University Governance and Academic Research

Case studies of research units in Dutch and English universities

Leišytė, L.

Enschede, Center for Higher Education and Policy Studies (CHEPS), 2007, 427 p. /. isbn 978 90 365 2586 2

The central research question of our study addresses the effects of governing models on the research practices of basic research units in public universities in the fields of medieval history and biotechnology. We have used two organisational theories: resource dependence and neo-institutional theory. They provide a range of possible responses of research units to changes in institutional environments. In order to interpret the perceptions, responses of the basic research units and the consequences for their research practices meaningfully, we have used the credibility cycle model of the research organisation. Our analysis has shown that shifts in governance influence research practices to a certain extent. All eight basic research units respond to their changing institutional environments by attempting to reduce uncertainty and to maintain stability in their core activities, but not all of them have been equally successful in this respect.