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Current Context and Business Models Archetypes in Ukrainian Wine Industry

An attempt of typology

Published onJun 29, 2023
Current Context and Business Models Archetypes in Ukrainian Wine Industry
Viktor Golovii
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine) and Nord University Business School (Norway)
[email protected], [email protected]

Extended abstract

This paper tries to answer the research question on how business models (BMs) of Ukrainian wineries in current context - highly unstable and characterized as “permanent crisis” - could be classified around specific patterns or archetypes (ABMs) and how such archetypes could be outlined.

Purpose is twofold. First, to apply context-based approach and heuristically conceptualize the main types of business models (archetypes) of Ukrainian wineries and develop deductively a theoretical typology of those – theoretically constructed – archetypes that, conceptually, correspond to ideal types of M. Weber (Gerhardt, 1994). Then, if possible, find respective empirical examples that correspond to theoretical constructs from the developed typology.

Like firms’ strategies, business models are context specific and should be always contextualizes because context has a strong explanatory power and plays a crucial role for understanding of “when, how and why a phenomenon happens” and for “explanation of action and the outcomes of action” (Pettigrew, 2012). Numerous scholars expressed similar concerns about the roles of context in the literature on business models – especially, for its design stream which, in particular, “has been progressing in a largely isolated way” (Bhatti et al., 2021) and lacks the understanding of design-relevant antecedents at the industry level (Waldner et al., 2015; Sanchez & Ricart, 2010; Wirtz et al., 2016) and of how they affect BM design when firms are to adapt themselves to dynamic external environments (Amit & Zot, 2015).

Business models serve as the lenses to analyze wine industry as well, but this field remains underresearched (Sears et al., 2022; Ferrer & Villanueva, 2021; Ouvrard et al., 2020; Dressler & Paunovic, 2020). And the stream of business models’ classification/ categorization is very fragmented and lacks a systematic approach (Fielt, 2014). In addition, the understanding of how the new business models emerge and look like in a particular industry and become patterns (Ludeke-Freund et al., 209) or archetypes is still missing (Bocken et al., 2013; Short et al.,2008; Wirtz et al., 2016). And Ukrainian wine industry is, as other emergent countries and their industries, still underresearched including existing BMs. Hence, this paper joins the literature that discusses the problematic dedicated to the roles of antecedents from industry context that drive BMs design and change, their impact, and outcomes.

To cover those gaps, this paper tries to answer the research question by looking at the past and current context of Ukraine and searching for the most important contextual factors serving as antecedents that affect BMs by imposing changes. Since 2015 when the Association Agreement (AA) with EU has been signed by Ukraine, eurointegration processes become the major drivers of substantial changes in external environment. As result, eurointegration, from on side, provoked a full liberalization of Ukrainian market by opening it to European products and producers (no import duties anymore) and, from other side, initiated massive “downloading” and implementation of EU Directives and regulations. All that created strong institutional - regulatory, normative, and mimetic - pressures (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983) are main antecedents that push companies to changes strategies and BMs now.


The classification refers either to the process of classifying and to the results of this process. Usually, its outcome represents a group of homogeneous items – grouped by similarities according to selected criteria (Bailey, 1994). The objective is to achieve the highest possible degree of similarity between types (objects, phenomena, or theoretical constructs/concepts) that form the group in the developed typology (Bailey, 2005; Doty & Glick, 1994; McKelvey, 1982). Or, in other terms, through reduction - minimize the of variances between the types within the group. The term ‘‘typology” is mostly applied to classifications that, by nature, are verbal, theoretical or ‘‘heuristic and are conceptually derived - by contrast to empirical ones which are constructed entirely through empirical data analysis.

This conceptual paper uses the secondary data from published scientific literature and applies three stages method for typology development (Lambert, 2006; Lambert & Davidson, 2013; Lambert, 2015):

  • selection of criteria and genesis of a conceptual view (Baden-Fuller & Morgan, 2010);

  • cognitive mapping of typology (Furnari, 2015);

  • validation of typology by identifying eventual empirical examples cases that fit to the theoretically developed BMs archetypes (Lambert, 2015).

In our case – to develop the typology of BMs archetypes the following criteria (variables) were applied: (1) place in supply chain and (2) geographical location (place) of wine production or vineyard.


A generic typology is developed and proposed based on own methodology. The business models of wineries were analyzed, “labeled” and assigned to a specific quadrant of this typology’s matrix according to “best matching” criteria. In total, nine archetypes were identified, described, and put into the proposed typology as three main groups of ABMs:

  1. past-dependent,

  2. transitionary (hybrid)

  3. and new group of terroir-based BMs which is emergent and expected to develop and expand (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1. Matrix of business models archetypes
Source: developed by the author

Theoretical contribution

First, the article proposed own BMs context-based typology at the industry level based on the methodology proposed in the article that applies two variables - place in the supply chain and geographical location of wine production or vineyard. Second, nine archetypes were identified, labelled, described, and “situated” in the archetypes’ matrix. Third, all identified ABMs were classified and put into three following groups: (1) dependent on the past, (2) transitional (hybrids) and (3) new emerging ones. The paper contributes to business model research by combining a theoretical-practical approach to wineries' business models in a unique Ukrainian context characterized by “almost permanent crisis” and strong institutional pressures created by the eurointegration processes.

Practical implications

The paper could be helpful for wineries to clary own current and future business model, as well it is useful for understanding the linkage and correlation between the terroir-based business models that are at early stage of development and slow implementation of PDO/PGI systems in the wine sector of Ukraine.


Ukrainian wineries, archetypes of business models, typology, cognitive perspective, activity-based perspective.


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