Conflicting Logics? A Multidimensional View of Industrial and Academic Science

Organization Science 24(3), pp. 889-909, May/June 2013

39 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2011 Last revised: 29 Oct 2015

See all articles by Henry Sauermann

Henry Sauermann

ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Paula E. Stephan

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 24, 2012

Abstract

A growing body of research views industrial and academic science as characterized by conflicting institutional logics. Other scholars have long claimed that stark differences between the two sectors exist in theory but not in practice. Drawing on both views and the broader organizational literature, we develop a conceptual framework to compare and contrast industrial and academic science along four interdependent dimensions: (1) the nature of work; (2) characteristics of the workplace; (3) characteristics of workers; and (4) the disclosure of research results. We then employ detailed survey data on a sample of over 5,000 research active life scientists and physical scientists to examine key aspects of the framework empirically. Our results suggest that the conflicting logics view tends to overstate differences across sectors while ignoring important heterogeneity within sectors. We further advance the understanding of institutional logics by examining the relationships among dimensions of science, including the degree to which differences in the nature of work across sectors explain differences in how work is organized and results are disclosed. We discuss implications for future research on the institution of science as well as for policy makers and managers concerned with knowledge production in industry and academia, or with the relationships between the two sectors.

Keywords: Industrial science, academic science, institutional logics, patenting, publishing, preferences, SESTAT

Suggested Citation

Sauermann, Henry and Stephan, Paula E., Conflicting Logics? A Multidimensional View of Industrial and Academic Science (October 24, 2012). Organization Science 24(3), pp. 889-909, May/June 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1946768 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1946768

Henry Sauermann (Contact Author)

ESMT European School of Management and Technology ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Germany

Paula E. Stephan

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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