Quality & Quantity

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 1437–1464 | Cite as

A strategic management approach for Korean public research institutes based on bibliometric investigation

  • Hyeonchae Yang
  • Woo-Sung Jung


As a process of knowledge manufacture, research activities are interpretable from the well-known economic perspectives of production and consumption. We therefore aim to investigate the contents of institutes’ research portfolio from a knowledge production and consumption perspective. A Hirsch-type-index and mean reference age serve as indicators of knowledge activity. Based on both indicators, we divide research institutes into four categories. This approach is applied to Government-funded Research Institutes (GRIs) in Korea that are dedicated to major disciplines within science and technology. We recognize GRIs’ contribution to the development in the characteristic areas. A tailored enhancement strategy is discussed for promising GRIs to improve their knowledge activity. Our results have implications for GRIs’ research portfolio management. In terms of R&D portfolio constitution, we reveal that Korean GRIs’ research themes concentrate on the strategic research such as chemistry, information and communications technology, and semiconductors. We also point out the possible fragility of the national R&D system, as national leading technologies are reliant on a few giant institutes.


Research portfolio Public research institutes Knowledge production Knowledge consumption 



The authors are grateful to the editors of the journal and the reviewers for their support and work throughout the process. This work is supported by Mid-career Researcher Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2013R1A2A2A04017095) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (2010-0021987).


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Program for Technology Innovation & ManagementPohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)PohangRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Industrial and Management Engineering/Department of PhysicsPohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)PohangRepublic of Korea

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