Tradition and innovation in Italian wine family businesses

Demetris Vrontis, Stefano Bresciani, Elisa Giacosa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to analyse how a strategy based on the combination of tradition and innovation can offer a competitive advantage to a medium-sized family firm operating in the wine sector. Design/methodology/approach– This research focuses on one case study. The subject of the case study under analysis is Pio Cesare, an internationally recognized fine wine Italian company. Findings– Pio Cesare is characterized by a strong combination of tradition and innovation in terms of products and processes. Innovation and tradition are not opposites; on the contrary, a blend of the two has been crucial in achieving and maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage. Research limitations/implications– The formalization of an effective blend of tradition and innovation, especially in a family business, and an effective dissemination of the company philosophy to future generations, calls for a more in-depth study. This study has some limitations, which determined by the applied methodology. Multiple case study method would be useful. In relation to the interview technique, the authors would set out to increase the number of interviews, by also questioning managers and employees working, as opposed to family members. Practical implications– Practical implications relate to different groups of stakeholders: for owners and management, for investors, for organizations and institutions working on a territory promotion and in the tourism sector, and for politicians and local authorities. Originality/value– It identifies which business model a family winery business could be adopted in order to manage such strategies of innovation in respect to traditions, filling the gap in the literature.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1883-1897
    Number of pages15
    JournalBritish Food Journal
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


    • Cultural identity
    • Family businesses
    • Innovation
    • Territory
    • Tradition
    • Wine sector


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