An investigation of web-based social and environmental disclosure practices in the New Zealand wine industry
This research aims to investigate web-based social and environmental disclosure (SED) practices in the NZ wine industry which consists of both the industry body (NZ Winegrowers) and individual member wine producers. The method of content analysis of websites was adopted to determine and differentiate 644 member wine producers registered with their industry body and wine industry body’s web-based SED. Only 45 of the member wine producers disclosed SED practices via their websites. Further, legitimacy theory was used as the lens to analyse the level and content of disclosures in web-based SED in the NZ wine industry. The findings were that a legitimacy gap currently exists between the industry body, NZ Winegrowers’ expectations and the individual member wine producers’ actual performance regarding social and environmental disclosure practices. This study also provides evidence to support previous literature that a positive relationship is observed between the company size and SED. In addition, findings related to the content of the disclosures have revealed that the web-based SED seems to be a strategic method to enrich the NZ Winegrowers and its members’ reputation for business success. Three limitations were considered in this research, (1) the selection of communication media of SED in this study (only focused on web-based disclosures); (2) timing issues of data collection where web disclosure are collected at one point in time; and (3) the use of content analysis which does not analyse how disclosures are being presented or their effects. The findings of this research provide an insight into web-based SED in the NZ wine industry and identify potential implications for the NZ wine industry – implications which might be beneficial to the NZ wine industry in trading expansion in overseas markets.