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Business professor Max GanzinBusiness professor Max Ganzin says craft enterprises are an important part of the economy and we need to understand how and why they thrive.

Business prof awarded grant to research craft-based enterprises

An Odette School of Business professor who specializes in the study of craft-based firms is headed to Italy to interview tailors who create custom-made clothing for their customers.

Max Ganzin has received a $49,500 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to study artisanal businesses. With craft production becoming a significant part of the economy, it’s important to understand why these businesses survive, he said.

“Despite today’s revival of various forms of craft-based firms, we have little understanding about the reasons for resilience, success, or other distinctive features of these organizations that let them thrive,” Dr. Ganzin said.

Ganzin studies craft and authenticity in the contemporary economy. Think small-scale breweries, mechanical watch production, as well as bespoke tailoring.

His latest research project will build on the extensive research he has done on entrepreneurialism.

“Craft-based firms successfully reconcile the past-oriented traditions with present- and future-oriented demands of the modern market, but we have scant understanding of how they are able to project successful futures while being rooted in the traditions of the past.”

Ganzin will work with University of Alberta professor William M. Foster on the project. They’ve worked on papers together in the past and are currently collaborating on other research about the wine and wine-making industry.

They will recruit a PhD student at the University of Naples, and one Master’s student and two undergrad students here in Canada. They plan to present their research at academic conferences, publish in management journals and host two public lectures.

—Sarah Sacheli

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