Knowledge and Innovation Analysis in the Wine Industry in Argentina

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May 2020
The Argentine wine industry has undergone a huge transformation during the last forty years. It went from being an industry that mainly produced common table wine to becoming one focused on international quality wines. In this study we apply the economic approach to creativity to understand this process. The approach is based on the case study and begins with the idea that, in order to comprehend the innovation process, it is necessary to devote a lot of attention to understand how innovators produce their discoveries. In the study, we show that one of the most important determinants of the local wine industry transformation process was the human talent; namely, the entrepreneurs who took the risk of innovating in a relatively static industry in this regard. Changes were made along all stages of the value chain, and they were mainly oriented to the improvement of the wine quality, taking part of a dynamic process that combines conceptual and experimental innovations. This sustained innovation process was not fortuitous; it was driven by market incentives. Wine producers seek quality as a differentiation mechanism that allows them, to appropriate the returns of innovation.