Title: Innovation in the context of small family businesses involved in a 'niche' market

Authors: Abel Duarte Alonso; Alessandro Bressan

Addresses: School of Business, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 2571, Australia; School of Marketing Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Dr., Joondalup, 6027 WA, Australia ' School of Business, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 2751, Australia

Abstract: Innovation is a fundamental process in the development and long-term survival of businesses. Many researchers have proposed frameworks and concepts to develop a theory of innovation. Though to date such attempts have remained largely elusive, studies have identified links between innovation and social capital, role, and other theories. Partly based on these theoretical foundations, this case study investigates the extent to which small family wineries producing niche wines are involved in innovation, as well as the links between the 'evolution' of their sector and innovation. To this end, the study examines the perceptions of winery owners, managers, and representatives of wine associations and regulatory councils. While acquiring technology and modern winery equipment are predominant, diversification through increased involvement in wine tourism and wine exports are also perceived as important ways to innovate. The study discusses the implications of these and other findings, and proposes avenues for future research.

Keywords: innovation; innovation-related theories; wine industry; small wineries; niche wines; diversification; family wineries; small firms; family businesses; niche markets; technology acquisition; wine tourism; wine exports.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2014.060235

International Journal of Business Environment, 2014 Vol.6 No.2, pp.127 - 145

Received: 31 Dec 2012
Accepted: 31 Dec 2012

Published online: 21 Jun 2014 *

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