Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research
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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