In this paper we adopt a complex systems perspective to examine the perturbations caused by the introduction of the Research Quality Framework (RQF) at a research-intensive Australian university. This case is instructive as it 1) presents a Federal policy initiative that attempted to fundamentally alter the recognition and reward mechanism within a regulated funding environment, 2) analyses the strategies of an institution and its research groups as they sought to not only comply with the implementation of the RQF but to maximise their outcome, and 3) it reveals the ways that some actors used this perturbation to advance their own interests. In short, this case represents an instrumental study into the dynamics of how information systems, organisations, and individuals co-evolve in practice as they seek to navigate a complex problem scenario.



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