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Organizational Responses to Research Policy: Complexity and Maneuvering by Portuguese Polytechnics

Institutions
Policy Analysis
Public Policy
Qualitative
Differentiation
Higher Education
Policy Implementation
Southern Europe
Sandra Hasanefendic
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Sandra Hasanefendic
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
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Abstract

This Paper examines two Portuguese polytechnics and explores the qualitative responses to new research policy by focusing on the field level conditions. We show that the field of higher education is highly complex due to the lack of consensus on research practices by regulatory actors. Complexity also arises due to discrepancies in the Law and the norms and values that guide polytechnic organizations in their practices. In this complex field, polytechnics respond either by mimicking research practices which are traditionally associated to universities or by hybridizing research practices; integrating practices which are traditionally associated to university research and those which are in the Law defined as distinct for the polytechnic sector and characterized by problem solving activities aimed at improving the region. These heterogeneous responses are a result of unique organizational strategies to respond to the complexity in the field regarding the new policy.