A resource based approach in the context of the emerging craft brewing industry
European Business Review
School of Business
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. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.