Stellenbosch University Business School
Objectives & Rationale
Effective knowledge transfer is imperative for new-innovation adoption and attainment of a global competitive advantage. Previous research has shown that socially interactive knowledge transfer channels are more effective in transferring tacit knowledge than unidirectional knowledge transfer channels. The effectiveness of interactive knowledge transfer to the South African wine grape producer is however not well documented. For this reason, it was important to evaluate current interactive knowledge transfer channels in the South African wine industry and to determine whether the traditional interactive knowledge transfer channels being utilised are still efficient in creating awareness of innovative wine-growing practices. The possibility of utilising mobile application technology and social media to support current knowledge transfer initiatives in the South African wine industry was also investigated.
A qualitative study was undertaken amongst primary wine grape producers in the Western Cape of South Africa. Data was collected by means of semi-structured, in-depth interviews. The purpose of these interviews was to assess interactive knowledge transfer channels in relation to factors influencing the creation of awareness of innovations. A sample of fifteen opinion leader wine grape producers of the Western Cape, which included wine farm owners as well as wine farm managers, was purposefully selected.
Key Results and conclusions
It was found that the knowledge transfer system of South African wine grape producers cannot rely solely on interactive knowledge transfers. Rather, it is a combination of explicit and tacit knowledge-seeking behaviours that need to be satisfied. In general, however, South African wine grape producers prefer interactive to unidirectional knowledge transfer channels. Furthermore, three wine grape producer typologies were defined in terms of their knowledge-seeking behaviours. Finally, it was found that a possible social media mobile application for South African wine grape producers could significantly contribute to the creation of awareness of innovations, and the likelihood of South African wine grape producers to adopt it, was found to be higher than average.