Call for Submissions to Special Issue

Leading Through Innovation: 
Can an Industry of Tradition Thrive in a Changed World?

Abstract Submission Deadline:

Priority submission deadline—January 24, 2021
Extended submission deadline—February 28, 2021
Manuscript submission deadline—June 30, 2021

Guest Editors:

Sergio Canavati, Sonoma State University
Matthew Bauman, Purdue University Northwest
Damien Wilson, Sonoma State University


The recent disruption caused by the pandemic has brought renewed interest and attention to the role of innovation in the wine industry as a mechanism for adaptation and survival. Although innovation is not a new phenomenon in the wine industry, it has not received the same degree of interest from researchers and industry experts as other activities such as marketing and sales. The goal of this special issue is to increase our understanding of innovation in the wine industry, including the various forms it takes (Gault, 2018; Dressler, 2013) and how it manifests itself across the different sectors of the wine industry, including: hospitality, tourism, e-commerce, manufacturing, and agriculture (Dressler & Paunovic, 2020). As an industry that values prestige, brand reputation, and tradition, there is a widespread assumption by practitioners and researchers alike that innovation does not take place or is irrelevant in the context of the wine industry (Ugaglia & Ouvrard, 2020; Garcia & Atkin, 2002; Vrontis, Bresciani, & Giacosa, 2016). Yet, the recent wave of innovative activity in the industry has shown that innovation is paramount to the survival and competitiveness of the wine industry (Sacchelli, Fabbrizzi, & Menghini, 2016; Galbreath, Charles, & Oczkowski, 2016; Stasi et al., 2016).

The wine industry has become better at codifying the knowledge about innovation, yet most of the knowledge about innovation remains largely tacit and very difficult to codify (Giuliani, 2007). Therefore, the wine industry has for many decades been characterized by incremental rather than radical innovations, which tend to spread and be adopted by most other producers eventually (Giuliani & Arza, 2009), making innovation an unlikely source of long-term competitive advantage in this industry. An industry steeped in tradition, which strongly values brand prestige and status and prioritizes sales over profits, is an unlikely candidate for highly innovative activities. The long-term orientation of winery managers and owners should translate into greater investment in the long-term viability of the business enterprise and its innovative capabilities (Chrisman & Patel, 2012). Yet widespread family ownership in this industry could also mean greater loss aversion and a reluctance to undertake radical innovation initiatives (Chrisman & Patel, 2012). If knowledge about innovation in the wine industry is mostly of a tacit nature, family ownership and management may foster the transmission of knowledge about innovation that is difficult to codify, and, thus, lead family owned and managed wineries to be more innovative than their nonfamily counterparts (Woodfield & Husted, 2017).

Wine industry innovation is a complex phenomenon that is not yet well defined or properly understood. Therefore, we believe a wide variety of research methods, data sources, and research designs are needed in order to gain a meaningful understanding of this phenomenon. This special issue invites a range of submissions (e.g., conceptual, empirical, case study, literature review) that utilize a wide range of research methods, including, but not limited to, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches. Abstracts proposing observational and experimental research designs are also welcome. We welcome submissions from various theoretical perspectives and different academic disciplines, including business, hospitality, tourism, agriculture, and communications.

Examples of possible research topics/questions aligned with the theme of this special issue, include:

