Exploring Tradeoffs in the Organization of Scientific Work: Collaboration and Scientific Reward

44 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013 Last revised: 9 Apr 2014

See all articles by Michaël Bikard

Michaël Bikard

INSEAD

Fiona Murray

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Entrepreneurship Center

Joshua S. Gans

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; NBER

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 8, 2014

Abstract

When do scientists and other innovators organize into collaborative teams, and why do they do so for some projects and not others? At the core of this important organizational choice is, we argue, a tradeoff scientists make between the productive efficiency of collaboration and the credit allocation that arises after the completion of collaborative work. In this paper, we explore this tradeoff by developing a model to structure our understanding of the factors shaping researcher collaborative choices, in particular the implicit allocation of credit among participants in scientific projects. We then use the annual research activity of 661 faculty scientists at MIT over a 30-year period to explore the tradeoff between collaboration and reward at the individual faculty level and to infer critical parameters in the collaborative organization of scientific work.

Keywords: Knowledge Work, Collaboration, Academic Science, Productivity, Scientific Credit

JEL Classification: O32

Suggested Citation

Bikard, Michaël A. and Murray, Fiona E. and Gans, Joshua S., Exploring Tradeoffs in the Organization of Scientific Work: Collaboration and Scientific Reward (April 8, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2244913 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2244913

Michaël A. Bikard

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
Fontainebleau, 77300
France

Fiona E. Murray

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Entrepreneurship Center ( email )

United States

Joshua S. Gans (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.joshuagans.com

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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