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The challenge of managing boundary-spanning research activities: Experiences from the Swedish context

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  • Adler, Niclas
  • Elmquist, Maria
  • Norrgren, Flemming
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    Abstract

    Contemporary and future challenges when managing research involve coping with emerging prerequisites which include, among other things, a new knowledge production discourse, new research funding methods and new ways for international collaboration. Managers for boundary-spanning research activities need to combine the sometimes opposing logics and perspectives of the multiple stakeholders--the individual researchers searching for independence, sustainability and freedom and others searching for integration, relevance and predictability. Based on a collaborative research set-up including interviews, discussions and workshops with major Swedish research funding agencies, research program managers, experienced industry partners and key stakeholders, the paper identifies six main managerial challenges: (i) lack of focus on research management and unsatisfying prerequisites, (ii) weak identity and low status of the role of the research managers, (iii) few incentives for research management, (iv) lack of leadership development opportunities for researchers, (v) multiple (and sometimes contradictory) expectations from different stakeholders, and (vi) sustained funding. Finally, the managerial implications of these challenges for universities and funding agencies are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 7 (September)
    Pages: 1136-1149

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:7:p:1136-1149

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Research management Research leadership Boundary-spanning research Balancing multiple stakeholders Collaborative research;

    References

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    1. Dubois, Anna & Gadde, Lars-Erik, 2002. "Systematic combining: an abductive approach to case research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 553-560, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Johannes Fedderke, 2012. "The Objectivity of National Research Foundation Peer Review Based Ratings in South Africa," Working Papers 300, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    2. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00794944 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vincent Mangematin & Paul O'reilly & James Cunningham, 2014. "Pis As Boundary Spanners, Science And Market Shapers," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print), HAL hal-00794938, HAL.
    4. Daniela Baglieri & Gianni Lorenzoni, 2014. "Closing the distance between academia and market: experimentation and user entrepreneurial processes," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 52-74, February.
    5. König, Bettina & Diehl, Katharina & Tscherning, Karen & Helming, Katharina, 2013. "A framework for structuring interdisciplinary research management," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 261-272.
    6. repec:hal:gemwpa:hal-00756228 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Conor O'kane & James Cunningham & Vincent Mangematin, 2012. "Underpinning Strategic Behaviours and Posture of Principal Investigators in Transition/Uncertain Environments," Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management hal-00794944, HAL.
    8. Diana Boehm & Teresa Hogan, 2014. "‘A jack of all trades’: the role of PIs in the establishment and management of collaborative networks in scientific knowledge commercialisation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 134-149, February.
    9. James Cunningham & Paul O'reilly & Conor O'kane & Vincent Mangematin, 2014. "The inhibiting factors that principal investigators experience in leading publicly funded research projects," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print), HAL hal-00756228, HAL.
    10. James Cunningham & Paul O’Reilly & Conor O’Kane & Vincent Mangematin, 2014. "The inhibiting factors that principal investigators experience in leading publicly funded research," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 93-110, February.
    11. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00756228 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Klenk, Nicole L. & Hickey, Gordon M., 2013. "How can formal research networks produce more socially robust forest science?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 44-56.

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