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Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research

  • Heinze, Thomas
  • Shapira, Philip
  • Rogers, Juan D.
  • Senker, Jacqueline M.

This paper explores institutional and organizational influences on creativity in scientific research. Using a method for identifying creative scientific research accomplishments in two fields of science (nanotechnology and human genetics) in Europe and the US, the paper summarizes results derived from twenty case studies of highly creative research accomplishments, focusing on contextual patterns at the group, organizational, and institutional levels. We find that creative accomplishments are associated with small group size, organizational contexts with sufficient access to a complementary variety of technical skills, stable research sponsorship, timely access to extramural skills and resources, and facilitating leadership. A potential institutional threat to creative science is the increase in competitive research council funding at the expense of flexible institutional sponsorship. Implications for research management and research policy are considered.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
Pages: 610-623

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:4:p:610-623
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. Grit Laudel, 2006. "The art of getting funded: How scientists adapt to their funding conditions," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(7), pages 489-504, August.
  2. Thed van Leeuwen & Robert Tijssen, 2000. "Interdisciplinary dynamics of modern science: analysis of cross-disciplinary citation flows," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 183-187, December.
  3. Heinze, Thomas & Shapira, Philip & Senker, Jacqueline & Kuhlmann, Stefan, 2006. "Identifying creative research accomplishments : methodology and results for nanotechnology and human genetics," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 8, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  4. Jean Th�ves & Benedetto Lepori & Philippe Larédo, 2007. "Changing patterns of public research funding in France," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(6), pages 389-399, July.
  5. Heinze, Thomas & Bauer, Gerrit, 2006. "Characterizing creative scientists in nano S & T : productivity, multidisciplinarity, and network brokerage in a longitudinal perspective," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 11, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  6. Chompalov, Ivan & Genuth, Joel & Shrum, Wesley, 2002. "The organization of scientific collaborations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 749-767, July.
  7. Heinze, Thomas & Kuhlmann, Stefan, 2008. "Across institutional boundaries?: Research collaboration in German public sector nanoscience," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 888-899, June.
  8. Hollingsworth, Joseph Rogers, 2002. "Research organizations and major discoveries in twentieth-century science: A case study of excellence in biomedical research," Discussion Papers, Presidential Department P 02-003, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  9. Stig Slipers�ter & Jean Th�ves & Barend van der Meulen, 2007. "Comparing the evolution of national research policies: What patterns of change?," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(6), pages 372-388, July.
  10. Corley, Elizabeth A. & Boardman, P. Craig & Bozeman, Barry, 2006. "Design and the management of multi-institutional research collaborations: Theoretical implications from two case studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 975-993, September.
  11. Thomas Heinze, 2008. "How to sponsor ground-breaking research: A comparison of funding schemes," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(5), pages 302-318, June.
  12. Owen-Smith, Jason, 2003. "From separate systems to a hybrid order: accumulative advantage across public and private science at Research One universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1081-1104, June.
  13. Bourke, Paul & Butler, Linda, 1999. "The efficacy of different modes of funding research: perspectives from Australian data on the biological sciences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 489-499, June.
  14. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
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