From co‐operation to competition: market transformation among elite Napa Valley wine producers

Ian M. Taplin (Department of Sociology, Wake Forest University, Winston‐Salem, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Publication date: 23 March 2010



The purpose of this paper is to argue that cooperative behavior by key actors is often crucial for collective organizational learning to occur and new markets to become established. Such cooperation is gradually replaced by competition as network interactions become formalized following the codification of knowledge and the growth of a collective identity.


Using detailed ethnographic studies from a broad sample, this paper uses key informants who played a role in creating and sustaining a viable market for a high status good.


The sharing of tacit knowledge complements technical skills for key industry actors and facilitates collective organizational learning in ways that expedite the emergence of a high status sector. Once knowledge is codified as the sector gains legitimacy, there is less need for informal structured interactions as vital conduits of knowledge sharing.


This paper shows how knowledge sharing via cooperative relationship underlies competitive market formation and provides firms with requisite quality enhancements necessary for status attainment.



Taplin, I. (2010), "From co‐operation to competition: market transformation among elite Napa Valley wine producers", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 6-26.

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