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The inhibiting factors that principal investigators experience in leading publicly funded research projects

Author

Listed:
  • James Cunningham

    () (Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change - J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economic)

  • Paul O'Reilly

    () (College of Business - Dublin Institute of Technology)

  • Conor O'Kane

    () (Department of Management - University of Otago)

  • Vincent Mangematin

    () (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))

Abstract

Securing public funding to conduct research and leading it by being a principal investigator (PI) is seen as significant career development step. Such a role brings professional prestige but also new responsibilities beyond research leadership to research management. If public funding brings financial and infrastructure support, little is understood about the inhibiting factors that publicly funded PIs face given the research autonomy offered by publicly funded research. Our study finds that there are three key PI inhibiting factors 1) political and environmental, 2) institutional and 3) project based. Traditional knowledge, skills and technical know-how of publicly funded PIs are insufficient to deal with the increasing managerial demands and expectations i.e. growing external bureaucracy of public funding agencies. Public funding is no longer the 'freest form of support' as suggested by Hackett (1990) and the inhibiting factors experienced by publicly funded PIs limits their research autonomy. We also argue that PIs have little influence in overcoming these inhibiting factors despite their central role in conducting publicly funded research.

Suggested Citation

  • 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-00756228, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:gemptp:hal-00756228
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-012-9269-4
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.grenoble-em.com/hal-00756228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9795-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9490-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. James A. Cunningham & Paul O’Reilly & Brendan Dolan & Conor O’Kane & Vincent Mangematin, 2016. "Publicly funded principal investigators allocation of time for public sector entrepreneurship activities," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(4), pages 383-408, December.
    4. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9491-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:jtecht:v:43:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-018-9658-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Guerrero, Maribel & Cunningham, James A. & Urbano, David, 2015. "Economic impact of entrepreneurial universities’ activities: An exploratory study of the United Kingdom," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 748-764.
    7. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9499-y is not listed on IDEAS
    8. James A. Cunningham & Vincent Mangematin & Conor O’Kane & Paul O’Reilly, 2016. "At the frontiers of scientific advancement: the factors that influence scientists to become or choose to become publicly funded principal investigators," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 778-797, August.
    9. Greco, Marco & Grimaldi, Michele & Cricelli, Livio, 2017. "Hitting the nail on the head: Exploring the relationship between public subsidies and open innovation efficiency," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 213-225.
    10. Qiantao Zhang & Niall G. MacKenzie & Dylan Jones-Evans & Robert Huggins, 2016. "Leveraging knowledge as a competitive asset? The intensity, performance and structure of universities’ entrepreneurial knowledge exchange activities at a regional level," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 657-675, October.
    11. repec:kap:jtecht:v:43:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-017-9629-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Publicly Funded Research; Principal Investigators; Inhibiting Factors; Research Leadership; Research Management; Research Autonomy;

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