Scientometrics

, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 2279–2301 | Cite as

The dynamics of university units as a multi‐level process. Credibility cycles and resource dependencies

  • Benedetto Lepori
  • Michael Wise
  • Diana Ingenhoff
  • Alexander Buhmann
Article

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of resource acquisition and profile development of institutional units within universities. We conceptualize resource acquisition as a two-level nested process, where units compete for external resources based on their credibility, but at the same time are granted faculty positions from the larger units (department) to which they belong. Our model implies that the growth of university units is constrained by the decisions of their parent department on the allocation of professorial positions, which represent the critical resource for most units’ activities. In our field of study this allocation is largely based on educational activities, and therefore, units with high scientific credibility are not necessarily able to grow, despite an increasing reliance on external funds. Our paper therefore sheds light on the implications that the dual funding system of European universities has for the development of units, while taking into account the interaction between institutional funding and third-party funding.

Keywords

Resource acquisition Credibility cycles University governance Critical resources Reputation 

References

  1. Bleiklie, I., Enders, J., & Lepori, B. (2015). Organizations as penetrated hierarchies. Organization Studies, 36(7), 873–896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bornmann, L., Thor, A., Marx, W. & Schier, H. (2016). The application of bibliometrics to research evaluation in the humanities and social sciences: an exploratory study using normalized Google Scholar data for the publications of a research institute. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi:10.1002/asi.23627.Google Scholar
  3. Braam, R., & Van den Besselaar, P. (2010). Life cycles of research groups: The case of CWTS. Research Evaluation, 19(3), 173–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Braam, R., & Van den Besselaar, P. (2014). Indicators for the dynamics of research organizations: a biomedical case study. Scientometrics, 99(3), 949–971.Google Scholar
  5. Braun, D. (1998). The role of funding agencies in the cognitive development of science. Research Policy, 27(1998), 807–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buhmann, A., Ingenhoff, D., & Lepori, B. (2015). Dimensions of diversity: Mapping the field of media and communication studies by combining cognitive and material dimensions. Communications, 40(3), 267–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carayol, N., & Matt, M. (2004). Does research organization influence academic production? Laboratory evidence from a large European university. Research Policy, 33, 1081–1102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. CHEPS. (2010). Progress in higher education reform in Europe. Funding Reform Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  9. Coronini, R., & Mangematin, V. (1999). From individual scientific visibility to collective competencies: the example of an academic department in the social sciences. Scientometrics, 45(1), 77–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crow, M., & Bozeman, B. (1987). R&D laboratory classification and public policy: the effects of environmental context on laboratory behavior. Research Policy, 16, 229–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crow, M., & Bozeman, B. (1998). Limited by design: R&D laboratories in the US national innovation system. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fumasoli, T., & Lepori, B. (2011). Patterns of strategies in Swiss higher education institutions. Higher Education, 61(2), 157–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Geuna, A. (2001). The changing rationale for European university research funding: are there negative unintended consequences? Journal of Economic Issues, 35(3), 607–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hicks, D. (2004). The four literatures of social science. In H. F. Moed, W. Glänzel, & U. Schmoch (Eds.), Handbook of quantitative science and technology research (pp. 473–496). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Joly, P. B., & Mangematin, V. (1996). Profile of public laboratories, industrial partnerships and organisation of R&D: The dynamics of industrial relationships in a large research organization. Research Policy, 25, 901–922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jongbloed, B., & Lepori, B. (2015). The funding of research in higher education: Mixed models and mixed results. In M. Souto-Otero, J. Huisman, D. D. Dill, H. de Boer, A. S. Oberai, & L. Williams (Eds.), Handbook of higher education policy and governance (pp. 439–461). New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Larédo, P., & Mustar, P. (2000). Laboratory activity profiles: An exploratory approach. Scientometrics, 47(3), 515–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Latour, B., & Woolgar, S. (1979). Laboratory Life: The construction of scientific facts. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Laudel, G. (2006). The art of getting funded: How scientists adapt to their funding conditions. Science and Public Policy, 33(7), 489–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lauf, E. (2005). National diversity of major international journals in the field of communication. Journal of Communication, 55(1), 139–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lepori, B. (2007). Patterns of diversity in the swiss higher education system. In A. Bonaccorsi & C. Daraio (Eds.), Specialization and performance in Europe (pp. 209–240). Cheltenham: Edwar Elgar.Google Scholar
  22. Lepori, B. (2011). Coordination modes in public funding systems. Research Policy, 40(3), 355–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lepori, B., Dinges, M., Reale, E., Slipersaeter, S., Theves, J., & Van den Besselaar, P. (2007). Comparing the evolution of national research policies: What patterns of change? Science and Public Policy, 34(6), 372–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lepori, B., & Probst, C. (2009). Using curriculum vitae for mapping scientific fields. A small-scale experience for Swiss communication sciences. Research Evaluation, 18(2), 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lepori, B., Usher, J., & Montauti, M. (2013). Budgetary allocation and organizational characteristics of higher education institutions: A review of existing studies and a framework for future research. Higher Education, 65(1), 59–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Merton, R. K. (1968). The Matthew effect in science: The reward and communication systems of science are considered. Science, 159(3810), 56–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moll, J., & Hoque, Z. (2011). Budgeting for legitimacy: the case of an Australian university. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 36(2), 86–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (1974). Organizational decision making as a political process: The case of a university budget. Administrative Science Quarterly, 19(4), 135–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (1978). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  30. Probst, C., Lepori, B., De Filippo, D., & Ingenhoff, D. (2011). Profiles and beyond: constructing consensus on measuring research output in communication sciences. Research Evaluation, 20(1), 73–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Salancik, G., & Pfeffer, J. (1974). The bases and use of power in organizational decision making: The case of a university. Administrative Science Quarterly, 19(4), 453–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schmoch, U., & Schubert, T. (2009). When and how to use bibliometrics as a screening tool for research performance. Science and Public Policy, 62(1), 133–143.Google Scholar
  33. Slaughter, S., & Leslie, L. (1997). Academic capitalism: Politics, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Slaughter, S., & Rhoades, G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Verbree, M., Horlings, E., Groenewegen, P., Van der Weijden, I., & van den Besselaar, P. (2015). Organizational factors influencing scholarly performance: A multivariate study of biomedical research groups. Scientometrics, 102(1), 25–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Viner, N., Green, R., & Powell, P. (2006). Segmenting academics: Resource targeting of research grants. Science and Public Policy, 33(3), 166–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Weisenburger, E., & Mangematin, V. (1995). Le laboratoire public de recherche entre dépendance et autonomie stratégique. Cahiers d’Economie Et Sociologie Rurales, 37, 227–249.Google Scholar
  38. White, H. C. (2002). Markets from networks: Socioeconomic models of production Princeton. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benedetto Lepori
    • 1
  • Michael Wise
    • 1
  • Diana Ingenhoff
    • 2
  • Alexander Buhmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Communication Sciences, Interdisciplinary Institute of Data ScienceUniversità della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland
  2. 2.DCM Department of Communication and Media ResearchUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Communication and CultureBI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations