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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Abel Duarte Alonso, Alessandro Bressan and Nikolaos Sakellarios

The purpose of this study is to examine how micro and small craft brewery operators perceive and operationalise innovation. Moreover, in adopting the theory of innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how micro and small craft brewery operators perceive and operationalise innovation. Moreover, in adopting the theory of innovation, the study addresses two under-researched areas, namely, innovation among micro and small firms and innovation in the context of the emerging craft brewing industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The perspectives of 163 craft brewery operators located in Italy, Spain, and the UK were gathered through online questionnaires. In total, 24 face-to-face and telephone interviews with operators from the three nations complemented the data collection process. Thus, in total, 187 operators participated.

Findings

Development of new craft beer styles, new recipes, exploring with various ingredients, improving quality, or involvement in social media and culinary tourism were predominant forms participants perceived innovation. Various differences regarding innovation adoption were noticed, particularly based on participants’ country and on their role at the brewery. Furthermore, associations between the findings and the dimensions of the theory of innovation were confirmed.

Originality/value

This study is original, in that it represents a first effort in comparing perceptions of craft brewery operators across various countries. This comparison identifies ways in which craft brewery operators could maximise the potential of their firms. For example, the manifested interest in innovating through new craft beer recipes, or blending gastronomy and craft beer underlines alternative forms of adding value to craft brewing production. Importantly, some of these innovating practices differ based on participants’ country; such differences could also be considered by craft brewery operators.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Abel Duarte Alonso and Alessandro Bressan

The purpose of this paper is to explore innovation among micro and small business operators in Italy’s wine industry. Moreover, in adopting the theory of innovation, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore innovation among micro and small business operators in Italy’s wine industry. Moreover, in adopting the theory of innovation, the study examines winery operators’ perceptions on innovation, ways in which wineries are innovating and whether participants’ responses vary based on demographic characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire designed for this study gathered the responses of 211 participants, composed by owners, winemakers, directors and business partners.

Findings

Innovation is fundamentally associated with minimising ecological footprint, investments, making improvements in the winery, adapting to trends and new consumer demands and, importantly, with maintaining traditions while enhancing the quality of the wines. Further, participants primarily agree with involvement in wine tourism and adoption of social media as predominant forms of innovating. Several inter-group differences particularly based on levels of wine production and size of the winery emerged. Overall, the findings align with the dimensions of the theory of innovation, namely, benefits, costs, resources and discounting factors.

Originality/value

Despite the significance of Italy’s wine industry, in terms of exports and consumption on a global scale, academic research focusing on this industry’s innovative practices has been limited. Similarly, there is scant research on innovation among micro and small firms, or on industries relevant to countries’ socio-economic capital. This exploratory study provides an element of originality and value, exploring and contributing to the literature on these under-researched areas.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Abel Duarte Alonso, Michelle O’Shea, Seng Kok and Alessandro Bressan

The purpose of this study is to examine how commercial beekeepers operating in two different nations perceive their role towards their community and society. The realms of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how commercial beekeepers operating in two different nations perceive their role towards their community and society. The realms of role theory will be adopted.

Design/methodology/approach

Data among 144 commercial beekeepers operating in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK) were gathered through an online questionnaire. The design of the questionnaire, which allowed extended comments from the participating commercial beekeepers, validated the use of the inductive analysis approach that enabled the emergence of various distinctive themes, and the development of a theoretical framework.

Findings

Participants from both New Zealand and UK recognised similar ways of making a positive impact. Moreover, they agreed that their contribution spanned from pollinating fields and orchards, to improving food production and preserving nature. Nevertheless, the two groups also differed in their views, notably, of the degree of knowledge or awareness among stakeholders concerning beekeepers’ contribution.

Originality/value

By using a comparative view of how commercial beekeepers perceive their role vis-à-vis their wider community, this study addresses a call for rethinking the social value added that emanates from entrepreneurial activities, and how such value can affect society. Furthermore, in adopting social role theory, the study proposes a framework where strong associations between the empirical results and the tenets of social role theory are revealed. This framework affords a lens through which food-producing activities aimed at balancing producers’ commercial and environmental imperatives and their relationship with broader societal expectations could be reflected upon.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Abel Duarte Alonso, Alessandro Bressan, Seng Kiat Kok, Nikolaos Sakellarios, Alex Koresis, Michelle O’Shea, Maria Alejandra Buitrago Solis and Leonardo J. Santoni

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects and ways to confront the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis and develop a theoretical framework to facilitate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects and ways to confront the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis and develop a theoretical framework to facilitate understanding of these aspects from the perspective of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In doing so, the fundamental insights of entrepreneurial self-efficacy, bricolage and improvisation are considered.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on data from 56 business owners-managers operating in eight different nations and representing three geographical regions; the data were gathered through an online questionnaire.

