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How do Institutional Changes Affect Scientific Innovations? The Effects of Shifts in Authority Relationships, Protected Space, and Flexibility

Organizational Transformation and Scientific Change: The Impact of Institutional Restructuring on Universities and Intellectual Innovation

ISBN: 978-1-78350-684-2, eISBN: 978-1-78350-683-5

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 26 July 2014

Abstract

Recent changes in the funding and governance of academic research in many OECD countries have altered established authority relationships governing research priorities and judgements. These shifts in the influence of a variety of groups and organisations over scientific choices and careers can be expected to affect the development of different kinds of intellectual innovations by changing the level of protected space they provide researchers and the flexibility of dominant intellectual standards governing the allocation of resources and evaluation of research outcomes. Variations in these features of public science systems influence scientists’ willingness to pursue unusual and risky projects over many years and help to explain cross-national differences in the rate and mode of development of four innovations in the physical, biological and human sciences.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

Earlier versions of this paper were presented to conferences and workshops in Helsinki, Berlin and Stockholm. I am most grateful for comments and suggestions received on those occasions, as well of course to my colleagues in the RHESI project.

Citation

Whitley, R. (2014), "How do Institutional Changes Affect Scientific Innovations? The Effects of Shifts in Authority Relationships, Protected Space, and Flexibility", Organizational Transformation and Scientific Change: The Impact of Institutional Restructuring on Universities and Intellectual Innovation (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 42), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 367-406. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20140000042012

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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