Research Policy (RES POLICY )

Publisher: Elsevier


Research and development (R&D) activities today absorb very considerable resources, and have great influence on the policies of industrial firms, government departments, universities and even whole nations. Research Policy is a multi-disciplinary journal devoted to the exploration of the policy problems posed by these R&D activities, and in particular their interaction with economic, social and political processes. Its papers are written by both academic observers and practitioners of the R&D process. It is deliberately international in scope and reaches an audience of academics, industrialists and government officials.Main Subjects Covered:Innovation, Company Strategy and Industrial Competition; Project Selection and R&D Management; National Policies towards Science and Technology; Social and Economic Effects of Science and Technology; Policies for Basic Research; International Cooperation; Developing Countries; Literature Surveys.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Research Policy website
  • Other titles
    Research policy (Online), RP
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Voluntary deposit by author of pre-print allowed on Institutions open scholarly website and pre-print servers
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and publisher exists
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PMC after 12 months
    • Authors who are required to deposit in subject repositories may also use Sponsorship Option
    • Pre-print can not be deposited for The Lancet
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: International knowledge spillovers, especially through multinational companies (MNCs), have recently been a major topic of academic and management debate. However, most studies treat MNC subsidiaries as relatively passive actors. We challenge this assumption by investigating the drivers of knowledge protection intensity of MNC subsidiaries. We argue that knowledge protection intensity is determined by MNC subsidiary mandates and by opportunities and risks originating from the host region. We hypothesize that not just competence-creating but also competence-exploiting mandates increase knowledge protection intensity. In addition, technological cluster regions in the host country can be expected to provide opportunities for knowledge sourcing and MNC subsidiaries may be willing to protect knowledge less intensively to participate in cluster networks. We test our hypotheses using a dataset of 694 observations of 631 MNC subsidiaries in Germany and develop recommendations for research, managers and policy makers.
    Research Policy 01/2015;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper uses a unique survey to examine the nature and extent of knowledge flows that result from the international mobility of researchers whose initial education was in small island countries. Current migrants produce substantially more research than similar-skilled return migrants and non-migrants. Return migrants have no greater research impact than individuals who never migrate but are the main source of research knowledge transfer between international and local researchers. Our results contrast with previous claims in the literature that too few migrant researchers ever return home to have much impact, and that there is no productivity gain to researchers from migration.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study explores the impact of governmental support policies on the innovation of SMEs in the regional strategic industries in South Korea. We use the technological development assistance funds as a proxy for governmental support policies for SMEs in the regional industries in Korea. The innovation of SMEs is measured by technological innovation: patent, utility model, trademark, and new design registrations. Before empirically testing the impact of governmental support policies on the innovation of SMEs, this study reviews the literature concerning the innovation and the governmental support policies of SMEs in regional industries. Results from empirical models, which simultaneously control for factors which were thought to affect the innovation of regional SMEs, indicate that a positive relationship exists among the technological development assistance by the Korean government and patent acquisitions and new design registrations of regional SMEs. Networks with universities also have a positive relationship with patent acquisitions and new design registrations of regional SMEs. This study suggests there is an importance to governmental financial aids for regional SME innovations, and there is an importance to the need to build a strong social relationship in today's networked economy.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The determinants of R&D are an important topic of innovation studies. The classical Schumpeterian hypotheses about the influence of size and market power have been complemented with the role played by industry determinants, such as demand pull, technological opportunity and appropriability, in determining R&D investments. However, R&D has always been considered as a whole, even though research and development activities differ in many aspects. We take advantage of a new panel database of innovative Spanish firms (PITEC) to distinguish between research and development efforts of firms. We analyze the differentiated role played by traditional R&D determinants in driving research and development. Results show that demand pull and appropriability have a higher effect on development, while technological opportunity is more influential for research. Differences are statistically significant, important in magnitude, and robust to the use of different indicators for demand pull, technological opportunity and appropriability, and to several robustness checks.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we describe an operational methodology for characterizing the architecture of complex technical systems and demonstrate its application to a large sample of software releases. Our methodology is based upon directed network graphs, which allows us to identify all of the direct and indirect linkages between the components in a system. We use this approach to define three fundamental architectural patterns, which we label core–periphery, multi-core, and hierarchical. Applying our methodology to a sample of 1286 software releases from 17 applications, we find that the majority of releases possess a “core–periphery” structure. This architecture is characterized by a single dominant cyclic group of components (the “Core”) that is large relative to the system as a whole as well as to other cyclic groups in the system. We show that the size of the Core varies widely, even for systems that perform the same function. These differences appear to be associated with different models of development – open, distributed organizations develop systems with smaller Cores, while closed, co-located organizations develop systems with larger Cores. Our findings establish some “stylized facts” about the fine-grained structure of large, real-world technical systems, serving as a point of departure for future empirical work.
    Research Policy 10/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The article draws from two theoretical fields, innovation intermediation and sustainability transitions, to examine the role of government-affiliated intermediary organisations in system-level transitions. The role of intermediaries working between actors – producers and users, entrepreneurs and adopters, idea generators and funders – has seldom been specifically addressed in the transitions literature. Thus, the role of intermediary organisations in enacting change in socio-technical regimes, particularly of intermediaries falling between traditional public sector and private sector actors, is of interest in this article. Empirical analyses of two Finnish organisations, Sitra and Motiva, show that government-affiliated intermediaries are likely to engage in strategic niche management processes in diverse ways, each organisation having its own distinct characteristics. The analysis also points out that to get from niches to transition, sustained systemic intermediaries are crucial in articulating new visions and expectations. Government-affiliated intermediaries may make an important contribution to sustainability transitions by initiating and managing new policy or market processes and by acting as an impartial contact point or voice for new networks of actors. While independence from public administration is likely to facilitate networking, too neutral a stance or limited temporal engagement may reduce the transition-facilitating effects.
