Print ISSN: 2204-1990

Online ISSN: 1323-6903

Volume 17, Issue 1

Volume 17, Issue 1, Summer and Autumn 2011

Resilience in Remote Economies: External Challenges and Internal Economic Structure

Lee Huskey

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2011, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 1-12

This paper presents a model that emphasises the role of an economy’s internal structure in its response to external challenges. The model is an extension of Thompson’s "urban size ratchet" to small, remote economies. Thompson’s model suggests the internal structure of economies provides the mechanism of response to external challenges. A number of case studies from Alaska communities show how this mechanism has worked. The goal of the paper is to see if these stories are consistent with the general idea that resilience can be explained by a community’s internal structure

Social Equity in Regional Development Planning: Who Plans for Remote Communities?

Sharon Harwood , Bruce Prideaux, Doris Schmallegger

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2011, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 13-30

This paper examines the extent to which the concept of social equity was considered in the creation of Regional Development Australia’s Far North Queensland and Torres Strait (RDA FNQTS) Regional Roadmap. The research applies Rawls’ (1973) concept of social equity to determine the extent to which the disparities experienced by the least advantaged populations in the planning area were considered in the regional planning process. The results indicate that decision making was concentrated in the urban core and that the concept of social equity was not embodied in the plan outcomes. The paper concludes that ignoring social equity issues in regional planning has enduring ramifications for remotely located spatial territories where a significant proportion of the population is both Indigenous and disadvantaged.

'We Feed the Nation': Benefits and Challenges of Simultaneous Use of Resident and Long-distance Commuting Labour in Russia’s Northern Hydrocarbon Industry

Gertrude Eilmsteiner -Saxinger

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2011, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 53-67

Today, the contemporary oil and gas industry in the Russian "Far North" is staffed by a mixture of a local resident workforce and long-distance commute labour. This arrangement furthers the federal geostrategic and demographic aim to keep the sub-arctic north populated, and satisfies the demand of companies to have access to a diverse and qualified labour pool. The exemplars used are the monoindustrial towns Novy Urengoy and the shift-labour camp Yamburg, which draw on the paradigm changes of northern demographic policies and labour force allocation strategies in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation. The rich hydrocarbon deposits have created interdependency between the Russian Far North and the other regions of the Federation, not only in terms of fiscal equalisation schemes, but also because they are connected by the people who commute for work and who then invest the revenues gained from this work in the north of the country back in their home regions

Organising Tourism Providers on Remote Touring Tracks as Geographically Dispersed Teams

Greg Cartan, Dean Carson

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2011, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 69-85

The Australian outback is a popular tourism destination. Iconic four wheel drive touring tracks are particularly attractive. This study considers how tourism providers are organised in remote touring tracks (RTTs) through a case study of the Oodnadatta Track. A framework developed from the geographically dispersed teams’ (GDTs) literature provided the analytical lens for the study. This framework produced a useful description and explanation of the contemporary context and also a tentative improvement agenda. Particularly noteworthy was the question of leadership, which emerged as an influential and pervasive factor.

A Critical Analysis of Rural Community Leadership: Towards Systematised Understanding and Dialogue across Leadership Domains

Sarah Skerratt

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2011, Volume 17, Issue 1, Pages 87-107

Key texts in leadership research outline the attributes and practices of the effective leader, consistently emphasising relationship-building, trust, reciprocity, Emotional Intelligence and effectiveness of leadership styles. In rural community development research, there are descriptions of local leaders engendering and sustaining the confidence, resilience and capacity of ‘their’ communities. Such leaders are seen as "champions" working with a cohort of "usual suspects". These arrangements are particularly accentuated and fragile in remoter settlements. With limited exceptions, understanding tends to be largely case-study based. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to bring together for the first time the "macro" depictions and recommendations for sound leaders and leadership (from key texts) alongside the "micro"-level findings of rural community leadership literature, to review the extent to which the two sets of thinking and evidence resonate and reinforce one another. My analysis shows that: social embeddedness is consistently identified across both literatures, with extra-local links being a focus of the rural literature; Emotional Intelligence and leadership styles are investigated in the leadership literature, but only in one instance in the rural literature; and individual and collective agency and leadership are identified in both literatures. I conclude by identifying the implications of this critical analysis for leadership investment and training: tailored to complexity and embeddedness whilst also operationalising those transferable components of effective individual and group leadership observable in the literature. My findings contribute to understandings that move beyond the "mystique" of rural community leadership towards analyses that are: more systematic; based on an increasing evidence-base across domains; and likely to lead to more robust outcomes in and for remote and rural communities.