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Science policy implementation: strategic versus technical human resource management
Science and Public Policy  (IF2.725),  Pub Date : 2020-12-22, DOI: 10.1093/scipol/scaa047
Craig Boardman, Branco Ponomariov, H L Shen

Science commercialization in the context of USA research universities suggests that strategic human resources management (SHRM) theory practices should be considered cautiously. The primary reason being that the organizational and human resources strategies of many USA research universities has increasingly diverged; the secondary reason being that this will not be changing anytime soon. Using qualitative and quantitative information from a purposive sample of twenty-one university–industry research centers established by the US National Science Foundation, we present evidence that what the SHRM literature refers to as ‘technical’ human resource management (HRM) practice is perhaps more important to organizational performance than what the SHRM literature refers to as ‘strategic’ HRM practice. Relatedly, the cases suggest that university research center managers should consider leadership styles and network management approaches and established human resource (HR) practices, which may produce the results the plethora of strategic research commercialization initiatives at universities strive to achieve.