Title: Strategic decision-making in publicly funded innovative organisations: an exploratory study

Authors: Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Denis O. Gray

Addresses: Eastern Washington University, College of Business and Public Administration, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd. Suite A, Spokane, WA 99202-1660, USA. ' North Carolina State University, Psychology Department, Poe Hall, Campus Box 7801, Raleigh, NC 27695-7801, USA

Abstract: In many of the industrially advanced nations, a relatively new phenomenon, publicly funded multi-disciplinary research centres, has developed to remain competitive and develop economically. For instance, in the US, the National Science Foundation sponsors a collection of university-based research centres. These research organisations function as intermediaries between academic research interests and company technology interests. Because of this duality, as well as their multi-disciplinarity and large scale, these centres are faced with several management challenges. This study focuses on one of the most challenging tasks of a publicly funded centre|s management: the decision-making processes surrounding the research programme. An inductive case study was carried out to describe how research strategy formation takes place in Science and Technology Centres, one of the most prestigious NSF programmes. It led to the development of five important concepts: an STC profile, stages in the STC life cycle, driver of the strategy process, specificity of the plan, and division of research. The findings are expected to benefit the STCs with their research strategy formation process but also to enhance the general understanding about strategy formation processes. In addition, the findings have important lessons for similar public research organisations as well as for technology management.

Keywords: research centre management; public funding; research centres; strategy formation; strategic decision-making; research strategy; Science and Technology Centres; public research organisations; technology management; innovation management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2005.006100

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2005 Vol.4 No.2, pp.127 - 147

Published online: 04 Feb 2005 *

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