ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Regional Entrepreneurship and Development

Led by Professor John Hicks

The information on these pages is accurate to the end of 2016 when reporting for SRA was completed for the 2015-16 Biennial Report.  All reporting for our projects is now found in relevant areas under the four research themes.

  • About
  • Members
  • Outcomes
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Postgrad Research
  • Engagement


The Institute's Sustainable Business Development in Regional Australia Strategic Research Area expanded and evolved to become a new SRA in 2015.

The new SRA, named "Regional Entrepreneurship and Development", sought to encourage research to benefit the communities in our region, as well as the communities we serve nationally and internationally. It focused on research related to improving business management and regional development more generally.

The SRA had four sub-groups. They were:

Regional entrepreneurship

Research in this area focused on identifying the factors that lead to business success in a regional context. It investigated a range of factors that may influence success including business skills and practices such as financial management, marketing, human resource management and ITC skills and practices. It included research into the objectives and purposes of regional businesses and how these strategic decisions determine success factors like profitability, achieving work-life balance, contributions to community, and environmental sustainability. Its primary focus was on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), both for-profit firms and not-for-profit businesses.


Research in this area focused on the key marketing areas of customer behaviour and marketing practice.  Researchers investigated problems relating to social (including health) and environmental marketing, the nature and function of branding, consumer responses to brand extensions, understanding the motivations behind purchase decisions, and consumer responses to marketing communications (eg celebrity endorsements).  Within the area of marketing practice, research was conducted on value creation, innovation, entrepreneurship and how practitioners are currently applying marketing techniques and processes.

Human resources management & organisational behaviour

Research in this area focused on four areas. They were:

  • General and regional Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour with the aim of improving individual and organisational effectiveness. (Issues addressed included HRM practices, skills shortages, training and development, bullying and harassment, staff retention (particularly in regional areas), mentoring, psychological contracts, emotional intelligence and workforce diversity. Organisational behavioural issues covered research areas such as generational attitudes, identity construction, team performance, processes facilitating organisational change and organisational culture. Emerging regional HR management issues included migration, employment generation, skills shortages, employment self-containment and business sustainability.)
  • Health care Human Resource Management (HRM). (Research focused on various topics related to health care organisations and the employment, enhancement and retention of appropriate staff to meet organisational and industry needs.)
  • Strategic international HRM. (Research focused on various topics such as expatriation, inpatriation, repatriation, cross cultural adjustments and multinational strategies needed to meet the particular challenges of international business).
  • Leadership. (Research focused on various topics related to leadership, human behaviour, organisational psychology, cultural groups, teams and the critical ethos of leadership.)

Applied Economics

Research in this area focused on economic issues and government policy related to agricultural, trade and development and environmental economics. The aim of this sub-group was to be a world leader in the analysis of agricultural, trade and development and environmental economics issues, and to contribute significantly to Australian and international debates on public policy. Its three main areas of research were:

  • Agricultural economics which included the management and production of agricultural goods, international trade in agricultural and manufactured goods, agricultural land-use change, supply chain management and seasonal climate forecasts.
  • Development economics which focused on the economic, business, management, social and political aspects of economic development, particularly in China, south and southeast Asia and the Pacific.
  • Environmental economics which  targeted towards valuation of changes in environmental quality, development of market-based instruments and research into encouraging participation in market-based instrument programs and incentives, and climate change communications.




Prof John Hicks Regional labour market; regional ageing problems; economic impacts of climate change
 A/ Prof Parikshit K Basu
Regional labour market; regional ageing problems; economic impacts of climate change; ethnic and Indigenous business issues.
A/Prof Branka Krivokapic-Skoko Ethnic business communities; new forms of agricultural co-operation; ethnic diversity in rural and regional Australia, Indigenous business issues.
Prof Mark Morrison Environmental economics; environment management economics; technology adoption; ethnic and Indigenous business issues.
Dr Roderick Duncan Environmental economics
Prof Jock Collins (Adjunct) Australian immigration and the labour market; ethnic business and comparative immigration studies.
Dr Yapa Bandara Economic growth, productivity and efficiency analysis
A/Prof Tom Murphy (adjunct) Regional business, economic growth
Dr Girijasankar Malik (adjunct).Regional labour markets


These outcomes relate to the work undertaken by the Sustainable Business Development in Regional Australia SRA 2015 and earlier.

Some key outcomes and impacts from research done by this SRA include:

  • Research on the role of work organisation in a regional labour market for nursing (2007-2010) has resulted in a better understanding of the regional labor market and has helped improve retention strategies and outcomes.  Detailed reports on findings and recommendations have been provided to NSW Health and the private hospitals and aged-care services where the research was conducted. The project findings have contributed to a better understanding of the issues impacting  on nursing shortage in regional Australia.
  • The findings from research on the attraction and retention of new immigrants in regional and rural Australia and on the efficacy of the migrant pathways to regional and rural areas have been reported to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and other key stakeholders, with observations as to how efficient these pathways are and how they could be fine-tuned and improved. Recommendations have also been provided about how relevant government, community and industry organisations could improve existing or introduce new policies and procedures to improve the attraction and retention of new immigrants in non-metropolitan areas.
  • Research on strategies to promote community resilience in disaster management (flooding) in Australia and Bangladesh (2010-2014) has found that there is a need to enhance social capital for disaster management in Australia as a means of increasing community resilience. Australians tend to rely on institutional capital unlike the people of Bangladesh who draw on their resilience from social capital.
  • An ARC Linkage project (2011-2014) that investigated the factors that influence the success of private and community-owned Indigenous businesses across remote, regional and urban Australia has helped stakeholders better understand the challenges facing Indigenous enterprises in various geographic, economic and social settings. The findings have been presented to policymakers to assist in developing strategies to improve the uptake and success rate of Indigenous enterprises.
  • On-going Regional Labour Market Analysis research has found that regional labor markets behave differently to metropolitan labour markets and that these differences call for labour market policies that are place specific if adverse labour market outcomes in regional areas are to be reversed.  Complementary research on regional employment issues has indicated that policies to enhance employment growth in regional areas should focus on increasing a region's employment niche, rather than focusing on employment diversity, if improving the region's employment outcomes is going to result.
  • Research on employment related gender issues found that gender discrimination exists in major Australian labour markets. The degree of discrimination against women is higher in regional areas than in their associated metropolitan areas. Victoria revealed a much higher level of discrimination against women than NSW. For obvious reasons the extent of hourly wage rate discrimination was significantly lower than for  weekly income discrimination.



Postgraduate students working on topics relevant to the  SRA

StudentsResearch Topic
Paul Newman (DBA)Revaluing Indigenous Australian Economics: Towards an Indigenous Sovereign Economics Model
PhD and Masters student completions
Dr Kristiana Tri WahyudiyatiForest community development: Enhancing corporate social responsibility in Indonesia's forestry sector (graduated in 2014).


Public lecture

Associate Professor Dr Branka Krivokapic-Skoko gave a public lecture on "Regional Australia: a place
to call home for immigrants" in Port Macquarie on Monday, Nov 21, 2016.