Organization Theory and the Changing Nature of Science

Journal of Organization Design, Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 1-16

Duke I&E Research Paper No. 15-9

16 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2015

See all articles by Jonathon N. Cummings

Jonathon N. Cummings

Duke University; Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Sara Kiesler

Carnegie Mellon University

Date Written: November 12, 2014

Abstract

Dramatic changes in the practice of scientific research over the past half century, including trends towards working in teams and on large projects, as well as geographically distributed and interdisciplinary collaboration, have created opportunities and challenges for scientists. Some of the newer ways of doing science create opportunities and challenges for organization theory. We describe how applying organization theory to science can enhance our knowledge of research organizations and raise questions for theories of coordination, social identity, the knowledge-based view of the firm, social networks, organizational learning, and absorptive capacity. We argue that an organizational perspective on science is critical to understanding the sources of technological innovation, making national policy on R&D investment, and designing successful 21st-century research organizations.

Keywords: organization theory; social studies of science; interdisciplinary collaboration; distributed work; research policy

Suggested Citation

Cummings, Jonathon N. and Kiesler, Sara, Organization Theory and the Changing Nature of Science (November 12, 2014). Journal of Organization Design, Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 1-16, Duke I&E Research Paper No. 15-9, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2549609

Jonathon N. Cummings (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

Sara Kiesler

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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