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An exploration of managerial expertise in the Western Australian wine industry

Steve Charters (Reims Management School, Reims, France)
Marilyn Clark‐Murphy (School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Nicole Davis (Western Australian Wine Industry Association, Australia)
Alan Brown (School of Management, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)
Elizabeth Walker (School of Management, Small and Medium Enterprise Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to identify the key management skills for running a successful winery business, which in the Australian industry is predominately a small to medium sized business, and explores the existence of such skills within the industry.


The information was obtained through structured interviews with a range of winery owners and managers in the four main wine regions of Western Australia.


Whilst a set of universal management skills are identified by the industry participants, these are not universally held. The study examines skills and training issues highlighting the diversity of winery owners and managers.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted using qualitative methodology in one state of Australia only.

Practical implications

The findings require further quantitative testing, but strongly imply that managerial skills in the wine industry are limited, and most managers are more focused on technical expertise than financial, strategic, marketing or HR planning and management.


The paper has benefit for the wine industry showing the strengths and weaknesses of its managers, and also for theorists who seek to understand management processes in a specific sector predominantly comprising small and medium sized enterprises.



Charters, S., Clark‐Murphy, M., Davis, N., Brown, A. and Walker, E. (2008), "An exploration of managerial expertise in the Western Australian wine industry", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 138-152.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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