Today, higher education and research institutions are confronted with variable and sometimes contradictory demands from state, industry and society. They have to face growing volatility in education policy, and a research paradigm that sees an accelerating rate of knowledge growth as well as the internationalization of the knowledge process itself. It is vital that academics and policymakers stay abreast of the impact that policy changes have on education and research in tertiary institutions. Based on a sector-specific theory model for the governance of research organizations, this book outlines evidence of the effects of the so-called new public management reforms in the German university and public research sector. The volume aims to shed some light on the differences between the disciplines in input, throughput, profiles of output and the typical conditions of knowledge production, disparities that are currently little understood and are thus not reflected in government policy as ministers implement new governance forms in the research system. It analyzes in detail these new forms, and demonstrates how they affect knowledge production and research performance from the level of research group up to that of the system itself. The authors focus on a set of disciplines that represent the breadth of research divisions in major universities: natural science fields oriented to basic research (astrophysics), two application-oriented fields from the natural sciences (nanoscience and biotechnology), a social science field (economics) and a humanity field (medieval history).

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