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Research institutes as hybrid organizations: central challenges to their legitimacy

Authors
  • Gulbrandsen, Magnus1
  • 1 Centre For Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, 0317, Norway , Oslo (Norway)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Policy Sciences
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
Mar 11, 2011
Volume
44
Issue
3
Pages
215–230
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11077-011-9128-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Research institutes, here defined as organizations involved in research and development but outside of the higher education sector and often in close cooperation with users, are found in most countries but not very well understood. This paper argues that institutes can be considered “hybrid organizations”, caught in between dichotomous cultural spheres with differing values. To retain their hybridity and to survive in the long run, research institutes need to create and sustain organizational legitimacy by establishing congruence with values from these different spheres. The paper discusses how institutes try to establish legitimacy in the science–non-science dimension and the public–private dimension and that these attempts sometimes come into conflict with one another. The framework of the legitimacy of hybrid organizations could constitute a fruitful starting point for a discussion of the future place of research institutes in society.

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