Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss different aspects of institutional theory and resource based‐theory in relation to issues of environmental sustainability and how these might influence business practices and environmental decision making in agriculture‐based tourism businesses. A wine tourism district in Australia has been selected for further studies. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents a brief review of the concept of sustainability for the business community, followed by a review of institutional and resource based theories linked with the natural environment, and discusses how business‐activities towards sustainability might be promoted or hindered by the institutional context. This review identifies current research gaps and makes suggestions regarding empirical testing through comparative research on a wine tourism cluster in Australia and an apple tourism cluster in Norway. Findings – The paper presents a series of gaps in current theory and empirical research and makes recommendations regarding a comparative empirical study of an Australian wine tourism cluster and a Norwegian apple tourism cluster. Originality/value – This paper is among the first to explore the issue of environmental sustainability and business decision making from an institutional perspective. The recommendations regarding empirical research will potentially inform future research initiatives regarding environmental sustainability in wine tourism clusters. More knowledge about the firm's perspective on the issue of environmental orientation and strategy, and how best to ensure lasting change is vital for the development of relevant wine business and environmental policies. This knowledge would be important both for wine industry organisations as well as environmental policy makers.
International Journal of Wine Business Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 22, 2011
Keywords: Australia; Norway; Tourism development; Viticulture; Agriculture
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