Department of Management

Consumers’ Motivation to Interact in Virtual Food Communities: The importance of self-presentation and learning

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Consumption-based virtual communities are nowadays a common place on the Internet where individuals share
and acquire knowledge on food and specific food-related issues such as preparation and cooking. The objective
of this research is to propose and test a model that illustrates the role of motivation to self-present to and learn
from the community regarding consumers’ willingness to interact in virtual food communities. The study investigates 1) the associations between the pre-existing consumer interests in food and general online interaction,
and consumers’ willingness to interact in virtual food communities, and 2) the mediating role of consumers’
motivation to self-present to and learn from the community in explaining these associations. An online questionnaire (n = 980) was conducted among Danish consumers. Results showed that motivation to learn and
motivation to self-present are strong mediators of the relationships especially between food involvement and
behavioural interaction intention. The chance to learn from and present oneself to the community are reasons
why consumers engage in interaction in virtual food communities, given their pre-existing interest in food and, to
some extent, their general online interaction propensity. Virtual food communities should therefore provide
consumers with the opportunity to present themselves as skilled individuals to the community and the opportunity to learn from the information available from that community. Still, community managers must keep in
mind that these opportunities will only appeal to food involved consumers with a certain online interaction
propensity
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume62
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages8
ISSN0950-3293
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

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