Findings

Various differences in responses from participants operating in the featured geographical settings were revealed. For instance, whereas a higher percentage of South American participants acknowledged financial impacts, they and their European counterparts were also more engaged.

Originality/value

The study provides various original and valuable elements. First, by gathering data from business owners-managers operating in different countries and geographical regions, it provides an international perspective concerning ways in which business operators confront an extreme event. Second, and related to the previous point, the study focusses on a business group (MSMEs), which is fundamental for many nations’ economies. Moreover, the experiences of MSMEs could be timely and insightful to industry and business stakeholders. Third, the proposed theoretical framework highlights various emerging dimensions associated with adaptation and responsiveness, with both theoretical and practical implications.

Details

European Business Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Abel Duarte Alonso and Alessandro Bressan

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm is adopted to explore the most important resources among micro and small firms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm is adopted to explore the most important resources among micro and small firms operating in Italy’s wine industry. Second, the study incorporates a SWOT analysis to examine perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats based on the perceptions of owners and managers of these firms.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was designed to gather both quantitative and qualitative data from Italian wineries; a total of 211 firms participated in the study.

Findings

Product quality, managerial/staff capabilities, knowledge, reputation, service quality and the territory/region emerge as most important resources, clearly aligning with the attributes of the RBV, namely, valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable and (non)substitutable resources. However, based on the RBV, the future-sustained competitive advantage is threatened by, among other factors, the firm’s finances, competition, red tape and the complexity of increasing sales.

Originality/value

Fundamentally, the research contributes to micro and small enterprise literature, and to the limited number of studies that have used the RBV of the firm in the context of micro and small wineries. This theoretical framework is used among wineries of one of the world’s leading wine producing nations. Some dimensions of this country’s wine industry have received limited academic attention. In addition, the study provides practical value in identifying resources, limitations, and threats at a time when micro and small wineries are seeking to develop or increase their international presence.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Abel Duarte Alonso, Alessandro Bressan and Nikolaos Sakellarios

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the perceived resources, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the perspective of micro and small…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the perceived resources, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the perspective of micro and small brewery owners, managers and brewing masters operating in three countries. To this end, the study adopts the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, complemented by a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

The research provides a mixed-methods approach. Data were collected from craft breweries in Italy, Spain and the UK. In all, 165 valid responses were obtained from an online questionnaire, and an additional 24 face-to-face and telephone interviews with craft brewing operators in these three countries were conducted to further enrich the data. Independent samples t-test and Scheffé post hoc were used to analyse part of the quantitative data, while content analysis and word association were used for the qualitative component.

Findings

Product quality and uniqueness of product emerged as important perceived resources and strengths, suggesting an alignment with some of the resource-related attributes postulated by the RBV, such as valuable, rare and (un)substitutable. Other elements, such as natural and sustainable resources, including water quality and the current and future involvement in growing or sourcing raw products locally emerged as key resources, and are suggested as additional attributes. These strategic and tangible resources are however challenged by perceived weaknesses, particularly lack of financial, infrastructure and commercialisation resources, as well as threats from competition.

Originality/value

The exploratory study focuses on craft brewing from the perspective of micro/small operators. This industry has received very limited attention from the literature. The use of the RBV, with the potential to increase understanding of an emerging industry, and develop the theory further in this domain, adds to the originality and value of this research.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2021

Alessandro Bressan, Abel Duarte Alonso and Seng Kiat Kok

The purpose of this study is to understand how micro and small firms are navigating through the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat, and the alternatives they are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how micro and small firms are navigating through the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat, and the alternatives they are implementing to coexist with the ongoing crisis. To this end, Italy's socioeconomically and traditionally significant wine industry is examined. The study considers insights of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and develops a theoretical framework, which proposes various emerging theoretical dimensions, including proactiveness, support-reliance and resourcefulness.

Design/methodology/approach

Winery owners–managers were contacted and invited to partake in the study completing an online questionnaire. Overall, 167 useable responses were collected.

