The findings from this study yield considerable insights into the relationships between the constructs, referred to as the nomological network. The first set of findings pertain to the significant covariances uncovered between the latent constructs in the measurement and structural models. The second set of findings involve the significant regression pathways from the exogenous to the endogenous latent constructs. The theoretical implications are many as this research found support for the exogenous and endogenous constructs modeled. As this research found support for the enthusiasm construct it sought to create, this study highlights the importance of creating measurement scales in lieu of adapting or adopting existing scales. Furthermore, this study emphasizes the advantage of a confirmatory approach relative to an exploratory one, particularly with regard to the problematic nature of utilizing principal components analysis (PCA) as a form of exploratory factor analysis. Thus, this study reinforces the value of creating measurements tailored to phenomena, an approach that is arguably more inductive than it is deductive. This study is not without limitations. These limitations include potential issues associated with the sampling procedure, the effect common method variance had on the constructs, and the need to conduct future studies to prove these constructs replicate. Future research should seek to examine these constructs in different contexts in order to establish construct validity. Additionally, the use of additional sampling procedures can ensure a more representative sample, and thus, can more comprehensively account for the broader wine consuming population. Ultimately, consumer behavior is messy and complex. The experiential nature of wine consumption necessitates a unique solution that appreciates the complex nature of the phenomenon itself, which is in essence the overarching contribution this study produced. While this research is but the first step in a long journey toward understanding wine enthusiasm, it represents an integral foundation of knowledge with which to be built upon in future efforts.