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Mobilizing for change: A study of research units in emerging scientific fields

  • Clausen, Tommy
  • Fagerberg, Jan
  • Gulbrandsen, Magnus

Local research units, this article argues, play a very important role for the scientific field they belong to, for example by mobilizing financial support, offering job opportunities, attracting talented recruits, and providing adequate training. Little is known, however, about such units, at least in the fields under study here, i.e., studies of innovation, entrepreneurship and related phenomena. This article focuses – with the help of a survey of 136 research units worldwide supplemented by a number of case-studies – on the factors that influence the extent to which local mobilization efforts succeed. The research shows that universities provide the most fertile grounds for such research units, and that external support and support from the leadership of the university are important factors behind their establishment. In the longer term, however, attracting core (basic) finance is essential for the unit's ability to maintain cognitive control of its research program. Units that develop their own Master and PhD programs appear more likely than others to achieve these aims.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1249-1261

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:7:p:1249-1261
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. Jan Fagerberg & Morten Fosaas & Koson Sapprasert, 2011. "Innovation: Exploring the knowledge base," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20111003, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  2. Ben Martin & Paul Nightingale & Alfredo Yegros-Yegros, 2011. "Science and Technology Studies: Exploring the Knowledge Base," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20111004, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  3. Martin, Ben R., 2012. "The evolution of science policy and innovation studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1219-1239.
  4. Fagerberg, Jan & Fosaas, Morten & Bell, Martin & Martin, Ben R., 2011. "Christopher Freeman: social science entrepreneur," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 897-916, September.
  5. Landström, Hans & Harirchi, Gouya & Åström, Fredrik, 2012. "Entrepreneurship: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1154-1181.
  6. Aldrich, Howard E., 2012. "The emergence of entrepreneurship as an academic field: A personal essay on institutional entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1240-1248.
  7. Rafols, Ismael & Leydesdorff, Loet & O’Hare, Alice & Nightingale, Paul & Stirling, Andy, 2012. "How journal rankings can suppress interdisciplinary research: A comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1262-1282.
  8. Fagerberg, Jan & Verspagen, Bart, 2009. "Innovation studies--The emerging structure of a new scientific field," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 218-233, March.
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