New Legitimation Models and the Transformation of the Public Research Organizational Field

May 2006
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP) CSIC, Working Paper. 2006-06

Laura Cruz Castro & Luis Sanz Menéndez

The public research sector is changing all over Europe. New semi-public research centers have emerged and now coexist with the traditional public research centers in the same organizational field. It is argued that these changes are mostly policy-driven and that the main mechanism is the emergence of new legitimation models of what research and research centers should be for, with a strong emphasis on excellence in science, technology transfer and service to society. Governments have changed the way they distribute resources or create research structures according to these changing models. As in many other events of the history of science and technology policy, the boundary struggles and changes are underlying issues in this paper. This transformation in the institutional environments of the research centers has instigated changes in the structure of the organizational field of research, mainly reflecting the emergence of new types of organizations and their search for management flexibility and the diversification of funding sources.