Deriving a measure of efficiency of public-funded organizations (primarily not-for-profit organizations) and ranking these efficiency measures have been major subjects of debate and discussion. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relative performances of public-funded research and development (R&D) organizations functioning across multiple countries working on similar research streams. The authors use multiple measures of inputs and outputs for this purpose.
The authors use the data envelopment analysis (DEA) as the primary methodology of analysis The keywords highlighting the major research areas in the field of non-metrology, conducted by National Physical Laboratory (NPL), India, were utilized to select the global comparators working on similar research streams. These global comparators were three R&D organizations located in the USA and one each located in Germany and Japan. The relative efficiencies of the organizations were assessed with the following output variables – external cash flow, and the numbers of technologies transferred, publications and patents; and the following input variables – amount of grants received from the parent body, and the number of scientific personnel working in these public R&D organizations. The authors follow the output-oriented measure of efficiency at constant return to scale and variable return to scale, along with scale efficiencies.
The performance of NPL, India under multiple dimensions has been evaluated relative to its global comparators – the National Institute for Materials Science, Japan; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA; Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany; the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, USA; and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA. The study indicates suggested measures and a set of targets to achieve the best possible performance for NPL and other R&D organizations. In most cases of efficient local but not so efficient global efficiency scores indicate that, on an average, the actual scale of production has diverged from the most productive scale size.
The approach highlights the utilization of the DEA methodology for relative R&D performance assessment of global comparators. The discriminatory analysis has brought into sharp focus the dichotomy between local efficiency and global efficiency scores of these units and issues of scale size and regional disparities. The outcome of this approach is dependent upon correct selection of input and output variables and data availability.
The study results have profound implications for the management of public R&D institutions across nations working on similar-focused research streams, but functioning within different societal, economic, and political contexts.
The present work, being perhaps one of the few multinational studies of relative performance assessment of pubic-funded R&D organizations working on similar research streams, signifies the relevance of such an approach in the field of R&D/innovation management. This has opened up new avenues for further research in this area.
The paper is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled, “Performance assessment of public-funded R&D organizations working on similar research streams: a multinational study”, presented at the 15th International Society of Scientometrics and Informetrics Conference, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, June 29-July 4, 2015.
Gangopadhyay, D., Roy, S. and Mitra, J. (2018), "Public sector R&D and relative efficiency measurement of global comparators working on similar research streams", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 1059-1084. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-07-2017-0197Download as .RIS
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