Relational mechanisms governing multifaceted collaborative behavior of academic scientists in six fields of science and engineering
Norms of academic science and engineering are moving in the direction of broader applicability and transferability of knowledge beyond the borders of the university. In response, scientists are expected to engage in collaboration that includes both basic and applied collaborative activities. More specifically, the norms of science are beginning to change to allow for novel forms of collaboration that involve sharing of research ideas on multiple facets of collaborative work. This paper examines the extent to which multifaceted collaboration is attributable to relational aspects of individuals' networks. Specifically, we ask the question: what relational aspects of social capital determine multifaceted collaboration among scientists in six fields of science and engineering? Borrowing literature from social capital and science and technology (S&T) human capital, this paper develops a multi-level model of multifaceted collaboration and presents a set of testable hypotheses. Then using data from a national survey of men and women faculty in six fields, we analyze the multi-level data: relationship or dyad level (level 1) and ego level (level 2) with hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to predict multifaceted collaboration of academic scientists. Findings show that some relational characteristics explain multifaceted collaborative behavior as predicted, while others behave in unexpected ways. Conclusions place the findings in context for theory and policy.
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