nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒31
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Moving Out Of Academic Research: Why Scientists Stop Doing Research? By Aldo Geuna ; Sotaro Shibayama
  2. 'Content to be sad' or 'runaway apprentice'? The psychological contract and career agency of young scientists in the entrepreneurial university By Lam, Alice ; de Campos, Andre

  1. By: Aldo Geuna (Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti De Martiis, University of Torino BRICK, Collegio Carlo Alberto ); Sotaro Shibayama (Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo )
    Abstract: This study examines the determinants of exit from academic research which occurs when academic researchers move into positions in academe which concentrate on non-research activities such as teaching or administration, or when researchers leave academia and move into industry. Drawing on career data for 13,500 Japanese PhD graduates in hard sciences (all scientific fields except social sciences and humanities), we develop a set of econometric models to test the determinants of exit from a career in academic research. We find that academics’ scientific productivity and academic network are negatively correlated with abandoning a university research career, and that female academics, and researchers in lessprestigious universities, tend to exit academic research more easily. Individual and institutional network effects play a role mainly for senior researchers. The results indicate also that the determinants of exit are contingent on scientific field and career stage.
    Keywords: Researcher mobility; academic career; academic labor market; exit
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Lam, Alice ; de Campos, Andre
    Abstract: This article examines employee agency in psychological contracts by exploring how young scientists proactively shape their careers in response to unmet expectations induced by academic entrepreneurialism. It uses the lens of social exchange to examine their relationships with the professors engaged in two types of activities: collaborative research characterized by diffuse/reciprocal exchange, and commercial ventures, by restricted/negotiated exchange. These two categories show how career agency varies in orientation, form and behavioural outcome depending on the relational context within which their psychological contracts evolve. Those involved in collaborative research experienced a relational psychological contract and responded to unfulfilled career promises by ‘extended investment’ in their current jobs. They use ‘proxy agency’ by enlisting the support of their professors. However, some become ‘trapped’ in perennial temporary employment and are ‘content to be sad’. By contrast, those involved in research commercialization experienced a transactional contract and assert ‘personal agency’ by crafting their own entrepreneurial careers. They are ‘runaways’ who seek autonomy. The evidence is based on interviews with 24 doctoral/postdoctoral researchers and 16 professors from three leading UK universities. The study extends psychological contract theory by incorporating career agency and sheds new light on changing academic careers.
    Keywords: academic scientists, career, career agency, entrepreneurial university, psychological contract, social exchange
    JEL: I23 J24 J4 J41 J44
    Date: 2014–11–05

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