Creation and Dissemination of Local Knowledge in Small Family Firms: The Case of Wine Canteens from the Quarta Colônia de Imigração Italiana, in Rio Grande do Sul

Alisson Eduardo Maehler, Jonas Cardona Venturini


The article performed a study of multiple cases that involved interviews with owners of three canteens of wine production, located in the region of “Quarta Colônia de Imigração Italiana”, central area of the Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. This research aimed to analyze the influence of location, proximity and social relations in the processes of creation and transfer of local knowledge. It was conducted semi-structured interviews with owners of canteens, which are in the same municipality and in the same location, a few kilometers of each other. Results highlight that the geographical proximity per se is not sufficient for knowledge to be created, transmitted and maintained in a given locality. Particularly in the case of handicraft products such as wine, which involves a large portion of tacit knowledge, the establishment of social relations and family is a necessary condition for knowledge to be created, shared and saved. However, a series of problems have been observed and analyzed in the locality, which makes that knowledge restrained to some families and not maintained over time. As an example, wine production knowledge is essentially tacit and not codified; the indifference of younger generations regarding the knowledge base of the elderly; weak interactions and knowledge sharing among winemakers.


Familiar; Knowledge; Handmade; Local knowledge; Region



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