Improving small and medium business resiliance

May 2015December 2016
The project identified priority areas for intervention and practical strategies and recommendations for enhancing the trustworthy conduct of the CSG companies and the industry more broadly.

Small and medium enterprises (SME) study - economic trends & benefits

This research focussed on understanding key small and medium enterprise (SME) capabilities and policy settings which lead to resilient local businesses.

The research was based on the premise that an improved understanding of key capabilities required for organisational resilience could enable local SMEs and communities to better anticipate and plan for changes arising from gas development.

Coal seam gas development can have economic impacts across multiple scales ranging from state and regional to town and local business levels. There had been a poor understanding of the key capabilities needed for SMEs to survive and benefit from a significant external change such as CSG development and its shift from the construction to the operation phase.

Organisational resilience is the capacity to respond, adapt and transform in response to adversity. This capability is considered to be an important element that enables firms to prepare, recover and adapt to a range of disruptions and economic fluctuations.

This study investigated factors that influenced the performance of small businesses in Queensland towns affected by CSG development across three time periods: investment (2008-2013), transition to operations (2013-2015) and estimated future performance (to 2017).

Insights gained from this research were not only to benefit stakeholder within the research region, but also in new regions likely to experience onshore gas development.

The project focussed on:

  • Identifying characteristics and key capabilities of successful adaptation in local SMEs responding positively to the dynamic business environment and to the shift from construction to operations phase of CSG development.
  • Determining factors external to SMEs that facilitate or constrain local businesses benefiting from, or adapting effectively to, new opportunities and the new economic environment, in order to inform and improve business resilience of the SME sector.



  • Project status: Complete
  • Project title: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) study - economic trends & benefits
  • Project leader: Associate Professor Will Rifkin
  • Research team: Associate Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne, Associate Professor John Steen; Dr Jerad Ford
  • Research group: The University of Queensland Business School & The University of Queensland Centre for Natural Gas (formerly known as The University of Queensland Centre for Coal Seam Gas)
  • Timeframe: May 2015 - December 2016
  • Project funders: APLNG, Arrow Energy, QGC, Santos, University of Queensland


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