Findings

While facing the loss of vital income through decreasing demand and exports, participants resort to exploiting various initiatives, including “reinventing” their firms. Their observations also recognise the vital supporting role of various key stakeholders, first and foremost family members, as well as clients and staff. Concerning how owners-managers envision managing their firm post-COVID-19, two predominant groups are identified, one strongly favouring modern-day alternatives, and the second committing to the firm's traditional business model. Overall, the different predictors of the TPB, namely attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control emerged.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first that empirically analyses micro and small firms in a socioeconomically and traditionally significant industry during an unprecedented event. In addition, the proposed theoretical framework provides a roadmap and guide to examine, understand and assimilate the entrepreneurial journey through a devastating event.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Abel Duarte Alonso and Alessandro Bressan

Collaboration among businesses, particularly in the current global economic downturn, can be a key strategy contributing to their survival. This study examines the case of…

Abstract

Purpose

Collaboration among businesses, particularly in the current global economic downturn, can be a key strategy contributing to their survival. This study examines the case of micro firms involved in Terracotta art in Impruneta, Italy, and the extent to which collaboration occurs among the local artisans. In doing so, the study aims to consider collaboration theory in the context of micro firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured, face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted among the owners and managers of ten of Impruneta's 16 Terracotta firms.

Findings

Whilst much of the academic literature highlights the multiple benefits of collaborative relationships, most participants acknowledge very limited engagement in collaboration. From the comments gathered, two distinct groups emerged, one composed of members of the local Terracotta association, who to some extent collaborate with one another, and the second, the non-members, who pursue their interests individually, or marginally collaborate outside Impruneta. Further, a number of barriers preventing collaboration were identified.

Practical implications

The apparent weak collaborative relationships among respondents may have ramifications for the further development of their sector, for instance, restricting innovation and marketing know-how, both of which could help address such external pressures as competition. The involvement of third parties, such as the local town hall or chambers of commerce, was suggested by several participants to help increase collaboration.

Originality/value

The study focuses on micro firms, a group that, despite its relevance for many countries' economies, has received limited attention from academic research, including with regard to collaboration and collaboration theory.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Abel Duarte Alonso and Alessandro Bressan

The purpose of this paper is to study resilience among micro and small wineries. While the subject of organisational resilience has drawn the attention or numerous…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study resilience among micro and small wineries. While the subject of organisational resilience has drawn the attention or numerous researchers, there is an argument that limited empirical evidence exist to support different theoretical constructs in regards to resilience. Thus, the paper addresses a knowledge gap.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was designed to investigate strategies that can help businesses to become more resilient to contemporary challenges. A total of 273 owners and managers of Italian wineries participated in the study.

Findings

Increasing costs, institutional barriers and the effects of the economic crisis on consumers’ wine purchases are perceived as most serious challenges. One fundamental impact is respondents’ loss of trust in institutions. Alternatives such as diversifying, knowledge of foreign languages and educational activities emerged as crucial to improve wineries’ performance, and therefore build their resilience.

Practical implications

These findings highlight the vital role of institutions in developing supporting strategies to nurture an entrepreneurial culture among owners and managers of a very important group of businesses.

Originality/value

By empirically investigating ways to achieve resilience among businesses of a traditional European sector, the study addresses a knowledge gap identified in contemporary research. The study also contributes to the development of the theory of resilience, for instance, by considering the literature on the theory of resilience, considering and adopting factors affecting micro and small enterprises’ resilience and identifying some of these factors in the context of micro and small wine enterprises.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Abel Duarte Alonso, Alessandro Bressan, Michelle O’Shea and Vlad Krajsic

For many wineries, internationalisation strategies, particularly in the form of exports may provide opportunities and financial gains. However, as more wine producers…

Abstract

Purpose

For many wineries, internationalisation strategies, particularly in the form of exports may provide opportunities and financial gains. However, as more wine producers enter and compete in an increasingly convoluted wine market, accordingly the “playing field” in the wine industry becomes increasingly complex. To shed more light into wineries’ internationalisation efforts through exports in the currently uncertain business climate, this preliminary study investigates a group of predominantly micro, small, and medium wineries from both New and Old Worlds of wine. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was designed to gather data from winery owners and managers that invited to participate voluntarily in the study; a total of 499 usable responses were obtained.

Findings

Diversifying and entering new markets, especially due to domestic competition are respondents’ main reasons for embarking in exports, while unfavourable currency exchange, issues of trust, or entry barriers are key challenges many of them face. Further, despite the relatively limited wine production of most participating wineries, respondents perceive a necessity to be present internationally. Indeed, rather than fitting into a specific business model/cycle, the current complex business environment is triggering export strategies among entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

The fiercely competitive wine market and continuously changing consumer trends significantly contribute to the complexities the wine industry faces. However, few academic studies have investigated some of the complexities that wineries located in different geographic, economic, political, and social environments face. In this regard, the study makes a contribution by identifying several developments related to complexity theory, including the impacts of globalisation, competition, and change, and the resulting complexity in the wine sector.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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