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Knowledge production at industrial research institutes: Institutional logics and struggles for relevance in the Swedish Institute for Surface Chemistry, 1980-2005
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
2017 (English)In: Research Evaluation, ISSN 0958-2029, E-ISSN 1471-5449, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 337-348Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines dynamics of knowledge production and discourses of basic-applied science and relevance at the Swedish Institute for Surface Chemistry, a semi-public industrially oriented research institute, from 1980 to 2005. We employ a three-pronged method, consisting of (1) an analysis of how the institute articulated its research priorities and goals in publications primarily directed to stakeholders, (2) an analysis of retrospective narratives by researchers and managers about research ideologies and priorities, and (3) a bibliometric analysis of the institute's scientific publications. Using a theoretical framework centered on the notions of institutional logics and struggles for relevance, we show how the transformations of the institute amount to a substitution of an internalized institutional logic of scientific autonomy with a new logic of industrial utility, and how the institute's knowledge production was managed during this change. We also point out various strategies used by the institute to preserve and advance its own goals while still remaining relevant with regard to changing policy objectives. Another important finding is that although the institute by the end of the study period was fully committed to an industrial service role, parts of the originally deeply entrenched scientific logic were still manifested, although then discussed in the new industrial terminology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS , 2017. Vol. 26, no 4, p. 337-348
Keywords [en]
struggles for relevance, technical research institute, research management, research relevance, qualitative and quantitative methods, institutional logics
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217442DOI: 10.1093/reseval/rvx016ISI: 000413999100007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85032730684OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-217442DiVA, id: diva2:1158125
Note

QC 20171117

Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-11-17 Last updated: 2017-11-17Bibliographically approved

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Bruno, KarlLarsen, Katarina

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