Research in Business and Enterprise

The view from Wollumbin to the coast
Wollumbin (Mount Warning) is a site recognised internationally for its significant natural and cultural values.

Researchers in the Faculty of Business, Law and Arts are driven to provide solutions to contemporary problems.

 Many of our academic staff are leaders in their field and the impact of the Faculty's research contributes to the broader public policy discourse. The Faculty collaborates with industry, government and partner organisations locally, around Australia and globally. Our research disciplines in Business, Management and Tourism focus on the latest trends.

Creating sustainable visitor experiences at popular destinations so places like Wollumbin (Mount Warning as pictured) aren’t loved to death.

Impact and Engagement

The Faculty strives for research excellence that informs industry practice, policy and regulation. Our research projects are shaped through stakeholder engagement, often with national relevance and global impact. We are committed to research outcomes that make a difference.

Learn more about the Wollumbin (Mount Warning) project Explore higher degree research

Research for a better world

Research degrees

We welcome new research students. The Faculty's team of research supervisors can help turn your burning interest into a new body of knowledge. We have research strengths and priorities in:

  • Tourism, leisure, gambling
  • Finance and accounting, business and management, public administration and policy
  • Information systems and technology.


Visit the Graduate School for information about research degrees and supervisors.

Research impact clusters

At Southern Cross University, our research impact clusters identify four areas of urgent need. Our researchers are already making an impact locally, regionally and globally. We believe these clusters will make that impact even greater – by optimising ideas, projects, facilities and resources; targeting existing and potential areas of need; and enabling interconnected and multidisciplinary relationships. 

Visit SCU Research for information about clusters and opportunities

Research highlights

Creating sustainable visitor experiences

Wollumbin (Mount Warning) is a site recognised internationally for its significant natural and cultural values. Located in Northern NSW, near the NSW-Queensland border, it is part of the Gondwana World Heritage Area and is a sacred place to the Bundjalung People.

The activity of ascending the summit of Wollumbin, particularly during sunrise, has become an iconic visitor experience attracting increasingly large numbers of visitors. This nature-based visitor experience was the almost singular focus of the local visitor economy, with few identified alternative nature-based experiences. The impacts are significant: the increased foot traffic has led to physical degradation of the highly significant cultural site, degradation of World Heritage natural values and major safety concerns including several deaths.

Professor Betty Weiler and Dr Pascal Scherrer, both from the Faculty of Business, Law and Arts, led a project to identify visitor preferences for alternative experiences to summiting Wollumbin in order address the significant site limitations of this World Heritage Area.

Learn about sustainable visitor experiences
The view from the coast to Wollumbin

Improving staff retention in the healthcare sector

Over the past 16 years, there has been a nursing shortage in the Australian health system – and this trend is expected to continue. Workforce retention is a key factor in overcoming this problem.

Professor Yvonne Brunetto worked with a global health care provider to improve nurse retention. By introducing programs to develop unit managers and support newly-graduated nurses into the provider’s Australian hospitals, staff retention improved dramatically.

Workers compensation claims due to work-related stress are costly for employees and employers. Health workers who provide front-line, emotional labour are at high risk of work-related stress. The emotional resilience training developed by Southern Cross University in response to these challenges was effective in improving safety practices in a social welfare organisation.

Learn about improving healthcare worker retention
A circle of surgeons looking down from above

A happy coastal holiday income for some is an economic and social nightmare for others

The Airbnb phenomenon has exploded worldwide. The online peer-to-peer home-sharing platform operates in 191 countries, with more than five million listings.

Airbnb has also taken off in Australia, with 166,000 listings. Its growth has had the greatest impact in popular coastal destinations, like Byron Bay. This small community of about 9,000 people receives more than two million visitors annually. At 222:1, Byron Bay’s visitor-to-local ratio is among the highest in the world. Visitor numbers are expected to increase to 3.8 million by 2030, according to Byron Shire Council’s Sustainable Visitor Strategy. At the same time, Byron Shire has one of Australia’s least affordable regional rental housing markets.

A Southern Cross University research team – comprised of Dr Deborah Che, Dr Tania von der Heidt, Dr Sabine Muschter and Dr Rodney Caldicott – began investigating Airbnb’s effect on the Byron Shire in 2018. Their work has since evolved into a series of projects along the NSW North Coast.

Learn about Airbnb impacts on the NSW North Coast
Luxurious bed in guest bed room

Diving to decline: science, business and industry working together to save reefs from being loved to death

Tens of thousands of experienced and novice divers and snorkelers from around the globe flock to experience the splendour of the underwater world at prime locations in Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia and the Indonesian archipelago.

Marine tourism has become an economic livelihood which offers employment and broader social opportunities within these and other coastal communities across the Asia-Pacific.

But, as tourism expert Dr Kay Dimmock warns, for marine tourism to be successful there is a need for high-quality marine resources.

"Dive tourism is an important source of income for South-East Asia, but its future depends on the effective management of healthy coral reefs," says Dr Dimmock, Senior Lecturer in Faculty of Business, Law and Arts at Southern Cross University.

Learn about diving to decline
Diver surrounded by fish while diving