Organisational institutionalisation of responsible innovation

Richard Owen*, Mario Pansera, Phil Macnaghten, Sally Randles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We describe the institutionalisation of responsible innovation (RI) over the last decade at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and universities funded by it as a focal point for RI in the UK. Drawing on organisational theory we identify factors influencing the dynamics of RI institutionalisation, including forces of legitimation, entrepreneurship and decoupling. We report significant institutionalisation at the EPSRC prior to 2013, when it published its RI policy. Notwithstanding instances of experimentation and assimilation since, we report limited institutionalisation within research communities in universities as RI has encountered competing institutional logics, responsibility norms and epistemic practices. Our findings suggest an ongoing and dynamic process of translation that reflects RI's status as a performative and contested discourse ‘in the making’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104132
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Organisational institutionalism
  • Policy
  • Practice
  • Responsible Innovation


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