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The determinants of research group performance: Towards Mode 2?



This paper explores the determinants of performance of research groups in the context of the emergence of knowledge as a key intangible asset. It focuses specifically on how best to configure knowledge producers for optimal effectiveness in the current research environment. It explores the under-researched area of the organization and management of research groups located in and at the interface of university research and focuses on medical and medical-related research groups. The discussion is embedded within the current debate concerning modes of organization in knowledge production. Factors identified with high-achievement are: strong leadership; finding., motivating and retaining talent; strategies of related diversification; strongly linked theory and practice and, in particular, network connectedness. Such groups exhibit an increasingly complex internal environment, facilitating a flexible response to an increasingly complex external environment. It finds evidence of Mode 2 working, with increasing use of collaborative strategies and some evidence of a thematic emphasis emerging, although to a lesser extent than the literature suggests, since participants are still working from a strongly disciplinary base. Driven by the more competitive environment, both intellectual and commercial forms of entrepreneurship are present. At the hub of this complex web of inter-related factors is network connectedness, which proves to be centrally facilitative in mobilizing the other necessary resources

Topics: HF, HD28
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