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Underpinning Strategic Behaviours and Posture of Principal Investigators in Transition/Uncertain Environments

  • Conor O'kane

    ()

    (Department of Management - University of Otago)

  • James Cunningham

    ()

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

  • Vincent Mangematin

    ()

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

Although principal investigators (PIs) are becoming key strategic actors in shaping new scientific trajectories, little is known about how they strategise in an evolving publicly funded research environment. Drawing on thirty interviews and extensive documentation from Ireland's science, engineering and technology (SET) sector, we take a closer look at the heretofore neglected strategic behaviours underlying the research activities of PIs. Our findings suggest that their strategic behaviours fall into four categories - research designer; research adapter; research supporter and research pursuer. We find that the mechanisms for selecting research strategies are interwoven with the posture (reactive/proactive) of PIs as well as their degree of conformance. We argue that more proactive PIs utilising non-conformance strategies shape new research trajectories, while conformative and/or more reactive PIs predominantly pursue and deepen existing trajectories. We discuss the wider implications of these findings for policy makers, funding bodies and the practicing PI and strategist.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working paper serie RMT - Grenoble Ecole de Management with number hal-00794944.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:gemwpa:hal-00794944
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00794944
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  1. Steven W. Floyd & Joep P. Cornelissen & Mike Wright & Andrew Delios, 2011. "Processes and Practices of Strategizing and Organizing: Review, Development, and the Role of Bridging and Umbrella Constructs," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 933-952, 07.
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  7. Vincent Mangematin & Paul O'reilly & James Cunningham, 2014. "Pis As Boundary Spanners, Science And Market Shapers," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00794938, HAL.
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