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Exploring key factors sustaining micro and small food, wine and hospitality firms through the COVID-19 crisis

Bressan, A, Duarte Alonso, A, Vu, OTK and O'Brien, S (2022) Exploring key factors sustaining micro and small food, wine and hospitality firms through the COVID-19 crisis. British Food Journal. ISSN 0007-070X

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of how micro and small firm owners/managers cope with an extreme event, as this has implications on how firms make decisions. The study considers self-efficacy and stakeholder theory as tools to gain more in-depth knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: The perspectives of owners/managers of 308 micro and small firms operating in the food, wine and hospitality industries in Italy, one of the most affected nations, were drawn through an online questionnaire. Findings: The importance of determination, passion, family support and a sense of responsibility towards internal and external stakeholders emerged as fundamental factors helping firms confront the crisis. Five theoretical dimensions that help explain how firm owners/managers make decisions to safeguard their firms during the COVID-19 crisis are identified. Three of these, “motivational”, “stepping up” and “firm-based”, are directly associated with tenets of self-efficacy theory, and two, “human-moral” and “entity-based”, with stakeholder theory. Further complementing this second contribution, a theoretical framework underlining conceptual and practical implications is proposed. Originality/value: The study delves into the challenges and survival of a key group of firms facing an extreme crisis. The identified dimensions provide useful conceptual depth and practical insights that, together, form part of a proposed framework. For instance, the “human-moral” dimension reflects upon aspects that have wider implications, notably, for firms' employees and the wider society.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of Products
T Technology > TX Home economics > TX341 Nutrition. Foods and food supply
Divisions: Business & Management (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2022 11:37
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 11:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/BFJ-02-2022-0148
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17910
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