An exploration of managerial expertise in the Western Australian wine industry
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Purpose - 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. Design/methodology/approach - The information was obtained through structured interviews with a range of winery owners and managers in the four main wine regions of Western Australia. Findings - 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. Originality/value - 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.