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A review of the potential for improvement in resource sector - a scoping study

The resource sector responds rapidly to macro and micro economic change. This has many consequences: stockpiling of resources such as iron ore and gas; shortages or oversupply of labour; inaccurate long-term financial plans; a lack of municipal investment in support of the sector. Minor changes in economic forecasts also creates rapid investment in organisational infrastructure or abandonment of sanctioned projects.

This is coupled with poor productivity in the construction industry that supports the sector. There have been many reasons proposed for the poor productivity. The fragmentation in the industry (Froese et al., 1997; Dainty et al., 2001; Love et al., 2002), the large number of small enterprises in the supply chain (Hadaya and Pellerin, 2010; Lönngren et al., 2010) and the arms length relationships of organisations (Bankvall and Bygballe, 2010) being the most cited.

The purpose of the study is to investigate potential for significant resource sector economic improvement. This is to include an analysis of economic and financial planning methods, vertical integration, long-term collaboration, the nature of collaboration, standardisation of information and project practices across organisations, and supply chain processes.

Research questions

  • What are the current business and project management processes in a major resource sector organisation?
  • What is the potential for productivity improvement?
  • What management, process and project initiatives could improve productivity?

Research methods

  • The research method is a qualitative in-depth case study of a major Australian resource organisation.


Funding body

Faculty of Business and Law, Strategic Research Fund.


October 2012 - July 2014.

This project is a sub-project of The requirements of innovative practices in the WA resources sector.

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