    Research Policy 10/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Policy makers take initiatives to stimulate knowledge ecosystems in technology hotspots. It is implicitly assumed that these ecosystems will lead to value networks through which the participating companies can realize a competitive advantage. Value networks refer to business ecosystems where the value proposition is offered by a group of companies which are mutually complementary. The strategy literature suggests that business ecosystems lead to competitive advantages for each of the partners in the ecosystem. Based on a unique hand-collected database of 138 innovative start-ups in the region of Flanders, we analyze the knowledge and business ecosystem and the financial support network. We find that the knowledge ecosystem is well structured and concentrated around a number of central actors while the business ecosystem is almost non-existent at the local level. Further, we find that the financial support network is almost 100% publicly backed and fails to bridge the knowledge and business ecosystem. The implications for policy makers who tend to focus on the development of local ecosystems are discussed.
    Research Policy 09/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An impressive literature documents how individual-level factors correlate with entrepreneurship and commercialization behaviors. We have far less insight, however, into how different organizational contexts may, in fact, play a dominant role in shaping these individuals and their behaviors. In this paper, I leverage a unique case of commercialization in which a largely overlapping team attempted to commercialize a technology in two different organizational contexts – first, in a university and later in a startup firm. By detailing the contextual features in each organizational environment and by linking these features to the participants’ differing approaches and attitudes toward commercialization, I extend the current literature through a demonstration of how organizational context shapes not only the initial decision to become an entrepreneur, but also the specific ways in which individuals interpret and act upon an entrepreneurial mission. More generally, I contribute to the literature on the commercialization of university research by highlighting some of the challenges inherent in adapting a context optimized for exploration to the task of exploitation.
    Research Policy 09/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Is there a role for the multifaceted Renaissance Man in modern team-intensive innovation activities? This paper argues that generalist inventors, holding a broad knowledge set, make an especially valuable contribution to innovation teams in uncertain contexts. For a given level of team knowledge variety, the presence of generalists in an innovation team enables a more effective recombination of knowledge and attenuates the typical barriers affecting team-working processes. On the other hand, the lack of specialized contributions in such teams may hamper the process of adapting each recombined component in the search for an innovative solution. Thus, we expect teams including generalists to perform better than otherwise comparable teams in contexts where there is not a well-defined path to combine knowledge and the advantage of specialized contributions plays only a secondary role. We analyze the role of generalists in teams of inventors in the electrical and electronics industry by tracking the trajectories of individual members and the performance of their teams through their patenting activity. Our findings are consistent with the proposition outlined above.
    Research Policy 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emergence of new industries from evolving technologies is critical to the global economy, yet has been relatively understudied due to the paucity of available data. This study draws lessons on industry emergence, by analyzing how a solid-state lighting (SSL) industry grew out of light emitting diode (LED) technologies that evolved for half a century, with participation by tens of thousands of researchers in universities, national laboratories, and firms. Using data on publications, patents, and firms combined with business history we trace the evolution of SSL through a succession of market niches. At times a few researchers with unorthodox research approaches made breakthroughs that greatly advanced particular technology trajectories and pushed LED research in unexpected directions. A succession of LED market niches advanced the technology and provided profits to incentivize continuing research while reducing cost and improving efficacy of LEDs. Innovating firms developed a thicket of patents and captured substantial profit, but were embroiled in extensive litigation that was ultimately resolved through cross-licensing. A major new generation of lighting products is now disrupting the traditional lighting industry. Although the leading incumbent lighting firms all invested early and heavily in SSL, the industry's future leadership is uncertain.
    Research Policy 08/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Emerging technologies are of great interest to a wide range of stakeholders, but identifying such technologies is often problematic, especially given the overwhelming amount of information available to analysts and researchers on many subjects. This paper describes the Emerging Clusters Model, which uses advanced patent citation techniques to locate emerging technologies in close to real time, rather than retrospectively. The model covers multiple patent systems, and is designed to be extensible to additional systems. This paper also describes the first large scale test of the Emerging Clusters Model. This test reveals that patents in emerging clusters consistently have a significantly higher impact on subsequent technological developments than patents outside these clusters. Given that these emerging clusters are defined as soon as a given time period ends, without the aid of any forward-looking information, this suggests that the Emerging Clusters Model may be a useful tool for identifying interesting new technologies as they emerge.
    Research Policy 07/2014;
  • Source
    Research Policy 07/2014;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The concept of open innovation captures the increasing propensity of firms to work across their traditional boundaries of operation. This phenomenon has largely been studied from the viewpoint of manufacturing businesses while services have received much less attention despite the predominant role they play in advanced economies. This paper focuses on open innovation in services, both as a subsector of the economy and as a component of the activities of manufacturing firms. We study the open innovation practices of business services firms and then consider the implications for open innovation of the adoption of a service inclusive business model by manufacturing firms. Our analyses are based on a unique dataset with information on open innovation activities amongst UK firms. Overall, engagement in open innovation increases with firm size and R&D expenditure. Business services are more active open innovators than manufacturers; they are more engaged in informal relative to formal open innovation practices than manufacturers; and they attach more importance to scientific and technical knowledge than to market knowledge compared to manufacturing firms. Open innovation practices are also associated with the adoption of a service inclusive business model in manufacturing firms and service-integrated manufacturers engage in more informal knowledge-exchange activities. The paper contributes towards a reconceptualisation of open innovation in service businesses and a deeper evidence-based understanding of the service economy.
    Research Policy 06/2014; 43(5):853–866.