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

40 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2013 Last revised: 8 Oct 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

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Date Written: April 2013

Abstract

When do scientists and other knowledge workers 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 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 one institution 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 organization of scientific work.

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 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18958. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2250267

Michaël A. Bikard (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
Fontainebleau, 77300
France

Fiona E. Murray

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

United States

Joshua S. Gans

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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