Metabolism of public organizations: A case study



Abstract. This study suggests the concept of Metabolism of organization that explains how public organizations use and/or transform inputs (mainly public funding) to produce and supply products and services. This approach is useful for analyzing costs and supporting best practices of management to increase efficiency of organizations. An application of this approach is showed on one of the largest public research organizations in Europe. Results indicate, from 1997 to 2015 period, that the cost of personnel has a very high growth rate (167.87), total cost of CNR has a high one (127.44), whereas total revenue (state subsidy) has a lower growth rate:118.72. This result suggests an imbalance of growth rates between dynamics of total revenue and vital costs within this PRO, generating economic issues and inefficiencies for this organization in the long run. R&D management implications conclude this study.

Keywords. Research organizations, R&D funding, Cost management, Cost analysis, Budget system, Metabolism.

JEL. N30, O30, O31, I23.


Research Organizations; R&D Funding; Cost Management; Cost Analysis; Budget System; Metabolism.

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