The study of innovation is a rapidly growing research area of organizational studies. Among the different points of attention, the distinction between public and private organizations have long been one of the most discussed topics. Within this field of study, this paper aims to understand whether the transformation of a research institute from a public entity to a private foundation constitutes an organizational innovation in itself. The authors present a case study which explores these dynamics of transformation from three specific but interrelated perspectives: the governance processes; the introduction of the first private collective labour agreement in the research field; the administrative and accounting procedures. The last part is dedicated to give a comprehensive answer to the overall research question underlying the study.
Keywords: Organizational change, organizational innovation, research system, foundations, privatization, case study