Keywords: Organizational Specialization; Management Autonomy; Social Engagement.
European Universities are undergoing internal reorganization processes. European economic trends suggest a constant crisis in tertiary education public financing. Although the number of students continued to grow substantially, funding at universities has not actually grown proportionately. As it has been observed for companies, European University systems responded through restructuring processes in order to increase flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness. In the light of these dynamics, in this article we will try to observe, in some case studies, the main strategies of European universities in the management of research and its outcomes. The picture that emerges reveals a growing organizational specialization of research and a growing institutionalization of the connections between universities and the socio-economic system. Changes more or less marked depending on the countries institutional structure and the traditional academic arrangements.