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International Graduate Centre of Education

Is collaboration a success factor for enterprise development in remote Indigenous communities?

  • Research commons

Abstract: This PhD research aims to evaluate past and current enterprise development projects in remote Indigenous communities of Northern Australia (NA) to determine the role of collaboration in enterprise development and its influence on the outcomes of the project.  The evaluation will inform the development of a model for facilitating collaboration in Indigenous enterprise development projects and case study analyses will be used to test the proposed model. 

The research will focus on identifying components of collaboration that are essential to establishing collaborative advantage (Huxam and Vangen (2004).  Collaborations are dynamic and complex in nature (eg Huxham, 2014, Vengen and Huxham, 2011) and particular components of collaboration will be investigated.  These components may include the role of collaborative leadership (eg Gray, 2008), communication (eg Huxham and Vangen, 2005), and the requirement for nurturing and trust building (Vangen and Huxham 2003a).  In any given collaboration there may be a continuum ranging from true collaborative processes (eg shared power, distributed leadership) to more directive processes such as “collaborative thuggery” (Vangen and Huxham, 2003b). 

Case study analysis (Yin, 2002) will be used to support the development of a model to determine the role of collaboration in the establishment of seafood based enterprises in remote Indigenous communities in NA.  Although this research is focused on seafood enterprise development, it will have implications for other enterprise development projects in the Agri-food sector and possibly other sectors.

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