Understanding managers of businesses in desert Australia

Tricia Vilkinas, Gregory Cartan, J Saebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand what was important to managers of businesses in desert Australia, and in particular, what they needed for the businesses to be successful.

Design/methodology/approach: There were two studies. In Study 1, 88 managers of business in remote desert Australia were interviewed. In Study 2, 112 managers who had business in regional desert Australia participated in an on-line survey.

Findings: In both studies, the respondents claimed that their businesses were reasonably successful. In Study 1, the interviewees said that making a living and seeing the business grow were important indices of success. In Study 2, customer/client satisfaction was the strongest indicator of business success. Factors such as safe and all-weather roads, internet/e-mail access and reliable power supplies were important to this success. The importance to business success of a number of leadership behaviours was also identified.

Research limitations/implications: Future research needs to encourage a larger number of managers to participate. In addition, suppliers and customers of the businesses need to be included.

Originality/value: This is the first study in which managers were included, because normally, only owner-managers are involved. It is also the first study of its kind to be undertaken in desert Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-511
Number of pages22
JournalManagement Research Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2012


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