Toward an Integration of Organization Research and Practice: A Contingency Study of Bureaucratic Control and Performance in Scientific Settings

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Three characteristics of utilizable research - practical relevance, applicability of findings, and specificity - were identified and used as a basis for assessing the usefulness of the results from this study. The focus of the study was the contingency effect of bureaucratic control on organizational performance, and the organizations studied were scientific research units in universities. It was hypothesized that bureaucratic control, exercised through influence from national science policy on the choice of unit research themes, will have a positive effect on research-unit productivity in scientific fields with highly developed paradigms. This effect, however, will decline as paradigm development decreases and will become negative in fields with less developed paradigms. Data from an international sample (N = 288) of academic research units supported the hypothesis. Implications for designing national science policy to foster research productivity are discussed, and suggestions are made for the conduct of organization research that has practical utility for decision makers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdministrative Science Quarterly
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)85-100
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.1983
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an equally coauthored study. We would like tothankJan Beyer, Carlos Kruyt-
bosch, Anthony Cobb, and three anonymous ASQ reviewers fortheir helpful
comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Portions of this paper were presented at
the Albany Conference on Organization Theory and Public Policy, Albany, NY, April