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Conflicting Logics? A Multidimensional View of Industrial and Academic Science

Listed author(s):
  • Henry Sauermann


    (Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30308)

  • Paula Stephan


    (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30302; National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; and Department of Economics, University of Torino, 10149 Torino, Italy)

A growing body of research views industrial and academic science as characterized by conflicting institutional logics. However, other scholars have long claimed that stark differences between the two sectors exist in theory but not in practice. Drawing on both views and the broader organizational literature, we develop a conceptual framework to compare and contrast industrial and academic science along four interdependent dimensions: (1) the nature of work, (2) characteristics of the workplace, (3) characteristics of workers, and (4) the disclosure of research results. We then employ detailed survey data on a sample of more than 5,000 research-active life scientists and physical scientists to examine key aspects of the framework empirically. Our results suggest that the conflicting logics view tends to overstate differences across sectors while ignoring important heterogeneity within sectors. We further advance the understanding of institutional logics by examining the relationships among dimensions of science, including the degree to which differences in the nature of work explain differences in how work is organized and results are disclosed. We discuss directions for future research on the institution of science as well as implications for managers and policy makers concerned with scientific activity within and across sectors.

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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Organization Science.

Volume (Year): 24 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 889-909

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:24:y:2013:i:3:p:889-909
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