von der Heidt, T 2011, 'Informing regulatory reform in Australian industry through mixed research: a post-hoc evaluation of research design', International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 301-317.
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Despite the growing importance of sustainability and increasing industry and government concern about properly managing for sustainability, the use of mixed methods research to inform sustainability management issues in business is limited. For the Australian rail industry environmental regulation is a regulatory hotspot. The industry initiated a project to investigate the case for rail environmental regulatory reform. Research was undertaken in an integrated three-phase mixed research design, involving pilot case studies, review of academic literature and industry records and in-depth interviewing. Key findings from each phase are reported. This study is evaluated post-hoc in terms of recently published guidelines for conducting and reporting mixed research. The quantitative and qualitative findings from all three research phases suggest that the time is ripe for a more co-regulatory approach to rail environmental regulation. The paper is of interest to mixed researchers, as well as managers and regulators striving for more sustainable regulatory approaches.