Academic Entrepreneurship and Exchange of Scientific Resources Material Transfer in Life and Materials Sciences in Japanese Universities
American Sociological Review. Vol. 77, No. 5, pp. 804-830, 2012
35 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2013
Date Written: Semptember 30, 2012
This study uses a sample of Japanese university scientists in life and materials sciences to examine how academic entrepreneurship has affected the norms and behaviors of academic scientists regarding sharing scientific resources. Results indicate that high levels of academic entrepreneurship in a scientific field are associated with less reliance on the gift-giving form of sharing (i.e., generalized exchange) traditionally recommended by scientific communities, and with a greater emphasis on direct benefits for givers (i.e., direct exchange), as well as a lower overall frequency of sharing. We observe these shifts in sharing behavior even among individual scientists who are not themselves entrepreneurially active; this suggests a general shift in scientific norms contingent on institutional contexts. These findings reflect contradictions inherent in current science policies that simultaneously encourage open science as well as commercial application of research results, and they suggest that the increasing emphasis on commercial activity may fundamentally change the normative structure of science.
Keywords: academic capitalism, academic entrepreneurship, material transfer, scientific norms, social exchange, indirect reciprocity, life sciences, material sciences
JEL Classification: O32, C71, J58, O38
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