A resource-based view of the firm and micro and small Italian wine firms

Document Type

Journal Article


Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


School of Business and Law




Originally published as: Duarte Alonso, A., & Bressan, A. (2016). A resource-based view of the firm and micro and small Italian wine firms. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 28(4). Available here.


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.