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Mobilizing for Change: A Study of Research Units in Emerging Scientific Fields

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  • Tommy Clausen

    (Nordlandsforskning)

  • Jan Fagerberg

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

  • Magnus Gulbrandsen

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommy Clausen & Jan Fagerberg & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2012. "Mobilizing for Change: A Study of Research Units in Emerging Scientific Fields," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20120319, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20120319
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Martin, Ben R. & Nightingale, Paul & Yegros-Yegros, Alfredo, 2012. "Science and technology studies: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1182-1204.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Martin, Ben R., 2012. "The evolution of science policy and innovation studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1219-1239.
    6. Fagerberg, Jan & Fosaas, Morten & Sapprasert, Koson, 2012. "Innovation: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1132-1153.
    7. Landström, Hans & Harirchi, Gouya & Åström, Fredrik, 2012. "Entrepreneurship: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1154-1181.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Friesenbichler, Klaus S. & Selenko, Eva & Clarke, George R.G., 2015. "How much of a nuisance is greasing the palms? A study on job dedication and attitudes towards corruption reports under answer bias control," MPRA Paper 67331, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Fagerberg, Jan & Fosaas, Morten & Sapprasert, Koson, 2012. "Innovation: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1132-1153.
    3. Martin, Ben R. & Nightingale, Paul & Yegros-Yegros, Alfredo, 2012. "Science and technology studies: Exploring the knowledge base," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1182-1204.
    4. Welter, Friederike & Smallbone, David, 2015. "Creative forces for entrepreneurship: The role of institutional change agents," Working Papers 01/15, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    5. Martin, Ben R., 2012. "The evolution of science policy and innovation studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1219-1239.
    6. Jan Fagerberg, 2013. "Innovation - a New Guide," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20131119, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    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 & Landström, Hans & Martin, Ben R., 2012. "Exploring the emerging knowledge base of ‘the knowledge society’," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1121-1131.
    9. Leahey, Erin & Barringer, Sondra N., 2020. "Universities’ commitment to interdisciplinary research: To what end?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(2).
    10. Landström, Hans & Harirchi, Gouya, 2018. "The social structure of entrepreneurship as a scientific field," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 650-662.

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