1 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Escuela Superior de Comercio y Administración (MEXICO)
2 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Coordinación de Operación y Redes de Investigación y Posgrado (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 157-165
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.0060
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
The aim of this research was to determine the main challenges that Research Networks Coordinators (RNC) are facing at the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico or IPN) and analyze the management strategies to support their operational efficiency, expansion, and the creation of new networks.

The national and institutional networks operating in the country are carrying out research in the fields of their expertise. However, little has been written about the management strategies for their integration and the actions taken to increase their productivity and guarantee their survival. Nowadays, at international, Latin American and institutional level, there is a lack of empirical information on the challenges that research networks are facing. Therefore, the research question that this paper addresses is: What are the challenges that coordinators of research networks are facing regarding the creation and operation of such networks?

The employed methodology was qualitative. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with twelve RNCs of the following IPN research networks: health, nanoscience, computing, energy, biotechnology, economics, robotics, energy and environment. The data were analyzed using a reflective method supported by Atlas TI software.

The results showed that the main current challenges that IPN research networks face are the following:
1) the research network operation administration,
2) the communication flow among members of the research network, and
3) the way in which the RNs are administered from a central area. Additional challenges include the lack of financial resources to support the RN operations, and low collaborative work among members of the RN.

The original contribution of this research is that it has identified some challenges that have not previously been addressed in the literature. In addition, the paper presents ideas to improve practices in the areas of administration, training, operational and collaboration strategies of RN members. Although the research is limited to one higher education institutions (HEIs) and some of its main RNs, the results are relevant to explain the dynamics and organization of other IPN networks as well as of networks of other HEIs.
Networks, Research, Challenges, Higher education, Institution.