Management of the Industry/Research Organisation Interface


The purpose of a consultancy undertaken to assess management processes in research projects to improve communication between research organisations and the mining industry through the development of an improved mode of operation and customer interface is discussed. The consultancy was conducted using the Nadler and Tushman Congruency Model of Organisational Behaviour to asses components of a project's inputs, transformation process and outputs for their degree of congruence or 'fit'. As an example the University of Queensland (UQ) managed ACARP Project 'Maximising Coal Production in the Presence of Hydrogen Sulphide (H₂S) Seam Gas' was used for illustration. An action research process was used to collect data on the project organisation and history, observations made of group project meetings and interviews undertaken with project staff and representatives of the mining industry and the UQ. The findings highlighted major differences in culture between the university and industry, inadequate planning and strategy development, ineffective intergroup communication, high and conflicting demands on time, and in some cases a poor fit between individuals and tasks. Recommendations proposed to address these issues are presented as two groups, those applicable to the current H₂S Project and those for future similar research projects. They involve improved strategies for intergroup and interpersonal communication, role clarification, project administration and organisational learning and assessment. The proposed interventions are relatively simple, easily implemented and inexpensive. They have the potential to improve the fit between the components of the organisation as well as between the organisation and its environment, enhance efficiency and effectiveness and improve the relationship between the university and industry to ensure future collaborative research projects and access to external funding.

Meeting Name

8th US Mine Ventilation Symposium (1999: Jun. 11-17, Rolla, MO)


Mining Engineering


The full-text document is available for download in the Mining Symposium

Keywords and Phrases

Hydrogen Sulphide; Mine Ventilation; Mining; Research Management; Strategies for University Industry Research Interface

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1999 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

17 Jun 1999