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The bureaucratization of science

Published on Oct 1, 2015in Research Policy 4.66
· DOI :10.1016/j.respol.2015.04.010
John Walsii28
Estimated H-index: 28
(Georgia Institute of Technology),
You-Na Lee6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Abstract
While science is traditionally treated as a distinct domain of work organization, increasingly science is organized around larger and larger work groups that resemble small firms, with knowledge as the product. The growth of organized science raises the question of whether we also see a bureaucratic structuring of scientific work groups as predicted by organization theory, with implications for the academic credit system and scientific labor markets. Building on organization theory, we examine the relation between project group size, technical environment, and bureaucratic structuring of scientific work. Using survey data on scientific projects, we find size predicts bureaucratic structuring, with declining marginal effects. We also find that interdisciplinarity and task interdependence have distinct effects on bureaucratic structuring. Finally, the relationship between size and some dimensions of bureaucratic structuring is contingent on levels of work group interdependence in the field. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for policy debates about authorship and scientific careers.
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  • Citations (26)
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References92
Newest
Published on Apr 1, 2015in Research Policy 4.66
You-Na Lee6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Georgia Institute of Technology),
John Walsii28
Estimated H-index: 28
(National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies),
Jian Wang11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
The increasing dominance of team science highlights the importance of understanding the effects of team composition on the creativity of research results. In this paper, we analyze the effect of team size, and field and task variety on creativity. Furthermore, we unpack two facets of creativity in science: novelty and impact. We find that increasing team size has an inverted-U shaped relation with novelty. We also find that the size–novelty relationship is largely due to the relation between siz...
52 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2015in Research Policy 4.66
Sotaro Shibayama9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Tokyo),
Yasunori Baba11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Tokyo),
John Walsii28
Estimated H-index: 28
(National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
A university laboratory is a fundamental unit of scientific production, but optimizing its organizational design is a formidable task for lab heads, who play potentially conflicting roles of manager, educator, and researcher. Drawing on cross-sectional data from a questionnaire survey and bibliometric data on Japanese biology professors, this study investigates task allocation inside laboratories. Results show a general pattern that lab heads play managerial roles and members (e.g., students) ar...
16 Citations Source Cite
Published on Oct 1, 2014in Nature Physics 22.73
Ioannis Pavlidis35
Estimated H-index: 35
,
Alexander M. Petersen22
Estimated H-index: 22
,
Ioanna Semendeferi3
Estimated H-index: 3
University culture stands at a critical crossroads: the era of team science is upon us functionally, but not yet structurally. Solutions to the problems this mismatch creates involve rethinking education — and giving credit where credit is due.
23 Citations Source Cite
Bruce M. Albertsll69
Estimated H-index: 69
(University of California, San Francisco),
Marc W. Kirschner142
Estimated H-index: 142
(Harvard University)
+ 1 AuthorsHarold E. Varmus110
Estimated H-index: 110
The long-held but erroneous assumption of never-ending rapid growth in biomedical science has created an unsustainable hypercompetitive system that is discouraging even the most outstanding prospective students from entering our profession—and making it difficult for seasoned investigators to produce their best work. This is a recipe for long-term decline, and the problems cannot be solved with simplistic approaches. Instead, it is time to confront the dangers at hand and rethink some fundamenta...
347 Citations Source Cite
Staša Milojević16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Indiana University Bloomington)
Research teams are the fundamental social unit of science, and yet there is currently no model that describes their basic property: size. In most fields, teams have grown significantly in recent decades. We show that this is partly due to the change in the character of team size distribution. We explain these changes with a comprehensive yet straightforward model of how teams of different sizes emerge and grow. This model accurately reproduces the evolution of empirical team size distribution ov...
56 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2013in Synthese 1.03
Michael H. G. Hoffmann13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences),
Jan C. Schmidt10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences),
Nancy J. Nersessian1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences)
“Interdisciplinarity” is now a buzzword for more than 40 years since Erich Jantsch coined the term for a broader audience, together with “transdisciplinarity” (Jantsch 1970; see also Apostel et al. 1972). The exact meaning of these and related terms seems to be still in flux. However, as Britt Holbrook explains in the first contribution to this special issue, we can observe a convergence in the literature according to which we could distinguish three notions. Following Holbrook’s report about mo...
11 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2013in Psychological Science 6.13
Jonathon N. Cummings26
Estimated H-index: 26
(Duke University),
Sara Kiesler76
Estimated H-index: 76
(Carnegie Mellon University)
+ 1 AuthorsAruna D. Balakrishnan6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Carnegie Mellon University)
Heterogeneous groups are valuable, but differences among members can weaken group identification. Weak group identification may be especially problematic in larger groups, which, in contrast with smaller groups, require more attention to motivating members and coordinating their tasks. We hypothesized that as groups increase in size, productivity would decrease with greater heterogeneity. We studied the longitudinal productivity of 549 research groups varying in disciplinary heterogeneity, insti...
