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A network perspective of the port wine sector

Carlos Brito (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal)

International Journal of Wine Marketing

ISSN: 0954-7541

Article publication date: 1 May 2006




The paper aims to develop an understanding of the port wine sector from a relational, holistic, and dynamic perspective.


The research adopted a qualitative methodological approach. Primary data were collected through semi‐structured interviews. The analysis focused on the relationships established among both economic and non‐economic actors.


The paper offers an overview of the port wine sector on the basis of the conceptual background of the IMP (Industrial Marketing and Purchasing) Group. The study suggests that the dynamics of the sector is not solely determined by economic and technological variables, but also by interests assuming both an economic, social and political nature.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should develop and test the findings by using other cases and methodological approaches.

Practical implications

Managers must be aware that firms are embedded not only in economic systems but also in political and social networks whose dynamics cannot be neglected.


While most studies on the dynamics of economic systems have focused on the role played by technological factors, relatively few have addressed the importance of collective actions. In this line, the paper contributes for a better understanding of the role of collective actors created to defend the interests of their members. Moreover, since the port wine sector is not an idiosyncratic case because most of its features are also present in other wine regions, the conclusions of the paper are likely to be used for the understanding of other wine regions.



Brito, C. (2006), "A network perspective of the port wine sector", International Journal of Wine Marketing, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 124-138.



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