  • What is the role of loss-aversion by winery owners and managers in favoring or deterring innovative initiatives?
  • How do wineries’ human resource policies and practices influence ideation and implementation of incremental and radical innovation?
  • What managerial practices contribute to the successful transmission of tacit knowledge about innovation within the firm?
  • Do wineries that invest more in innovation (i.e. R&D) benefit from greater revenue from sales of new products?
  • Do different leadership styles play a role in shaping the organizational culture around the importance of innovation?
  • What role do external knowledge sources play in the ideation, implementation, and diffusion of new innovative practices in the wine industry?
  • What are some wine industry recent trends regarding innovation through distribution, exporting, and importing?
  • What new approaches are public relations professionals of wineries affected by recent crises are utilizing to reposition the public image of their brand? 
  • How can innovations in viticulture help wine growers cope with climate change?
  • How have recent crises facing the wine industry shaped winery owners’ and managers’ values and priorities?
  • How has climate change influenced which varietals and wine making styles wineries and wine regions engage in?
  • How do firm characteristics (i.e. structural, governance, etc.) influence the type of innovation that wineries favor and the effect each type of innovation has on winery performance?
  • How effective have been the recent marketing innovations implemented by wineries in response to the pandemic?
  • How do different types of wine consumers perceive and respond to product innovations?
  • To what extent have wineries innovated in their efforts to communicate with and educate different wine customer segments?
  • How have wineries used innovative business models to survive and thrive when threatened with crises such as the global pandemic or climate change?

Submissions Instructions:

We accept papers across the wine value chain, including related industries such as craft brewing and distilling. Multimedia submissions will be considered and are strongly encouraged. Please submit your abstract by February 28, 2021. To submit your abstract, please visit Authors of abstracts that fit the special issue will be invited to submit a full manuscript. Full manuscripts are due June 30, 2021.

More Information

The abstract should include a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words. The abstract should include (1) the research question, (2) draft literature review, (3) a graphic depiction of the conceptual model, (4) proposed methodology, and (5) expected contribution to the existing literature. Abstracts will be evaluated based on their (a) potential practical implications for the wine industry, (b) the fit with the theme of the special issue, and (c) the appropriateness of the proposed method and analysis.

For questions about this special issue including the suitability of specific themes or cases for submission to this special issue, please contact the special issue editors: Sergio Canavati at, Matthew Bauman at, or Damien Wilson at Inquiries about submitting to this special issue should be directed to WBJ Managing Editor Sarah Hehman at

Submit an Abstract



Chrisman, J. J., & Patel, P. C. (2012). Variations in R&D investments of family and nonfamily firms: Behavioral agency and myopic loss aversion perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 55(4), 976-997.

Dressler, M. (2013). Innovation management of German wineries: from activity to capacity—an explorative multi-case survey. Wine Economics and Policy, 2(1), 19-26.

Dressler, M., & Paunovic, I. (2020). Converging and diverging business model innovation in regional intersectoral cooperation–exploring wine industry 4.0. European Journal of Innovation Management, forthcoming.

Galbreath, J., Charles, D., & Oczkowski, E. (2016). The drivers of climate change innovations: Evidence from the Australian wine industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), 217-231.

Garcia, R., & Atkin, T. (2002). Coo-petition for the diffusion of resistant innovations: A case study in the global wine industry. Institute for Global Innovation Management Working Paper, 05-002, 1–22.

Gault, F. (2018). Defining and measuring innovation in all sectors of the economy. Research Policy, 47(3), 617-622.

Giuliani, E. (2007). The selective nature of knowledge networks in clusters: Evidence from the wine industry. Journal of Economic Geography, 7(2), 139-168.

Giuliani, E., & Arza, V. (2009). What drives the formation of ‘valuable’ university–industry linkages?: Insights from the wine industry. Research Policy, 38(6), 906-921.

Sacchelli, S., Fabbrizzi, S., & Menghini, S. (2016). Climate change effects and adaptation strategies in the wine sector: A quantitative literature review. Wine Economics and Policy, 5(2), 114-126.

Stasi, A., Muscio, A., Nardone, G., & Seccia, A. (2016). New technologies and sustainability in the Italian wine industry. Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia, 8, 290-297.

Ugaglia, A. A., & Ouvrard, S. (2020). Blending tradition and innovation in Bordeaux: A differentiation strategy for Château Luchey-Halde. Wine Business Journal, 4(1), 1-20.

Vrontis, D., Bresciani, S., & Giacosa, E. (2016). Tradition and innovation in Italian wine family businesses. British Food Journal, 118(8), 1883-1897.

Woodfield, P., & Husted, K. (2017). Intergenerational knowledge sharing in family firms: Case-based evidence from the New Zealand wine industry. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 8(1), 57-69.