32 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2013in Research Policy 4.66
Carolin Haeussler10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Passau),
Henry Sauermann14
Estimated H-index: 14
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
We examine the extent to which different types of substantive project contributions as well as social factors predict whether a scientist is named as author on a paper and inventor on a patent resulting from the same project. Using unique survey data from over 2000 life scientists, we find that the predictors of authorship differ from those of inventorship. A wider range of project contributions may result in authorship, and social factors appear to play a larger role in authorship decisions tha...
41 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2013
Jeffrey Clayton Brown1
Estimated H-index: 1
2 Citations
Published on Mar 1, 2012in Research Evaluation 2.45
Juan D. Rogers13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
The presence of research centers on university campuses has expanded dramatically over the past two decades. The research center is a prominent feature of the contemporary academic landscape with some institutions hosting dozens or even more than one hundred. They are important not only due to their sheer number but also because they reflect deeper undercurrents on what is happening in universities. Research centers are entities that arrange human and material resources for research in specific ...
7 Citations Source Cite
Cited By26
Newest
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Research Policy 4.66
Beatrice D’Ippolito3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of York),
Charles-Clemens Rüling6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Grenoble School of Management)
Abstract Over the past decades, Large Scale Research Infrastructures (LSRIs) have come to play a central role in providing scientist-users access to highly specialised scientific instrumentation and experimental conditions. Collaborations between (permanent) instrument scientists and users are at the core of these organisations, yet knowledge about the nature of such collaborations and their development over time is surprisingly scarce. In particular, we know very little about the interrelation ...
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Published on May 6, 2019in Studies in Higher Education 2.32
Hugo Horta16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Hong Kong),
João M. Santos2
Estimated H-index: 2
(ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon)
ABSTRACTThe demands for academic research placed on contemporary universities are closely related to the levels of innovative research they are expected to produce. Concurrently, both governments and university management strive to make the production of academic research more cost-efficient and have implemented measures to ensure this. Top-down policies influenced by the concepts of new public management and managerialism have been introduced, pushing for competitiveness and increased performat...
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Published on Apr 3, 2019in Journal of Intellectual Capital
Jesús de Frutos-Belizón (University of Cádiz), Fernando Martín-Alcázar7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Cádiz),
Gonzalo Sánchez-Gardey3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Cádiz)
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Published on Apr 1, 2019in Research Policy 4.66
Sotaro Shibayama9
Estimated H-index: 9
(University of Tokyo)
Abstract Academic training, where senior scientists transfer their knowledge and skills to junior scientists through apprenticeship, plays a crucial role in the development of scientists. This study focuses on two aspects of academic training, autonomy and exploration, to investigate how different modes of training are incentivized and how they affect junior scientists’ performance and career prospects. Drawing on a sample of 162 supervising professors and their 791 PhD students in life science ...
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Published on Mar 1, 2019in Research Policy 4.66
John Walsii28
Estimated H-index: 28
(Georgia Institute of Technology),
You-Na Lee6
Estimated H-index: 6
(National University of Singapore),
Li Tang13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Fudan University)
Abstract Science is increasingly a team activity, and the size of the teams has been growing. At the same time, there are concerns about an increasing rate of pathologies in science. The growth of team science suggests the need to look beyond individual-level explanations and focus on organizational structures and institutional contexts to explain pathologies in science. Drawing on the literature on organizational pathologies, we argue that division of labor may be a key factor contributing to p...
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Published on Dec 12, 2018
Heiko Rauhut12
Estimated H-index: 12
,
Fabian Winter5
Estimated H-index: 5
,
David Johann3
Estimated H-index: 3
Source Cite
Staša Milojević16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Indiana University),
Filippo Radicchi27
Estimated H-index: 27
(Indiana University),
John Walsii28
Estimated H-index: 28
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Contemporary science has been characterized by an exponential growth in publications and a rise of team science. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of awarded PhD degrees, which has not been accompanied by a similar expansion in the number of academic positions. In such a competitive environment, an important measure of academic success is the ability to maintain a long active career in science. In this paper, we study workforce trends in three scientific disciplines over...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Sep 1, 2018in Scientometrics 2.17
S. A. Kolesnikov4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Arizona State University),
Eriko Fukumoto1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Arizona State University),
Barry Bozeman54
Estimated H-index: 54
(Arizona State University)
In the quest for balance between research productivity and impact, researchers in science and engineering are often encouraged to adopt a play-it-safe research and publication strategy that allows them to maintain high publication productivity and accelerate their career advancement but may reduce the likelihood of high impact or breakthrough research outcomes. In this paper, we analyze bibliometric data from Scopus and present results for the relationship between publication strategies, publish...
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Aug 1, 2018
Shogo Katoh (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Giancarlo Lauto4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Udine)
+ 1 AuthorsShintaro Sengoku6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Due to the complexity of modern science and growing need for innovative breakthrough, interdisciplinary research (IDR) is expected and widely promoted to solve complex social problems by integrating knowledge from multiple academic fields. However, conventional indicators such as the impact factor and the number of citations are not fully applicable for the evaluation of IDR. Furthermore, publications and patents are ex-post output that can be obtained as a result of research, owning a fatal tim...
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