Balancing relevance and excellence: Organizational responses to link research with decision making

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research faces the challenge of balancing relevance to decision making and excellence in the strict adherence to the norms of scientific inquiry. This paper examines the organizational responses that can be undertaken to promote integration of these potentially conflicting goals. We posit that there seem to be structural barriers to effective communication between researchers and decision makers, such as differences in priorities, time management, language, means of communication, integration of findings and definition of the final product of research. These barriers must be overcome through solutions aimed at the organization of research. In this respect, there are three possible models to approach the tension between excellence and relevance: academic subordination, segregation and integration. Only the latter makes it possible to reconcile the advantages of proximity to decision making with the procedures to assure academic quality. In addition to organizational design and institutional development, a strategy to promote research must include a set of incentives to prevent the 'internal brain drain', that is, the tendency of researchers to move to managerial positions. There are four guiding principles to address this problem: parallel careers, academic autonomy, administrative sacrifice and inverted incentives. The complexities of health problems demand that we create new organizational formulas to finally balance relevance and excellence in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1397-1404
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume35
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Decision Making
decision making
Research
Motivation
incentive
Integration and Segregation
Communication
Research Personnel
brain drain
Time Management
institutional development
time management
academic career
communication
autonomy
decision maker
Language
Excellence
Decision making
organization

Keywords

  • brain drain
  • health research
  • organizational design
  • public policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Balancing relevance and excellence : Organizational responses to link research with decision making. / Frenk, Julio.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 35, No. 11, 1992, p. 1397-1404.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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