UQ Business School uncovering the secrets to business growth01 April 2011

UQ Business School is working with thousands of successful Australian organisations to discover the factors essential to business growth.

Collaborating with groups at Cambridge and Auckland universities, UQ Business School (UQBS) is among the first to look at growth in established Australian businesses through the Growing Australian Businesses project.

As part of the project, more than 30,000 questionnaires were sent to Australian businesses, representing a range of industries and firm sizes.

UQBS project leader, Dr Martie-Louise Verreynne said they were the first research group to look at the broader picture of growth in Australian businesses and compare that with similar data in other countries.

“We want to understand the interaction between different factors that enhance as well as hinder growth in firms,” said Dr Verreynne.

“Understanding this will help businesses to recognise what practices are prevalent in those firms that are growing, and which practices should be avoided because of their links to failure. We’re also hoping that our data will enable us to provide information to better inform government policy,” she said.

Businesses are being questioned on innovation, growth aspirations, competitive advantages, internationalisation, collaborations and finance. The majority of the questions were developed and refined over the past 13 years by Cambridge University in the UK. However, 20% of the questions were developed specifically for Australian businesses.

UQBS Commercial Director Rob Douglas said the project would finally provide researchers with robust data to analyse firm growth and innovation.

“The Growing Australian Businesses data analysis will be fed back to business, and in time we hope to make selections of de-identified data available to other researchers and analysts to advise governments on policy and the issues facing small business,” he said.

UQBS brought the project to Australia because of the potential flow-on effect for both Australian business, and governments being able to implement changes based on the good practices highlighted from the research.

“This is a great forum for businesses have their voice heard by government, and to understand which factors for business growth are general to small businesses internationally and what’s specific to our country,” said Dr Verreynne.

The questionnaire takes about 25 minutes to complete, with all respondents guaranteed anonymity and confidentiality.

For more information contact Dr Martie-Louise Verreynne, telephone (07) 3346 8160, email m.verreynne@business.uq.edu.au or Tim Coles, telephone (07) 3346 8070, mobile 0423 606 331, email media@business.uq.edu.au

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