Careers in Public Sector Science: Orientations and Implications

13 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2005

See all articles by Mary Mallon (deceased)

Mary Mallon (deceased)

Massey University - Department of Human Resource Management

Joanne Duberley

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

Laurie Cohen

Loughborough University - Business School

Abstract

There is consensus that the world of science is changing (Ziman, 1994; see for example Nowotny et al., 2002). The environment in which scientists work is typified now as increasingly dynamic, managerialist and commercialised. This paper focuses on how scientists within different organisational and national contexts understand and enact their careers in the face of such changes. Based on empirical work in the UK and New Zealand, this paper introduces four career orientations evident in the career accounts of these participants. The categories are further analysed in terms of the key drivers to career: science, the organisation and the individual. Implications for career management are discussed in each section. In conclusion, the paper makes two related contributions. First, the evidence presented poses a challenge to highly individualised notions of the career actor central to current career thinking, instead revealing scientists' continued attachment to old institutional arrangements alongside new and emerging ways of understanding career. Second, with reference to the issue of career management of research scientists, the study highlights the need for those involved in management to look beyond employing organisations to other life interests, and science itself. It argues the need for those involved in career management to recognise the variety of legitimate ways to run a scientific career.

Suggested Citation

Mallon (deceased), Mary and Duberley, Joanne and Cohen, Laurie, Careers in Public Sector Science: Orientations and Implications. R&D Management, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 395-407, September 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=796356

Mary Mallon (deceased)

Massey University - Department of Human Resource Management

N/A

Joanne Duberley (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

Laurie Cohen

Loughborough University - Business School ( email )

Ashby Road
Loughborough
Nottingham NG1 4BU, LE11 3TU
Great Britain

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