The bureaucratization of science
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.